Ward 7 stretches from downtown and Loring Park to Lowry Hill and Kenwood, all the way to Uptown. It’s more diverse than you might think, but has just enough votes in the swanky lakes area for it to feel like an insurmountable Lisa Goodman advantage.
I have strong feelings about Lisa Goodman. Please vote for Nick Kor. He’s smart and prepared. He shares my values on key issues of public safety, transportation, and housing. He’s the son of immigrants and an organizer who is running a strong campaign. But he’s still the scrappy underdog. Lisa Goodman might be immortal. She’s the longest serving member of the Minneapolis City Council — first elected in 1997.
Rather than write a love letter to Nick Kor, I will just urge you to read my frustrations with Lisa Goodman in the paragraphs below. I’m pretty confident Nick Kor won’t do those things.
Ward 13 incumbent Linea Palmisano could have easily cruised through 2021 without a serious opponent. Is Mike Norton that serious opponent? He’s a longshot, but with a campaign you can feel good supporting. Norton is straightforward about his positions. He makes pragmatic arguments for progressive policies — in a way that suits southwest Minneapolis.
Ward 3 is one where I would urge undecided voters to watch this candidate forum. Incumbent Steve Fletcher is the clear first choice. Michael Rainville is supposed to be the candidate of common sense, the law and order candidate with the famous family name. I spent an hour watching this and decided that Merv Moorhead, who I’d assumed was the kooky one, seemed reassuringly normal.
Katie Jones in Ward 10 is the strongest endorsement I will make this year. Here’s my assessment of Katie from earlier this year: “intellectually relentless, methodical, focused, and exactly the person I trust to attack a complicated problem.”
Our city has no shortage of problems. We need leaders like Katie Jones to take them on. Over the years I’ve watched Katie devote her considerable energy to our city in various roles — on sustainability, infrastructure, parks, and neighborhood leadership. I have worked alongside her and others on an effort to make Hennepin Avenue a neighborhood street that works better for everyone (something she’s put great effort into while running a campaign and working full time). She isn’t running to occupy a seat. She’s running to do the job. It’s a job she couldn’t be better suited for.
Andrew Johnson doesn’t always vote the way I wish he would, though we agree on a lot. He doesn’t stick his neck out to lead like the other south Minneapolis white guy I endorsed yesterday (which explains the peril Jeremy Schroeder finds himself in). But you can talk to him and you can tell that he cares about being seen as someone who engages and explains his positions in an intellectually honest way. He makes a solid case for the public safety charter amendment, which I recommend you read. Andrew Johnson is a fine council member.
You might be tempted to paint Ward 9 as another left vs. right, tough-on-crime vs. soft-on-crime city council race. But this one isn’t like the others. There are lots of candidates who I would suggest are wrong on the issues — but, among all the plausible contenders, there’s one candidate in Minneapolis I’d categorize as a scam.
If you are inclined to vote yes on Question 1 to change the structure of Minneapolis city government, first consider the problem you’re trying to solve. Is it about a particular example of dysfunction, abuse, corruption, or poor leadership that involves the police department? If it is, you should go read the part of the city charter that has always placed “complete power” over police in the hands of the mayor. As much as he’d like you to forget it right now, Jacob Frey knew this fact very well during his 2017 campaign for mayor.
Listen everyone, I didn’t want to do endorsements. It’s the DFL calendar forcing my hand. I’m otherwise happy to wait until fall. Even Tom Hoch put out a slate of Minneapolis candidates — so why should I stifle my voice? I have more to offer the world than Tom Hoch. So, yes I am offering my from-the-heart, too-much-time-spent-watching-local-government, Minneapolis DFL endorsements.