About Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden:

Elizabeth Glidden is Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, where she chairs the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the Committee of the Whole. First elected in 2005, Elizabeth has focused on neighborhood development and wealth building, the arts, race equity structural change, workplace policies and energy and environment.

Prior to her service on the City Council, Elizabeth practiced employment law for over ten years, representing individuals as a workers rights and civil rights lawyer at Hedin, Goldberg & Glidden P.A. Elizabeth is proud to be a 2013 Bush Fellow, using her fellowship to help elevate race-conscious leadership development for local elected officials. Elizabeth holds a B.A. from Augustana College, a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law, and an MPA from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

On Racial Equity:

Council Vice-President Glidden responded to both our survey and our request for an interview. Click on the questions below to read her responses.

+ How has the city’s adoption of a racial equity framework impacted both policy-making and the internal practices of the city enterprise?

  • Race equity now incorporated in city practices and policy documents. Examples include: budget process led by Mayor; data tracking for departments (Results Minneapolis); department business plans
  • City has two dedicated positions in a new Office of Equity and Inclusion, that will steer enterprise efforts and external partnerships using a race equity framework. This includes continuing to identify practices and policies for incorporation of race equity framework and developing a race equity action plan for the enterprise.
  • Race equity has been a key focus of virtually all major policy work by the City Council and Mayor, including explicit incorporation of race equity framework into policies as adopted and/or explicit discussion of race equity impacts and/or community engagement strategy that prioritizes inclusion of historically marginalized voices. Example: inclusion of race equity framework language in ordinance directing 20-year financial investment in streets and parks, adopted 2016.

+ How have hiring practices changed to reflect a racial equity framework since January 2014?

  • There has been a major overhaul of hiring practices, that come at a time when the city is now hiring after several years of no or very few new hires
  • Changes include implicit bias/racial bias training for hiring managers, interview teams and others; other best practices trainings for those who will be hired
  • Some departments have made specific efforts to overhaul hiring practices by setting new goals for recruiting applicants and hiring people of color, fully revising positions descriptions, recruitment procedures and application framework to remove barriers to hiring people of color.
  • A report will be presented to City Council Committee of the Whole in July 2016 describing hiring reform, setting new hiring goals for the enterprise, and describing additional areas for work by the city. advance racial equity in Minneapolis?

+ What are you most proud of having accomplished since January 2014 to advance racial equity in Minneapolis?


  • Approved city goals including race equity; council drafts race equity definition.
  • Motion to create race equity action plan, track results.
  • Lead negotiator for Southwest Light Rail, including refocusing negotiations on equity in transit and working with community partners to set transit equity agenda.
  • Led budget negotiations and support for race equity staff positions in City Coordinator office; supported range of race equity budget items * Approved Clean Energy Partnership after two plus years of leadership efforts in negotiations and community partnership around utility franchise issues; appointed to Clean Energy Partnership Board
  • Chief author of staff direction establishing Transgender Issues Work Group
  • Worked with Neighborhood and Community Resources Department to devote city resources to support for facilitating productive community dialogue around community benefits between new Seward Coop Friendship store and neighborhood organizations
  • Approved city-wide composting, a strategy that reduces city reliance on the Hennepin County incinerator.


  • Chief author ordinance introduction for sick and safe leave and scheduling ordinances
  • Chief author ordinance Introducion section 8 anti-discrimination ordinance
  • Co-author percent for public art ordinance, approved by Council 2015 * Nominated Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder for historic designation; approved by Council 2015
  • Nominated Arthur and Edith Lee House for historic designation
  • Nominated 33 Tilsenbilt homes for historic designation
  • Chief author staff direction on city hiring reform and race equity
  • Led internal efforts at city to establish race equity steering committee with policy makers, staff, and labor representatives; purpose of committee to establish a regular meeting venue for city-employees enterprise-wide to advance training and discussion of city race equity efforts
  • Designed and led community planning meeting series, “The Future of East 38th Street,” resulting in community priorities for land use, transportation, and preservation of Black history
  • Organized race equity convening for small group of city council members and county commissioners from across the state, to explore opportunities for coordinated action
  • As member of League of Minnesota Cities, voted to support creation of a race-equity city co-hort that would meet for a one-year period, facilitated by the Government Alliance for Race Equity (GARE).
  • Voted to approve protected bikeways plan
  • Voted to approve repeal of lurking and spitting ordinances
  • Voted to approve regulation of flavored tobacco
  • Voted to approve accessory dwelling ordinance


  • Lead author to repeal congregating in the streets • Lead author to update zoning rules for food shelves to make them more accessible throughout entire city
  • Lead negotiator and key author on final version sick and safe ordinance, approved by Council 2016.
  • Voted to approve municipal consent for transit-focused 35W Lake Transit Access project, after ten years of advocacy and negotiations on city leadership team to move project from roads and ramps priority to transit priority.
  • Co-author 20-year funding ordinance for parks and streets, with explicit requirement to use race equity criteria for prioritization and implementation of funding, approved by Council 2016.
  • Chief author of introduction of Charter amendment to repeal “Rule of 3” (a hiring requirement that restricts hiring managers to choice from only top 3 candidates after testing).
  • Chief co-Author introduction of Target Market ordinance, a program aimed to further supplier diversity efforts at the city.
  • Chief author staff direction with detailed enterprise direction on supplier diversity efforts
  • Chief author Trans*Equity Resolution establishing city advisory committee
  • Member of race equity co-hort of city and county elected officials from around the state, facilitated by the League of Minnesota Cities and facilitated by GARE