Jacob grew up in Northern Virginia, and received a track scholarship to attend the College of William and Mary. After graduating with a degree in Government, Jacob received a contract from a shoe company to run professionally, and successfully competed for Team USA. He simultaneously attended law school at Villanova University from which he graduated cum laude. One of the races Jacob ran was the Twin Cities Marathon, and Jacob immediately fell in love with Minneapolis. The day after graduation he moved to Minneapolis to begin his legal career and the rest of his life.
On Racial Equity:
Council Member Frey responded to both our survey and our request for an interview. Click the questions below to read his responses.
+ How has the city’s adoption of a racial equity framework impacted both policy-making and the internal practices of the city enterprise?
While our office has passed numerous racial equity focused/related policies, such as marijuana decriminalization, increased money for affordable housing, tenant voter registration, expanded voting hours/days, green zones initiatives, facilitation of additional urban agriculture, paid sick, pollution emission fees, and many others, I don’t know necessarily that these policies were passed as a direct result of the cities adoption of the racial equity framework. I do however, believe that internal practices in the city enterprise have been substantially impacted by the racial equity framework. From filling potholes to police response, our internal procedures and practices are more guided by racial equity, however, clearly more work needs be done.
+ How have hiring practices changed to reflect a racial equity framework since January 2014?
I don’t know exact statistics offhand, but I do know that hiring decisions are increasingly made through a racial equity lens. Additionally, it has become important and valuable to actively recruit people of color for leadership positions. Such hiring decisions not only positively benefit people of color but they also benefit our city enterprise.
+ How has the city engaged with its marginalized communities around important issues and decision-making?
Some examples include NCEC, NCR, NOC, BLM, translation, interpreters, religious groups, open door policies, etc. This is not an exhaustive list and there is always room for innovation and creativity to ensure that our engagement is culturally competent. Partnering with Voices for Racial Justice to work on and improve our community engagement strategy would be a welcome opportunity.
+ What are you most proud of having accomplished since January 2014 to advance racial equity in Minneapolis?
I’m most proud my accomplishments surrounding affordable housing and our paid sick ordinance. Regarding paid sick, it was imperative to ensure that the most progressive policies were able to be enforced. It’s one thing to pass ideal policies, but laws that cannot be enforced erode the public trust and fail to provide intended benefits for marginalized communities. The work to make this happen was tedious, complicated, and not very sexy, but in the end it is what will give the policy teeth and really make it impactful and beneficial.
Regarding affordable housing, our office has done extensive work to ensure that different socio-economic classes can live in the 3rd Ward.