My name is Bob Blake and I am proud to say that I am running for St. Paul City Council in Ward 5.
I am a lifelong St. Paul resident and a member of the Red Lake Nation. I want to give a voice to the people in our community who have traditionally felt ignored. Growing up on the East Side, I am aware that we often get the short end of the stick. I want to ensure that we are being heard and have a seat at the table.
I am a social justice advocate and environmentalist. I am particularly interested in renewable energy and prison reform. I work for Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL), an interfaith coalition that responds to the threat of climate change. Recently, I graduated from the Master’s of Advocacy and Political Leadership program (MAPL) from Metropolitan State University. This program taught me to change the flawed systems that we have in place and to utilize people power to create a more equal society. I want to use my voice as an advocate to highlight the inequities in our community and redistribute power in a way that benefits the hard working people who live in Ward 5.
The value of public service has been passed down to me for generations. My grandmother, Nellie Spears, was a strong St. Paul leader and my inspiration for community involvement. She was the president of the St. Paul American Indian Club and organized at the Neighborhood house, which is known today as the Wellstone Center. I was named after my grandfather, Sgt. Robert Spears. He was a U.S. Army veteran and a tribal hereditary chief of the Red Lake Nation. My family has a deep service history. My mother is a Gulf War veteran and U.S. Army retired and my father was a Korean War veteran in the Navy. My late brother, Sgt. Bill Blake, worked for the Minneapolis police department. I am proud to work every day to continue to the tradition and responsibility of serving my community.
Small Business Owner
I own a small business called Solar Bear, which specializes in solar energy install. My work with renewable energy stems from my passion to save the earth and confront the climate crisis we are currently experiencing. Currently, I am working to bring solar energy to reservations throughout Minnesota and I have also been working on is a prison rehabilitation program to train formerly incarcerated individuals to instal solar so they can get into the workforce and start a new life. One of my key goals is to develop workforce training in St. Paul that will prepare members of our community to take on local jobs. This would boost our local economy and benefit residents, rather than passing off jobs to people who live outside St. Paul. My experience with small business management has prepared me for this work and I have a developed plan on how to get there.
I love gathering with the people, whether it be for celebration, public service, or just to come together and share ideas. When people take care of each other, communities thrive and those connections give us power. This is the core of my campaign. I would not be able to do this without such an amazing and supportive community. The incredible people in St. Paul Ward 5 give me the drive to improve our city and speak out against flaws in our current system. As your City Council-member I will always keep the interest of our residents at the forefront.