MY THREE PRINCIPLES

My candidacy is founded on three principles: Equity, Advocacy, and Responsibility.

Equity for Northeast

As a geographically separate minority on the City Council, Northeast needs a fierce advocate to fight for our share of resources.

As I see it, Northeast Minneapolis has long been regarded as a municipal afterthought by our City government. For example, millions upon millions of dollars have been showered along Lake Street, Franklin, and West Broadway. The rebuilt Lowry Avenue on the other side of the river is spectacular. Downtown, among its many riches, is getting new streets. Meanwhile, our Mayor has trouble finding Northeast on a map. A stretch of Central Avenue got a nice facelift, and shortly thereafter the new trees died.

The First Ward deserves funding and attention equal to our share of the city’s population. If our people step forward and help government work better, we shouldn’t see our resources shifted to areas where people don’t care.

Advocacy for the Unengaged

Politicians love to talk of building consensus and working for the people. The truth is, they work for the people they like and agree with. What passes for consensus is almost always a disappointing minority of all stakeholders. Community engagement, as it has been practiced by both City Hall and neighborhood groups, is little more than a justification for a handful of outspoken activists to steamroll the rest of us.

What about the people who do not insist on cluttering the streetscape with yard signs? Or what about those who prefer not to cover their bodies with gear touting their favorite causes? Who speaks for them? Who speaks for us?

We’re not an easily-identifiable minority group. The identifiable groups already have advocates. I speak for everyone else.

In context of being a Councilmember, my duty is to bring the diversity of opinion across Northeast into debates and discussions. I have to listen and understand. My charge is to represent all the views I hear, but act according to logic and common sense.

Responsibile Government for Responsible People

City government is constituted to provide a small but essential set of core services, like streets, sewers, and police. It cannot provide more to the public than it takes from the public. When the City gets involved in things outside core services, like real estate development or sports arenas, the people suffer. Everyone but the connected organizers wind up with less to live on, and live in shabbier conditions. It’s not good government.

A good, responsible government is humble. It does not pretend to know what’s best for the people. Good government trusts the people to be responsible for themselves. It provides a municipal framework and makes sure that folks who try to evade their responsibilities are held accountable.

There is no virtue in spending tax dollars. I consider public service a job, not a calling. I am not a social engineer, and I think the City shouldn’t pretend to be one, either.