Election 2018: Hennepin County Commissioner, District 3

(By request.)

Here are the two people on the ballot:

Marion Greene (Incumbent)
LaDonna Redmond

This race got disrupted pretty dramatically in September when LaDonna Redmond lost her child, Wade, to a drug overdose. Wade was one of two deaths in one short span of time at the Franklin Hiawatha Camp, and in the wake of this really awful tragedy, LaDonna suspended campaigning.

It’s not clear to me if she’d still like the job. My guess, based on my own experiences with grief, is that at this point she’s not even sure;¬†deciding whether she still wants the job is just too hard. Grief is awful, and all-consuming.

LaDonna seems like a really lovely, interesting person with a lot to contribute to the community and the world. Her platform talks about supporting the arts scene and investing in local food systems (as well as more typical topics like bail reform and affordable housing.) She has a long history of advocacy in food systems and availability, in part because Wade was born with a lot of food allergies; she works for Seward Co-op doing community education.

One hesitation I’d have about voting for LaDonna is that her site lists no endorsements. I look to endorsements in part as an indication that people who know how stuff gets done, think this person would be able to get stuff done. It’s possible that these would have materialized if she hadn’t suspended her campaign, but right now, I don’t see any on her site.

Marion Greene, the incumbent (originally elected in 2014) seems genuinely cool. She led the (successful) effort to create a fund to cover the cost of an immigration lawyer for Hennepin County residents who are facing deportation, if they can’t afford one; she’s an advocate for affordable housing; she was a vocal supporter of restoring the name of that big lake in Minneapolis to Bde Mka Ska. The fund to provide immigration lawyers is the biggest thing that sells me on her.

She’s got all the endorsements, starting with the DFL and including a long list of elected officials. I think I would vote for Marion Greene if I lived in Hennepin’s 3rd district.

Looking at Wade Redmond’s sweet face in LaDonna’s photos absolutely breaks my heart. Our community¬†has to do better for people who are struggling with addiction. I hope LaDonna Redmond is surrounded by love and care as she deals with this devastating loss.



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