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Mayor Frey Talks Affordable Housing, Gun Control & The Future Of Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The new mayor of Minneapolis has been on the job for just more than two months, during which he worked as the face of the city throughout the Super Bowl, the biggest event our area has seen in recent history.

Now Jacob Frey is getting to work on fulfilling his campaign promises.

First up is the issue of affordable housing for the city's more than 400,000 residents. The city is gearing up to release its comprehensive plan for the next 20 years, including ideas about housing, transportation and commercial corridors.

Extended Interview: Mayor Frey Discusses The Future Of Minneapolis


One part of the housing component is a new "four-plex" ordinance, which would allow property owners to build four-unit dwellings on any residential property in Minneapolis.

Some have raised concerns that this would lower property values and further crowd city streets.

"Right now, you are able to knock down a small single family dwelling home and build up a mansion," the mayor said Sunday. "I think right now is the time to have the conversation, we shouldn't be drop-kicking a significant item before we have talked about it."

Another issue Frey has been advocating for is what he is calling a "fair and accurate" census in 2020. The Department of Justice has suggested adding a citizenship question to the survey, but Frey is troubled by the idea.

"We know that our new immigrants and new Americans have contributed greatly to our economy over the course of many, many decades," he said. "In order to get good census data, we need to make sure everyone is counted. This [citizenship question] would dissuade a whole lot of people from getting counted."

Another topic Frey addressed was the issue of gun violence and school safety. Last month, the mayor marched with students in Minneapolis, advocating for a change in laws.

"It does feel like the conversation is shifting right now in a positive way," he said. "The reality is that these students are telling us that they are afraid, they are concerned to be in their schools with the risk of a shooting taking place and that is happening across the country right now."

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