Cam Gordon’s statement of purpose

Read about who Cam Gordon is, what he values, and what he plans to work toward.

Purpose, values & goals

Statement of Purpose

As a City Council Member, I am committed to serving my constituents and being a resource to all people of Minneapolis to assist them in living successful lives and working with them to make a better city for everyone that we all can be proud of.

I am dedicated to a Minneapolis where we all have decent housing, meaningful career and employment opportunities, high quality schools, rich cultural experiences and a safe, healthy environment within which to raise our families, and find happiness for ourselves and others. I work for a Minneapolis where each of us has the freedom and opportunity to reach our individual potentials while caring for one another, improving our environment and promoting social well-being.

I am focused not only on our immediate needs, but also on the future we want for ourselves, our children and for generations to come.

I strive to make Minneapolis demonstrate how the people of a large city in a large metropolitan area can live, work and play in harmony with nature and with each other.

I take responsibility for the decisions I make and the actions I take to fulfill my commitments and responsibilities as an elected officer holder. I listen, communicate and cooperate with others to solve problems and pursue shared goals. I work hard to ensure that we have a city government that responds to the needs and hopes of the people and empowers everyone to make wise choices and to plan and work together to create the more just, peaceful, democratic and sustainable city we want for our future.

Core Values

  • Ecological Wisdom
  • Social Justice
  • Grassroots Democracy
  • Peace and Nonviolence
  • Community-Based Economics
  • Respect for Diversity


  1. Make Minneapolis an international leader in environmental sustainability and fighting climate change while creating green jobs and cleaning up our soil, water and air.
  2. Work for racial and economic justice and close the racial disparities in poverty, employment, and the criminal justice system.
  3. Make Minneapolis a great place to raise children and a city that welcomes and supports children and youth.
  4. Strengthen and establish a more permanent community participation system in Minneapolis that empowers and builds the capacity of neighborhood organizations and enfranchises everyone.
  5. Value and support small businesses in Minneapolis.
  6. Improve the cooperation between the work of the City Council and City staff and the work of the Met Council, County, School, and Park Boards.
  7. Support and guide growth and development to serve the present and future needs of the city, while protecting what is best about our communities and improving our natural and public assets, infrastructure and amenities.

Strategic Initiatives

Environmental Sustainability

  • Reduce greenhouse gas pollution to levels that meet or exceed the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan (reductions of 15% by 2015 and 30% by 2025, from a 2006 baseline) and define a long-term goal to reach towards zero emissions
  • Establish more democratic control of our energy future, by creating a municipal power utility or using our utility agreements to share energy decision-making with them, fight climate change and invest in renewable energy
  • Support more successful and thriving urban farms, community gardens, and small food producers
  • Set a zero-waste goal and put a plan in place that will move us towards that goal through a citywide organic waste collection system, improved recycling and elimination of packaging that cannot be composted or recycled
  • More fully realize a comprehensive multimodal transportation system with commuter and light rail transit, streetcars and enhanced bus routes - as well as better standard bus service
  • Built at least 30 miles of new protected bikeways and improve pedestrian infrastructure
  • Stop the spread of invasive carp and other species
  • Clean up past pollution
  • Reforest and plant over 30,000 new trees in response to Emerald Ash Borer

Social Justice

  • Close the racial disparities in wealth, income, health and educational achievement
  • Ensure that every resident and visitor to Minneapolis has access to fresh, healthy food
  • Invest in our parks, schools, libraries and small business, not stadiums and other massive private developments
  • Preserve and create more affordable housing options, allow more shelters as needed and end homelessness with targeted investments
  • Fight foreclosures and evictions through existing programs and new, innovative tools
  • Review, and when appropriate repeal unjust laws that do more harm than good by criminalizing poverty and homelessness
  • Create a Racial Equity toolkit to dismantle institutional racism in city government and end racial profiling in all police, regulatory and other city practices
  • Fund and strengthen the Civil Rights department to more proactively identify and end discriminatory housing and employment practices in Minneapolis

Peace and Nonviolence

  • Create an authentic and workable model of community policing that empowers neighborhoods
  • Hold police officers accountable through a strong, civilian-led police review process
  • Reduce youth violence through a public health focus
  • Enhance controls over handguns
  • Have a healthy and robust system of restorative justice
  • Create effective re-entry policies and programs for those returning from prison and other institutions

Grassroots Democracy

  • Build and fund a stable community involvement system that empowers residents and strengthens diverse neighborhood organizations
  • Respect the Charter, and never again devote millions of taxpayer dollars to a private entity without the required referendum
  • Fund and distribute to every household a Voter’s Guide for each municipal election
  • Continue to use Ranked Choice Voting, and use our new voting machines to increase voter choice and reduce counting time
  • Tighten local campaign finance and disclosure rules
  • Work to amend the state constitution, statutes and ordinances to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections

