Steve Lampi brought a strong resolve and quiet determination to his two-plus terms as Mayor of Brooklyn Park. It was with those same qualities that he fought his own personal battle against cancer in recent weeks, telling his family and residents “his passion for life will carry him through.”
Surrounded by his family, Mayor Lampi succumbed to the disease Saturday, less than four weeks after first learning of his surprise diagnosis.
“Steve was a strong leader for our community,” said Mike Trepanier, Central District Council Member and now the acting mayor. “He presided with dignity always and treated everyone with fairness and respect. Beyond his role as mayor, he was a good friend. I will miss him dearly.”
Lampi, 56, was recently re-elected to a third term as Mayor of Minnesota’s sixth largest city in November of 2010. He was first elected to the seat in 2002. Working with the members of the City Council, his accomplishments were many. Among the most significant were securing federal funding for the under-construction extension of Highway 610 from Brooklyn Park to Maple Grove, redevelopment of the Brooklyn Boulevard and Zane Avenue area, stabilizing the community’s neighborhoods through strong housing and code enforcement programs and improving safety in the community through projects such as the opening of the new Village Creek Community Police Station.
Mayor Lampi had leadership roles and was active in the North Metro Mayor’s Association, Metro Cities, Regional Council of Mayors, Minneapolis Northwest (formerly Visit Minneapolis North), North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce and many other community and intergovernmental organizations.
He was a strong advocate for Liberian immigrants and New Americans of all origins in the City. Lampi was known as a consensus builder, able to bring people together to make difficult decisions. It was that reputation that forged two of his greatest successes.
Lampi partnered with Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson to be the driving forces behind the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance, a joint powers organization bringing together the two cities, educational institutions, Hennepin County and community organizations to confront head-on the conditions that challenge youth in the community. The Alliance aims to tear down barriers that undermine youth achievement and lead to adverse community impacts. His commitment to youth was core to his work in recent years.
Mayor Lampi was also instrumental in the city’s newly begun community engagement initiative and mission: Brooklyn Park, a thriving community inspiring pride where opportunities exist for all. Lampi knew that truly successful communities rely on every member taking responsibility for the work of building community. He was excited to see it taking root in Brooklyn Park.
In addition to being Mayor, Steve Lampi was owner and president of Bridgeman’s, Inc. He is survived by his wife Kathy and their three adult children.
Funeral services for Mayor Lampi will be held at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 7025 Halifax Ave. N. in Brooklyn Center, on Friday, March 4 at 11 a.m. The funeral will be preceded by a one-hour visitation beginning at 10 a.m.
Visitation is also scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 4 to 8 p.m. in the Clubhouse at Edinburgh USA Golf Course, with a memorial service to begin at 7 p.m. Edinburgh USA is located at 8700 Edinbrook Crossing in Brooklyn Park.
Memorials can be sent to: Brooklyn Park Community Foundation,
Attn: Steve Lampi Scholarship Fund Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
About Wynfred Russell
Wynfred Russell is a former faculty of the Department of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where for six years he taught African history and culture. He has also taught African history and multicultural education at North Hennepin Community College and Century College. Russell is currently the Director of Normandale Community College's Center for Multicultural Services.