Melvin W. Carter III represents Ward 1 on the Saint Paul City Council. A native of Minnesota, he attended Florida A&M University and got engaged in electoral politics after his brother was turned away from a Florida polling precinct during Election 2000.
Council Member Carter is passionate about building the progressive movement and helping others engage. He has trained community organizers and political candidates in 26 states with several national organizations, including Wellstone Action, People for the American Way Foundation and Progressive Majority. At home, he works creatively to engage constituents through unique events to such as “Candidate Karaoke”, a non-traditional candidate forum where participants have to sing before they can speak. He serves as Minnesota State Director for the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, a national network of over 600 elected officials under age 35. Council Member Carter was selected by his peers to receive the 2011 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award, the YEO Network’s highest annual honor.
Elected to the City Council in 2007, Carter has sponsored and passed legislation to tackle some of the City’s most pressing issues, including: forming the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO), requiring landlords to notify tenants of a pending foreclosure on their property, banning the sale of candy cigarettes and toy lighters to reduce “practice smoking” among children and educating restaurant employees about the dangers of food allergies.
Inspired by the work of the Harlem Children's Zone to end the achievement gap, Carter in 2009 created the Frogtown/ Summit-University Community Investment Campus, a partnership between City, County, School and community leaders to support high quality education outcomes for all children. Just one year later, this initiative won a highly competitive federal Promise Neighborhoods Grant to continue that work on a larger scale, as the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood.
An advocate for transit equity, Carter has fought tirelessly for residents and businesses along Saint Paul’s planned Central Corridor Light Rail Line. As part of a broad community movement, Carter has worked to secure additional stations, support local businesses through construction, and create employment training and affordable housing opportunities along the Corridor.
Carter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Florida A&M University, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. In his free time, Melvin enjoys spending time with his two beautiful daughters, Maylena (5) and Naomi (3).
Contact Melvin Carter III
Classes: MAPL 5301 - Campaigns and Elections