Ward 4, make your voice heard



Name in black



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

Hamline-Midway  |  Union Park |  Saint Anthony Park

Macalester Groveland | Como



Greetings Ward 4 -


We’ve been hard at work for tenant protections, fair housing, community-first public safety, more bike and pedestrian infrastructure, a responsible and thoughtful 2020 budget to be finalized and passed in December, and much more in these past few months. I hope these updates are helpful to you. As always, our whole team can be reached anytime with your thoughts, ideas and questions at ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us


I also hope that you make your voice heard and don’t sit out our upcoming Tuesday, November 5 city election, regardless of how you cast your ballot on any issue or candidate. Local democracy is at the heart of change, and doesn’t happen without you.


With gratitude always,

Mitra and the Ward 4 office




Tenant Protections 

I’ve been working closely with our newly formed Office of Financial Empowerment and other council offices to hold more than a dozen engagement sessions across St. Paul to shape a slate of tenant protections for our city. Renters, advocates, landlords, and the broader community have helped form the outline of a new set fair housing policies for St. Paul that we will look to introduce by the end of this year, including:

  • Tenants rights and resources handbook provided by the city to inform renters of their rights and responsibilities
  • Security deposit limits to improve up-front access to housing
  • Tenant screening guidelines to remove barriers to housing for too many residents
  • A just cause notice ordinance that would mitigate commonplace informal evictions
  • Advanced notice of sale to help stop displacement of tenants in buildings being sold

The actual language for these policies has yet to be finalized, so if you want to make sure your voice is heard, please reach out to our office. The community-centered process that helped shape our fair housing agenda has been extensive and comes from years of work by advocates and residents across St. Paul. I’m proud to be part of carrying these policies forward now on the council.




2020 Budget

The last milestone in our 2020 Budget review process was to set our maximum levy on September 25th. This number does not represent the actual increase in the property tax levy or the final city tax rate. It’s a routinely determined cap on the levy set every year, that we cannot exceed when the City Council does its vote on the budget in December 2019. We had to set an inordinately high max levy this year to account for the many unknowns at the time due to the ongoing garbage collection saga. My goal as our Councilmember is to pass a much more realistic final budget that closely matches the proposed mayoral budget of a 4.85% tax increase.


There are a number of proposed investments that we have been reviewing during our weekly meetings (more information on the budget overall can be found at stpaul.gov/councilbudget). My 2020 budget priorities continue to be, among other things:

  • investing in community-based public safety strategies that are not simply more officers to respond to incidents, but truly preventative and restorative strategies like community ambassadors and investments in our youth who are struggling 
  • investment in outreach, education, and enforcement of minimum wage and earned sick and safe time policies that lifts up community expertise and protects our workers
  • looking for opportunities to both fund our streets adequately and fund a new vision for them that reduces significant costs of road maintenance over time, such as the Ayd Mill Road bikeway proposal, speed limit signs to lower speed limits on city streets and slow cars down, and other such investments 

After making historic investments in housing, transportation, rec centers, libraries, and so much more a year ago, we know that this will be a tougher budget year. I’ll be working with my colleagues to bring costs down for residents while still providing essential services and innovating for efficiency. Please reach out to us with budget questions at ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Please remember we set the final budget on December 11, and any changes we are hoping to make to the Mayor’s budget proposal will need to be made well in advance of that. So please contact our office with any ideas or concerns you may have as soon as you can.


