Two dozen candidates raise their hands to join the Duluth City Council
DULUTH — Duluth City Council sifted through the two dozen Duluthians who applied to fill the vacancy left by Derek Medved on Thursday night, a sometimes glitchy online process that took investigators into kitchens and workspaces candidates.
The field was narrowed down to three, with Noah Hobbs and Jenna Yeakle sharing the most votes and Justin Davis in third. The final candidate will be selected at Monday’s city council. The process took over 3 hours, with housing being a popular topic among those interested in filling the role.
Davis, who works in the food industry for Black Woods Group, is a lifelong Duluthian who describes himself as “very passionate about the city. His focus: the city’s homeless population.
“I saw the poverty in Duluth firsthand,” he said. “I can see what he can do when a cycle continues.”
Hobbs, who works for One Roof Housing, served on city council from 2016 to 2020 and served as council chairman for part of his term. He lost his re-election bid. Hobbs highlighted his experience, adding that it took him about a year and a half to learn the job and be effective.
“I could start running from day one,” he said.
Sierra Club’s Jenna Yeakle said she wanted to get things done.
“I believe in a Duluth where everyone lives with dignity and belonging,” she said, speaking specifically about creating equity in housing, fresh food, connected neighborhoods, green spaces and family jobs.
The interviews, which included five questions about the candidate’s intentions, were led by board chairwoman Renee Van Nett, who occasionally had to offer IT suggestions to candidates who didn’t show up on video.