Newly elected members welcomed to Columbia Heights city council

January 23, 2023

The Heights Herald invited Columbia Heights’ newly elected City Council members to introduce themselves in the Fall 2022 print edition of the publication. Columbia Heights City Council meetings are open to the public and occur every second and fourth Monday of the month at City Hall.

Justice Spriggs

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Photo by Justice Spriggs

Justice Spriggs has been elected to his first term on the Columbia Heights City Council.

While I was campaigning I was able to connect with so many Columbia Heights residents about their wishes for the city, and I feel so honored that people have put their trust in me to do that work.

I would like to improve the safety of our roads for all commuters. Columbia Heights has so many things to offer, and we need to make sure that people can get to those things in a safe manner, including Central Ave. Then there are our parks that have a lot to offer, which I think we can invest in and upgrade.

Another thing I want to see is more diversity in the makeup of our boards and commissions and more outreach and partnership with our youth and schools.

I also want to work with the renters in our community, especially as they are a large portion of our population.

My personal favorite “hidden gem” is the Blooming Sunshine Garden at Lomianki Park on 39th Ave. It is a community garden that anyone can attend to help take care of, pick fresh food and meet great people!

Rachel James

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Photo by Rachel James

Council member elect Rachel James has been a part of the Heights community for years and looks forward to serving on the council.

When I get sworn in I am most excited to continue serving our community by focusing on equity in all decisions that the council makes, supporting initiatives to increase livability in Columbia Heights and listening to the voices of all community members.

One specific thing that we get to do in the first part of the year is appoint people to boards and commissions. I will be excited to get new leadership involved in our community.

For a long time Columbia Heights had focused on primarily keeping taxes low and not investing in the future of our community. One change I would like to see is a proactive development mindset to help us compete with the surrounding communities.

Our family loves the community recreation programs all year round, but I feel like the winter activities are underrated. My teens will be joining the ice skating classes, going snow tubing, and we will all be attending the Holiday Train and Snow Blast events.

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