At-Large Candidate discuss priorities ahead of election

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) -- Come election day, every ballot in Duluth will feature the names of four candidates running for At-Large City Council, and only two seats are open for the taking.

The four candidates are Arik Forsman, Lynn Marie Nephew, Jenna Yeakle, and Miranda Pacheco.

Unlike the other candidates, Forsman has served on the city council, and is the lone incumbent in the race.

“The things I have been campaigning on are the same things that I work on in the council, which is around how do we improve public safety,” said Forsman.

Forsman says during his time on the council, he has fought to bring proper funding to police, fire, and utilities, but hopes to focus on city roads if re-elected.

“How are we addressing our streets and our infrastructure because that’s at the core of everything we do,” said Forsman. “And then, how are we advancing things like housing and economic development.”

Lynn Marie Nephew is focusing her campaign on stopping the housing crisis and believes her 20 years of experience of working in real estate would be well utilized in city hall.

“Just a different eye on that housing issue is what I hope to bring to the council,” said Nephew.

Nephew says she wants to see different types of housing available in the city and is planning to do so by focusing new housing efforts in the downtown area.

“Like Co-op housing,” said Nephew. “We don’t have a lot of it here, we only have a couple different buildings. They can actually be pretty great things, particularly for Downtown to revitalize and kind of create different dynamics.”

Candidate Jenna Yeakle’s is also focusing her goals on battling the housing crisis, which would include keeping costs down for both renters and homeowners.

“Whether you are a renter and are having a really hard time making rent payments, or you are a homeowner and feel the increase of property taxes,” said Yeakle.

Yeakle says her experience as a community organizer would make her a strong advocate for those in need, which is something she says is necessary within city government.

“I want to make sure that our city council are really, really good liaisons,” said Yeakle.

For candidate Miranda Pacheco, housing would be a large priority for her if elected.

She says her experience facing homelessness, as well as being a renter and homeowner, makes her uniquely qualified to represent a wide range of people across the city.

“I want to go in there with my lived experience and I want to learn, and I want to collect information, and I want to ask questions,” said Pacheco.

Pacheco says that if she is elected to hold a seat on the council, her life experience will help guide decisions that help everyone.

“We have a homeless population and I think people deserve better,” said Pacheco.

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