A Message from Stephanie Gasca

My name is Stephanie Gasca. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an organizer, a northsider… and I am running for city council in Ward 4. I’m running for office because I’m tired. I’m tired of myself and my community being talked about and positioned for political gains without being at the table, without having a voice at the table.

I’m raising my family on the North Side and want a clean, safe, and thriving neighborhood for everyone. We, my family and yours, deserve that. We deserve economic policy that invests in us and our futures. More than that, we deserve to invest in ourselves through home ownership and genuine community. When I bought my home in the summer of 2009, I was able to stabilize housing for my children and give them the opportunity to put down roots. I’ve also been able to support my family as the price of housing and the cost of rent skyrocket. I’ve seen the price families pay when stable housing is out of reach. We need a city council person who understands through lived experience this reality. But housing isn’t enough, we need to stabilize our neighborhoods.

We all know the obstacles facing the North Side. It’s easy to blame young people, or the imagined thugs we so often hear about. The reality, though, is that a history of disinvestment and neglect are to blame for the violence too many North Side families have been forced to deal with. We need to invest in safe spaces for our young people. Spaces where they can go play, learn, and be healthy. These are too few currently. More than that, we know that nothing stops a bullet like a job, our young people deserve year-long economic opportunities that provide steady income. The cornerstone of clean, healthy, safe neighborhood is community. We build community through investing in people.

This is about more than an election campaign, we are standing in the face of nearly 50 years of Barb Johnson’s family in office and years more of systematic negligence from municipal government and private capital and we say no more. We say no more to living with the worst air quality in the state, we say no more to the structural un and under employment, we say no more to the guns, whether they be brandished by a civilian intending to inflict harm or are the service weapon of the officers who overpopulate our streets and schools. And as we say no, simultaneously, we are saying yes, yes to structures of safety for survivors of intimate partner violence, yes to harm-reduction strategies for drug abuse, yes to communal responsibility and care giving, to justice-centered concepts and programs of health, yes to a relationship with this earth and other living beings that is not violent and colonial. And we can have it, and we can cast a vision larger than those who have considered us disposable. A vision of a future where your zip code is not among the greatest determining factors of your life expectancy. Will you build this vision with us? I am asking that if this resonates with you that you begin by joining us at the polls on November 7th and ranking me, Stephanie Gasca first for City Council in Ward 4. Moreover though, I am asking that we recognize, as they did a generation ago in South Africa, that “nothing about us, without us, is for us” and that the power we are seeking is in no elected office, but in us, organized and determined to undo the conditions we are told we must endure.

We are building a movement. A movement of the people, a movement to ensure our voices are heard at City hall and beyond. Will you join us? Rank me, Stephanie Gasca, first for City Council in Ward 4.

Why I am running for City Council

Raising my family in North Minneapolis, I have felt deeply the sense of powerlessness and fear when tragedy and violence strike our homes and communities. I also know the power of the Northside when we collectively come together. It has been what has driven me towards a path of fighting for justice on the Northside and in the Twin Cities. For far too long, many of the voices of Ward 4 residents have been excluded from the democratic process. I am running for City Council because I believe that everyone should have a seat at the table, and I am committed to engaging all residents to be part of the solutions that affect our lives.

As a Protect MN Board member, I saw how passionate parents can come together to protect our most valuable resources; children and families. These efforts included being part of a team that in 2014 passed a MN state law that removes firearms from people convicted of domestic violence and stalking. As an organizer at CTUL working with low wage workers, I’ve witnessed the power of an organized community: I am part of a team that to date, has won back over $2 million in stolen wages for workers; increased safety procedures and equipment in more than a dozen fast food restaurants; and a part of the committee that created the Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance in the city Minneapolis. As a 2014 Wellstone Fellow, I learned that policy works best when it is drawn from real life experiences and allows everyday people to have a voice in the decision making process.

It is these values that drive me to run for City Council. In addition, I am convinced that in a post 2016 Presidential Election, continuing politics as usual will not serve all of us, it will only benefit the elite few. But there is hope in our collective unity. We need bold leadership that reflects the diverse needs of North Minneapolis and a leader that will fight for all of us. We need a City Council member that understands the struggles of everyday people and will deliver on an agenda crafted by all of the voices of the ward. I look forward to the many conversations with the residents of Ward 4, and I would be honored to be your Council Member that will fight for our community, our voice, and our power at City Hall.

Living Wage

- I am committed to a $15 minimum wage for all working people in Minneapolis.
- The City’s priorities shouldn’t be shaped solely by wealthy corporations. Instead workers, unions, and small business owners should be a central voice in deciding the economic future of our city.
- Committing to a living wage for all Minneapolis residents is a critical step to dismantling the egregious racial and economic disparities in our communities.

Violence in the Community

- I will engage and include the community in addressing the root causes of violence in our neighborhoods. We simply cannot continue to criminalize our people as a solution, rather we need to identify barriers that create and perpetuate these issues and provide positive alternatives for intervention.
- We need to partner with and invest in our parks and schools to create safe and healthy activities that grow our sense of community and provide our youth with more opportunities for success.
- Greater investments in public spaces are needed on the Northside. We need safer and cleaner parks, streets, and common areas in North Minneapolis.

Safe and Affordable Housing

- I will work with community members and stakeholders to ensure that every person in the City of Minneapolis has access to safe and affordable housing.
- We need more renters involved in the shaping of housing policies for the Northside.
- The City needs to do a better job at promoting existing programs that encourage and create homeownership for those that actually live in North Minneapolis.

Police Accountability

- I do not believe that our police department should be tasked with unfunded federal mandates.
- I believe that interactions between the police and our community should not only take place during an arrest or a negative incident. I’m committed to community policing that includes a focus on building relationships, trust, and respect with all residents of North Minneapolis.
- We need to recruit and hire police officers from our communities. When officers have roots in the neighborhoods they serve, they are better able to earn the trust and respect of those they are sworn to protect.

Making policy with the people, for the people

Our campaign understands that there are more issues beyond what is listed here that affect each and every individual within our community. We look forward to continued conversations with community members to better understand more of the issues affecting all of Ward 4.

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Contact Stephanie

Email: info@votestephaniegasca.com

Phone: 612-399-6649

Address: PO Box 11173 Minneapolis MN, 55411

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