Jacob Frey

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Jacob Frey
Jacob Frey at Nicollet Mall reopening 2017-11-16 - 1.jpg
48th Mayor of Minneapolis
Assumed office
January 2, 2018
Preceded byBetsy Hodges
Member of the Minneapolis City Council
from the 3rd ward
In office
January 2, 2014 – January 2, 2018
Preceded byDiane Hofstede
Succeeded bySteve Fletcher
Personal details
Born (1981-07-23) July 23, 1981 (age 38)
Oakton, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sarah Clarke
EducationCollege of William and Mary (BA)
Villanova University (JD)

Jacob Frey (/fr/ FRY;[1] born July 23, 1981) is the mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He served on the Minneapolis City Council from 2013 until his election as mayor.[2]

Elected mayor in 2017,[3][4] he was sworn in on January 2, 2018.[5]

Early life and education

Frey grew up in Oakton, Virginia, a Washington, D.C., suburb, and received a track scholarship to attend the College of William & Mary, from which he graduated in 2004. His family is of Russian Jewish descent.[6] After graduating with a degree in government, Frey received a contract from a shoe company to run professionally and competed for Team USA in the Pan American Games marathon, finishing in 4th place.[7] During that time, he earned a J.D. degree from Villanova University, graduating cum laude in 2009.[8]


Early career

Frey moved to Minneapolis in 2009 after graduating from Villanova Law School,[9] and joined law firm Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) before moving to law firm Halunen & Associates.[8][10]

Frey has been active in community organizing since moving to Minneapolis. After a tornado struck North Minneapolis in 2011, Frey provided legal services to tenants who lost their homes. In 2012, before running for elected office, Frey founded and organized the first Big Gay Race, a 5K charity race to raise money for Minnesotans United for All Families, a political group organizing for marriage equality.[11]

Minneapolis City Council

Frey ran in the 2013 Minneapolis City Council election to represent Ward 3. He received the DFL endorsement, as well as endorsements from over 40 elected officials and organizations.[12] Frey's platform promised better constituent services,[12] to spur residential development,[12] increase the number and variety of small and local businesses, and push for full funding of affordable housing and address climate change. He defeated incumbent Diane Hofstede with over 60% of the vote and took office on January 2, 2014.

Minneapolis City Council Ward 3 election, 2013[13]
Political party/principle Candidate % 1st Choice Round 1
DFL Jacob Frey 61.31 3,722
DFL Diane Hofstede 26.59 1,614
Libertarian Michael Katch 5.98 363
Green Party of Minnesota Kristina Gronquist 5.88 357
N/A Write-ins 0.25 15
Maximum possible threshold 3,104
Valid votes 6,071
Undervotes 132
Overvotes 3
Turnout 30.99% 6,206
Registered voters[14] 20,027

As a City Council member, Frey focused on affordable housing, environmental policy, workplace regulations, and voting access. He authored an amendment to the 2015 budget that increased funding for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.[15] He also worked to get support for a project in a neighborhood he represented that offers affordable housing to people with a criminal record trying to restart their lives.

In 2016, Frey authored an ordinance requiring polluters to pay fees based on the amount of pollution they produce. The fees are used to support green business improvements. Since the program’s launch, emissions linked to climate change have declined substantially. Frey and the City of Minneapolis were honored at the 2018 US Conference of Mayors for the program's success.[16]

Frey was involved in drafting the council's 2016 paid sick leave ordinance and the 2017 minimum wage ordinance. He was one of the first council members to support a minimum wage ordinance.[17] Frey authored the amendment to the minimum wage ordinance that gave small businesses a longer phase-in than large businesses for implementing the minimum wage.[18]

As chair of the council's Elections Committee, Frey led the effort to pass an ordinance requiring landlords to provide tenants with voter registration information. The ordinance has served as a national model, with cities like Seattle and St. Paul following suit. Frey also led the effort to expand early voting access in Minneapolis ahead of the 2016 election, increasing the number of early voting sites in Minneapolis from one to five.[19]

Mayor of Minneapolis

Frey announced his candidacy for mayor of Minneapolis on January 3, 2017,[20] and won the November 7 election.[4][21] He was sworn into office on January 2, 2018.[5]

Frey is Minneapolis's second Jewish mayor, and its second-youngest after Al Hofstede, who was 34 when he was elected mayor in 1973.[22] He campaigned on a platform of increasing support for affordable housing and improving police-community relations.