Cleveland Ave Reconstruction (2021)

Thank you to all who came out to the latest Ramsey County Cleveland Ave Reconstruction open house. My office has been working closely with community and the county to shape this project for better bike infrastructure and pedestrian safety. This project is scheduled to begin in 2021 and will now feature an off-street trail, in-street bike lanes, and an overall reduction in parking. You can learn about the latest updates here




Public safety near Hamline/University BP

My office continues to be involved with the licensing action process related to the Hamline and University BP gas station. My office also continues to work with community on a smart and meaningful response to the ongoing public safety concerns at and around the station. In the last couple months alone, my team has met directly with the Western District leadership within the St. Paul Police Department, the management of the Hamline Station apartments and nearby neighbors, the Hamline-Midway Coalition and had countless conversations with area residents at community gatherings throughout the area. While some residents demand more police presence to deter dangerous activity, we’ve heard from others that the conduct of officers at times has left them feeling unsafe or unfairly treated as well - and I take all of these concerns equally seriously. These situations have been communicated directly to Western District leadership and we will continue working with them and community for a fair and effective police presence at the site. More than anything, we know that the solution cannot simply be adding more officers to one location and hoping things will resolve themselves. 


As part of our broader public safety efforts, my office is meeting directly with staff to explore expanding the community ambassadors program and supporting its efforts to become an independent community-based 501c3, and staff from the joint St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Health to find opportunities for more proactive strategies like trauma response that we can undertake together. As mentioned above, this will be a top priority for me in the budget process for the remainder of this year.


Until then, I will once again remind folks that Hamline Midway Coalition is collecting feedback from residents who have been affected by incidents and activities occurring near or around the Midway Amoco (BP) station located at 1347 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104. This feedback will be shared with the city at an upcoming license hearing on November 11th, 2019, pursuant to Ordinance 310.05(c).


Please submit any official comment as part of this process at the form here.


2020 Census

Hiring for the 2020 Census is underway! The US Census Bureau is seeking to hire hundreds of people across the state for a variety of of census-related positions. This includes: 

  • census takers;
  • recruiting assistants;
  • office operations supervisors;
  • clerks;
  • census field supervisors;
  • and management-level positions can be found at www.usajobs.gov

You can explore opportunities and apply for these jobs on the U.S. Census Bureau website. These temporary, part-time positions are available in every county and pay between $14 and $20 per hour.


Engagement grants for efforts to reach often-undercounted communities (such as communities of color, low-income, young people, homeless and/or renters) can now also be found here - please share with any community organizations you know looking to do census outreach.





Celebrate St. Paul: Upcoming Community Events

St. Paul loves to party, and these are just some of the great upcoming community festivals and events in and around Ward 4 you can go to, as well as other community conversations that shape our city:

  • Community Rec Night - Nov. 14 (info here)
  • Landlord Assistance Event - Nov. 18 (info here)
  • Dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Claus - Dec. 6 (info here)
  • Parent and Child Paint Night - Dec. 18  (info here)
  • Winter Blast - Dec. 23-Jan. 3 (info here)
  • Union Park District Council Annual Meeting - Nov. 6, 5:30-8:30pm (info here)
  • Hamline Midway Coalition Annual Meeting - Nov. 6, 6-8pm (info here)

For more fun throughout St. Paul, check out all of the upcoming community events in the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Activity Guide.




Upcoming Office Hours

One of my top priorities is to make our city more accessible for our residents, including holding regular office hours around the Ward. Please come share your ideas, feedback, questions, concerns and aspirations for our city.


The upcoming office hours are open to all, and all are welcome:

  • November 12, 6-8pm Open Office Hours at CoCreatz (SW corner of University & Raymond)
  • December 5, 8-10am Open Office Hours at Black Coffee and Waffle Bar (SW corner of Marshall and Cretin)

No need to RSVP; feel free to just show up or stop by. We can also be reached anytime as an entire office at ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us.


2019 City Elections - you can now vote on or before Tuesday Nov. 5th!

On or before Tuesday, November 5th, you can now vote in our 2019 city election! Voting is now open at early voting locations across St. Paul between now and Tuesday, Nov. 5. You can find your polling place here and all other information on early voting in person here. Local elections are so critical to our democracy, and I hope that no matter how you cast your ballot, you choose to make your voice heard!


We’re hard at work for our city. Have suggestions for what else you’d like to see in this newsletter? E-mail us at ward4@ci.stpaul.mn.us anytime, and thanks for reading.