Moving Saint Paul Forward

Saint Paul is a wonderful city. It has been my home for my entire life and for four generations of our family. My wife Laura and I are raising our four children here. Together, we have dedicated our lives to making Saint Paul better.

But the work of making Saint Paul a great place is not done until everybody in our city has access to success, until everybody feels safe, and until everybody sees themselves in Saint Paul’s future.

I am running for Mayor because I believe Saint Paul can be a city where every child, every resident, and every business owner has the opportunity to thrive. In these uncertain times, Saint Paul can show the nation how a city can work for all of its people.

Please join me in moving Saint Paul Forward.

Pat Harris

Priorities

Public Safety for All

Our Police and Fire departments in Saint Paul are the best in the state and our public safety professionals are among our top civic assets. But every day is different and our officers need to address crime wherever it happens.  All of our residents and visitors need to be confident that the law is enforced with integrity across the city. Pat was a leader on the City Council in community policing and he is committed to ensuring that Saint Paul has a police department that reflects our diverse communities, keeps its long-time commitment to community policing, and enforces the law with compassion.  

Public Education That Serves All Students

Saint Paul’s public schools are critical to our future – every student should have access to a world-class education.  The city is a critical partner. As Mayor, Pat will continue to be a vigorous advocate for Saint Paul’s public schools. But the city can do much more.  Ensuring that each child has the best opportunity to succeed starts in the classroom but goes far beyond – libraries and parks are places to learn and grow and each child should have access to safe places to play and learn outside of the classroom.  Pat has served on the Saint Paul Schools Foundation and is the proud parent of three children who attend our public schools, with a fourth starting in the Fall.  As Mayor, Pat will bring the strength of the Mayor’s office and Saint Paul’s city resources to develop partnerships between schools, parks, and libraries and make a difference for our children.

Equity and Opportunity

Despite the efforts of many leaders, racial and economic disparities persist in our city. Closing the achievement gap in our schools and promoting economic development with our communities of color will be a top priority. As Mayor, Pat will bring together community members, advocates, and business leaders to make sure no one in our city is left behind.  

Creating Jobs and Promoting Economic Growth

This single best thing we can do to help Saint Paul families is make it easy for residents to get a job with a living wage. Saint Paul needs to recommit to attracting, growing, and preserving jobs in the city. We need to make it easier to start and run professional, manufacturing and service businesses in our city. That means more efficient licensing and permitting, investing in infrastructure, facilitating connections and leveraging our anchor institutions. We will create opportunities for job seekers, increase economic activity and increase city resources by growing the commercial, industrial, and sales tax base.  Pat’s bold access to capital program is industry-leading and his deep financial background will create instant momentum in these important efforts for our future.  

An Affordable City that WORKS for Everyone

Saint Paul should provide libraries, parks, public safety, and other basic services to every one of its community members without overburdening its citizens with excessive taxes. From the senior struggling to keep up with increased taxes, to the young couple in their first home, to the family who just purchased their dream home- residents need the city to be affordable. By rebuilding the city’s commercial tax base to ease pressure on Saint Paul homeowners, Pat plans to bring smart budgeting back to the forefront of the conversation. Saint Paul residents deserve to have reliable and equitable city services for everyone. Pat spent 12 years on the City Council as its foremost expert on the City Budget.  Pat has worked in government finance for nearly two decades and is the right leader for this time.

Enhancing Our Parks and Libraries

Parks and libraries are a key amenity for Saint Paul’s residents.  They add significantly to our quality of life and set our City apart.  During Pat’s 12 years on the City Council, he made this a major focus.  He led large renovations of many facilities, oversaw new playgrounds, and created the Saint Paul Library Board to secure the future of the libraries.  The Friends of the Library now have an award for service known as the Pat Harris Award.  Pat will continue his nationally recognized service to libraries and work to modernize the City’s rec centers and build full-scale community centers in all areas of the City.

Pat and Laura Harris Live Their Values

Pat has worked toward a better Saint Paul his entire life.  In addition to his twelve years on the City Council, he has served on numerous community boards and committees, he has raised resources for important causes, and he has stood up without reservation for children, seniors, and those who most need care. He has received numerous awards for his service and has been recognized nationally.  

Laura has been active in public policy for her entire career. She advocated for numerous causes at the state legislature, she promoted reforms to rebuild trust in government while working in the Governor’s office, and she currently leads professional development and education programs that help municipal elected officials across Minnesota be more effective.

