You voted for a community leader.

Thank you!

I care deeply for my hometown of Rochester. As a community leader, I advocate for a sustainable economy, safe neighborhoods, and a healthy environment. If elected, I will continue to work tirelessly to make Ward 4 a thriving section of our growing city.

I listen to people, I get things done,

and I have a heart.

Let’s address the issues.

How do we rebuild our economy?

We are in uncertain economic times. The pandemic has exposed broken links in supply chains that impact all consumers. By diversifying and expanding our production base, we can recharge the economy. Restaurants got creative and started thinking outside the box when the pandemic hit – what other sectors might succeed in growing profitable ideas? Forward-thinking ideas can hit the mark and get needs met, but as a community, we need to work together to address the potential long-term economic impact the pandemic will have on our city.

What can we do to eliminate the housing shortage?

A city’s role should be maintaining infrastructure to support its residents, commercial establishments and visitors. Housing projects should include equitable housing policies and procedures for all people who reside here. We need to ensure that we have an inclusive housing market that provides housing for all income brackets in Rochester.

By looking at developed land parcels and considering the LEED for neighborhood development model, hybrid housing, or conservation design principles, we can meet the need for sustainable neighborhood communities. By incentivizing the purchasing power of our lower-income residents, we can make available parcels that might otherwise not be purchased and converted to rentals.

Can we freeze property taxes?

My property taxes have doubled in four years. This has occurred in a section of Rochester where it is very difficult for most residents to absorb the increase. In these uncertain economic times, freezing property taxes could show the residents that the City understands the difficulty many have had making ends meet financially, due to job losses and furloughs, and the increased burden of childcare due to school closings.

Funding the City’s future needs to occur as a matter of daily business, not on a gather-funds-as-needed basis. Acquiring funds to maintain our infrastructure through a sales tax is a more equitable way to fund the City budget because those who can afford the least pay the least. A few pennies on a dollar’s spending will give the city money it needs without overburdening any one group of residents.

Do you think it’s time for a living minimum wage?

Our workforce needs to earn a living wage. Workers need to earn enough money to pay for adequate housing where they work, here in Rochester. When residents can live in the city where they work, businesses reap the benefits of residents’ daily shopping and other activities of daily living. By paying workers a living minimum wage, more people could then afford to shop and go out to eat, purchase and repair their homes, update appliances and vehicles to energy-efficient models, and pay property taxes.

How do we solve homelessness?

Meeting the needs of our unhoused neighbors is a complex issue to solve, and Rochester has responded by using various strategies. Underlying factors of substance abuse and mental health disparities exist, and without adequate support, a city’s attempts to address homelessness will not work. Improvements for our unsheltered must include their input. These individuals and families have the most to lose, and we, as a City, need to have more comprehensive and articulated plans to address this issue. 

Let’s work together to create good.

I have worked on various community garden projects throughout the city to help out Rochester residents and organizations. From left to right: Representative Nels Pierson (R), Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick of the Plant a seed. Initiative, Quantrell Wells and Alysha Carlisle of Project Legacy, Sisters Bedwell and Pope from The Church of Jesus Christ, and Abol Barnaba of Project Legacy.
I’ve spoken at the Lifestyle Medicine Wellness Symposium about agriculture’s impact on our soil and water. The pandemic has exposed broken links in our supply chain – on local, regional, state and national levels. Growing more food locally will help the economy, and put more farmers on the land. Using regenerative-agriculture models will help clean our surface and groundwater creating healthier habitats for wildlife.
As Rochester’s sole Water Steward, I worked with environmental award-winner, Nick Queensland at Mayo Clinic to launch a neighborhood Smart Salting campaign. One teaspoon of salt permanently damages five gallons of water – cleaning up our Zumbro river and surrounding creeks will foster healthier habitats for wildlife. Read more about our efforts, here: https://www.cleanwatermn.org/mayo-clinic-takes-a-smart-approach-to-salt/.

Join the campaign.

Show your support by volunteering, requesting a sign, or offering a financial donation. Reach out to me by e-mail at Kelly4CityCouncil@gmail.com or by phone at (507) 271-1081.

Get out and vote.

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Vote early in person – https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-in-person/

Find your in-person voting location with this link – https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

General Election – Post-Bulletin Video Responses

Primary Election – Campaign Videos

Primary Election – Meet the Candidate Video

Mayo Park East – July 20, 2020


As a community leader, I understand how various components of our city’s systems work together. By forming partnerships with residents and organizations, I help bring ideas and sustainable projects into focus, increasing neighborhood resilience and bettering our community.

Get in Touch

Please reach out anytime – I enjoy listening to my neighbors and learning how we might work together to best serve our community’s needs. Whether it’s addressing food insecurity, teaching a community education class, or petitioning for quiet train horns during sleeping hours, I work tirelessly to support my community.