Duluth is a great city. It is filled with people who speak out about the things that really matter. That’s why Duluth is my home. When we listen to the community, really listen and act, we increase our capacity to create a place where people not only live, but where they thrive.
I’m running for City Council to represent District 3 because I want to help make Duluth better, safer, and healthier.
To begin, let’s create a framework for decent housing that people can afford to live in. The recent fire at Adas Israel synagogue, started by a person experiencing homelessness and behavior issues, was tragic on all levels. Sustainable solutions are needed. Our local Housing and Redevelopment Authority and outreach leaders — CHUM, Loaves and Fishes, and those who experienced homelessness — must collaborate to chart a course as we seek more state and federal funding. We need a local comprehensive plan to effectively address this issue, with everyone pulling in the same direction. We need a plan, and we all need to know it.
For us to build a foundation where people can afford to live, we need to address both job growth and wages. The attraction of new industry in Duluth will ensure local workers have good job opportunities. Our Duluth seaport is a job-creation powerhouse; it’s one of the top 20 ports in the nation. With our assets in shipping, rail, truck, and warehousing, industrial jobs offer accessibility to high wages and good benefits. To drive these jobs, Duluth needs to be competitive to attract, retain, and expand industry. Local policies, from land use and building processes to wastewater and utility rates, have significant impact. And, to get more sustainable manufacturing jobs, we need to develop policies that assist them. We need to support local businesses. Let’s encourage local entrepreneurs in developing environmentally sustainable business and jobs.
For us to be effective at developing solutions to our problems, we must correct the underlying causes. To build a foundation where people can afford to live, we need to pay them livable wages. I support increasing our state and federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. I will work with our local legislators to help us get there.
A good councilor is a good listener. I spoke with hundreds of our neighbors. Three out of four people at the doors ask me to help protect Lake Superior. As community leaders, we must consider the best available information when making decisions to develop protection and restorative strategies. Without the lake, there is no Duluth. I stand with our residents, businesses, and the science to support protecting our Lake Superior watershed.
Thank you to all the voters for my first-place showing in the primary. I want to represent you in District 3, the heart of the city. I am committed to be your voice, to cut to the heart of the matter, to listen and work for you, and to work together to ensure all voices are heard.
Roz Randorf is a candidate to represent central Duluth’s District 3 on the Duluth City Council. She wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 5.