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.
A reader writes to ask if the downtown business community has created a logo with a generic downtown skyline. Do any of these buildings exist in Minneapolis? (aside from the Capri and the Witch’s Hat) pic.twitter.com/JCNO2FVUbk— Wedge LIVE!™ (@WedgeLIVE) February 13, 2021
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.”
It all checks out. Thank you to the team of investigators who connected the dots and drew lines on this image. Minneapolis is not Houston. pic.twitter.com/EUEVPWxDnx— Wedge LIVE!™ (@WedgeLIVE) February 14, 2021
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.