Inforum Letter: A creative leader for city of Fargo

By Brian Hayer

I am excited to support Joe Burgum for Fargo City Commission and urge you to support him as well.

I have known him for many years and respect his creative ideas, honesty, and passion. He loves this city and wants to make it even better.

Burgum is a collaborator who gets citizens involved in giving feedback to city leaders and planners. He strives to create open access to city meeting times and places, encourage citizens to come to public meetings and have public information readily accessible. He would advocate for online platforms to share ideas and public meetings for Fargo residents to learn and ask questions.

As a downtown business owner, I am impressed with Burgum's commitment to entrepreneurs. He supports entrepreneurs by providing a business development course called Co.Starters. There have been numerous local businesses launched through completing the course who go on to contribute to the culture of our community.

Burgum's drive and determination for making a difference in Fargo has shown through initiatives he has spearheaded. He was instrumental in bringing Uber to Fargo. He was a force behind starting Fargo's Liquor Control Task Force. He started the Red River Market, creating access to locally grown foods to the citizens of Fargo.

Burgum believes in making all neighborhoods strong. He is the president of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Association. It's Joe's belief that neighborhoods should be a place where schools, green space and commerce are valued and provide a safe and multi-generational environment.

Burgum will continue to make an impact on Fargo. By electing him as a city commissioner, he will bring his collaboration, hard work, and creative ideas to represent Fargo. Vote for Joe on June 14th

Hayer lives in Fargo.

Inforum Letter: Dynamic leader for a dynamic city

By Jonathan Holth

With many great candidates running for Fargo City Commission, the voters will have some tough choices to make. I'll be supporting Joe Burgum on June 14, and I hope you will too. I don't know of anyone who has been more engaged in his or her community than Burgum, and I know that he loves Fargo, and desires to make it a better place.

I'm confident that Burgum is the person that can help Fargo continue to be a dynamic city. Mobility is a right, and people deserve the ability to move in whichever manner they choose. Cities that choose to only build infrastructure and amenities for those that choose to drive cars are choosing to leave some of their most vulnerable citizens behind. Active transportation systems and strong neighborhoods with complete streets throughout the entire city play an integral role in a city's growth, and no one understands this better than Burgum.

As a small business owner in Fargo, it's important to me that our city is a vibrant place that continues to attract and retain talent. Burgum not only understands the need for a strong, culturally rich economy, he's been a part of creating it in Fargo for years.

I've seen him lead. I've seen him be engaged in the community, and I've seen him help others to become more engaged, myself included. It's that type of thoughtful leadership and community engagement that cements my support for Joe Burgum for Fargo City Commission. I hope you'll join me in supporting him on June 14.

Holth lives in Grand Forks.

Inforum Letter: Young leader just what the city needs

By Annie Wood

Many people dream about making our community better. Where they often fall short is acting on their ideas. Taking action to improve Fargo is something that Joe Burgum does regularly and intentionally.

Burgum did not wait for a title or position to give him permission to improve Fargo. Instead, he has become an active citizen and has added tremendous value to our community. From Alley Fair and the ChristkindlMarkt that help our community reimagine spaces, to countless families enjoying the Red River Market, he has acted on ideas time and again.

In my support of Burgum, I have heard people say that he is too young. I disagree. He has and continues to study communities. He eagerly seeks to understand what makes them successful, livable, and attractive. I would much rather have someone on our city commission who is actively learning than someone who thinks they know what our city needs because they are in their 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond.

I believe that Burgum will continue improving our community with or without a commission seat. It's just who he is: an action-oriented, engaged, community leader. But I also believe that he will best serve our city as a member of the commission to help Fargo think about challenges and solutions.

I will vote for Joe Burgum in June and ask you to join me in supporting a young leader who has already given us so much.

Wood lives in Fargo.

Inforum: In commission race, Joe Burgum calls for stronger neighborhoods, more citizen engagement

By Tu-Uyen Tran


Joe Burgum is known as a community activist who helped organized downtown events such as Alley Fair and the Red River Market, but he said Thursday he wants to make all the city's neighborhoods strong, too.

"We're in downtown Fargo right now because I believe it's our strongest neighborhood, and that's a result of planning, intention and investment by our community," the City Commission candidate said at an art gallery here. "We need to do the same thing for all our neighborhoods."

Burgum's made frequent appearances at city meetings and gotten involved in its business for a year and a half. He's pushed to get Uber to come to town, lobbying against city laws that might block the ride-hailing service. More recently, he's lobbied the city to form a task force to reform what he believes are complicated, business-stifling liquor laws.

Now, he wants to be one of the decision makers.

Burgum kicked off his campaign Thursday with a petition-signing event, a more grass-roots alternative to getting on the June 14 ballot. Most candidates find it more convenient to just pay a $100 registration fee.

He'll be running against at least three declared candidates — city Planning Commission member Mara Brust, Tammy Linn and School Board member Robin Nelson — with some others stating they would or might run, including School Board member John Strand.


The Burgum name

As Burgum's supporters mingled Thursday, some were picking up gray yard signs that said "joe loves fargo" in big, bold print. In small print, it said, "For city commission." The first reference to his family name is a mention of the website in even smaller print.

As the son of Doug Burgum, Fargo's famous software tycoon turned downtown developer, Joe Burgum can't avoid being compared with his father. The two share a love of downtown, urban planning and entrepreneurship. They're even running for public office in the same year; the elder Burgum is running for governor.

Asked how much his father's decision to run influenced him, Joe Burgum said he has been going to city meetings for a year and a half. It just happens that Doug Burgum is his father and is also running, he said.

Asked if he expects to recuse himself during decisions involving downtown development, he said he would if it involved properties owned by his father's Kilbourne Group. But, he said, the group only owns 6 percent of downtown, not as much as people think.


Three platforms

According to Joe Burgum, strong neighborhoods are those with strong neighborhood associations, that are well designed, have a mix of housing without one kind overwhelming the others and, ideally, are centered around elementary schools.

As commissioner, he said he'd advocate better planning and better communication between the city and the associations.

Burgum's platform also includes investing in all modes of transportation used by residents, such as walking and biking, and improving civic engagement.

Having residents vote for a commissioner every other year isn't enough, according to Burgum. The city needs to invite more dialogue, he said, giving the example of Detroit—publishing all its data online and giving residents unprecedented access.

Going to all those city meetings, he lamented that he saw few members of the public. His goal, he said is to get as much energy at those meetings as the 1 Million Cups meetings held by area entrepreneurs.

Read the original article here.

KFGO: Joe Burgum launches campaign for Fargo City Commission seat

KFGO News and Views with Joel Heitkamp

Entrepreneur and community builder Joe Burgum explains why he is seeking a spot on the Fargo City Commission. The son of two very successful Fargoans, Burgum's passion for and love of the city comes as no surprise to many. Running "to make Fargo the greatest city on earth to live," his experience and education have taught him the importance of smart city growth and strong neighborhoods. Burgum's campaign kickoff event is planned for March 10. To find out more about the event and his candidacy, visit