Ben Olson is a creative and connected public affairs consultant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has extensive experience working on-behalf of a wide-range of clients including corporations, trade associations, non-profits, advocacy organizations, and professional organizations at the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis.
Ben employs a broad array of strategies that go beyond some narrow definitions of lobbying. He empowers his clients to become advocates in their own right and works with clients from across the political spectrum.
In 2015, Olson successfully led efforts to pass an ordinance in the City of Minneapolis and negotiate a new regulatory framework authorizing rideshare on behalf of Silicon Valley unicorn Lyft. Authored by CM Jacob Frey, the ordinance regulated rideshare differently from taxis on terms agreeable to both Uber and Lyft and has served as a model for other jurisdictions.
In 2011, Ben cofounded and was the driving force behind Open Streets Minneapolis, which started as a one-day, one-street event on Lyndale Ave South and has grown into eight events each summer. Ben led the passage of multiple ordinances and funding agreements through the Minneapolis City Council. The city now supports the events by providing the police and traffic-direction services at no cost. Through this work he was a founding board member of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (now Our Streets MPLS) where he served from 2011-2015.
Ben brings a creative and innovative approach to every campaign that combines tactics from lobbying, branding, marketing, public relations, campaigns, and information design. He has Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from Bethel University and a Masters of Arts in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.