Frey rolled out reforms to the Minneapolis Police Department’s body camera policy in April 2018. The changes tied non-compliance to stricter disciplinary consequences for the first time. Following the changes, officer compliance with the body camera policy reached record highs.[23]

The first budget Frey authored as mayor focused heavily on affordable housing. Its $40 million allocation to affordable housing was triple what the city previously spent on affordable housing.[24]

As mayor, Frey is pushing for a plan that would allow the building of four-plexes in every part of the city. Two-thirds of Minneapolis is zoned exclusively for single-family homes.[25]

In 2018, the Minneapolis City Council voted for Minneapolis 2040, a comprehensive rezoning reform plan.[26][27] According to Slate, the plan would "permit three-family homes in the city’s residential neighborhoods, abolish parking minimums for all new construction, and allow high-density buildings along transit corridors."[28] Slate wrote that by implementing the plan, "Minneapolis will become the first major U.S. city to end single-family home zoning, a policy that has done as much as any to entrench segregation, high housing costs, and sprawl as the American urban paradigm over the past century."[28]

Personal life

Jacob Frey married his first wife, Michelle, in 2010.[29]

Frey met his second wife, Sarah Clarke, through community organizing in Minneapolis. The couple married in July 2016. Clarke is a lobbyist for Hylden Advocacy & Law, where she represents several business, non-profit, and community organizations at the Minnesota legislature and executive branch agencies.[30]

See also


  1. ^ Jacob Frey for Our City (2013-02-05). Where in the Ward is Jacob Frey?. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  2. ^ Helal, Liala (November 7, 2013) "Minneapolis demographics change; younger candidates shape new City Council", MPR News.
  3. ^ "2017 Mayor Election Results Tabulation - Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services".
  4. ^ a b Belz, Adam (November 9, 2017). "Jacob Frey wins mayor election in Minneapolis". Star Tribune.
  5. ^ a b Belz, Adam (January 2, 2018). "New Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he has 'hit the ground running very hard'". Star Tribune.
  6. ^ Tevlin, Jon (June 2, 2015). "No martinis here: An alligator lunch with Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey". Star Tribune.
  7. ^ "Jacob Frey Finishes Fourth in the 2007 Pan-Am Marathon". College of William & Mary Athletics. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b McKenzie, Sarah (March 18, 2013). "Third Ward candidate profile: Jacob Frey". The Journal.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Black, Sam (November 28, 2014). "Q&A: Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Godar, Bryna. "'Always running,' Frey sets sights on council". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Gusso, Alexi (November 6, 2013). "Frey unseats Hofstede as Minneapolis Ward 3 council member". Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  13. ^ "2013 Minneapolis Election Results: City Council Ward 3". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "Municipal Canvass Report". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "2015 budget in City Council's court".
  16. ^ "12th Anniversary Winners Mayors' Climate Protection Awards" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Minneapolis mayor does not back citywide minimum wage increase".
  18. ^ "Minneapolis council approves $15 an hour minimum wage".
  19. ^ "Jacob Frey, Mpls. City Council member, will run for mayor".
  20. ^ Belz, Adam (January 3, 2017). "Council Member Jacob Frey announces bid for mayor of Minneapolis". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  21. ^ "2017 Mayor Election Results Tabulation - Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services".
  22. ^ Belz, Adam (9 November 2017). "Jacob Frey wins mayor election in Minneapolis". Star Tribune. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Mpls. mayor touts 'stronger, clearer, more precise' body cam policy".
  24. ^ "How Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey plans to spend $40 million on affordable housing".
  25. ^ Murphy, Esme (2018-05-22). "Mpls. 2040 Plan Proposes 4-Plexes In Every Part Of City". CBS Minnesota. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  26. ^ "Minneapolis City Council approves 2040 comprehensive plan on 12-1 vote". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  27. ^ Capps, Kriston. "In Minneapolis, an Ambitious Rezoning Plan Scores a Historic Win". CityLab. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  28. ^ a b Grabar, Henry (2018-12-07). "Minneapolis Just Passed the Most Important Housing Reform in America". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board - Lobbyist data for Clarke, Sarah". February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Betsy Hodges
Mayor of Minneapolis
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