I struggle with how often this needs to be pointed out. I haven’t written about it on this website in a while. It’s time for a refresher, because there are probably a lot of people who don’t realize Carol Becker is an elected official in Minneapolis. She’s a member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation (which is the often uncontested race at the end of your ballot in odd-year city elections). Even if just one person takes Carol Becker’s concern for “racial disparities” — published yesterday in the Star Tribune — at face value, that’s one person too many.
[If you want a point by point rebuttal to Carol Becker’s latest, here you go.]
Here are three perfect sentences towards the end of her piece that need some unpacking:
In response to some accusations being leveled against me by a Minneapolis elected official, it was necessary to draft this official response in the form of a Wedgipedia entry.
Who is Carol Becker?
Carol Becker is a member of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation.
What is the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET)?
The BET sets the city’s maximum tax levy and approves bond sales.
There are six members. Two members are elected directly to the BET, and receive nominal pay for each meeting (this is more like a glorified volunteer position). The other four members are: the city’s Mayor, the City Council President, a Parks commissioner, and the City Council’s Ways & Means Committee chair.
Does Carol Becker show bad judgment in performing her job on the BET?
The truth about what happened last week is that it was six years in the making. How did we get here? Who is responsible? Where will we park? Like nearly all stories worth telling, this one begins in the Wedge neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The legal effort to defend Wedge LIVE from Carol Becker has ended in victory. In a settlement reached late Monday, and fully executed yesterday, Becker has acknowledged my ownership of the name “Wedge LIVE.” Additionally, Becker has agreed that she will “never assert any claim to these marks in the future.” Other details of the settlement agreement must be kept confidential.
As a result, I have dismissed my lawsuit against Becker that was previously pending in Hennepin County District Court.
Every great battle to keep more people out of a neighborhood ends in a frivolous lawsuit. The heated debate over the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan is no exception. The city’s long-range plan is intended to help Minneapolis equitably accommodate the next 20 years of population growth by legalizing more homes across all parts of the city. Continue reading “Group Plans “Legal Action” Against Mpls 2040″
Wedge LIVE! anchor and managing editor John Edwards (and his newsbike).
Hi! I’m John Edwards. For the past four years I have been producer, writer, and all-around content creator for Wedge LIVE, a hyperlocal news source based in the Wedge neighborhood of Minneapolis (Twitter , Facebook , YouTube , wedgelive.com). In addition to general political coverage and analysis focusing on Minneapolis and St. Paul, I report on local housing and zoning issues in detail: attending neighborhood meetings, livetweeting planning meetings, and producing video content that I hope is both entertaining and educational.
I believe this, or something similar, is likely to happen again. If it’s not Carol Becker, it will be someone with similar aims. So I have begun a legal process. While I will continue to make jokes about this ridiculous situation, I’m also taking my position very seriously. I will do everything in my power to defend myself. I will not leave myself vulnerable to a person, or group of people, with the money and motivation to engage in an unlawful effort to shut down the platform I’ve spent more than four years building.
I’m starting this fund because people have asked me for a way to support Wedge LIVE! during this time (aside from a monthly Patreon contribution). I don’t entirely know what to expect from the legal process ahead, but I want to be prepared for it. To everyone who has asked how they can help: Thank you.
After a weekend of backlash, Becker indicated in a forum posting that she will temporarily back off. She said she “will be back in about six months” to try and take possession of the name “Wedge Live.”
It is my intention to take steps in the meantime that would prevent her from doing that. Here’s a countdown clock so we can all prepare.