Mayor Melvin Carter Endorses Mitra Jalali Nelson for St. Paul City Council

Saint Paul, MN – Today, Mayor Melvin Carter endorsed Mitra Jalali Nelson in her campaign for Saint Paul City Council. Mitra is running to replace former City Council President Russ Stark in Ward 4.

Carter said he’s excited to see a strong candidate who would bring continued progressive leadership to the issues his administration has prioritized, including economic justice, lifelong learning, community-first public safety, and building a city that works for all of us.

“I'm proud and excited to endorse Mitra Jalali Nelson to represent Ward 4 on the Saint Paul City Council. Our city is in a critical moment - one in which we must unite who our city has been, and who our city is becoming, to transform our community into a place that works for everyone. As a strong progressive leader, proud daughter of immigrants, renter, organizer, and policy aide to Congressman Keith Ellison, Mitra brings an impressive decade of experience to the critical work ahead of us. Right now, we need leaders who can unite us across issues and bring the community to the table. Mitra is the perfect choice to help lead that work forward on the Council. Together, we can build a city that works for all of us."

Mitra has actively campaigned for increasing attainable and affordable housing, building community wealth, promoting transit and environmental sustainability, and achieving true public safety through police accountability.

“I am deeply honored to have earned the support of our Mayor. This moment in our city demands continued progressive leadership and inclusive politics for the future of our community,” said Nelson. “As a renter, first-generation American, organizer and young person of color, I am running to bring underrepresented perspectives to our Council that will help us face the most pressing challenges of our city. Mayor Carter has started a citywide movement to bring underrepresented perspectives to the table and break down persistent barriers between residents and our government. I am thrilled to continue building on that work through my campaign. I would be honored to work with Mayor Carter on our shared priorities as Ward 4’s next City Councilwoman.”

Mitra Jalali Nelson is a former classroom teacher, community organizer and now policy and outreach aide to Congressman Keith Ellison. She found her footing in the progressive movement a decade ago as a high school social studies teacher in New Orleans as part of Teach For America, returning home to Minnesota to continue teaching for a third year. In 2012, Mitra was an organizer with the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, where she worked with dedicated SPPS educators and families to successfully pass a $39 million annual funding referendum that invests in our public schools. She now leads Congressman Ellison’s district work in the areas of immigration, refugee issues, public safety and criminal justice reform, with a focus on economic and social justice for all. If elected, she will be the second woman of color in 164 years of city history to ever have served on the Saint Paul City Council.

Mitra has also been endorsed by TakeAction Minnesota; Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar; Saint Paul City Council Member Dai Thao; and Saint Paul School Board Chair Jon Schumacher.

More information about Mitra can be found on her campaign website:


Garrison McMurtrey, Campaign Manager
Mitra Jalali Nelson for Saint Paul City Council