There are four candidates on the ballot:
tl;dr vote for Elliot Payne.
Kevin Reich has been on the council since 2010 and I’ve never been a fan. This cycle, he’s endorsed by the pro-cop group Operation Safety Now, although he doesn’t list it on his site. He does list the endorsement of the Senior DFL caucus (who overlaps heavily with OSN in terms of priorities and endorsements) despite the fact that you’re not supposed to claim endorsement from DFL subcaucuses if the DFL as a whole has endorsed someone else in the race. (I am torn between being bothered by this, and appreciating the easily-spotted warning label.)
In the June 2020, there was a community meeting to discuss policing at Powderhorn Park, which Reich skipped. At the time he claimed he couldn’t make it. Now he frames it as a principled decision: “I was one of only three City Council Members not on the stage in Powderhorn Park last summer to call for the disbanding of the Minneapolis Police Department. I stand by my decision not to rush to calling for the defunding or abolishing of the police even at a time when it was politically expedient to do so.” Anyway, I stand by my decision in 2017 to suggest voting for Kevin Reich’s opponent, and I’m endorsing his opponent this year, too.
Elliott Payne is endorsed by the DFL plus basically every progressive org in Minneapolis. MN350 said he was a “climate champion.” He has solid policy ideas and experience working in policy. And he decided to run against Reich in part because Reich couldn’t even be reached for comment after blowing off that gathering at Powderhorn.
Calvin Carpenter’s only website is a Facebook page that says he’s running for 60A State Rep (he’s posting regularly but hasn’t updated the office he’s running for) and his positions are a mix of “sure, okay” (“Help families to come together and raise their children to become better citizens”), “huh?” (“Let start practicing group economics”) and “NOPE” (“Put God back into our schools and our lives.”) He’s affiliated with the Veteran’s Party, which is basically what you’d get if your blowhard brother-in-law’s Facebook page were a political party.
Thomas Wortman has no web page, no Facebook page, absolutely zero online presence other than his affidavit of candidacy (on which he claims to be a DFLer), and yet somehow he has yard signs. I couldn’t even find a LinkedIn for him.
Anyway: vote for Elliott Payne! He sounds great!
Did you know that I had a book released this April? Chaos on CatNet is a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and takes place in a future Minneapolis. Signed copies are usually available from Dreamhaven and from the current mail-order-only incarnation of Uncle Hugo’s. Books make great holiday gifts, but should be ordered early this year — Tubby & Coo’s bookstore explains why.
I do not have a Patreon or Ko-Fi, but you can make a donation to encourage my work! I get a lot of satisfaction watching fundraisers I highlight getting funded. My readers have now bought a refrigerator for the school nurse at Olson Middle School, and outfitted some 8th grade Algebra students with binders to stay organized. Here are some other worthwhile fundraisers for high-poverty Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools:
An art teacher at Andersen United middle school is starting a ceramics program and needs a pug mill to recycle dried out clay back into usable clay. (Over time, they’ll save a lot of money on clay if they have this!)
The North High School librarian would like copies of We Are Not From Here for students to read in 9th grade English class.
And a teacher at Whittier would like an air purifier to reduce COVID risks in her elementary school classroom as is recommended by the EPA in conjunction with other measures. Why is that something a teacher has to fundraise for? WTF? anyway apparently this is something she has to fundraise for.