We deserve City Council representatives who listen, ask good questions, dig into the issues, and stand up for residents. A city councilor must be a leader, team player, coalition-builder, and decision-maker.

I will be a city councilor who is just that, and I will continue the tradition of responsive representation that we have come to expect in the 2nd District.

As someone who grew up in this community, who has been an active participant on boards and committees, and who has worked alongside community members to organize around issues ranging from housing and homelessness to access to recreational opportunities for all, I have the commitment, passion, and energy for this work.

Over the last four-plus years, I have followed the work of our City Council, attended council meetings, and met with councilors past and present. I’ve met with neighborhood groups and a variety of stakeholders throughout Duluth. I’ve learned that some council work involves making decisions on highly visible issues, but that much of the work revolves around problem-solving with residents, business owners, and government workers to achieve positive change. I know the importance of making sure that all voices, especially from our underserved communities, are heard and respected.

It’s important for candidates and elected officials to “talk the talk,” but we must expect our representatives to also “walk the walk.” I have done collaborative work, in our community, around multiple issues facing the residents of Duluth. I currently serve on the Duluth Community Development Committee and help make recommendations for spending the federal dollars Duluth receives to support community members struggling economically. I’ve stood with local union workers on picket lines and in solidarity as they’ve struggled with workforce issues. I have taken leadership roles with local initiatives and have also established positive relationships with our local and state elected officials.

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I am ready to use my experience and connections right away to work with residents, businesses, local organizations, city government, and my fellow council members to ensure Duluth is a city where everyone can thrive. I am ready to advocate and facilitate change where it is needed. I am committed to continuing to provide reliable funding for our city’s affordable housing trust fund, building out our city’s climate-action work plan, taking immediate steps to address our climate crisis locally, and advocating for a local $15-per-hour minimum wage to help create an economy that truly works for all of us.

The actions we take today will have direct and lasting impacts on the climate, local economy, workforce, and housing market for generations to come.

As your district councilor, I will be attentive to the needs and issues of the district while directly responding to your concerns. Throughout my time knocking on doors and campaigning across the district, I’ve had hundreds of conversations and listened and learned from constituents about what we can do to make Duluth a better city for all. I am ready to lead with you so we can make a difference for Duluth.

Thank you for engaging in this vital, important local election. I look forward to earning your vote.

Mike Mayou is running against Dave Zbaracki in Duluth City Council District 2. City Councilor Joel Sipress chose not to run again. The district is in eastern and northern Duluth. Mayou wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 2.