Endorsement: Jason Chavez for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9

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.

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Vote No on Question 1, Reject Mayoral Power Grab in Minneapolis

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.

Our current city charter.
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Wedge Fest is October 2!

Join us this Saturday, October 2, 2021, from 2 to 6 pm for the first (annual?) WedgeFest! We’ll be at the south side of Mueller Park (2500 Bryant Ave S), somewhere in the grassy area.

WedgeFest is a celebration of authentic Wedge culture, hosted by Wedge LIVE, and soon to be known as our area’s largest root beer festival. This year’s WedgeFest will feature as many as dozens of varieties of root beer, from store brands to fancy brands. It’s also a chance to meet local candidates running for mayor, city council and other offices.

Cats are encouraged. Please bring root beer to share. The first 50 attendees will receive a limited edition WedgeFest button.

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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2021 Candidates for Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation

Editor’s note: In the months since this was first published, Christa Moseng has withdrawn her candidacy after taking a job that precludes her from engaging in political activity.

Pine Salica is the new Wedge LIVE endorsed candidate for Board of Estimate and Taxation.

There are two directly elected members of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation. This is an obscure body of city government whose most noteworthy function is setting the maximum property tax levy that can be collected by the city to provide services that residents rely on. Other members of the BET are these four elected officials: the Mayor, the City Council President, another Council representative (traditionally the Ways & Means chair), and a Park Board representative.

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Say Yes to Rent Stabilization in Minneapolis

A rent stabilization charter amendment could be coming to this year’s ballot in Minneapolis. You may be tempted to begin debating policy specifics — but that’s not what’s on the ballot. Because state law says Minneapolis can’t enact rent stabilization without voters first giving permission, the first step is simply saying yes to the concept. Developing the policy comes later.

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