Election 2020: Special Election, State Representative District 60A

You were probably not expecting to see an elections post from me at least until February, but as it happens, State House District 60A is having a special election due to the death of Rep. Diane Loeffler. The Special Primary election will be held on January 21st — and, just to be clear, that’s where the action is. Twelve people have filed to run for this seat. Eleven of them are DFLers. The remaining person running is from the Legal Marijuana Now party. The primary will be intense and competitive. I think it is quite likely that unless something very strange happens, whichever DFLer wins the primary will coast to victory in the general on February 4th. 

I’m going to do a full writeup of the primary candidates later this month, but for now, having tracked down everyone’s website, I wanted to provide the list of candidates and where to find them online.

Here’s who’s running, with links to websites. If you have information on a website that I missed, please drop me a comment with the URL and I will edit.

Piyali Nath Dalal
Mohamed Issa Barre
Sydney Jordan
Saciido Shaie
Zachary Wefel
Susan Whitaker
Aaron Neumann
Jessica Intermill
Aswar Rahman
Amal Ibrahim
Sonia Neculescu

Also, Marty Super of the Legal Marijuana Now party will be on the ballot facing whichever DFLer wins the primary. I have not found a website for him yet.

This is a state legislative election, and not a city election, so it will not be done instant-runoff style. You will get to pick one, and whoever gets the most votes wins.

Edited 1/12 to add: a candidate forum was held and everyone other than Mohamed Barre attended. You can view it on Facebook:

Part One
Part Two

Part One, you probably want to skip about 20 minutes in to get to the actual forum. There are some sound issues early on but they got straightened out pretty quickly.

The local DFL also requested that the candidates all fill out a questionnaire with some detailed questions about their beliefs and policy ideas. Everyone other than Mohamed Barre completed the questionnaire, and you can find their answers on the Senate District 60 DFL site.

(Am I going to write about the Democratic presidential primary? Of course. But I’m waiting until after New Hampshire votes to write about it. Our primary — we have a primary this year! — will be held on Super Tuesday, March 3rd.)

By the way, my new book is NOW OUT.  Catfishing on CatNet, which is a near-future young adult thriller, got stars from both Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. It is widely available at various local independent bookstores, and Uncle Hugo’s will let you order a signed copy. If you’re looking at this on December 12th, 13th, or 14th, you might find it useful to know that I’ll be doing an event (reading and then signing) at Dreamhaven Books, 2301 E. 38th St. Minneapolis, MN 55407, on Saturday, December 14th, 2-3 p.m. (If you’re seeing this after the 14th, you can probably also order a signed copy from Dreamhaven.)

Gifts for People You Hate, 2019

Earlier this month, Captain Awkward had a letter from someone whose crappy sister and brother-in-law was giving her deliberately bad gifts. Not in a “let’s exchange gag gifts” kind of way, either, they gave her a bunch of obviously used DVDs for shows she’s not interested in for her birthday

I actually clicked on that with real trepidation — worried that this might be someone who had clearly read my suggestions and implemented them but for a perfectly nice person (the sort of person who reads Captain Awkward!) Fortunately for my own peace of mind, it was clearly someone who was adhering more to the “open declaration of war” approach. These were not subtly bad gifts.

But just to be clear: please do not use these suggestions to bully perfectly nice people instead of having an adult conversation that goes, “hey, can we just agree not to exchange gifts among adults? I would love to get together for the dinner and skip the present-opening, could we maybe all make a donation toward [some mutually agreeable cause]?”

No, this is a guide for people who have to buy a gift for the sister-in-law who refuses to make any vegetarian/gluten free/edible-to-you food at the big family Christmas dinner other than carrot sticks. Or for those who need a present for one of those Theoretically-Optional-But-Actually-Totally-Mandatory office events, and you drew the name of that person who puts microwave popcorn in the office microwave, enters the 4 and a half minutes the packages always claim it’s going to take, and then nips off to the bathroom. Or maybe you’re Tiffany Trump and shopping for your father. There are, let’s be honest, people who deserve bad presents.

