Wieland announces for Nicollet Island/East Bank Council seat

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February 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Jeremy Wieland, "Utne" magazine's circulation manager and self-described small-business advocate, is running for the Ward 3 City Council race. The ward includes the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood and several Northeast neighborhoods.

Wieland said more police officers and supporting neighborhood activism are top priorities, but he spoke most passionately about "the rise of the creative class."

"Most of the people I know who are trying to start small businesses in this town are driven crazy by the rigmarole," he said. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could figure out a way for the bright, articulate, energetic, creative people to start their own businesses? Let's make it easy for them."

Wieland will compete with Library Board veteran Diane Hofstede for the DFL endorsement. The party's process begins with precinct caucuses Tuesday, March 1, 7 p.m. Ward 3's caucuses are at Webster Open School, 425 NE 5th St.

Wieland, 35, has a political science degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has worked in publication circulation for a decade and is active in the DFL, serving as a director for Senate District 59 and on the board of the DFL Education Foundation. He and his wife live in St. Anthony East, where he is active on the neighborhood board, he said.

He touted neighborhood programs, such as the Northeast Community Health Program. The partnership between neighborhood groups and community organizations helps low-income elderly and poor families with a variety of services, from foot care to childcare. "I would like to see a great deal of government and public service continue through those [neighborhood] organizations," he said.

Wieland said the city has started a one-stop shop to simplify business and development applications, but it could go further. The city could have business advocates - "someone taking an active role in guiding you through the process," he said.

The city of Minneapolis also could learn from Philadelphia's Web site, which has focused on helping new entrepreneurs, he added.

Recent Star Tribune editorials have criticized the complicated structure of Minneapolis government, but Wieland said the city did not need to go through contentious charter battles to improve accountability. It could follow Zurich, Switzerland's lead, he noted. Zurich has multiple and overlapping jurisdictions similar to Minneapolis. It developed a "dynamic browser" on its Web page, called Leo, which guides people to the person they need to fix their problem, he said.

"When I talk about being a candidate who will look into the future, this is the kind of stuff I am talking about," he said.

Wieland said his work experience gives him useful background to serve on the Council, he said. "I spend a lot of time listening to people talk to me about what they want about a product - what it is they need," he said. "I would love to take that to City Hall."

Wieland said he believes in the Loring Park-based "Utne" magazine, which reprints "the best in the alternative media. I am a pretty liberal guy. And I represent the business wing of our magazine," he said. "I have a progressive side, and I have an efficient side. I have to make $1 go $1.05."