Mpls City Council: Ward 8

Ward 8 is currently represented by Elizabeth Glidden, but she decided not to run again. On the ballot:

Andrea Jenkins (DFL, endorsed)
Terry White (Green)
David Holsinger (Libertarian)
April Kane

This is the sort of straightforward race that’s almost as easy to write about as an uncontested seat. Vote for Andrea Jenkins! A long-time policy aide to Glidden, Andrea is sufficiently popular and beloved that despite the open seat, she was unopposed for endorsement.

If you want my full rundown, it’s below the cut.

April Kane

April Kane actually wrote “EinsLaw MN on Youtube” (yeah, “Einslaw,” she misspelled it on the form) as her website on her Affidavit of Candidacy. “Erin’s Law” is a law that was passed in a very half-assed way earlier this year that in proper form requires schools to spend an hour a year teaching young kids what sexual abuse is, and what to do if someone is abusing them. In Minnesota, they’re just “encouraging” schools to do this.

If you’re thinking, “teaching children about sexual abuse sounds like a fine idea but what does this have to do with the Minneapolis City Council,” your guess is as good as mine.

David Holsinger

David basically tackles three issues on his blog: the $15 minimum wage, policing, and housing. The minimum wage: bad, and should be repealed. (Taxes: also bad, obviously. I mean, he’s a Libertarian.) On policing, he takes a strong civil libertarian stance but not the “all police forces should simply be privatized” stance of the anarcho-capitalists.

Housing: okay. So, he thinks there’s absolutely no role for the city in providing affordable housing: “Providing affordable housing is fundamentally about increasing the overall supply of housing, which equates to higher density. At its most extreme, this leads to utilitarian and generally unattractive high-rise buildings that lead to an overall degradation in the landscape of the city. I am certain that most citizens would prefer to avoid this scenario.” So, providing affordable housing is about density, which is bad because it’s ugly. Later, in response to a question about a “first dibs” policy that would allow tenants to get together to match an offer on their building, he says, “I will not support any policy that allows the city to prevent the transfer of private property between entities in the market. This is a fundamental violation of the right to own property.” And then he goes on to compare this to serfdom.

You know, there are some libertarian approaches to the problem of affordable housing and I find it so weird that none of the Libertarian candidates in the city of Minneapolis have really gotten into the details. The libertarian approach is to say that the problem is that we’ve made it a huge pain to become a landlord and we need to dramatically reduce regulations on rental housing. If anyone in the city who wanted to rent out a spare bedroom (or finished basement or their garage) could do so without a hassle, we could dramatically increase the available housing. Some of it would undoubtedly be substandard or unsafe, but shouldn’t we trust individuals to make their own decisions about the conditions under which they want to live? I mean, I’m not saying I support any of these ideas (I am not a libertarian!) but that is the approach you take to solve this problem the libertarian way, and none of them are actually floating this! (If you’re trying to present it in a way that’s palatable, you focus on spare bedrooms in the homes of empty-nesters, and finished basements with egress windows.) You can also point out that zoning codes unjustly restrict what you can do with your property, and probably a lot of developers would be happy to build 6, 10, 15 story buildings, if the government just got out of their way and let them do it. (He’s not into that, though: it’s ugly. Or maybe he’s only not into ugly buildings when they’re built by the government? Again, though, he rails about “serfdom” if you require people to give their tenants the opportunity to buy a building before you sell it, but he doesn’t object to zoning laws that say “single family houses only on this block” or “nothing over four stories.”) Go figure.

Terry White

Terry White’s policy positions are almost identical to Andrea Jenkins, except with more focus on the city’s Climate Plan, and a bunch of complaints about this being a one-party town. (It is heavily though not entirely a one-party town, but it’s not like the City Council doesn’t have factions and disagreements.)

He has not held elected office and doesn’t appear to have much political experience beyond campaigning for some Green candidates. Asked who his heroes are, he lists Gandhi, but spells his name “Ghandi.” In his “why are you running” statement he lists things that have gone wrong in Minneapolis and includes “respect for the police has plummeted,” which made me stare in shock for a second before I concluded that he means that the police have done a lot of bad stuff, which has caused them to lose people’s respect. (At least, I think that’s what he’s saying is the problem; his platform is not a law-and-order just-do-what-the-officer-tells-you-and-STFU sort of platform.)

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins is a long-time policy aide to Elizabeth Glidden. She has a solidly progressive platform and would be another progressive voice on the City Council; she’d also bring a unique perspective as a Black trans woman. Bunches of my friends are excited enough that they’re door-knocking for her. I would absolutely vote for Andrea if I lived in this district. (I’d list Terry White as my #2, but I can’t imagine that will matter.)



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