Election 2022: Minneapolis School Board, District 5

Confusingly, all the school districts in the state have district numbers (Minneapolis is District 1) but also Minneapolis is split into 6 geographical areas for Park Board and School District seats. This seat is on some ballots in South Minneapolis but not others. This was made extra confusing by redistricting — if you’re uncertain, you can view your sample ballot on the Secretary of State’s site by putting in your zip code and address. This seat is currently held by Nelson Inz, who is not running for re-election.

In District 1, Abdul Abdi is running unopposed. In District 3, Fathia Feerayarre is running unopposed. The School Board reps from Districts 2, 4, and 6 are not on the ballot this year; those seats will be up for election in 2024.

District 5 has two candidates:

Laurelle Myhra
Lori Norvelle

Laurelle Myhra is an Anishinabe woman who directs a wellness clinic; she’s a licensed family therapist and one of her top priorities is “culturally-relevant and trauma-informed education and curriculum.” She is vice chair of the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee.

One hesitation I had about her is that she describes herself as Christian on her first page, and that can be a red flag for anti-trans bigotry specifically. I e-mailed her to ask, and she responded to say, “I do not personally support discrimination of LGBT or any other marginalized group. In fact, I’m seeking endorsement by a LGBT advocacy group.” (I checked her endorsements and I don’t see that one, so I do not think she got it.)

Lori Norvelle was a middle-school math teacher until recently (and then burned out and quit). Prior to being a math teacher, she worked as a special education assistant and a substitute teacher. She’s also an MPS parent and her major priorities could kind of be summed up as “repairing the damage” (technically, that’s her second priority; her first is recruiting and retaining staff, but that’s totally also “repairing the damage,” I think, and her third priority is “reclaiming our success as a district” which on closer inspection of details like “careful research in advance of making decisions and allowing time for feedback,” I’d sum up as “trying not to break anything worse.”) I like these priorities. They make a lot of sense to me.

The thing I find most appealing about Laurelle is that she would bring expertise about trauma and recovery, which would be genuinely useful right now. But in this race, I would go ahead and prioritize experience in the classroom; I think, post-strike, that adding teachers and recent former teachers to the board is potentially a path toward healing. I have been thoroughly persuaded that more people coming from the teachers’ perspective on the Minneapolis school board would be a really good idea. Also, she seems to have a clear idea of where Minneapolis is as a district. I would vote for Lori Norvelle.

So a week or two back, it looked like WordPress had deleted most of my subscribers? But now it’s back to saying I have 10,143 instead of 473. But if you rely on e-mail to notify you I’ve posted, and this is the first post you’ve seen this year, you should know I’ve posted a bunch of other posts! Also, if you’re not a subscriber, plugging in your e-mail in the subscriber box (you may have to do this on desktop rather than phone) will get you an e-mail every time I post. That might not sound appealing, but if it does, now you know.

If you’d like to make a donation to encourage me to keep working on these, I am highlighting a science teacher at Sullivan STEAM magnet who needs some better computers so his students can actually program the cool robots they got. Or, you can donate to the Movement Voter fundraiser I created; I explained back in May why I’m fundraising for the Movement Voter PAC and the fundraiser is still active.

In addition to writing political commentary, I write science fiction and fantasy. My book that came out in April 2021, Chaos on CatNet, takes place in a future Minneapolis. It’s a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and signed copies of both books are usually available from Dreamhaven and the NOW REOPENED Uncle Hugo’s (it’s at 2716 E 31st St in Minneapolis, in the former Glass Endeavors.)


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