Annual disclaimer: I don’t have to give gifts to anyone I don’t like; this list was inspired by the traumas of friends. If I’ve ever given you a gift that was terrible, it was genuine cluelessness on my part and I really was trying to get you a present you’d like. (This sort of cluelessness is super common, and provides everyone else with crucial plausible deniability when choosing gifts inspired by this list.) Also, if you give me presents, I promise I am not scrutinizing them for signs that you secretly hate me; I’m thinking “oh wow, a PRESENT.”

ON TO THE LIST.

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Upcoming Book-Related Events

My new book, CATFISHING ON CATNET, is coming out on November 19th, which is in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. I have several related upcoming events that local people (and even non-local-people) might be interested in.

Thursday, November 21st, 7-8 p.m. – Sci-Fi Night at Magers & Quinn with Sue Burke, Naomi Kritzer, and Marissa Lingen 

Sue Burke will be reading from her book INTERFERENCE, in which we’ve met intelligent aliens and they are plants. Marissa Lingen will be reading a short story about genetically-engineered modern-day mastodons. I will be reading from CATFISHING ON CATNET. We’ll do some Q&A, and we’ll be happy to sign your copies of our work. It will be fun! Magers & Quinn is at 3038 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408.

Find out more about this event at the Magers & Quinn Events page.

Friday, November 22nd, 7-8:30 p.m. – The Loft Presents If: Catfishing on Catnet: Naomi Kritzer with Kelly Barnhill

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Kelly Barnhill is a Newbery-medal-winning author of middle grade fiction and also a friend of mine. We’re going to sit on a stage and chat about books, writing, Internet privacy, online friendship, and any other topics that strike our fancy (if you’d like to come and have any topics you’re itching to have us cover, leave a comment or send me an e-mail?) There will also be a SLIDE SHOW OF CAT PICTURES, so if we get boring, you can just stare at the cat pictures and think “awwwwwwwwwww!” (Cat pictured: a random very friendly cat we met in Iceland.)

This is a ticketed event. Tickets are available from the Loft website.  The event will be at Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55415. Books will be available for purchase at the event, and we will be happy to sign things.

Saturday, November 23rd, 1-2 p.m. – Signing at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Books.

This is just a signing, but — note, out-of-town readers! — you can put in an order for the book at Uncle Hugo’s, let them know how you want it signed (like, do you want it signed to Jane Smith or do you just want a signature), and they’ll have me sign it while I’m there and then they’ll ship it to you. (You can do the same with any of my other books and even some of the magazines with my work — here’s the order page.)

You can feel free to show up with anything you want signed — Uncle Hugo’s doesn’t have a policy of “only books bought HERE, TODAY.” (If you bring a stack of stuff bought from Amazon, and feel a twinge of guilt, I would encourage you to expiate your guilt by buying some additional items from their store while you’re there. They have a fantastic selection of new and used, they have signed copies from many fine local authors, and they are under one roof with Uncle Edgar’s, which sells mystery.)

Uncle Hugo’s is at 2864 Chicago Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. If you’d prefer to place your order over the phone, you can call them at 612-824-6347.

If you’re looking at these events and feeling stymied about which one to go to, here’s a quick guide:

  • If you want to hear me read from my work (along with Sue Burke and Marissa Lingen), go to Magers & Quinn on November 21st at 7 p.m.
  • If you want to hear me talk about my work (along with Kelly Barnhill), go to the Loft at Open Book on November 22nd at 7 p.m. (But don’t forget it’s a ticketed event. You can buy a ticket here.)
  • If you really aren’t interested in hearing me say anything in particular but would like a signed copy, go to Uncle Hugo’s on November 23rd at 1 p.m.
  • If you want a signed copy but prefer not to leave your house (or, you know, if you live somewhere far from Minneapolis), go to the Uncle Hugo’s website and put in an order for a signed copy.

