Brooke Carlson said the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the need for new practices on the Rochester City Council.
The small-business owner and strategist for the Rochester Nonprofit Consortium has been engaged with work being organized by dozens of local nonprofit agencies.
“Before I took on a role at the heart of Rochester’s collaborative response to this crisis, I understood the complicated challenges facing community organizations, business owners and residents,” Carlson said in a statement announcing her campaign. “Our elected officials must find new, creative ways to make our city thrive in this new uncertainty.”
Carlson is seeking the seat held by Randy Staver, who has indicated a desire to seek another term, but has not yet filed for re-election.
A Ward 2 resident, Carlson said she considered filing for the ward seat but believes her experience in planning and leading collaborative efforts can have the most impact in the council president position.
“My expertise is in finding shared values across different perspectives, so we can identify opportunities to move forward,” she said. “The role of the president is critical to creating the space for productive, forward-moving conversations.”
A John Marshall graduate, Carlson has worked in public health and urban planning in public and private sectors. She is president of North Sky Health Consulting, offering assessment, planning and evaluation services to organizations throughout the state.
“I know the pressures put on small businesses, their relationships with the community, and how to ensure local and state policies are tools to improve communities,” she said. “We need real, everyday solutions and results.”
Carlson pointed to her consulting work, which helped facilitate conversations between multiple agencies that resulted in the planned Regional Mental Health Crisis Center being built by Olmsted County and operated with the help of other counties and health care organizations.
Carlson also said increased transparency is crucial for the city council to avoid misunderstandings, such as those connected to recent pay increases for elected officials.
“In the face of a major budget shortfall, the time for working in silos and using resources inefficiently is over,” she said. “Our only path forward is creatively, and together.”
Carlson joins Greg Munson, a retired educator, in filing for the city council president position.