Julie Strahan has lived in Roseville since 2002 and has since joined the city council this past year. Before moving to Roseville, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her master’s at Minnesota State Mankato.
Along with serving on the council, she is the Human Resources Director at Rakhma Homes. She came on our podcast to talk about her goals for the city as she enters her new role.
Interest in the council
Strahan said for the last 15 years, residents have approached her with questions about the city. These people just assumed that she knew what was happening.
“I finally realized that I would do well to take those skills forward to the council,” said Strahan.
Strahan’s areas of focus for Roseville include affordable housing, transit and environmental issues. Although Strahan is not an expert in any of these fields, she is prepared to bring in people who are experts.
“I hope to use that connector feature and bring those people in as people who can really augment the great skills that we already have in the city and kind of keep searching for creative solutions along those lines,” said Strahan.
She’s also been keeping in touch with local legislators about their work.
“I have tried really connecting with our local legislators in trying to understand what is important to them and how we can work together to better what’s happening within our community,” said Strahan.
Connecting with community
Every week, Strahan attends a Zoom meeting for newly elected city council members all across Minnesota. Here, they can ask questions specific to their situations and network with each other.
These meetings would typically be held in-person, but the virtual meeting makes it so people from all over Minnesota can attend the meeting.
“It is a nice leveling opportunity for us to learn,” said Strahan.
Strahan has also been working with the superintendent and school board of Roseville schools as well as a representative from the MET council.
“I’m being available and trying to figure out how that networking really improves my understanding of what’s going on and then gives me a resource when that time comes,” said Strahan.
Strahan taught music for elementary students for ten years. She worked at a variety of schools from charter schools or public schools. From this, she saw the variations of access to the internet for students.
“Having internet is not a luxury, it’s really an essential service that we need to have as people, like electrical or gas. It’s how we move forward as a society when we expect so much of people,” said Strahan.
Strahan said this is why broadband expansion is an important issue for her.
Strahan also plans to focus on public safety. She supports Chief Schneider’s initiative to hire more officers who specialize in being proactive and preventative.
“People who can go out and really talk with victims of crime and work on ways to be that mental support to them,” said Strahan.