Community-Based Economics and Development

  • Work with the Park Board to protect, preserve and improve our nationally recognized park system, complete the Grand Rounds and add programs, services and green space where they are needed
  • Revitalize and redevelop commercial corridors and areas like East Lake Street and the Southeast Minneapolis Industrial area (SEMI) in neighborhood-serving ways
  • Work with the University to support U-area neighborhoods through a strengthened and more effective the University District Alliance
  • Focus smart density near existing and planned transit corridors
  • Preserve and improve our livable, walkable neighborhoods, and make every neighborhood a “complete neighborhood”
  • Encourage local community self-reliance where more needs can be met close to home
  • Value and support creative arts as essential to our social-emotional well-being and quality of life, as well as to our economic vitality

Ward 2 Priorities

Preserve what is best about our Ward while supporting and appropriately guiding future growth and development.

I believe that in the years ahead there is great potential for growth and development in the Second Ward both in terms of more people coming to live here and more buildings being built here for housing, as well as for commercial and industrial uses. Near the University campus, this growth has already been dramatic. With the success of light rail Green Line, the Midtown Greenway, the Hiawatha Line and the revitalization of East Lake Street, we will need to get better at anticipating as well as attracting housing and business development and helping guide and support the kinds of development that will best serve the present and future needs of the area. We will need to accommodate growth while preserving what we most value about our neighborhoods and ensuring that we maximize the community benefits. We will also have to continue to balance the needs and interests of the diverse stakeholders in the second ward, where sometimes the expansion needs and plans of a well-liked business, institution, or much needed housing project must be thoughtfully balanced with the needs and concerns of current residents and businesses.

To get there it will take a clear and understood community-wide vision for what we want the Ward and neighborhoods to be like in 5, 10 and even 20 years. This vision, hopefully incorporated in and consistent with the City’s formal comprehensive plan, should inform a set of shared values and goals. These then in turn can drive more detailed planning efforts, many of which are already in place or are being developed in the area. Finally, we will then need to employ targeted, inclusive and community-based approaches to individual projects with an eye on present and future community benefits. Key to these kinds of efforts will be healthy and effective neighborhood organizations with actively involved residents and community-oriented and engaged city staff.

Maintain and improve existing public assets in and around Ward 2.

Given all the great public amenities we find in and around the Second Ward, we must constantly be making sure we are maintaining, supporting and improving them for ourselves and for future residents and other users. As we see more growth and development, pressure on both our natural and human made public assets could be enormous.

Our natural assets include the air, soil, water, and water bodies in the Ward. Paramount among these, for our Ward, is the Mississippi River. One of the most important things we need to do for the river is prevent the spread and introduction of aquatic invasive species. In Minneapolis there only two places where this invasive species can be stopped: the Ford Dam and the Saint Anthony Dam. I believe that closing the Lock at St. Anthony was a wise decision. We also must do more to promote best practices in landscaping and maintenance as well as in managing our stormwater to prevent unwanted nutrients and chemicals from entering the river and other water bodies. Additionally, we need to address the loss of trees and our tree canopy due to the devastation of Emerald Ash Borer. We must aggressively plant and care for new trees, replacing ash trees on boulevards and incentivizing residents to plant trees on private property

In addition to attending to the natural environment we also need to do our best at maintaining, operating and enhancing the human made infrastructure and other public assets that we have in our ward. Indeed, the Second Ward is home to some of the most treasured parkland and parkways along the Mississippi. In addition to the parks along the river, Ward 2 is home to parts of two greenways (Midtown and Dinkytown) at least 7 city parks (and additional smaller tot lots and playgrounds), 5 public schools, one public library and the largest campus of our state university. The critical resources and connections that these provide to residents, as well as workers and visitors, cannot be overstated. These are civic treasures that provide vital educational, recreational, employment training, youth development, cultural and community building opportunities. To reap the full potential benefits of these civic investments it will be important that various government jurisdictions, institutions, neighborhood, business and community groups work together to support, improve and maximize what we can have. As a City Council member, I will continue to work closely with the community and with the parks and schools to support the facilities and programs that are provided and to assist efforts to re-use, expand and renovate buildings in ways compatible with community plans and priorities, including those that have gone unused or underutilized.

The ward is also home to some of the most significant public works infrastructure in the city, with at least nine bridges that span the river, a new light rail line, the Midtown and Dinkytown greenways and many commercial corridors that cross through the ward. As Council Member I will work to make sure that we are making the investments we need to maintain, renovate and improve our infrastructure as needed. Some roads in the ward are in dire need of reconstruction and some, like those north of University in Prospect Park, have yet to be built in the first place. I am excited about the new Minnehaha Ave, a new “Green 4th St.” near the Prospect Park LRT Station in southeast, a new 4th and 15th (Riverside Extension) on the West Bank and improved bike connections to the University from downtown, including completion of the bike tunnel under the 35W bridge. Additionally, there is the renovation of the 10th Avenue and Franklin Avenue Bridges, completion of the Grand Rounds and the Dinkytown Greenways and more.