Melvin Carter (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Melvin Carter
St Paul Mayor, Melvin Carter at Red Bull Crashed Ice, St Paul MN (39768482221) (cropped1).jpg
55th Mayor of St. Paul
Assumed office
January 2, 2018
Preceded byChris Coleman
Member of the Saint Paul City Council
from the 1st ward
In office
January 2008 – July 2013
Preceded byDebbie Montgomery
Succeeded byNathaniel Khaliq (interim)
Personal details
Melvin Whitfield Carter III

(1979-01-08) January 8, 1979 (age 42)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sakeena Futrell
EducationFlorida A&M University (BS)
University of Minnesota (MPP)
WebsiteGovernment website Campaign website

Melvin Whitfield Carter III (born January 8, 1979) is an American politician and member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party who has served as mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 2018.[1] Elected to his first term in November 2017, Carter is the 55th mayor of Minnesota's capital city and its first African American mayor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Carter in 2018

Carter was born in the Rondo Neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the son of Toni Carter, a Ramsey County commissioner, and Melvin Whitfield Carter, Jr., a now-retired St. Paul police officer. Carter is a fourth-generation Saint Paul resident. He is a graduate of Saint Paul Central High School and was an UMTYMP (University of Minnesota Talented Youth in Mathematics Program) student through junior high and high school.[3] Carter earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida A&M University. During his time at FAMU, Carter became a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Carter earned a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota.


Prior to his election as mayor, Carter served as a Saint Paul City Council member from 2008 to 2013 and vice-chair of the council.

He also served as founding-board chair of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, and as executive director of the Minnesota Children's Cabinet, advising former Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy.[4] He also was an adjunct faculty member at University of Minnesota-Duluth where he taught classes on campaigns and elections at the graduate level.[5]

Mayor of St. Paul[edit]

During his tenure as mayor, Carter was instrumental in raising the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour. He also established the Office of Financial Empowerment.[6] He launched CollegeBound Saint Paul, the City's college savings account program,[7] and the People's Prosperity Pilot, a guaranteed income program that offers 150 families with $500 per month for 18 months.[8]

He also served on the steering committee of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a consortium of American mayors advocating for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, he re-established the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. He managed revitalization efforts of the Saint Paul riverfront and "Ford Site," the location of a former Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Highland Park is scheduled to be redeveloped into a mixed-use housing and retail center.[9] Carter eliminated the practice of collecting late fees in St. Paul public libraries[10] and spearheaded the Families First Housing Pilot program.

Personal life[edit]

Carter resides in the Rondo Neighborhood of Saint Paul with his wife, Sakeena Futrell-Carter, and their children.[11]

Carter is a cousin of professional football player Kenjon Barner.


Saint Paul Mayoral Election Results (First Choice) - 2017[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Melvin Carter III 31,353 50.86
Nonpartisan Pat Harris 15,281 24.79
Nonpartisan Dai Thao 7,590 12.31
Nonpartisan Elizabeth Dickinson 2,927 4.75
Nonpartisan Tom Goldstein 2,360 3.83
Nonpartisan Other candidates 2,135 3.46
Total votes 61,646 100.00


  1. ^ "Melvin Carter sworn in as St. Paul's first new mayor in 12 years; Frey takes office in Minneapolis". Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Melvin Carter elected St. Paul's first African-American mayor". November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "About the Mayor". Saint Paul, Minnesota. November 10, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "About | Melvin Carter". Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Drousie, Émile (April 1, 2018). "Melvin Carter (1979- )". Black Past. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Minimum Wage". Saint Paul, Minnesota. December 18, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "St. Paul set to kickstart a college savings account for every newborn". MinnPost. December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "EDITORIAL | St. Paul to provide low income families with $500 per month cash payments". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ford Site: A 21st Century Community". Saint Paul, Minnesota. October 19, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Ibrahim, Mohamed. "St. Paul libraries see a boost after going fine-free". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Hobbes, Dwight (March 7, 2020). "St. Paul's Mayor Carter rejects simple answers to gun violence". Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "MN Election Results". Retrieved November 10, 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Coleman
Mayor of St. Paul