Podcast #117: Saint Paul’s Ward 4 with Mitra Jalali Nelson

Welcome to the streets.mn podcast. Today I’m bringing you episode 117: Saint Paul’s Ward 4 with Mitra Jalali Nelson. This is another in my interviews with political candidates for local public office. Longtime listeners of this podcast will remember, for example, five years ago when I interviewed people running in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for city council during their election. I’ve also interviewed people running for City Council or Mayor in places like West Saint Paul, Columbia Heights, and Newport.

The goal of this kind of election coverage is to talk to people who aren’t running for high-profile offices, but rather running the down ticket elections, people who might not get a lot of attention or chances to talk about their campaigns and platforms in the mainstream press.

Today’s candidate is Mitra Jalali Nelson, who is running for Saint Paul City Council during a special election in Ward 4. This part of the city covers the northeastern corner of Saint Paul, areas like Hamline-Midway, Saint Anthony Park, and Union Park.

With the August 14th special election rapidly approaching, I sat down recently with Mitra at the Work Horse Coffee Shop on University Avenue to talk about her background, platform, and campaign. Our conversation ranged all over the place, from specific transportation and housing policy ideas to the big picture of city politics in the age of Trump. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

[Thanks to our sponsor.]

In addition to hosting this podcast, I am a freelance writer. Conveniently, I have written a short guide booklet that details some of the history of parks in Saint Paul’s Ward 4. It’s called Overlooked Parks of Saint Paul, and is one of the many booklets that I’ve written over the years that serve as guides to different historical places, small-scale establishments, and urban curiosities in the Twin Cities. You can get them online at my store.

They’re affordable and fun and make great gifts.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.