Duluth realtor Lynn Marie Nephew announces run for Duluth City Council seat

The candidate pool for at-large seats on the Duluth City Council doubled on April 17, with two more people announcing their candidacies.
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 11:47 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - A Duluth realtor has thrown her hat into the ring for an at-large seat on the Duluth City Council.

Lynn Marie Nephew has been a realtor in Duluth for 20 years, Commissioner with Duluth’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and a past board member for One Roof Community Housing.

Nephew moved to Duluth in the 90s to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth and wanted to make the city her home.

She interned for the Safe Haven Shelter and later became a legal advocate working with domestic violence victims in the court system.

“I love my job as a Realtor, but I’ve always felt drawn to the good work of non-profits, too,” says Nephew. “So I’ve continued volunteering, and I’ve served on the boards of several local housing organizations, where I’ve collaborated with those of diverse perspectives. You might recognize Neighborhood Housing Services, Northern Community Land Trust, 1 Roof Community Housing, Common Ground Construction, the City of Duluth Housing Task Force, Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Duluth, and Housing For Inmates.”

Nephew’s two main areas she wants to tackle in the position are housing and environment.

She released the following statement on her take on housing in Duluth:

“We’ve done a good job bringing businesses to Duluth, but their employees struggle to find homes. Rents aren’t affordable, home ownership isn’t attainable, and property taxes are high because home values have risen. Too many of us have no hope of finding good housing, whether they’re young people just starting out, families struggling to make ends meet, or new residents looking for a better job and a better LIFE in Duluth.

EVERYONE deserves the chance to thrive, not just survive. Many of us aren’t doing EITHER in Duluth, and our housing crisis is a big reason why.

When it comes to housing, we need to do a better job of serving vulnerable communities, too. Our seniors on fixed incomes struggle to stay in their homes, or discover it’s too expensive to downsize. Those with addiction and mental health challenges are living in tents and on our streets. Those who’ve served jail time, and want to start a new life, can’t even find a place to live as their first step.”

Nephew released the following statement on some of her environmental views of Duluth:

“Stewardship of the environment begins in our own backyard … or under our backyards in our case, where Duluth still has too many lead pipes. Lead removal is just one of the urgent environmental issues Duluth faces, which we need to come together as a community to solve.

We’ve had record snowfall that’s resulted in flooding across the city. And that runoff water goes straight into Lake Superior unfiltered, polluting the lake we depend on. Our water supply and local fish are laden with PFAS, synthetic “forever chemicals” that don’t break down in the environment. We unknowingly dump them into the lake every day via our storm drains, and we do nothing to remove them.

I also support programs like community solar gardens, diversification of our trees to slow down emerald ash borer, and investing in our future with electric buses. At the same time, I know we need to increase demand for those electric buses — and public transportation in general — by increasing housing density downtown. We can do this by loosening downtown zoning restrictions that rule out conversion of buildings’ upper levels into co-op housing geared for young people. And we can reduce downtown parking restrictions that are such a burden on developers that they actually discourage redevelopment.”

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