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Some might consider Heiko a socialite. A lot would consider his face familiar. He’s seemingly everywhere. If you live, work, dine or drink downtown there’s a good chance you’ll see Heiko within an establishment or trekking along Superior Street. He’s a staple in the nightlife, music and arts community and he even made a run for city council in this past election. Always drinking but rarely drunk, dressed to impress and usually up for conversation with strangers, Heiko is part of Duluth like B is part of PBR tall can. Heiko and I met up at a place that we both probably frequent to much. You can see him there carding people at that door before shows, putting wristbands on hipsters and when necessary, throwing people out.
MJ: How’d you get the name Heiko?
HE: It’s the name I picked for my German name in my high school German class in tenth grade. I was like 15. I picked Heiko cause I thought it was dumb. Little did I know it would start sticking. For like 20 years.
MJ: What do you do for a living?
HE: I basically eke my way by. I do shows here and there. Work for people, do whatever. I’m currently looking for a day job.
MJ: What made you decide to run for city council?
HE: I wanted to see what it was like going through that experience on a first hand basis. I wanted to see how the process worked before I could bitch about it. I wanted to see what the candidates went through. It was the best education I ever had. It’s really easy to bitch about politics without seeing what the candidates go through.
MJ: What issues would’ve taken most importance if you were to have been elected to city council?
HE: It’s seems that a lot of councilors go against there base. They say one thing and do another. Makes you wonder if there’s back room deals going on. I’m not going to presume that. It seems that the city officials are being given more control and that’s not a good thing.
MJ: What do you do in your free time?
HE: Plot. Scheme. Plan. Have fun. I like coffee. I like seeing what’s going on around town. If i’m not working I like to keep planning for different events and keep trying to make them better. I like to read. I enjoy going to the library and enjoying the silence. I enjoy music but that’s kind of a given.
MJ: What are you passionate about?
HE: Local things. Local music. Seeing local people rise above. I like that good neighborhood feeling. I like when everybody gets to know each other. Get to know your neighbors.
MJ: What’s your favorite thing about Duluth?
HE: The lake and the hills. But it’s the little things in the area that you get to explore. Like the quarry in West Duluth. That you wouldn’t know about unless you grew up in West Duluth. Skyline. Walking down to the end of Park Point past the airport. All the secret passages.
MJ: Have you noticed an increase in crazy people downtown over the years?
HE: Oh geez. It doesn’t seem like an increases, it’s just seems that the faces change. We need crazy people trading cards. That would be awesome. Oh crazy people downtown. Salty dog. He’d always be standing around downtown asking for money. Except that when he’d give you a dollar, he’d make fun of somebody of your choice that walked by in the next few moments. So he’d have people lined up to give him money so he’d make fun of people. They’re (the crazies) not violent though. But the insanity is definitely there.