I got my box of books last week so I now have beautiful hardcover copies of my book, and I am so excited for this book to be out in the world! It’s gotten starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly (which called it “an entertaining, heart-filled exploration of today’s online existence and privacy concerns”) and from Kirkus (which called it “wickedly funny and thrilling in turns”) and I’m so excited for anyone who’s enjoyed my other novels, my short stories, or my political blogging to have a chance to read it.

 

Election 2019: Ballot Roundup

First things first — if you’re here from Minneapolis, as far as I know, you have NO ELECTIONS THIS YEAR. If you want to be sure, check the Secretary of State site — it’s not absolutely impossible that there’s a special election somewhere that I missed. But you had city races in 2017, and will have another set in 2021, and so far as I know you get this year off. Before you go, though, I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT and I’m doing a fundraiser for a group of Minneapolis fifth graders to go to Wolf Ridge nature center.

On to Saint Paul! Here’s my sample ballot.

City Question 1: Referendum on whether Ordinance ORD 18-39 should remain in effect.

YES

Analysis on the trash hauling referendum here.

Council Member Ward 1

  1. Liz De La Torre
  2. Anika Bowie
  3. Dai Thao

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 2

  1. Rebecca Noecker
  2. Bill Hosko

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 3

  1. Chris Tolbert

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 4

  1. Mitra Jalali Nelson
  2. Tarrence Robertson-Bayless

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 5

  1. Amy Brendmoen
  2. Suyapa Miranda
  3. Bob Blake

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 6

  1. Terri Thao
  2. Nelsie Yang
  3. Danielle Swift

Analysis here.

Council Member Ward 7

  1. Jane Prince
  2. Mary Anne Quiroz

Analysis here.

Saint Paul School Board

(You don’t get to rank these, you just pick four.)

  • Zuki Ellis
  • Steve Marchese
  • Chauntyll Allen
  • Jessica Kopp

Analysis here.

816WkzoELELDid I mention that I have a book coming out on November 19th? If you would like to pre-order it, you can do that on the usual big behemoth sites OR you can preorder from Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore — which will allow you to get a signed copy even if you’re not local. I will be signing at Uncle Hugo’s on November 23rd if you’d like to come get your copy signed in person, and I will also be doing an event with fellow authors Sue Burke and Marissa Lingen at Magers & Quinn on November 21st, and I will be doing an “authors in conversation” event at the Loft on November 22nd with Newbery Medalist and South Minneapolis author Kelly Barnhill.

Also, it has warmed my heart immensely to see people donating to the fundraiser to send this year’s class of 5th graders at Richard Green Central Park school in Minneapolis to Wolf Ridge environmental center. Last year, partly in response to some of the issues that came up in the Minneapolis school board race, I suggested that my readers donate to teacher projects at some of the schools in Minneapolis that lacked the inherent PTA fundraising prowess of the schools in Southwest Minneapolis. Many of my readers donated, and they raised enough money that they were able to make the trip. I would be delighted if my readers could help this year’s class to go as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Election 2019: St. Paul City Council, Ward 7

We’ve made it to the last ward! I think (unless there’s a special election somewhere I’ve overlooked) that this is a wrap, the last of the elections in Minneapolis (which has 0 elections) and St. Paul (which has the City Council, the school board, and the trash referendum.) If you’re reading from the suburbs wondering when I’m going to do your town — I confine my analysis to the city limits of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. (I talked a little bit about why in my 2014 post about my complete lack of qualifications to be an authority on political races.)

Here’s who’s running in Ward 7:

Kartumu King
Jane Prince
Mary Anne Quiroz
David Thom

CONTENT NOTE: Kartumu King’s writeup includes discussion of child abuse.

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Election 2019: St. Paul City Council, Ward 6

This was supposed to be a race for an open seat, so there are a lot of candidates. Here’s the list:

Alexander Bourne
Kassim Busuri
Greg Copeland
Danielle Swift
Terri Thao
Nelsie Yang

Lots more info below.

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