Rebecca Noecker is the DFL endorsed city council candidate running in Ward 2. We asked Rebecca a few questions that we want to share with you.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run for office because I wanted to do my part to make my community better. I love people, I love solving complex problems and I don’t shy away from tough decisions – so politics has always appealed to me. I grew up in a family that was always involved in the community from building neighborhood playgrounds to serving on school committees. My Jewish faith has instilled in me the belief that engaging in the life of the community is not an option – it’s a responsibility. From my experience teaching middle school in a low-income neighborhood in Baton Rouge to working at non-profits in India and Uganda, I’ve seen how communities can suffer when government is dysfunctional, exclusive or interested only in serving the privileged. I strive every day to be a different kind of public servant, to listen closely, meet people where they are, share my thoughts honestly and work hard to get things done for my constituents.
How do you see your ward 30 years from now?
In 2049, I hope Ward 2 will be a bustling, healthy place where our neighborhoods have grown to accommodate our increased population while retaining their unique identities. I hope we have better transit options and safer roads, especially on W. 7th St, Grand Ave, Lexington and Cesar Chavez. I hope our streets are in better repair because we have found dedicated revenue to do the maintenance our roads need every year. New businesses should be opening in our neighborhoods, providing essential, walkable services to residents and also shouldering more of our tax burden. All St. Paul families will be thriving because our neighborhoods are home to hundreds of more units of affordable housing, our $15 minimum wage and earned sick and safe time ordinances are in full effect, and all St. Paul families have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education.
How do you plan to govern in a way that is inclusive, creative and equitable?
I believe the best way to represent the people of Ward 2 is to listen to as many residents, business owners and other stakeholders as often as I can. I hold regular Community Coffees and Happy Hours in all Ward 2 neighborhoods to hear my constituents’ ideas and concerns. I’m always open to new ways of doing things – I never assume that we’ve got it all figured out. The best parts of my first term have been working collaboratively with neighbors and City staff to get things done. Revamping our skyway code of conduct to make our skyways cleaner and safer, building a new emergency homeless shelter downtown and saving our city’s oldest public building–the Hope Fire Station–were all ideas that originated or were pushed by constituents and I was grateful to be able to help make them happen.
What’s the last book you read?
I’m just wrapping up Ants Among Elephants, a memoir by a young woman whose father grew up as a member of an untouchable caste in India shortly after independence. It’s fascinating to compare Indians’ struggles for self-determination with the work confronting us in our own community today to make sure all our residents have the opportunity to live in safety, to prosper and to determine their own future.
Favorite restaurant/ dish in St. Paul or your ward.
This is a nearly impossible choice! Ward 2 has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great dining locations. One of my favorite morning spots is Cafe Astoria – I go for the neighborhood feel, the friendly staff and the delicious, invigorating coffee.
Tell us a fun fact about your ward.
Ward 2 contains the only neighborhood in St. Paul that was made part of the United States by President Thomas Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. (The West Side.)
To learn more about Rebecca and her campaign, visit https://www.rebeccanoecker.com/
or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaNoeckerForCityCouncil/.