Updates from Council President Mitra Jalali



(651) 266-8640  |  ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Hamline-Midway  |  Union Park |  Saint Anthony Park

Macalester Groveland | Como



CC inauguration


Greetings community,


After nearly six years at City Hall, it’s my great honor now to continue serving our community as Council President of an historic new Council. Since taking office with my new and returning colleagues in January, we have dived headfirst together into our work for a better Saint Paul.

In addition to numerous onboarding sessions on housing, community safety, the budget and more, we’ve taken votes together on key priorities.

Our first major accomplishment was approving over $45M in sales tax funds to invest in our streets and parks citywide and continue modernizing our infrastructure. Toward that end, this past week, we also passed an updated Bicycle Plan that includes over 100 miles of new separated bikeways, improved guidance for maintaining our bikeway network and planned improvements as sales tax-funded street projects occur. In March we also approved funding for municipal garbage trucks, a move that will allow the City to start collecting garbage in certain areas, instead of relying on an outside hauler.


Our Council has also hit the ground running advancing key developments citywide, from initial plat approvals and geothermal infrastructure funding at The Heights in Ward 6, to site plan approvals and redevelopment of the Snelling Midway Superblock, known as United Village, just across the street in Ward 1.


We also supported Councilwoman Bowie in renaming a second portion of Concordia Avenue as Rondo Avenue in Ward 1. The official renaming ceremony is scheduled for April 30th at The Rondo Commemorative Plaza from 4-6pm. Additionally, after many weeks of conversations, my colleague Councilmember Johnson introduced a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza which passed unanimously.

Looking ahead, some of my 2024 priorities for our Ward and city include:

  • Championing housing, from renter protections and rent stabilization to supporting new and existing redevelopment opportunities citywide
  • Expanding our citywide commercial corridors strategy so our neighborhood businesses can thrive, from Little Africa and Snelling-Selby to key corridors around our city
  • Supporting local and community ownership efforts like the Midway Investment Co-op and Taproot Investment Co-op in Ward 4 to prevent displacement
  • Expanding neighborhood safety programs in the Office of Neighborhood Safety and outside of it for greater safety for all
  • Continuing the urgent work of climate action, from planting and maintaining more trees citywide to improving transit 

Our office recently welcomed a new Executive Assistant, Kristin Koziol, who previously served Councilmembers Dai Thao and Russel Balenger in Ward 1 and brings a wealth of experience to our team.


Doua Yang-Hernandez has served as my Legislative Aide since 2021 and will continue her role in this capacity.


We are reachable as a full office anytime with questions, concerns or other comments at ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us.



Council President Mitra Jalali


Recap of Recent Events

2024 Inauguration

In January, we celebrated the historic inauguration of an all-women, majority women of color City Council. It was an honor of a lifetime to be sworn in for another council term amongst you all. Thank you for allowing me to serve this city for an additional four years. The entire program including the beautiful performances by community leaders can be rewatched here


Grand Opening of OMG Studios

In February, in celebration of Black History Month, I was delighted to join Mayor Carter and owner of OMG Studios, Monique at the ribbon-cutting in Vandalia Tower. This gorgeously renovated studio space will help youth, community and creative tell their stories through professional video, sound, and engineering access. I am deeply proud to support this effort with the city STAR funding and am grateful for the assistance of PED/STAR staff. Congratulations OMG Studios! You can learn more about their services here.


Mayor’s State of Our City Address 

In early March, I was thrilled to introduce our Mayor at the annual State of our City address. Since taking office, the City Council has sent our legislative agenda to the Capitol, helped advance affordable housing at the Heights development, allocated $45.1M in new Sales Tax funds for streets and parks, approved funding for city-owned garbage trucks to take on a portion of municipal waste collection, restored Concordia Ave to its name of Rondo Ave, hired our staff member for the Reparations Commission, and called on our federal representatives to support a ceasefire in Gaza with a unanimously passed resolution. Thank you to Mayor Carter for his continued leadership and support. You can watch his City Address including public safety, climate, workforce development, downtown revitalization, and housing here.


Convening the First Reparations Meeting

In late March, with the support of Councilmembers Bowie and Johnson, our Reparations staff member Veronica Burt and Commission members held their first meeting. Commissioners got the chance to introduce themselves, review the Commission responsibilities and familiarize themselves with parliamentary procedures. Their second meeting was Monday, April 22nd, where they voted in Chair Trahern Crews and Vice Chair Khulia Pringle. You can review the previous meeting minutes and audio here and stay up to date with the work of the Commission.


reparations group, omg studios opening, state of the city

(clockwise from top left) Members of the City Council and the Reparations Commission after the second meeting of the commission; Mayor Carter and CP Jalali pose with Monique, the owner of OMG Studios, at the grand opening of the new studio space; CP Jalali speaking at the State of Our City Address.

