Our DMO of the Month Fosters Stronger Communities
DMOs are in a unique position to develop stronger communities. By engaging with the active groups in their city, they can see new opportunities for action and integration. March’s DMO of the Month cultivates community growth in her ward, as well as her State Chapter. Meet Elizabeth Glidden, City Council Vice President from Minneapolis’ 8th Ward.
Elizabeth Glidden’s community building efforts extend beyond her service as a Minneapolis council member; she is also a Board Member of the Minnesota State Chapter of DMO. She recently organized a breakfast in St. Paul for the chapter. In attendance were thirty DMOs from across the state, and state Democratic leadership including Senate Majority Leader Bakk, House Minority Leader Thissen, and DFL Chairman Kevin Martin. The fantastic turnout in the -10 degree Minnesota winter shows the commitment of Glidden and our Minnesota Chapter, who will continue to build the party at the municipal level.
Minneapolis is a pioneering city for green innovation, and Elizabeth Glidden is no exception. She penned the Green Building Benchmarking ordinance which requires large commercial buildings to provide statistics on their energy usage. The council member also helps represent the city in a landmark Clean Energy Partnership with power providers, which coordinates to meet the city’s Climate Action Plan goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additional goals include giving residents greater choice in how their energy is generated, promote energy efficiency, and help develop renewable energy sources. Cities are leading the nation on climate preparedness and green energy, and Council Member Glidden integrates businesses and homeowners with forward thinking legislation.
Local economic opportunity is one of Elizabeth Glidden’s top priorities. She led negotiations on citywide pension reform, saving millions of dollars by merging the existing plan with the state system. Her work on the Ways & Means and Budget committees contributed to the city regaining its AAA bond rating. Council Member Glidden focuses on promoting neighborhood economic development as well. She helped bring a new co-op grocery store to her ward, empowering residents and combating the area’s food desert. A diversified micro-economy helps a neighborhood stay insulated from national downturns.
The wider issue of racial disparity in America is present in Glidden’s ward, and she makes a concerted effort to address it through local action. She wrote the city's fair hiring practices, and works with local law enforcement to promote community policing strategies. Council Member Glidden takes the proactive approach to gentrification and changing demographics, hosting community forums to discuss how to better recognize the African American history of her ward’s East 38th street, how to move forward as Somali and Latino residents relocate into the neighborhood, and what steps everyone can take to cultivate community growth. Glidden also coauthored a resolution supporting the ability for local Somalis to transfer money to their families back home. With the last bank facilitating these transactions having ended the service earlier this month, hard-working Minneapolitans are losing their capacity to support relatives overseas. By moving quickly to fix the problem, Council Member Glidden sends a strong message that Somali residents are a valued part of the local community. Though conversations about racial disparity in the US are often difficult, they are critical if we hope to address the underlying issues. Whether at a local coffee shop or city hall, Council Member Glidden is ready to have those tough conversations.
Elizabeth Glidden works hard to create resilient communities in Minneapolis’ 8th Ward and beyond. With her commitment to serving Minnesota’s DMOs, as well as her constituents, Elizabeth Glidden well deserves recognition as our DMO of the Month for March.
Elizabeth Glidden has served on the Minneapolis City Council since 2005. She previously worked as a civil rights attorney, and has volunteered as a violinist with the Civic Orchestra, with the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, and as the Secretary of the Somalian Women’s Association. Glidden also serves on the League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors and Improving Local Economies Committee.
The new year is the perfect time to get involved with your DMO State Chapter. Our networks are the first line of defense against preemptive incursions against local control, and the go-to resource for legislative solutions and growing your network. If you’re interested in joining your Chapter’s leadership, please register for our monthly Council of State Chapters call.
Starting in 2015, chartered State Chapters can begin certifying and endorsing Democrats campaigning for office who meet the qualifications. Learn about our Blue Star Candidate program, and how DMO can start turning more cities blue.
Be sure to take advantage of all your State Chapter has to offer. Our chapters organize around state municipal league and Democratic Party meetings, so keep an eye out for DMO events when yours is around the corner. You can always reach out to Nils.Robbins@nationaldmo.org to get started.