Minneapolis City Council
‘Important to set that moral high ground’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 27, 2017
By Steve Share, editor, Minneapolis Labor Review
MINNEAPOLIS —“We have been able to be a powerful voice for workers’ rights, a fair economy, environmental justice,” says Alondra Cano. “It was really important for me to be able to set that moral high ground for the polices we were moving at the city council.”
Cano is running for re-election to a second city council term representing Ward 9 in south Minneapolis, comprised of Central, Powderhorn Park, Midtown Phillips, East Phillips and Corcoran neighborhoods and part of Longfellow.
Cano is endorsed by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. She also is endorsed by the DFL Party.
Cano was the first city council member to commit to the $15 minimum wage ordinance — with no tip penalty — and she also was a strong supporter of the sick and safe time ordinance.
“It’s been an amazing time for us as a council to advance these policies in three years,” Cano says.
“We took the results from the election in 2013 very seriously,” she says.
‘Looking forward, as we govern under the new Trump administration, we will need to be more bold and more courageous to end the inequities that still exist in our neighborhoods and ones that may get worse over the next four years.’
Still, the community needed to organize to show its overwhelming support for the two measures. “The city-wide campaign that the activists, community groups, labor, and low-wage workers put together made all the difference,” she says. “The city council felt the impact.”
As the daughter of immigrant workers, Cano adds, “politically and personally it was very important to me.”
For Cano, advancing the issue of environmental justice is another priority. “The problem we’d like to solve is environmental racism,” she says, which manifests itself at the local level when low income neighborhoods like Phillips also are areas of high pollution. She’s been a champion of the city’s “Green Zone” program which aims to involve local residents in planning environmentally-friendly development strategies.
“Looking forward, as we govern under the new Trump administration, we will need to be more bold and more courageous to end the inequities that still exist in our neighborhoods and ones that may get worse over the next four years,” Cano says.
Looking to a second term, Cano wants continue the momentum of the past four years, including further developing the Green Zones concept and adopting city policies to crack down on wage theft.
Implementation of the $15 minimum wage and the new sick and safe time policies, she notes, will need to be monitored “to make sure the goal of lifting up people’s standard of living is being met.”
In addition, she wants to the city to explore rent control as a solution to the affordable housing crisis. “Many diverse families are being priced out of Minneapolis,” she warns. “We want to look at ways we can maintain and protect our city’s diversity… beginning the work of introducing a rent control policy.”
More than one-half of Minneapolis residents are renters, she notes. “The tenants need to be supported… What we’re trying to do is equalize that relationship, that power dynamic between renters and landlords.”
“I’m proud to be labor-endorsed and to be DFL-endorsed and to be the leading voice for the minimum wage movement on the city council,” Cano says. “I hope to earn people’s support on November 7.”