Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
Partnership has provided innovative solutions to the difficult
problems that have hampered the Phillips Neighborhood for
far too long. Its ongoing mission is to build on the improvements
that have been achieved to make an even better neighborhood
in which to live and work.
"The only way to get ‘big things’ done is
through strategic partnerships. Through many initiatives I’ve
learned that it is essential to mobilize in a focused, coordinated
way the strengths and capacities of the public and private
sectors, and the community. It takes clear, bold vision, workable
strategies grounded in reality, the will and skill to implement
them, and a deep-seated optimism in the face of barriers and
cynicism. The Phillips Partnership is the latest and best
example of using this approach to tackling seemingly intractable
problems. And it’s working!”
- Commissioner, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.
- Chair, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority.
- Chair, Metro Transitways Development Board, active proponent
of multi-modal regional transportation investment to support
economic growth and strong communities in the future.
- Chair, Social Services Committee.
- Member, all committees of Hennepin County Board.
- Coordinated the successful regional effort with the help
of labor, business and community in lobbying for light-rail
transit (LRT) funding.
- Founding member of the Phillips Partnership—a public/private
partnership created to target the problems that were plaguing
the neighborhood. Successful efforts include: crime-fighting
initiatives that have reduced crime dramatically in the
neighborhood; Train to Work, providing entry level jobs
in the neighborhood and the Health Careers Institute, providing
college level training program for jobs in local hospitals
and other health-related positions that gives students advanced
skills and higher paying employment; the Selvaggio Initiative
and other housing efforts that have built or rehabbed hundreds
of units in the Phillips Neighborhood; progress on creating
full access to I-35W from Lake St. to connect the local
residents and businesses to the interstate system and support
Lake St. The broader results include huge private sector
investments in the neighborhood, including Wells Fargo Mortgage,
the new Abbott Northwestern heart hospital (under construction)
and the Allina headquarters move to the old Sears building
(in development stage).
- Founding member of the Midtown Community Works Partnership,
a public/private collaborative effort that addresses the
issues facing the Midtown Community. The Partnership has
been instrumental in keeping the Midtown Greenway on track.
- Helped win approval for several actions to combat crime,
including: expanded use of juvenile work squads and adult
Sentencing To Serve work crews; funding for four special
neighborhood-based probation officers for South and North
Minneapolis; creation of a drug court building new jail
cells; additional juvenile detention beds; putting inmates
to work and working closely with the District Court on the
Adult Gun Policy and the Juvenile Gun Education Program.
- Authored the County action to establish the American
Indian Family project, directing a study of the American
Indian population in Hennepin County in partnership with
other governmental and community based organization, for
the purpose of producing an in-depth analysis and making
recommendations to the county board on how to effectively
address systemic issues in the American Indian community.
- Expansion of youth recreational opportunities (baseball,
softball, volleyball and football; soccer next on the agenda)
through the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Minneapolis
Public Schools and Minneapolis Park and Recreation.
- Promoted Community building efforts which include: Sabathani
- Helping Families Help Themselves; American Indian Community
Collaborative (AICC); STRIDE Project in Hawthorne; CAPS
Program - Community Alternative Probation; Commonweal (Currency
- County Board advocate for the Hennepin/Powderhorn Partners,
a partnership to coordinate probation, employment, education,
social services and residents of the neighborhood in a community
office on Lake Street office. They take a holistic and strength
based approach to addressing the diverse needs of individuals
and their families.
Increased County staff to expedite the adoption process.
This has resulted in the faster adoption of children as
well as greatly reduced foster care costs. Quicker adoptions
benefit the parents, taxpayers and, most importantly, the
- Expanded training opportunities for childcare workers
to increase the emphasis on early childhood development,
scholarships to assist workers in gaining college-level
training, and salary supplements to increase wages and retention
- Initiated creation of community service jobs in neighborhoods.
Launched county cooperation in with an enterprise of private
small business and non-profit agencies to provide transportation
for unemployed city residents to suburban jobs, a model
of reverse commute.
