Bio: Simpson was born in St. Paul and moved to Roseville at the age of 10. In the early 2000s, after college, he moved to Minneapolis, and it's been his home ever since. He's lived in the neighborhoods of Uptown and Northeast, and now resides on Nicollet Island.
Education: Simpson graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in journalism in 2002. He then spent two years at Brainco, an advertising school in Hopkins.
Work experience: Simpson has worked as a copywriter at Minneapolis advertising agencies for the last 12 years. He says, "My current agency works with a lot of state-level organizations that encourage positive behavioral change - helping Minnesotans quit smoking, encouraging public transportation usage, helping search for the most affordable health insurance options, etc."
Political and public experience: "Political, none - aside from navigating a client meeting or two. As far as public experience - I've volunteered in a handful of homeless shelters over the years, Toys for Tots, etc. I try to pick up at least three pieces of litter a day around the city, but for the most part I'm an average citizen who wants to do more."
Main issues: "Ultimately I want Minneapolis to be the cleanest, most inclusive, and most innovative city in the country. And to me, that comes from creative thinking on the part of everyone. I firmly believe there is a general lack of new ideas in the world of politics. I'm running under my created platform of The Idea Party to try and change that. Some of the ideas for the office of mayor specifically would be:
- As mayor, I'd live in a different part of the city every two months, to truly live among all residents. In turn I'd encourage other citizens to get out of their comfort zone once a month; for example: 'Go to a grocery store in a different part of the city.'
- A biweekly community get-together would occur where anyone in Minneapolis is welcome to join as we tackle an issue together. A giant whiteboard will capture all ideas and solutions.
- Every weekday morning I would have coffee/tea/water/juice/whatever with a different Minneapolis resident. Surprise surprise, we'd talk about new ideas.
- A mobile mayor's office would travel around on nice days, setting up shop in parks across the city.
- An online 'fireside chat' would occur every Sunday evening - which would be a live address to everyone in the city that cares to listen. People would be able to call in and have a discussion right then and there.
- I'd encourage everyone to try and pick up three pieces of litter a day, and ensure a public recycling receptacle in every place there's a public trash receptacle. This would ideally snowball into more ideas on how we can all improve/fix our city on the individual level.
- ideaparty.org will be a hub for new thinking and ideas, that can come from anyone who has a fresh solution (this will be the case whether I'm mayor or not)."
Party: "The Idea Party"
Why he is running: "I'm running because I want The Idea Party to become a bigger movement, especially post-election. Candidly, I don't expect to win. But if everyone in this city became a solution creator, and we all worked together on coming up with ideas - then it doesn't really matter who is mayor. We're all mayor."
What you might not know about him: Sometimes he kayaks to work.
Note: Responses were submitted directly by the candidates and may have been edited for clarity.
Candidate provided responses via email