Together, Pat and Laura are raising their four children, Daniel, Ellie, Joe, and Andrew to share their values and to continue their family legacy of service.

Meet Pat Harris

Pat Harris is a lifelong Saint Paulite, husband, father, finance professional, and community leader.

He is currently Senior Vice President at BMO Harris Bank with state-wide responsibility for government banking. He has worked in finance for over 16 years and holds membership in many professional public finance organizations.

Pat served on the Saint Paul City Council for twelve years. On the council, he earned a reputation for getting things done, for being the council’s leading expert on finance, and for his focus on providing quality city services.  He was the council’s leader on a wide array of issues including:

  • Strong libraries
  • Public safety
  • Protecting the rights of New Americans
  • Addressing homelessness
  • Renovating and restoring parks and rec infrastructure
  • Providing responsible and innovative city budgets

Community service is central to Pat’s life. He has served on numerous community boards, including the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Como Zoo and Conservatory Friends, Catholic Charities, Visit Saint Paul, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Minnesota Jewish Theater, Books for Africa Ambassadors, Loaves and Fishes, and many more.   

He is the founder of Serving Our Troops, a nationally recognized effort to support soldiers and families of the Minnesota National Guard.

Pat is a graduate of Cretin High School. He put himself through college earning a BA from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Meet Laura Harris

Laura Harris directs education and professional development programs for the League of Minnesota Cities. She helps elected and appointed municipal officials throughout Minnesota develop the skills needed to effectively lead their cities. An experienced policy advocate, she  represented Minnesota cities at the state capitol as a lobbyist for the League of Minnesota Cities and she served in policy and government relations positions in the Governor’s office.

Laura is an accomplished runner who competed in cross country during college, completed numerous marathons, and continues to compete in races. Laura holds a BA from the College of Saint Benedict.

Pat Harris in the Community

  • Founder, Serving Our Troops (www.ServingOurTroops.com)
  • Co-Founder, The Shannon Open for Cystic Fibrosis (www.ShannonOpen.org)
  • Saint Paul City Council Member, 2000 to 2012
  • Commissioner, Metropolitan Airports Commission
  • Board Member, Metropolitan Energy Coalition
  • Board Member, Como Zoo and Conservatory Friends
  • Board Member, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
  • Ambassadors Circle Member, Books for Africa
  • Former Board Member, Visit Saint Paul, (2012-2017 (2015-2016 Chair)
  • Board Member, Minnesota Children’s Museum (Co-Chair, 2013 Play for All Gala)
  • Board Member, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company
  • Member, Animal Humane Society Capital Planning Task Force
  • Commissioner, Highland Hoops Youth Basketball, 2015 to present
  • Former Board Member, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, 2012 to 2016
  • Co-Chair with Laura Harris, 2015 Student Success Breakfast – Saint Paul Schools Foundation
  • Former Chair and Master of Ceremonies, Saint Paul Police Foundation 2013 Gala
  • Former Board Member, Family Housing Fund
  • Master of Ceremonies, Saint Paul Police Foundation 2014 Gala
  • Former Board Member, Catholic Charities
  • Former Board Member, Loaves and Fishes
  • Former Member, Second Judicial District Ethics Committee
  • Former VISTA Volunteer
  • Volunteer, Highland Little League, 2014 to present
  • Former President and Board Member, Macalester Groveland Community Council

Pat Harris Recognized by the Community

  • Two-time Midwest Regional Emmy Award – Serving Our Troops
  • Red Cross Hero Award
  • Pat Harris Award (Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library – awarded for library service. Named after Pat Harris and to be awarded in the future for exemplary library service.)
  • Lifetime of Service Award, Catholic Charities
  • Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce H.E.R.B.I.E. Award for lifetime community service
  • Minnesota Meetings Magazine Inspiration Award
  • Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service
  • Civilian Service Award, U.S. National Guard
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, Minnesota VFW
  • Patrick Henry Award, National Guard Association
  • Minnesota National Guard Outstanding Service Award
  • Recognized by the Library Journal as one of two “Politicians Making a Difference” in the nation
  • Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans, Minnesota Jaycees
  • B. Warren Heart Community Service Award, Saint Paul Jaycees
  • Valedictorian Graduate of Cretin High School
Donate