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At large Duluth councilors to seek second terms

Duluth At Large City Councilors Barb Russ and Zack Filipovich have both announced plans to seek re-election this year.

Filipovich, a 26-year-old accountant and former City Council president, said his priorities include enhancing community safety, fixing aging infrastructure, promoting economic equity and preserving the city’s natural spaces.

Russ, a 68-year-old retired assistant county attorney, identified several challenges the city faces, including efforts to appropriately fund street and infrastructure improvements, provide housing and deliver mental health services.

Both candidates called for more of a focus on public safety.

“We need to build on our community policing model and should not have to rely on grants for basic public safety and training,” said Filipovich in a statement, adding that he will continue to push for fully staffed police and fire departments.

For her part, Russ said: “Public safety will continue to be challenged by drug and gun violence, and we need to eliminate disparities throughout the city.”

Russ said she has been involved in a comprehensive local effort to assess and better address the community’s mental health needs.

“The goal of the group is to figure out what’s missing and to gather all the statistics about how many people are affected,” Russ said of the mental health initiative. “One thing that got us all talking was about the need for some way to triage people when law enforcement gets a call to a home or downtown, and there’s a person who obviously needs some sort of mental health support.”

For more, please visit The Duluth News Tribune

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