December 10, 2012 by Sarah M
By Nick Halter
Bicycling advocate and cancer survivor Lisa Bender announced today she is joining a growing list of candidates to run against incumbent Meg Tuthill for the city’s Ward 10 Council seat.
Bender, 34, founded the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and serves on the city’s bicycle advisory committee. She works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation as a coordinator helping communities make it safer for kids to bike and walk to school.
Before that, she worked for the San Francisco Planning Department as an urban designer.
“I’ve been working for the past decade with cities to help them become more healthy and vibrant,” Bender said in an interview today. “I am really excited about the potential for working with my neighbors and serving my community on the City Council.”
Bender and her husband Ryan bought a home in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood in 2009. She grew up in the northern suburbs. Both have served on the neighborhood association’s board, and Ryan is serving as president.
A couple years ago, Bender was 12 weeks pregnant with the couple’s first baby when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the final seven months of her pregnancy, Bender underwent surgery and chemotherapy, but was able to deliver a healthy daughter. She’s been cancer-free since.
Bender’s story of battling cancer made was originally featured on msnbc.com, but ended up getting aired on the Today Show and NBC Nightly News.
“I’m not sure I ever would have run for City Council had I not been through that experience,” she said. “It’s really hard to articulate how profoundly the experience has affected me, but I would say I live every day with joy and gratitude and with intention, and things that would have seemed like risks before – or were stressful before — don’t seem so anymore.”
Bender is one of four challengers to have announced campaigns in Ward 10. She joins Kendal Killian, Ken Bradley and Nate Griggs.
“I think Ward 10 is a unique place within our city, and it doesn’t surprise me that so many people want to be part of the conversation about the future of our neighborhoods,” Bender said. “We have so much potential for our neighborhood, so I really look forward to talking with candidates about our ideas for the future.”