Newly-elected Brooklyn Center mayor says residents should expect change

“I’m not going to just beat the same drum," she said.

A woman poses for a portrait
New Brooklyn Center Mayor April Graves poses for a portrait at City Hall in Brooklyn Center on Thursday, November 10, 2022.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Voters in Brooklyn Center elected April Graves as their next mayor, rejecting current Mayor Mike Elliott's bid for re-election.

April Graves won with 54 percent of the vote against incumbent mayor Mike Elliot's 46 percent.

Graves has been with the Brooklyn Center city council for eight years. Elliott took office in 2018 and oversaw the city during protests following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.

During an interview with MPR, Graves described what she would have done differently as mayor and what Brooklyn Center residents can expect under her leadership.

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“One thing I would have done is make sure that the people that were bringing forward recommendations to the council would have been a more diverse group of stakeholders,” she said. “I would have allowed my staff to present information from their expertise.”

In the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, the mayor and city council voted for police reform and to fire the city manager.

Graves was a part of the changes and often worked with Elliot, but she said Elliot was a difficult person to work with.

“He was kind of trying to be a one-man show,” she said. 

Graves told MPR she wasn’t surprised to be elected. She thinks the people of Brooklyn Center were ready for a change in leadership.

“I had to be pretty strongly convinced to run for mayor. I felt fairly ready to leave the council. The last few years have been really difficult,” she said. 

“I’m not going to just beat the same drum and demand that it have to be exactly the way that I think, I’m going to try and come up with a solution that includes as many people as possible,” Graves said.

She expects to be sworn in the second week of January.