Naomi (naomikritzer) wrote,

Election 2013, Volume 4, Issue 9: Minneapolis City Council Ward 13

When I lived in Minneapolis, I lived way over near the eastern edge, almost to the Mississippi River. In my mental map of the world, Minneapolis ends at about Hennepin Ave. So whenever I've driven out to Edina on city streets (Minnehaha Parkway, then 50th Street), this is the part of Minneapolis where I look around in amazement and say, "I'm not in Edina yet? How is this still Minneapolis? Seriously?!?"

(There's over half an alphabet of streets after Hennepin, in case you're wondering! Hennepin falls sort of in the Alphabeticals -- there's Aldrich, Bryant, and Colfax, and then apparently Minneapolis thought that we could use a few extra H's because if you're driving on 36th street there's Hennepin, Holmes, and Humboldt. But Holmes gets lost somewhere in the lakes and by the time you're in Ward 13 they seem to have winnowed it down so thoroughly that on 50th Street you don't intersect with an H at all. Then they pick up again with Irving and James -- although Irving doesn't intersect with 50th because there's a park -- and continues on all the way through Xerxes, York, Zenith. Then the alphabet actually starts over again and when you hit France Avenue, you're in Edina.) (Although, looking at the Ward 13 map, this appears to be untrue if you go a little south: from 54th Street down, Minneapolis ends at Xerxes.)

Anyway! The people who are running to represent almost-but-not-quite-Edina are as follows:

Missy Durant (Democratic-Farmer-Labor)
Linea Palmisano (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) (DFL-endorsed)
Matt Perry (Democratic-Farmer-Labor)
David Regan (Libertarian Party) (endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Minnesota)
Bob Reuer (Independent) (endorsed by the Minneapolis City Republican Committee)

The incumbent, Betsy Hodges, gave up her City Council seat to run for Mayor.

Missy Durant (Democratic-Farmer-Labor)

Missy is a former corporate HR professional. She's kind of fond of business buzzwords. ("She's a thought-leader with deep expertise in the design and successful deployment of programs and initiatives focused on the 'human capital' side of business.") Looking through her info, where she talks about budgeting from a corporate perspective, I thought she probably should have run on the Independence Party ticket instead of DFL; she'd have stood out more, and possibly had an endorsement to motivate a few extra volunteers. (Definitely not Republican, given that she talks about her partner, Samantha.)

I will admit I consider her self-published inspirational book to be a strike against her. ("What Matters...Gratitude," and on her campaign website she describes herself as an Author and says, "In 2009, Missy decided to spend less time flying around the country and more time at home with her family, shifting gears away from her role as a corporate executive. That journey led her to write a book – 'What Matters... Gratitude' – inspiring others to let gratitude for the things that matter most (people) set the course for their lives." The fact that she self-published in 2011 and didn't put it up on Kindle makes me think she jumps into things without actually knowing what she's doing.

She says her curiosity is her biggest selling point. I do see curiosity as a really valuable trait in an elected official, but overall, she doesn't blow me away.

Linea Palmisano (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) (DFL-endorsed)

Linea currently works as a manager (of...something, I'm not entirely sure what because it's in corporatespeak) at United Health Group; she has lots of experience volunteering for various neighborhood advocacy groups and non-profits (she's on the board of the Linden Hills farmer's market, she founded a group that does bike route advocacy, she founded a program to help immigrant teenagers go to college...)

She has lots of specifics on her website, and clearly has a lot of interest in urban planning, which is good.

She's endorsed by both Mark Andrew and Betsy Hodges (along with a long list of other Council people, current and former, the nearby State Legislators, etc.) although given that she's endorsed by the DFL, it looks pretty bad when elected DFLers endorse anyone else.

Matt Perry (Democratic-Farmer-Labor)

Matt lost endorsement at the DFL convention but got the Star Trib's nod. He's served on a ton of city boards, including Zoning and the Capital Long Range Improvements Committee. The Star Trib liked Linea as well, but thought Matt's experience made him a better candidate in a year that was likely to see a whole lot of new Council members; they might have a point. The comments to the endorsement editorial make for interesting reading -- there's someone who said that Matt is rude, but most of the comments about him are supportive.

I suspect that he didn't get endorsement because he opposed municipalization. (He does think we should negotiate strongly for fair rates and increased renewable energy investment, but thought that holding a referendum on municipalization was a bad idea.) As I've noted in other posts, I agree with him on this.

(Linea doesn't exactly support municipalization either, actually, judging from her response on it here. But it sounds like she at least tried to sound like she supported it at some previous point.)

David Regan (Libertarian Party)

He lists the Libertarian Party as his party but I could find absolutely nothing else about him other than that based on the e-mail address he put on his Affidavit, I bet he plays D&D.

Bob Reuer (Independent) (endorsed by the Minneapolis City Republican Committee)

Bob Reuer's website is notable for what it leaves out. It doesn't mention that he's endorsed by the Republicans, although I can't say I really blame him. It also doesn't mention that he's an ex-felon. I guess I don't blame him for that, either, but it does make the law-and-order parts a little funny to read. ("I will seek to bring new leadership to the Minneapolis Police Department, focused on reducing crime, improving morale within the Department, partnering with the Community, and relying on past successes. The current leadership in the MPD has failed in all of these respects and has been focused on pandering to political correctness, rather than reducing crime." I GUESS YOU'D BE AN EXPERT ON THAT...) According to the SWJ journal, his convictions were in 1990 and 1997, so a while ago. I do sort of wonder if his claim of 50 years of residence is gliding over time served, or if he got probation. (He was convicted of receiving stolen goods.)

Anyway, he has absolutely no particular relevant experience. I suppose if you're a Republican and you want someone who's NOT A DEMOCRAT you might vote for him.

I'd probably go for (1) Matt Perry, (2) Linea Palmisano and (3) Missy Durant, but #1 and #2 are a close call. Like the Strib, I was kind of sold on his extensive relevant experience; I also liked that his opinion on municipalization reflected mine really well. If you're a DFL party wonk, you'll definitely want Linea first (Matt promised to drop out if he didn't receive endorsement, then reneged). And I'm sure she'd be excellent -- either she or Matt is an excellent choice. My overall impression of Missy was "enthusiastic but flaky" (never, ever list your self-published inspirational book in your candidate site if you want me to think of you as "not flaky," especially under the bolded heading of "author") and my overall impression of Bob was that he was a crank who wouldn't really know what to do with the job if he landed it.

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