- Led reforms of county budgeting process that now give
staff direction from the Board of Commissioners and the
public early, before decisions are made, through strategic
planning, clearer goal setting, the county’s first
mission and vision statements, and creation of Town Meetings
for public dialogue.
- Initiated creation of Five Year Strategic Financial Plan
as a budgeting tool to give better information as basis
for longer term planning.
- Slowed growth of government and held county property tax
increases to cost of living or less since joining the Board.
- Initiated major evaluation effort to review all county
operations and contracts with a goal of measuring the success
of activities and to ensure the most productive use of tax
- Dramatically increased funding for sliding fee child care.
- Led development of Hennepin County Solid Waste Master
Plan, nationally recognized for its well-integrated, environmentally
protective and fiscally sound management.
- Led efforts to open Stone Arch Bridge for use by citizens
through successful partnership with city and state governments.
Participated in bridge renovation and interpretive trails
- Made the county a full partner in the Minneapolis Neighborhood
Revitalization Program (NRP) and advocated for its continuation
during efforts in 2003 to eliminate or drastically curtail
- Strong advocate for expansion of backyard composters and
creation of plastic bag recycling effort with private sector
through the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board.
- Expanded resources and support for volunteers in Hennepin
Substantial ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) improvements
- Introduced successful amendment to expand staff of County
Veteran’s Service Office, resulting in the hiring
of the first African American Veterans Service Officer.
- Helped to develop comprehensive County bicycle transportation
plan. Provided county funding for 29th Street Greenway,
a bike trail and green space that will run from France Avenue
to the Mississippi River. Initiated process to identify
key gaps in the bicycle trail network in the county and
provided annual funding to fill the gaps.
- Insisted on County investment in new mercury emissions
technology for garbage burner/resource recovery facility
(HERC), resulting in a 90-percent reduction.
- Steering Committee Member, National Association of Counties
(NACo) Large Urban Counties Caucus
- Chair, Metro Transitways Development Board (MTDB)
- Member, Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP)
- Executive Committee Member, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating
- Member, Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB)
- Member, Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC)
- Member, Joint Committee on Community Corrections (Bench
- Member, St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board
- Member, Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Board
and Legislative Steering Committee
- Member, NACo Medicare Reform Task Force
- Committee Member, NACo Community & Economic Development
- Finance Chair, National Democratic County Officials
- NACo Joint Center for Sustainable Development Task Force
- Founding Member, Phillips Partnership
- Founding Member, Midtown Community Works Partnership
- Member, Green Institute Capitol Campaign Committee
- Chair, Health Careers Institute Board
- Chair & Founding Member, Phillips Community Energy
- Co-chair, Minneapolis American Indian Center Capital Campaign
- Member, CLUES Capital Campaign Committee
- Member, Project for Pride in Living (PPL) Capital Campaign
- Committee Member, NACo Presidential Task Force on Economic
- Committee Member, NACo Homeland Security Task Force
- Chair, Healthy Powderhorn Community Resource
- Member and past Chair, PRG, a non-profit housing development
- President, Association of Minnesota Counties
- Chair, National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban
- Member, Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Institute
- Member, Native American Task Force, Association of Minnesota
- Member, Board of Directors of Harriet Tubman Shelter for
- Member, City/County Homelessness Task Force (Singles and
- Member, Capitol Campaign Committee, Little Earth Neighborhood
Early Learning Center
- Member, Capital Campaign Committee, Midtown YWCA
- Enactment of first state parental leave law in the United
States providing unpaid leave to new mothers and fathers
at the time of the birth or adoption of a child.
- Funding ($27m) for state public and private sector jobs
program (MEED) to combat severe job losses and recession
- Hennepin County Commissioner, 1991-present
- Chair, Hennepin County Board, 1995-1996
- Community Faculty Member, Metropolitan State University,
- Minnesota State Representative, 1985-1990, House Assistant
- Executive Director, Minneapolis Community Business Employment
- Research and Operations Director, Urban Coalition of Minneapolis,
- Intern, Minneapolis Planning Department, 1975-77
- Aide to the Mayor, Trenton, N.J., 1972-1975
- M.A., Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University
of Minnesota, 1977
- A.B., Princeton University, 1971