Minneapolis Mayor Frey talks affordable housing, immigrant rights in first State of City address

In his first State of the City address, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey discussed affordable housing, drug abuse and police issues.

Speaking at the Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts in north Minneapolis, Mayor Frey was optimistic about the future, while also touting his successes so far.

During his speech, he announced that the city will be installing signs in all Minneapolis police cars. Those placards, printed in both English and Spanish, will have language detailing a person's rights with respect to immigration agents.

“Immigrants and new Americans have rights,” said Frey. “We need to make sure they know what those rights are. Sworn officers through the United States are required to plainly state the rights provided to those being detained in the form of Miranda.”

Mayor Frey expressed criticism of the Trump administration’s stance on adding a citizenship question to the upcoming 2020 census. 

Much of the speech, however, focused on housing. Frey spoke of his recent push for $50 million to improve affordable housing in Minneapolis. The mayor said he believes the city should change zoning codes to reach his housing goals.

“I believe in neighborhoods that are built on inclusion and diversity of use and that kind of all-encompassing vision will not be made real unless we are willing to take a closer look at how our zoning code impacts disparities,” said Frey.

Mayor Frey also spoke about the opioid crisis. He said that all Minneapolis police officers will be equipped with the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, by September. Funding for that comes from a local family personally impacted by the current drug crisis.

“In many ways we are as strong as we’ve ever been,” said Mayor Frey. “My administration, this council, we are going to work to make our city even stronger. We are young, scrappy and hungry.”