If you’ve ever enjoyed a Wedge LIVE! video you may not realize the debt you owe to workers at Minneapolis City Hall who operate the cameras and make sure those videos make their way to YouTube. It’s been invaluable for me, and the journalism I do, that City Council meeting are recorded and broadcast to the public. Same goes for the Planning Commission.
I have taken Lisa Bender’s actual words and moved them around to form new meanings. Readers of the nextdoor website will surely want to tell their friends about this doctored video confirming everything they thought they knew about our City Council President.
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?
On Wednesday the Minneapolis Charter Commission was presented with a proposal to cut the number of city council seats from 13 to 9. The plan would also replace 3 district-based ward seats with at-large members elected by a citywide vote. This would reduce the number of wards (districts) by more than half — from 13 to 6.
Minneapolis’ City Clerk and top elections official, Casey Carl, spoke bluntly about the “wealth of research” showing the racist effects of such a radical change to the way voters elect members of the city council.
Carl added: “Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg stated that along with racial gerrymandering… at-large elections are the primary means of diluting the power of the vote and denying equal opportunity for minority voters and candidates.”
On Tuesday, the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee approved a proposal to raise the limit on rental scooters from 400 to 2,000. This number would be split between at least two, but no more than four scooter providers. The University of Minnesota campus had its own scooter pilot in 2018, which allowed up to 200 scooters.
In 1998 Mueller Park’s basketball court was cut in half after decades of racist complaints about basketball in the park. Over the years, neighbors made connections between basketball and crime; basketball and drug dealing; basketball and discomfort with strangers in the neighborhood. Concerned residents were quoted in the neighborhood newspaper saying things like: “ruffians”… “many of whom I do not recognize”… “descending on our park by the carload”… “music on full blast.”
A Park Board representative in the early 1980s admitted the obvious: “I do think some racism is involved.”