Cam Gordon seeks to highlight public health, environmental issues once re-elected

By KELLY BUSCHE of the Minnesota Daily

Cam Gordon has used cross-party collaboration to accomplish Green Party priorities in his time on the Minneapolis City Council.

Gordon, a council member representing the city’s second ward, which covers University neighborhoods Stadium Village, Prospect Park and Southeast Como, has led many movements in his 11 years on the job. Still, Gordon says there’s more work to be done — including addressing public health, anti-immigrant attitudes and environmental issues.

As a current Minneapolis City Council member running unopposed for re-election, Gordon said he continues to look for ways to impact the neighborhoods he serves.

Cody Olson, executive director of Southeast Como Improvement Association, said Gordon has collaborated with the Southeast Como neighborhood on many projects.

Gordon has been accessible and responsive to neighborhood concerns, Olson said. SECIA contributed to a protected bikeway project in the neighborhood because Gordon reached out.

“Knowing that we have a very supportive council member of neighborhood work and the power of community is really, really valuable,” he said.

Ward 2 Council Member Cam Gordon poses for a portrait in his office at Minneapolis City Hall on Tuesday Sept. 26.

Gordon said he wants Minneapolis to lead the way in public health issues.

“How can we really make an urban area that’s as healthy as possible for people?” Gordon said.

Addressing environmental degradation, air quality issues, cancer, obesity and violence will assist the city in promoting public health, he said. The “larger political climate” is another area of concern. 

“There seems to be this push toward anti-immigration, racism, bigotry, and I think there’s an opportunity for Minneapolis to … stand with the immigrant communities that are in our city,” Gordon said. 

He said he would like to see the creation of a Minneapolis legal defense fund for those who are wary of deportation.

Creating a division to focus on new Americans is another way to “defend” Minneapolis’ immigrant community, Gordon said. 

As a life-long Minneapolis resident, Gordon said he has always appreciated its “urban wilderness” feel, and owns the leafy office plants to prove so. He said his status as the city council’s only Green Party member puts him in a “unique position.”

Gordon’s policy aide, Robin Garwood, said their office is deeply committed to addressing environmental problems. 

“Of all of the council offices, we’re the office that has done the most environmental policy,” said Garwood, who’s worked with Gordon for more than 11 years.

The office has worked on a bring-your-own bag ordinance, clean energy partnerships, a climate action plan and more, he said.

Despite political party differences, Gordon said he’s had positive work experiences with other city officials.

“One vote won’t get anything passed,” Gordon said, adding that bridging political divides is necessary to accomplish goals. 

Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson said he’s known Gordon for roughly seven years. He’s worked with Gordon on many projects because they serve on the same committee: the city’s Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee.

Gordon searches for new ways to improve Minneapolis, Johnson said, specifically in areas of health, equality and environmental sustainability.

“He is the type of person that is constantly … asking why not?” Johnson said.

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