2L Matt Little Elected Mayor of Lakeville, Minn.
NOVEMBER 9, 2012—Running under the slogan "It's time for a Little leadership," Matt Little (’14) was elected mayor of his hometown, Lakeville, Minn., on November 6. A Lakeville City Council member in his second year, Little took on two Council colleagues, each of whom had served for 12 years and one of them the incumbent mayor. When the ballots were tallied, Little came out on top with 43.9% of the 27,715 votes cast, versus 39% and 16.7% for his opponents.
The contest for the two-year leadership post in the rapidly growing city of 56,000, located about 25 miles south of the Twin Cites, was surprisingly intense. Little made use of modern social media as well as old-fashioned door-to-door appeals to rally support and raise funds. Plus, he exercised a method well known to law students: preparation.
He wrote a 17-page "2013-2104 City of Lakeville Policy Document" outlining his work on the City Council, his priorities for the future, and ways he proposed to meet his goals. With footnotes, of course. The main focus of the document, and his administration once he is sworn in this January, is "public safety, low property taxes, and job creation," he says.
Little completed his B.A. in American politics at the University of Minnesota-Morris in 2007. Before enrolling at the Law School, he worked as a debate coach at Rosemount (Minn.) High School and was an English language tutor for children of Karen immigrants from Myanmar. He continues his role as a family support worker and committee member on the Eagan and Lakeville Resource Centers Development Board and, until taking on his mayoral role, his service as a City Council member on the Downtown Lakeville Business Association, Public Safety Committee, Municipal Legislative Commission, and more.
By the time he takes office, Little will be 28, Lakeville's youngest ever mayor. His political involvement, he says, "is rooted in the idea that we should always look out for our neighbor." There’s no wrong age to get started on that.