Election 2018: Hennepin County Commissioner, District 4

I wrote about this race in the primary but wanted to revisit it in the general election. Again, the candidates running are:

Peter McLaughlin
Angela Conley

One of the things that’s been really striking to me since partway through the summer is how excited some of my friends are about Angela Conley. For example, my friend Elise, who deals with chronic pain and access challenges, stayed at the County DFL Convention until the bitter, bitter end in the hopes of endorsing Angela:

(The convention ended in no endorsement after ten ballots, when they had to leave the building. Angela had 57% of the vote, almost but not quite enough for endorsement.)

I talked to Angela last week on the phone and I can understand now why people are so excited. I asked her to tell me about what she was most excited to work on if she won the election and she started talking about homelessness and affordable housing. She was knowledgeable and enthusiastic and committed, and she’s also someone who has relevant lived experience.

Talking to Angela felt like talking to one of my really smart, engaged, knowledgeable friends, which is not a feeling I get very often when talking to people running for office. (Even when I like the person running for office!)

Anyway: her top priority is affordable housing and addressing homelessness. I asked her what she thought about Heading Home Hennepin, which was a project that had the goal of solving homelessness in ten years (homelessness was up slightly when it ended) and she sighed and said it had accomplished some good things, but that even as the county made some good, much-needed changes to systems of allocating shelter beds, they weren’t adding any shelter beds even though demand was going up, so yeah.

I don’t hate Peter McLaughlin: he’s done a mix of stuff I loathe (ballpark funding) and stuff I like (Greenway funding). (I wrote about him in some detail for the primary and in 2014, so I’m not going to recap it all here.) But I am really excited about Angela Conley and I hope my readers in Hennepin County will vote for her!



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