2nd Ward’s Gordon outlines his plans

Gordon plans to work on transportation, police staffing and environmental issues.

Cati Vanden Breul

Cam Gordon will replace Paul Zerby as the University area’s city council member in January and become the first Green Party member to represent the 2nd Ward of Minneapolis.

Gordon, one of the founding members of the Green Party in Minnesota, defeated DFL candidate Cara Letofsky in the local elections earlier this month to represent the ward that contains most of the University’s Minneapolis area for the next four years.

The 49-year-old University alumnus said he and Zerby have spoken on the phone and plan to meet sometime in December to discuss the transition.

Minneapolis has enormous potential to transform during the next four years, Gordon said, and he is excited to be part of the city’s progress.

“I feel so honored and privileged to be able to represent the people of the 2nd Ward,” he said.

Gordon said he would like to see Minneapolis improve its transportation system, develop more community-oriented policing methods and address the gaps between the city’s wealthy residents and low-income residents.

“The city works really, really well for lots and lots of people, but we still have homelessness, poverty and unemployment, and we need to have a city that can address those issues and tackle them head on,” he said.

Although Gordon will be the only council member from the Green Party, he already has some support from current members, Zerby said.

Gordon is respected in the council for his focus on neighborhood improvement and his work with the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Zerby said.

“I think Cam is a very collegial kind of a guy, and I think that he has a lot of a respect from people who know him from his work on NRP,” he said.

Zerby said he has a several concerns about the future of the 2nd Ward and the city of Minneapolis as a whole and hopes Gordon will continue to address them.

Police staffing and response times, environmental concerns and the tension between students and permanent residents in neighborhoods around the University are issues Zerby said he currently is involved in.

Max Page, president of the University DFL and former Letofsky supporter, said Gordon might face some problems because of his party affiliation, but is the type of person who wouldn’t let it stand in his way.

“He will be on the outside, but I know Cam and that’s not going to stop him at all; if anything, that will motivate him,” Page said.

Gordon said there are a few committees he is interested in joining, either Health and Human Services, Community Development, Public Safety and Regulatory Services or Zoning and Planning.

Gordon attributes his victory on Election Day in part to students voting and said he hopes to set up an office near campus so they can have easier access to share their ideas and concerns.

“We were able to motivate students, and I’m very grateful for the trust so many have shown,” he said.