Robin Wonsley

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Robin Wonsley
Member of the Minneapolis City Council from the 2nd Ward
Assumed office
January 3, 2022
Preceded byCam Gordon
Personal details
Robin Wonsley

1991 (age 32–33)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Socialist[1]
ResidenceSeward, Minneapolis
EducationCarleton College
St. Thomas University
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
WebsiteWard 2 - Robin Wonsley

Robin Wonsley (born 1991) is an American activist and politician of the Democratic Socialists of America who has been a member of the Minneapolis City Council from the 2nd Ward since 2021.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Wonsley was born in Chicago in 1991 and grew up on the South Side. She attended Carleton College as a Posse Foundation[3] Scholar and graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies.[4] After graduation, she was awarded a Watson Fellowship that supported her travel to Canada, Australia, South Africa and Ireland, where she studied criminal justice policies and practices.[4] She moved to Minneapolis in 2014 and became the program coordinator for the University of Minnesota Women's Center and a board member for Restorative Justice Community Action.[5]

She completed a mini MBA in Nonprofit Management from St. Thomas University in 2015[6] and began a Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota in 2018.[7] During her Ph.D. program, she conducted research on housing and racial disparities in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department.[5][8]


After the 2015 killing of Jamar Clark by police officers in Minneapolis, she became politically active over the next several years, including in the Black Lives Matter movement and Fight for $15 organizing efforts to raise the minimum wage in the city.[7][5] She joined the Twin Cities chapter of Democratic Socialists of America in March 2020.[9] In the summer of 2020, she participated in the George Floyd protests.[10] She also became an organizer in the defund the police movement, an effort to reallocate some community resources towards crime prevention services and programs.[10]

Minneapolis City Council[edit]

In 2021, she became the first Black Democratic Socialist to win a seat on the Minneapolis City Council after she defeated 14 year incumbent Cam Gordon, a member of the Green Party of Minnesota.[9][11][12] The election also became the first time Minneapolis elected a majority of people of color to the city council.[13][14]

Wonsley represents the 2nd Ward,[13] which includes the neighborhoods of Cedar-Riverside, Como, Cooper, Longfellow, Prospect Park, Seward, and the University District.[1] After the election, she identified housing as a major issue for the ward, and rent control as one of her policy priorities.[14] She also advocated for the development of policy to address encampments in Minneapolis and the needs of encampment residents[15][16] and joined four other councilmembers in supporting the development of a rent control policy.[17] In January 2022, she called for a stop to evictions from homeless encampments, and was joined at a protest against eviction at the Near North homeless encampment by councilmembers Elliot Payne, Jeremiah Ellison, Jason Chavez, and Aisha Chughtai.[16]

As of January 2024, Wonsley serves as the chair of the Administration & Enterprise Oversight Committee and the vice-chair of the Public Health & Safety Committee.[18]

Personal life[edit]

She resides in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.[14]


  1. ^ a b "A guide to the 2021 Minneapolis mayor and City Council candidates". Star Tribune. October 1, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "About Robin Wonsley". Retrieved October 4, 2023.
  3. ^ Wonsley, Robin (May 6, 2020). "The Revolution is My Boyfriend". Minneapolis Interview Project. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Robin Wonsley Worlobah". Carleton Global Engagement. Carleton College. Archived from the original on January 20, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Hendrickson, Samantha (March 4, 2021). "Minneapolis Ward 2 City Council challenger brings grassroots approach to change". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  6. ^ "About Robin Wonsley". The City of Minneapolis. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Duggan, JD (August 18, 2021). "Minneapolis' Ward 2 has two strong third-party candidates running for City Council. They agree that capitalism is failing people". Sahan Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  8. ^ Stambaugh, Evan (March 27, 2022). "Minneapolis Council Member Wants to Consider a City 'Without Police'". Tennessee Star. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Birnstengel, Grace; Collins, Jon (November 9, 2021). "Socialism comes to the Minneapolis City Council". MPR News. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Michaels, Samantha (August 19, 2021). ""Defund the Police" Was a Rallying Cry in 2020. Minneapolis Is About to Vote on What That Means". Mother Jones. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  11. ^ "Minneapolis, St. Paul election results 2021: Mayor, city council, charter amendments, other local races". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Navratil, Liz (December 1, 2021). "Robin Wonsley once again declared winner after recount in Minneapolis council race". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Du, Susan (November 3, 2021). "A Minneapolis first: Candidates of color win a majority of City Council seats". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c King, RB (December 22, 2021). "Mpls City Council newcomer Robin Wonsley lays out her vision". Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Moini, Nina (January 14, 2022). "2020 Minneapolis park encampments". MPR News. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Feland, Hayley (January 24, 2022). "Newly Elected Minneapolis Council Member Makes Statement After Defending Homeless Encampment from Eviction". Tennessee Star. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  17. ^ Mahamud, Faiza (January 13, 2022). "Minneapolis council debate on rent control starts to take shape". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  18. ^ Minneapolis, City of (January 8, 2024). "City Council organizes for new term". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 11, 2024.