Legislative and Policy Updates

Common Cent Sales Tax

My colleagues and I took our first major action in late February on the priorities our residents elected us to address, and approved $45.1M in sales tax investments in our streets and parks. This generational investment in infrastructure sets our city on a more sustainable course. Projects approved in this round include $30.1M in park improvements citywide, including Hamline Park in our ward, and $13M to rebuild Grand Ave with more pedestrian safety. More coverage on these projects can be found here


EV Charging

This month, the City Council voted to expand and improve access to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in surface parking lots in future development. The ordinance requires new and expanded surface parking lots to provide conduit and electric panel space necessary for future installation of electric vehicle chargers, guaranteeing more equitable access to EV charging for all residents regardless of home type. We need to build the infrastructure to support people in adapting to cleaner modes of transportation. I believe this forward-thinking policy will help advance more sustainable development in the most cost-effective way. You can read more about the ordinance here.


Bicycle Plan

This week we passed the Bicycle Plan Update and I could not be more thrilled to see the citywide improvements to come. Portions of the planned bike network have the chance to be implemented with Common Cent projects; this includes portions of Hamline Avenue, Pelham Boulevard, and Territorial Road within our ward. This plan update includes much needed policy language regarding funding maintenance of the existing network.


Community Updates

United Village Development Moving Forward

Earlier this year, the Union Park District Council and Hamline Midway Coalition hosted the second United Village Development Forum at Allianz Field. The session included an information session about the latest proposed phase of development and Q&A with Dr. Bill McGuire. We appreciate the continued partnership with our district councils, Councilmember Anika Bowie, and the Snelling-Midway Redevelopment, LLC. You can watch the event here.


Neighborhood Safety Community Council (NSCC)

Community members are invited to apply to join the Office of Neighborhood Safety Community Council (NSCC). As detailed in the city’s administrative code, this 15-member group will work with the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety to develop an annual strategic plan that identifies, recommends and prioritizes public safety initiatives, establishes areas of focus, and monitors justice and violence prevention metrics and indicators. This work will also include reviewing and reporting on the effectiveness of activities and initiatives undertaken by the Office of Neighborhood Safety.  


The NSCC will meet at least four times per year, with additional meetings taking place as often as necessary. The council also may establish areas of focus and create a task force to support each area of focus. Task force members can include a combination of NSCC members as well as other community members who are not current appointees and will be selected by the continuing members. Members of the NSCC as well as members of task forces will receive a stipend of $50.00 per meeting. You can learn more and apply here.


How to Support Our Unhoused Neighbors (HART)

If you see or encounter concerning conditions with unhoused neighbors, please refrain from calling the police. Instead, call the City's Information and Complaint line at 651-266-8989. These reports assist the Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART) in making informed decisions about sites. If you observe serious behavioral, safety or security issues, you can call 911. Please learn more about the HART team here.


United Village forum with CM Bowie

CM Bowie and CP Jalali introducing themselves to folks attending the United Village Development Forum at Allianz.

Community Resources

Spring Street Sweeping: Public Works kicked off their six week street sweeping operations on April 16. Make sure to follow all posted signs and please refrain from sweeping your own leaves and dirt into the street. More information and an interactive map can be found here.


Naloxone Training: Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health is offering free naloxone training for Ramsey County community organizations and partners. Public Health staff will come to your location for the training session. Each person that attends training will receive a naloxone kit. Register here.


Yard Waste and Hazardous Waste Sites Open: Summer hours have returned for both yard and hazardous waste sites. Locations, hours, and information about what items are accepted can be found here.


Housing Rental/Emergency Assistance: If you need help paying help for rent, mortgage, utilities or car repairs, contact Ramsey County Emergency Assistance at (651) 266-4884


Families First Housing Pilot: The Families First Housing Pilot provides Saint Paul families a $300 monthly rent supplement and ongoing supportive services for three years, in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Schools. For more information and to see if you are eligible, click here.


Free Gun Locks: St. Paul residents can request free gun locks either from SPPD using their online form or from Moms Demand Action by sending an email to stpmomsdemandaction@gmail.com. Thank you for storing your firearms safely.


Upcoming Community Events

  • Green Ramsey Expo & Career Fair: Wednesday, May 1 from 3:30-6:30 PM at the Wilder Foundation (more information)
  • Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission’s (PCIARC) Annual Summit: Thursday, May 16 from 6-7:30 PM at the Rondo Community Library (register here)
  • Highway to Boulevard: A Neighborhood Vision for I-94: Saturday, May 4 from 10:30 AM-12 PM at Merriam Park Library hosted by Union Park District Council (register here)
  • Registration for Summer 2024 St. Paul Parks and Recreation activities is open! Check out what's happening and register here.
collage of CP photos

(clockwise from top left) CP Jalali supporting SEIU members at contract negotiations; all seven members of City Council being interviewed by Eva Pilgrim for Good Morning America; touring the Ramsey County Emergency Communications Center; CP Jalali and SPRWS and union leader Jen Guertin at AFSCME Day on the Hill.