Election 2021: Minneapolis Park Board At-Large

Seven people are running, there are three open seats, you get to rank three, and your rankings matter. I find the counting process with ranked-choice ballots fairly intuitive for single-winner elections, but much more confusing for multi-winner elections. However, this video does a good job of explaining it:

The key things you need to know: you should definitely rank people in your order of preference, and don’t worry about “wasting” that top slot on a candidate you think will be broadly popular. Voting for a second and third candidate will not hurt your top candidate’s chances.

On the ballot:

Katherine Kelly
Charles Rucker
Meg Forney
Londel French
Tom Olsen
Mary McKelvey
Alicia D. Smith

You can rank your top three.

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Election 2021: Minneapolis Park Board, District 6

This has been Brad Bourn’s seat since 2009, but he’s stepping down this year. (His Facebook page has a bunch of pictures of his adorable little baby, so my guess is that he wants to spend more time with his family.)

There are four candidates on the ballot:

Risa Hustad
Bob Fine
Cathy Abene
Barb Schlaefer

(I’ll note that there is an Elizabeth Shaffer running in District 4. The Shaffer/Schlaefer thing has been throwing people. Also, Cathy’s last name is pronounced “uh-Benny.” I will be linking to a voter forum where the moderator mispronounces her name a lot, so I just wanted to let everyone know up front how it’s supposed to be pronounced, so that you can cringe along with me if you watch the forum.)

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Election 2021: Minneapolis Park Board, District 4

Having not merely gone down a rabbit hole but temporarily moved into a rabbit warren of Park Board meetings while researching District 3, I feel very prepared to just whip through this one. Let’s see how fast I can get it done.

On the ballot:

Jono Cowgill
Elizabeth Shaffer

A note: Elizabeth Shaffer is running for Park Board District 4, and Barb Schlaefer is running for Park Board District 6, and I’ve seen a number of people stumble over the Shaffer/Schlaefer similarity. There are two separate people, and only the last names are particularly similar.

tl;dr vote for Jono.

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Election 2021: Minneapolis Park Board, District 1

Billy Menz is the only person running. He’s endorsed by pretty much everyone, including the guy who beat him for the seat four years ago (Chris Meyer, who decided not to run again). He looks terrific and I expect he’ll be fine. But regardless, he’s the only person on the ballot.

(I went ahead and wrote a post about him because otherwise, as it gets close to the election in November, I will get a lot of confused messages from people wanting to know if I’m going to cover this race.)

Election 2021: Minneapolis and Saint Paul City Elections

GOD DAMMIT I NEED TO GET STARTED ON THIS.

In 2021, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul will hold municipal races.

In Saint Paul, the ballot includes the mayoral race; a school board race (3 full-term seats, 1 partial-term seat vacated by someone moving); and a charter amendment to impose rent control.

In Minneapolis, the ballot includes the mayoral race; the city council seats (all of which will be only 2 years — there will be another city council race in 2023 due to redistricting); Park Board district seats; Park Board At Large seats (3); the Board of Estimate and Taxation; and three charter amendments (one to allow rent control, one to replace the police department with a public safety department, and one to give the mayor more power).

There are 17 candidates for mayor in Minneapolis; there are 8 candidates for mayor in Saint Paul.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE IF YOU WISH TO VOTE BY MAIL: Last year, you were able to request your ballot by filling out an online form. This year you will have to submit a downloadable form — which can still be done online, but you’ll have to download a PDF, fill it in, and e-mail it back, it’s a different and somewhat more complicated process. More here. This isn’t the Secretary of State being difficult: the actual state statute allows for absentee ballot applications to be submitted electronically “for a federal, state, or county election.” If you want “municipal” added to this, talk to your legislator.

In the meantime, I’m going to remind everyone that I had a book released this April, Chaos on CatNet. 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 — supply chain issues are happening all over.

I do not have a Patreon or Ko-Fi, so if you’d like make a donation to encourage my work, I’m going to start by pointing my readers at the school nurse from Olson Middle School, who urgently needs a refrigerator for things like student medications.

Elections 2020: Minneapolis Ward 6 City Council. NOT A PRIMARY.

Abdi Warsame, the former Minneapolis City Council rep for Ward 6, resigned in March to lead the city’s Public Housing Authority instead. There is a special election, and on August 11th (the same day as the primary) Ward 6 residents will have their election for this open seat. They will be using ranked-choice voting so there is no primary. Voters will get to rank three candidates, and the August 11th election is the actual election.

The winner will serve for one year, then (presumably) run for re-election in 2021.

There are 12 candidates on the ballot.

AK Hassan (DFL)
AJ Awed (Independent)
Michael P. Dougherty (DFL)
Mohamoud Hassan (DFL)
Nebiha Mohammed (DFL)
Suud Olat (DFL)
Jamal Osman (DFL)
Sara Mae Engberg (Humanity Forward)
Alex Palacios (DFL)
Saciido Shaie (DFL)
Joshua Scheunemann (Green)
Abdirizak Bihi (DFL)

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Minneapolis Park Board, District 6

I’m pretty sure this is the last race I need to write up! I may revisit the mayoral races, because I’ve gotten firmer in some opinions, shakier on others.

Park Board District 6 is currently represented by Brad Bourn, who is very popular among the politically engaged progressives that flooded caucuses this year, and remarkably unpopular among his Park Board colleagues:

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On the ballot:

Robert M Schlosser “Bob”
Brad Bourn
Bob Fine
Jennifer Zielinski

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Minneapolis Park Board, District 5

This was my old district. Back when I lived in Minneapolis, it was represented by Carol Kummer, who I really did not like very much. Carol finally retired four years ago, and Steffanie Musich ran unopposed.

Anyway! On the ballot:

Bill Shroyer (DFL)
Steffanie Musich (DFL-endorsed, incumbent)
Andrea Fahrenkrug

Analysis below the cut.

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