2020 Election Candidates

New Candidates


Name: Mia Laufer

Stakeholder Type: Employee in District 17

Employer: Minnesota Museum of American Art

Candidate Bio: As an employee at the Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M), I'm invested in the wellbeing of District 17. I am particularly interested in helping to foster artwork and other creative projects in public spaces. I have a PhD in art history and have worked at several art museums and institutions. I have also helped organize public art initiatives for the M, including its street-facing windows on Robert Street and most recently it's new installation in the skyway: Jose Dominguez: It's Okay to Laugh (across bridge 30). I hope to bring my background in the arts to the CRC to help continue its work to enliven public spaces in District 17.

CRC Committees interested in: 
Skyway Governance Advisory Committee
Arts, Culture, & Entertainment


Name: Richard Johnson

Stakeholder Type: Business Owner in District 17, Employee in District 17

Business: D.A.D

Employer: Creators Space

Candidate Bio: I have a strong family history in the City of St Paul with my Great Uncle being The Head Football Coach at Central High School and co founder of Rondo Days to my Grandma being one of the First Barber shop owners of color in the Twin Cities. It's very important to do my Part in continuing that legacy and making it my own. Because other that i have been extremely active in the community. o the CRC to help continue its work to enliven public spaces in District 17.

CRC Committees interested in: 
Development Review Committee
Arts, Culture, & Entertainment


Name: Lee Knutson

Stakeholder Type: Resident in District 17, Employee in District 17

Candidate Bio: I've attended several CRC Board and SGAC meetings in the past year to get a better understanding of District 17. As a resident and employee of the district, I'm interested in working with both the CRC and SGAC. I believe my primary interest and benefit to the District Council would be logistical, working with the Chair and Executive Director to benefit the entire Board and SGAC.

CRC Committees interested in: 
Skyway Governance Advisory Committee


Current Board Members For Re-Election


Name: John Ganey

Stakeholder Type: Resident in District 17

Candidate Bio: I moved to Downtown Saint Paul in April 2017, and have served one term as a CRC board member. I’m currently the Co-chair of the Development Review Committee, and I regularly attend the Public Realm and Skyway committees. I’m interested in both seeing and helping downtown Saint Paul thrive and become what will be an even more exciting and vibrant place. I’m retired after working for 40 years in human services at the Harry Meyering Center in Mankato. I served on the board of SCOPE (South Central Organization of Providers to Education), a non-profit organization which created and put on educational conference for staff in counties and human services organizations from 1991 to 2016. Master’s Degree in Sociology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and BA in English and History from St. Mary’s University.

CRC Committees
Co-Chair of Development Review Committee
Public Realm Committee Member
Skyway Governance Advisory Committee


Name: Bill Huepenbecker

Stakeholder Type: Employee in District 17

Employer: Minnesota Wild

Candidate Bio: I work downtown for the Minnesota Wild and serve as the Senior Director of Planning and Public Affairs. I direct the organization’s public affairs efforts and spearhead projects related to the management and sustainability of the Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre and its associated factions. That includes working with other groups to improve the vitality of the downtown.

Prior to that, I was Executive Director for the St. Paul RiverCentre Authority where I managed the merger of the RiverCentre Authority and the St. Paul Convention & Visitors Bureau, today known as Visit Saint Paul. I also previously served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the City of St. Paul where I acted as the lead lobbyist to pass legislation to build the Xcel Energy Center, and for the first time ever, secured funding for brownfields cleanup and the reuse of industrial property. I also played a key role in securing federal and state funding to build Phalen Boulevard on the east side of St. Paul.

I am currently an appointed CRC board member and Skyway Governance Advisory Committee member, and I am seeking election so that I can continue to be involved in CRC’s work.

CRC Committees
Skyway Governance Advisory Committee Member


Name: Amy Lee

Stakeholder Type: Resident in District 17

Candidate Bio: As a resident of the downtown Saint Paul area, I am invested in helping support a vibrant community. I have served one term as a CRC board member, and am currently the Internal Affairs Officer and chair of the Strategic Committee. I work in nonprofit fundraising and development, and I have also worked in community organizing and mobilizing to bring change. I’ve worked for a variety of nonprofits including: Athletes for Education, James J. Hill Center, Funk-SOUL Patrol, Page Education Foundation, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota. I received my Master’s in Advocacy and Political Leadership and have over 12 years of nonprofit experience working to bridge community, business, corporations and nonprofits.

CRC Committees
Strategic Committee Chair
CRC Internal Affairs Officer


Name: Tiffany Brace

Stakeholder Type: Employee in District 17, Business Owner in District 17

Candidate Bio: I am a passionate, urban-focused Commercial Real Estate Agent concentrating in Downtown Saint Paul. I lived in Minneapolis and Denver most of my life, and I have now lived in the North Como neighborhood in St Paul for 10-plus years. I love everything Saint Paul, especially District 17, and I’m dedicated to doing all I can to focus on assuring positive growth and improvement in downtown. Businesses, residents and government officials need to work together and listen to each other in order for that to happen, and I’m eager to continue being involved in those conversations as a CRC board member.

Other community organizations I am actively involved in are Downtown Alliance, Greater Saint Paul BOMA, Frogtown Neighborhood Association, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, Midway Chamber of Commerce and MNCAR.


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