Castile case inspires man to run for St. Anthony City Council

Some of the biggest news stories of 2016 have originated in St. Anthony, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb with a population of fewer than 10,000 people.

For some, the way the city handled the newsworthy events and the coverage that followed was disappointing, prompting at least one man to run for office.

“Systems haven’t changed, and I feel the best way to make systems change is from within,” said Dave Colling.

Colling moved to St. Anthony a little over a year ago, just before a St. Anthony police officer shot a black man during a traffic stop.

“The only time we hear about things is after the fact,” said Colling who criticized the council’s reactive—as opposed to proactive—tactics. “Somebody should have noticed, 'oh wait, our officers aren’t being trained in these de-escalation programs but every [other city] is.'”

Colling was also unhappy with the city’s approach when it came to the closing of a mobile home park that housed more than 90 low-income families.

“Part of the comprehensive plan was Lowry Grove and their residents. They knew at some point that was going to happen,” he said.  “And yet, they seemed completely unprepared.”

Colling has worked on several political campaigns. Most recently, he worked on the election campaign for U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison - but always from behind the scenes. He says he never intended on running for office, but recent events have him seeking a position on the city council.

“I realized that the systems that were in place were not going to take care of these situations,” he said. “And the best way I thought I could be of use was to get inside and change those systems.”

Colling currently works as the Executive Director of the Harrison Neighborhood Association in Minneapolis. He lives in St. Anthony with his wife and young son.