Minneapolis Business Group’s “New 612” Logo Depicts Houston Skyline

A newly formed political coalition called “A New 612,” led and funded by downtown Minneapolis business interests — including the Downtown Council and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce — has unveiled a logo depicting the skyline of Houston, Texas. Readers may recognize “612” as the area code for Minneapolis. If you place a phone call to Houston, you are likely to use the prefix “713.”

To make Houston appear more Minneapolis, icons like the Witch’s Hat water tower, the Capri Theater, and a sailboat were pasted on top of Houston. A few of Houston’s buildings appear to have been rearranged. One Houston building appears twice.

How did we break this story? Yesterday morning I received a tip from a reader, which included a link to a file called “city-clipart-montreal-6.png.” But I was skeptical. I couldn’t find any pictures of Montreal that looked like this skyline. I told my source to find me more clipart: “If you’re going to break a clipart story you need two sources.”

Caption: Integrity, ethics, excellence.

The skyline controversy comes just days after it was revealed by twitter user Carin Mrotz that the organization’s website used an 80s-era photo as part of their campaign to make Minneapolis new again.

The business community’s last effort at influencing an election year conversation was Minneapolis Works! in 2017. They spent $273,000 on poorly designed mailers boosting a slate of more conservative City Council candidates, like incumbent Council President Barb Johnson. Johnson, one of three members of her family to hold the Ward 4 seat since the mid-1970s (continuously!), lost the election.

It’s yet to be seen what form the business community’s involvement in this year’s Minneapolis election will take. We will continue to follow this story.