Voter Guide: Ward 3

Updated: November 8, 2017 – 11:42 am

The Ward 3 race features four candidates from three political parties, all of who come at the campaign from different backgrounds.

Tim Bildsoe was the final candidate to enter the race when announced his candidacy in June. The former 16-year Plymouth City Council member moved to the North Loop two years ago and was spurred to enter the race after in part after seeing the poor condition of the neighborhood’s streets.

Bildsoe, a DFLer, said his top priorities include safety, investments in multi-modal transportation and increasing the supply of affordable housing, among others.

Steve Fletcher earned the DFL endorsement at the Ward 3 convention in May. The technology consultant is making his first run for public office, spurred in part by the result of the 2016 election. He said his top priorities include equity, improving transportation infrastructure and building and protecting affordable housing, among others.

Ginger Jentzen is making a run as a Social Alternative party candidate, after leading the campaign to enact a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis. She said she’s hearing from residents concerned about affordable housing, public transit, women’s rights and a lack of police oversight.

Jentzen has pledged accept the average wage of a Ward 3 resident if elected and donate the remaining wage to building social justice movements. She said she refuses to accept donations from corporate executives and big developers.

Green Party candidate Samantha Pree-Stinson touts many similar themes, such as affordable housing, equity and accountability, but says her diverse background best positions her to serve the ward. Pree-Stinson was an Army medic who served in Afghanistan and later worked for Medtronic. Her website lists 13 priorities for the next four years, from improving city safety and expediting the city’s clean-energy plan.

The four candidates are running to replace Jacob Frey, who is running for mayor. Ward 3 covers 10 neighborhoods in downtown and northeast Minneapolis, including the North Loop, Downtown East and West and Marcy Holmes.

Past Journal coverage: Open Ward 3 seat draws a crowd


Tim BildsoeTim Bildsoe

Neighborhood: North Loop

Current job: Commercial insurance manager

Endorsements: Not seeking endorsements

Relevant experience: President of North Loop Neighborhood Association; steering committee member, 2020 Partners; at-large and ward council member in Plymouth for 16 years; served on Plymouth Planning Commission, Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Transit Advisory Commission, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and the Environmental Quality Commission

Fundraising total: $3,450 (Jan. 1, 2017—July 25, 2017)

Pitch:  I want to make Minneapolis a welcoming and livable city for all its residents by focusing city government on making our streets and neighborhoods safe, increasing the supply of affordable housing, supporting small businesses, promoting job growth, repairing our roads and streets and by making our Mississippi Riverfront a jewel for all to enjoy.

Top priorities: *Ensure our city is a safe place to live, work and visit

*Support investment in multi-modal transportation for easy access to work, school, and recreation.

*Increase the supply of affordable housing options to make Minneapolis more accessible to more people.

*Recruit and retain small businesses to keep our economy thriving.

*Redesign Minneapolis’ website to make it easier for residents to access information and conduct business with the city.

*Build partnerships with our neighboring cities to benefit Minneapolis and the entire region.

*Advance the Mississippi Riverfront environment to protect our resources and create more local jobs.

Why Tim is best for the job: I’ve been fortunate to have had many leadership opportunities throughout my life that have prepared me for the challenge of serving our community as a member of the Minneapolis City Council.  I am the only candidate with experience in city government, which means you will have effective representation on day one.  I understand the importance of grassroots neighborhood involvement and collaboration, and appreciate the important role that nonprofits play in enhancing community engagement and problem solving.  I will be a strong advocate for every person and every neighborhood in the ward.  I’m a father, businessperson and a proven leader who will work every day to make Minneapolis a welcoming and vibrant city that we all can love and enjoy.


Steve FletcherSteve Fletcher

Neighborhood: Downtown East

Current Job: Director of cloud services, Kaizen Technology Partners

Endorsements: DFL, Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, Our Revolution Twin Cities, SEIU Minnesota State Council, Stonewall DFL, Teamsters Joint Council 32, Unite Here Local 17, TakeAction MN, OutFront MN, MYDFL, AFSCME Council 5

Experience: Founding executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; executive director of progressive think tank Minnesota 2020

Fundraising total: $21,089.92 (Jan. 1, 2017—July 25, 2017)

Pitch: Proven, progressive leadership for the heart of Minneapolis.


Top priorities: Building and protecting affordable housing units, ensuring equity is a part of city decision-making, supporting and growing small businesses, improving transportation infrastructure, police accountability and public safety.

Why Steve is best for the job: Steve is a respected coalition builder and a good listener, and he’s committed to running a responsive, transparent City Council office that invites everyone in the 3rd Ward to the decision-making table and serves the entire community. He’s got a track record to demonstrate his ability to bring people together to get things done, and his experience in community organizing, policy analysis and small business prepares him well for the job. He has walked his talk and has demonstrated a real passion for racial and economic justice over years of work in this community.


Ginger JentzenGinger Jentzen

Neighborhood: St. Anthony West

Job: Community organizer

Endorsements: Minnesota Nurses Association, CWA MN State Council, Our Revolution Twin Cities, Democratic Socialists of America, United Transportation Union Minnesota Legislative Board, Socialist Alternative, Cornel West (prominent social justice advocate and national Bernie Sanders 2016 surrogate)

Relevant experience: Executive director of 15 Now, the minimum-wage campaign

Fundraising total: $60,155.20 (Jan. 1, 2017—July 25, 2017)

Pitch: Like Bernie Sanders, I don’t think elected officials can serve two bosses — working people and big developers or corporate donors. My campaign is not for sale.


Top priorities: Affordable housing and rent control, taxing the rich to fund affordable housing/transit/social services, $15/hour minimum wage and workers’ rights, expanding public transit, women’s’ rights, environmental justice and green power, challenging corporate power

Why she is best for the job: I’m running for City Council to build a new kind of politics, based on the needs of people and the environment, not big business and for-profit developers. As Executive Director of 15 Now Minnesota, I built a powerful coalition of labor, faith groups, small business and working people to pass a $15/hour minimum wage in Minneapolis. The grassroots movement for $15/hour made possible what City Hall said for years was impossible. I am a consistent voice for working people, whether in front of the Chamber of Commerce or at a neighborhood meeting. Affordable housing is a key issue facing people in our city, and I will fight for rent control and to tax big developers to build affordable housing. My office will organize with those who are underrepresented in City Hall. The most important lesson from the $15/hour campaign is this: we cannot limit ourselves to what is deemed acceptable by the political establishment and big business, especially when it comes to issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

Samantha Pree-StinsonSamantha Pree-Stinson

Neighborhood: Sheridan

Job: Campaigning full time (previously worked at Medtronic for five years)

Endorsements: Local 82 Firefighters Union, Lavender Greens LGBTQIA+ caucus, MN Immigrant Movement for Justice, Green Party

Experience: Army veteran who served in Afghanistan as a combat medic veteran; leader of Medtronic’s Global Women’s Network and African Descent Network; first vice president to the board at KMOJ-FM; President of the Board at Minneapolis Telecommunications Network. Associate Director of Education at Everest Institute.

Fundraising total: $11,540 (Jan. 1, 2017—July 25, 2017)

Pitch: Keep it local. Not left. Not right, but forward.


Top priorities: Housing, public housing, and homeownership pathways to bridge the economic gap, safety and accountability, immigration challenges, environmenta health, and mental health, building equity to address racial and economic disparities.

Why she is best for the job: She has the most diverse personal and professional background with the cultural competence and proactive leadership style to lead with and for the residents of this ward.