Welcome to Cathy Spann for Ward 5

About Me


Cathy Spann with members of North Minneapolis community

I’m a mother and community leader who has lived and worked in North Minneapolis for over 25 years. As executive director of the Jordan Area Community Council—one of the oldest neighborhood associations of Minneapolis—I have worked alongside residents, collaborated with the Minneapolis Police Department, and teamed up with other agencies to successfully address the many issues and concerns our community faces.

Parenting two sons as a single mom—particularly through hardships including the 2011 tornado, foreclosure, and the death of their father—has been my most challenging but rewarding job. Parenting has taught me how to compromise, showed me how to build relationships, and helped me realize that asking for support when you need it is key. These skills have been essential in my work on behalf of Northside residents to make a difference in people’s lives.

My track record shows that when work needs to be done, I do it.

I started my career on the Northside as a part-time receptionist at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, where I referred people to resources to help them pay their rent, find housing, and secure childcare. I have since managed and directed programs for agencies that are the cornerstones of the Northside community, including Summit Academy OIC, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Turning Point and the Jordan Area Community Council.

I’ve partnered with residents and the Minneapolis Police Department to implement initiatives to address gun violence, coordinated weekly neighborhood safety patrols targeting violence “Hot Spots,” and led campaigns to address the opioid epidemic facing Black and brown communities. I’ve also created scholarships for youth, business grants, forgivable loans for seniors and emergency situations, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives. As a member of the Hennepin County Mental Health Local Advisory Council, I evaluate mental health services in our communities and advocate for people with mental illnesses.

Because of my efforts to better our community, I was recently nominated by Senator Susan Kent to sit on Minnesota’s Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council, and I was nominated by Willie Pearl Evans as a 2020 Minnesota Civic Leader.

“Cathy Spann illustrates servant leadership in her work. Cathy works to assure that North Minneapolis families' voices are heard. She works to create safer neighborhoods by elevating community members to take actionable steps. Cathy brings community voices, public safety leaders, and local officials together to create community solutions that are specific to the Northside. Cathy elevates those with lived experience, by convening spaces where elected officials and community work collectively to ensure a safer Northside.”
-Willie Pearl Evans