Wedge LIVE Caucus Season Endorsements

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.

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“Strong Mayor” Label Won’t Fix Weak Mayor Problem

I have tweeted a variation of this sentiment countless times over the last several months:

Because this sad/confusing/hilarious joke occupies space in my brain at all times, it’s becoming my own personal conventional wisdom. But 2021 is more complicated than your average city election year. I’m a little concerned that people don’t get it. I’m worried a “strong mayor” charter amendment will end up on the ballot with some bland, inoffensive title like “government structure amendment” and people might vote for it.

In Minneapolis, the mayor has authority over the police department. As candidate, and soon-to-be Mayor, Jacob Frey explains in the above video from 2017: “That’s the mayor’s job. The police report exclusively to the chief, and the chief reports exclusively to the mayor.”

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52 Minneapolis candidates registered by DFL caucus deadline

DFL endorsement season begins April 1 with a month-long caucus process. There are 52 Minneapolis candidates (for 25 city offices) who registered by yesterday’s caucus deadline. Four candidates missed the deadline and were added later. This is a party endorsement process and does not affect a candidate’s ability to register for and appear on the ballot in November.

If you’d like to participate in the endorsement process, which includes the opportunity to become a delegate, you have three ways to register: online, by text, or by voicemail. The Minneapolis DFL is touting it as “the most accessible in Minneapolis history.”

Noteworthy items:

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Agenda 2021: Public Safety, Expanded Mayoral Power, Rent Stabilization, and Parking

Here’s a brief guide to the issues you may see on your ballot this November, as well as a few ordinances the City Council is working on.

Keep in mind the distinction between the city’s code of ordinances (laws) and the city charter (constitution). The charter is a framework for how city government is structured and sets the boundaries for what can be put into ordinance. For example, a rent stabilization charter amendment allows a future rent stabilization ordinance.

Charter amendments on the topics listed below are currently on track (though not certain) to be included on the ballot for voter approval this November. Ordinances on renter protections and parking minimums would not go on the ballot, but would need to be approved by the City Council.

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Who’s running in 2021? Here’s a list of Minneapolis City Council and Mayoral candidates.

This post was written in consultation with David Brauer’s breaking news spreadsheet that’s taken Minneapolis by storm. This post will be updated — though at a slower pace than the sheet. For live updates, and informed speculation, check the spreadsheet.

This page will only include candidates with a website of some kind or some official registration. I will strikethrough incumbents who are not running or candidates who drop out.

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Minneapolis Ward 6 Candidate Survey – Special Election, August 11, 2020

Due to a vacancy on the Minneapolis City Council (created by Abdi Warsame’s appointment as executive director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority), Ward 6 is having a special election. Though the election falls on primary day, it’s not a primary. The winner will fill the rest of Warsame’s term on the City Council through 2021. Election day is August 11. Voters are already casting early and absentee ballots.

A few weeks ago we sent some public safety related questions to all the candidates. We also pestered them with reminders. Five of the 11 candidates responded with answers:

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Minneapolis Council Committee Approves $58 Million in Phase I Budget Cuts

On Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council’s POGO Committee took the first step towards closing a projected $156 million budget shortfall by approving $58 million in cuts across all city departments. A final vote will happen at next Friday’s City Council meeting. To put the cuts in context, the city’s total budget for 2020 was approved last December at $1.6 billion.

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Minneapolis CPED Reappointment Gets Contentious, Despite Unanimous City Council Vote

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to reappoint David Frank as director of Community Planning & Economic Development. Despite the consensus, the issue managed to spark the most contentious city council meeting of the last two years.

Last Wednesday, the Council heard public testimony on Frank’s reappointment. Some, including the Mayor, praised Frank’s performance; others expressed a desire for the department to do even more to address the city’s racial and economic disparities.

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