We need new and fresh leadership who will walk the walk and be committed to progress. That’s why I’m supporting Jillia Pessenda for Minneapolis City Council in Ward One.
As an artist and an arts advocate, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Jillia on several different fronts. Our paths intersected when Jillia was working with California Street Farm where we used art to talk about urban farming. As one of the co-founders, she was dedicated to changing city zoning for urban agriculture and market gardens. In this role, she also hired Step Up interns (high school students) who gained value urban agriculture experience and learned about community activism.
In addition to fighting for marriage equality for same-sex couples, Jillia and I also collaborated at Headwaters Foundation where Jillia was the Development Director and I am a member of their Board of Directors. We worked together to raise money that could be granted to organizations committed to dismantling racism and building bridges to find commonalities between communities.
Jillia is a knowledgeable thought partner. She understands the creative economy – she knows that Northeast Minneapolis is recognized as an arts district and understands the importance of keeping artists in Ward One. Artists are struggling to afford rent or studio space and the problem is only getting worse. Jillia has a bold vision to ensure artists and all of Ward 1 can afford to make this our home. Jillia will work to increase funding for affordable housing, prioritize community land trusts to create perpetually affordable housing, and strengthen tenants' rights.
I trust Jillia will ensure Ward 1 is an affordable place to live and work. She has the tenacity and follow through to see that this will happen. She has the courage to put people ahead of corporate politics. I urge you to make Jillia your first choice when you vote in November.
We'll all benefit from having Jillia on the Minneapolis City Council.
Artist & Arts Advocate