Naomi (naomikritzer) wrote,

Election 2013, Volume 4, Issue 8: Minneapolis City Council Ward 11

As I was doing the previous mass-writeup post I was expecting this one to be similarly quick and easy. Nope! This one's got two real candidates (although I don't actually know how well Matt Steele is doing. I don't spend that much time in Ward 11, and thus lack the observational "have I seen this guy's yard signs?" metric.

Here are the candidates that will appear on the ballot:

Bob Schlosser (Non-Party Affiliate) (it actually says that on the ballot, I checked)
Matt Steele (Independent) (endorsed by the Independence Party)
John Quincy (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) (incumbent, DFL-endorsed)

Bob Schlosser

No website, no Facebook, no candidate questionnaires, although I guess he did show up at one of those downtown "Mayoral Forums" organized by Bob Carney and say he wanted to have one for Council members.

I found a couple of Bob Schlossers on LinkedIn but I'm not sure which is this guy and it didn't want to let me see their profiles anyway.

John Quincy

John Quincy is one of those incumbent Council Reps whose name only barely rings a bell, which means that he tends not to be in the paper much and his constituents must not complain about him all that often (I do have a number of friends who live in his ward). He voted for the Vikings stadium deal, which is probably the main reason he's got serious opposition this time. The fact that it doesn't look like he was seriously opposed for the DFL endorsement suggests that in general he's pretty popular with the Democrats in his district.

His website mentions that he's the Council's representative on the Heading Home Hennepin collaboration, which makes me like him. (Heading Home Hennepin is pretty cool. They're the people who did the Project Homeless Connect events I've volunteered at in the past.) He's heavily involved in neighborhood and school stuff, he serves on various important and powerful committees, and in a year when a lot of things are in flux, there is a definite advantage to being represented by one of the incumbents (provided it's not a complete loser like Meg Tuthill).

He's endorsed by pretty much everyone, suggesting that he's effective and well-liked.

If I lived in Ward 11, I would probably vote for John Quincy.


Matt Steele

I have to admit I found Matt Steele genuinely intriguing.

John's site is heavy on the kitten-petting (he supports "investing in our roads, bridges, parks and bike trails. Promoting the recycling of metal, plastic, glass and organics and maintaining a state-of-the-art water system that provides high quality drinking water for our residents." It really sets him apart from those Minneapolis politicians who don't want to invest in roads, promote recycling, and who totally want to give us all filthy, contaminated water to drink.)

Matt's site embraces specifics. Lots of specifics, nerdy specifics, and intelligent specifics. He's clearly an aviation nerd, and has all sorts of very specific ideas for improving the airport noise situation (a big issue in his ward). Some of them are exceedingly specific ("advocate for greater use of Runway 35 for departures, which MAC built within the last decade at a cost of $700 million, so a higher percentage of departure noise is moved to the uninhabited Minnesota River Valley"). Others are probably out of reach for the Minneapolis City Council but totally worth thinking about generally (he suggests that a high-speed rail connection between Minneapolis and Chicago would significantly decrease noise given that there are nearly 50 flights a day between these two cities -- and he's totally right, although there are all sorts of political complications.)

He also provides an impassioned defense of the traffic calming project on Park and Portland, which will probably either sell you on him as a candidate or cause you to cross him off your list entirely.

But, you know -- if you're a transit nerd (and I seem to know a lot of transit nerds), I think Matt Steele should be your first pick. If you want to cast a protest vote against the Vikings Stadium bill, that's what inspired him to run, and from his website I think he'd probably be a good Council Rep, so you'll be fine regardless of who wins. (Just don't vote for Bob "Couldn't Be Bothered" Schlosser.)

tl;dr -- (1) John Quincy (2) Matt Steele, unless you're a transit nerd or REALLY mad about the Vikings Stadium, in which case (1) Matt Steele (2) John Quincy.

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