“The growth of effective strategic partnerships is among the most exciting and dynamic approaches to problem-solving that has emerged during my tenure as a County Commissioner. Through my involvement in numerous initiatives, I have learned the importance of mobilizing the strengths of the public and private sectors, and the community. With any initiative, success requires a clear, bold vision, workable strategies to make the vision a reality, and a deep sense of optimism in the face of barriers and cynicism. The Midtown Community Works Partnership is a great example of the effectiveness of this model. The partnership spans the spectrum of Greenway’s stakeholders—active community members; a strong presence from the various public entities; and enthusiastic and committed representatives from the private sector. As the public sector works to deliver more to its citizens on an ever-tightening budget, we are grateful for the additional talent, enthusiasm, and resources available to us through our strategic partnerships.
“As we work toward revitalizing our south Minneapolis neighborhoods, we must remain mindful that development cannot occur in isolation, and that we must find new and innovative ways of reconnecting these communities to the broader regional economy. A key component to our strategy is fostering infrastructure and transit-oriented development that remains focused on the needs of the communities it serves. The Hiawatha LRT line, new freeway access to and from
I-35W, and improvements to Lake Street are all important to achieving this goal. In addition to its obvious potential as a unique urban asset, the Midtown Greenway also has an important role to play. By providing a connection to the larger regional transit system, for instance, the Greenway will enable neighborhood residents to “reverse commute” and take advantage of employment opportunities in the southern suburbs. I am glad to join with the MCW strategic partners to help work on projects that will realize positive results for the people who live and work in Minneapolis." - Peter McLaughlin


Hennepin County Service

  • Commissioner, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
  • Vice Chair, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority; active proponent of regional transportation policy to support communities of the future
  • Chair, Environment and General Government Committee
  • Co-Chair, Intergovernmental Relations Committee
  • Member, Joint Committee on Community Corrections
  • Member, all committees of Hennepin County Board 

Hennepin County Achievements

  • Won approval for several bold actions to combat crime, including: Creation of a drug court; expanded use of juvenile work squads and adult Sentence To Serve work crews; building new jail cells; additional juvenile detention beds; putting inmates to work and working closely with the District Court on the Adult Gun Policy and the Juvenile Gun Education Program. 
  • Promoted Community building efforts which include: Sabathani - Helping Families Help Themselves; American Indian Community Collaborative (AICC); West Broadway Village Social Services; STRIDE Project in Hawthorne; CAPS Program - Community Alternative Probation; Commonweal (Currency Exchange Network) 
  • Initiated creation of community service jobs in neighborhoods. Launched county cooperation in with an enterprise of private small business and non-profit agencies to provide transportation for unemployed city residents to suburban jobs, a model of reverse commute.
  • Led reforms of county budgeting process that now give staff direction from the Board of Commissioners and the public early, before decisions are made, through strategic planning, clearer goal setting, the county's first mission and vision statements, and creation of Town Meetings for public dialogue. 
  • Initiated creation of Five Year Strategic Financial Plan as a budgeting tool to give better information as basis for longer term planning. 
  • Slowed growth of government and held county property tax increases to cost of living or less since joining the Board. 
  • Initiated major evaluation effort to review all county operations and contracts with a goal of measuring the success of activities and to ensure the most productive use of tax dollars.
  • Dramatically increased funding for sliding fee child care. 
  • Led development of Hennepin County Solid Waste Master Plan, nationally recognized for its well integrated, environmentally protective and fiscally sound management. 
  • Led efforts to open Stone Arch Bridge for use by citizens through successful partnership with city and state governments. Participated in bridge renovation and interpretive trails development. 
  • Made the county a full partner in the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). 
  • Expanded resources and support for volunteers in Hennepin County. 
  • Substantial ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) improvements to county facilities. 
  • Helped to develop comprehensive bicycle transportation plan. Provided county funding for 29th Street Greenway, a bike trail and green space that will run from France Avenue to the Mississippi River. 
  • Reduced mercury emissions from garbage burner/resource recovery facility by 90 percent. 

Current Intergovernmental Service 

  • Chair, National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban Counties Caucus
  • Member and Sub-committee Chair, NACo Member Services Committee
  • Member, NACo Globilization Advisory Committee
  • Member, Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Executive Committee
  • Chair, AMC Legislative Steering Committee
  • Member, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
  • Vice-Chair, Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (7-county) 
  • Chair, Metropolitan LRT Joint Powers Board (7-county) 
  • Member, Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) Policy Board
  • Member, St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board
  • Immediate Past President, Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), 1997

Current Community Service

  • Chair, Healthy Powderhorn Community Resource Investment Board
  • Member, Minneapolis Youth Trust
  • Member and past Chair, PRG, a non-profit housing development corporation
  • Member, New Workforce Policy Council


  • Hennepin County Commissioner, 1991-present
  • Chair, Hennepin County Board, 1995-1996
  • Faculty Member, Metropolitan State University, 1980-1994
  • State Representative, 1985-1990, House Assistant Majority Leader
  • Executive Director, Minneapolis Community Business Employment Alliance, 1983-1985
  • Research and Operations Director, Urban Coalition of Minneapolis, 1977-1983
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1971
  • M.A., Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 1977

Major Legislative Achievements 1984-1990

  • State Jobs Program (MEED), Chief Author
  • State Dislocated Worker Program, Chief Author
  • Improvements in Youth Employment Program and State Job Service Legislation, Chief Author
  • Parental Leave, Chief Author
  • Increase in state childcare credit, Chief Author
  • Mandatory neighborhood reinvestment and reporting requirements for banks engaged in interstate banking, Chief Author

Former Legislative Committees (partial list) 

  • Member, Tax Committee; Chair, Tax Laws Subcommittee
  • Member, Economic Development Committee; Chair, Job Training & Retraining Subcommittee
  • Co-Chair & Founder, House DFL Caucus Committee on Families