A little bit about me – I grew up in Golden Valley and graduated from Golden Valley High School. My now 100-year-old mother taught me the importance of compassion and gratitude. My father taught me to challenge conventional wisdom and to be open to different opinions and perspectives.
Following law school, I was an Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney in Mankato appearing in juvenile court and enforcing child support orders for children living in poverty. For twelve years I represented suburban communities as general counsel and city prosecutor. My wife and I have lived in our northeast Minneapolis home for 33 years and we are blessed with two adult children.
I served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1998-2009 and as Council President from 2002-2006. I served as Council President, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, member of the Public Safety Committee and chaired the Hennepin County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee. . I earned a reputation for fairness, integrity, independence, and hard work. I led efforts for financial and regulatory reforms. I built relationships with business owners, immigrants, and neighborhood organizations. I partnered with artists to create the internationally recognized Northeast Minneapolis Arts District and continue to serve as a volunteer board member today.
For the past twelve years, I have served as a senior prosecutor in Anoka County. I have worked with our outstanding drug task force to hold accountable drug trafficking kingpins that poison our children for profit. I have also led changes to our drug charging policies to reduce collateral consequences and encourage treatment over incarceration of low-level drug offenders. I have seen firsthand the heartbreak of victims of violent crime and the dedication of law enforcement professionals.
I have dedicated my volunteer engagement to creating a political culture that brings us together and rebuilds faith in our civic institutions. For the past decade I have co-chaired No Labels Minnesota, an organization supporting the Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress and working for progress through bipartisanship in St. Paul. As a board member of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, I have taken a leadership position in litigation against the City of Minneapolis for the “sleight of hand” that we allege hides police disciplinary records from the public.