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Public Safety is On the Ballot Again This Year

Public Safety is On the Ballot Again This Year

Third article in a series on the 2022 Midterm Elections By the League of Women Voters Minneapolis In November, you won’t see an obvious question on the ballot like last year’s ballot Question 2. Nonetheless, almost every federal, state and local public office in the general election affects policing and public safety in Minneapolis. The mayor and police chief have direct authority over the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), but those powers are limited by state and federal policies. When you vote, think about how these elected offices impact your community’s safety. CONGRESS instituted “qualified immunity” that protects public employees from being sued for actions taken on the job. Congress has the authority to make changes at the federal level. Since 2009, more than half of the cases brought against police officers have been dismissed based on qualified immunity. The GOVERNOR, STATE SENATORS and STATE REPRESENTATIVES set the parameters for police union contracts and oversee both the state patrol — which has statewide law enforcement authority — and the P.O.S.T. Board, which sets standards of conduct and training for police officers. They can also pass state-level civil rights laws explicitly without qualified immunity. COUNTY COMMISSIONERS manage the social service agencies that provide mobile mental health crisis response and co-responders to accompany police emergencies. They also oversee the county corrections department, which runs county jails. The COUNTY ATTORNEY decides which crimes are prosecuted and is responsible for getting guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. The SHERIFF serves warrants, subpoenas and orders of protection and has county-wide law enforcement authority, frequently providing back up for the MPD. The SCHOOL BOARD is responsible for overseeing the management of safety personnel and systems that keep children safe on school property. JUDGES oversee criminal and civil lawsuits, set [...]

When You Vote in the Primary on August 9, Stay in Your Lane!

When You Vote in the Primary on August 9, Stay in Your Lane!

ARTICLE #2 IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES ABOUT THE 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTER OF MINNEAPOLIS The Primary Election on August 9 will determine the candidates for the General Election. The top vote-getter in each Primary race will appear on the ballot in November. In Minnesota, any registered voter can participate in the Primary, but there’s a catch. You must stay in your lane. In some states, voters must “declare” their party affiliation in order to receive the corresponding Primary ballot. But, in Minnesota, voters are not required to declare their party. Instead, candidates for all major parties appear on every ballot. But note: If you cross political party lines by voting, for example, for a Democrat in one race and a Republican in another, your ballot is “spoiled” and will not be counted! Candidates in the same party will be listed in the same column, so stay in your lane as you vote down the ballot. You don’t have to vote in every race, but you may not cross columns on the ballot. Some candidates will be designated as “endorsed” by their party. Endorsement is a stamp of approval or sign of preference from the party’s delegates who were selected at precinct caucuses (back in February – remember those?) But, there’s more. Nonpartisan offices like School Board, County Attorney and Sheriff will be listed on the back of the ballot. In these races, the two top vote-getters move on to the General Election. Preregistration for the Primary ends JULY 19. However, you can also register at an early-voting site or on election day at your polling place. Early voting begins on JUNE 24 and continues through AUGUST 8. Or you can submit your ballot by mail. Your vote is powerful, especially in the Primary Election, because compared to the General Election, many fewer people turn out for the Primary. Be sure you’re someone who does. To request an absentee ballot, register to vote or for more [...]

What happened to my old polling place? Redistricting!

What happened to my old polling place? Redistricting!

Article #1 in a series about the 2022 midterm elections; brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Minneapolis Left: 2022 State House district boundaries of Phillips Right: 2022 City Council wards in black, former boundary in red It’s spring — flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the Hennepin County Elections office is sending postcards to registered voters. You may find that your voting district and polling place have changed. What happened? In 2022, many people will experience a change in their voting district. This process is called redistricting, and it happens every ten years, as states, counties, and cities across the country adjust their political boundaries to fit new census numbers. Because the population of Minnesota has changed, the sizes and boundaries of congressional, state, and local districts need to adapt so that each has approximately the same number of people. That will ensure that the value of each vote remains equal. In Minnesota the process starts with the legislature and governor. The political parties redraw maps for our eight congressional, state legislature, and metropolitan council districts. It can be tempting for parties to try to design these areas for their own particular advantage, sometimes resulting in weird shapes and unusual inclusions. This is called gerrymandering. Our system in Minnesota is set up to avoid gerrymandering. Here, when the parties and the governor don’t agree, as has happened for the past 50 years, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints a redistricting panel to draw new boundaries. The panel completed its work in February. When congressional and state legislative boundaries are determined, local redistricting begins. Cities, county boards, and school districts set their own local boundaries. The Minneapolis Charter Commission, with the help of an advisory group, and input from the community, draws the maps for Park Board districts and the city’s wards and [...]

How Phillips Voted: Ballot Questions, Mayor, and Turnout

How Phillips Voted: Ballot Questions, Mayor, and Turnout

By LINDSEY FENNER The Phillips Community is split between two wards - 6 and 9. Ward 6 includes Phillips West and Ventura Village in Phillips, as well as neighborhoods to the north, east, and west: parts of Cedar-Riverside, Elliot Park, Seward, and Stevens Square. Ward 9 includes East Phillips and Midtown Phillips, as well as neighborhoods to the south: Corcoran, Powderhorn Park, Central and parts of Longfellow. Ward 6 has 4 precincts in Phillips and Ward 9 has 2 precincts in Phillips (see map of the six precincts in the Phillips community) Charter Questions: Breaking down the charter amendment votes at the precinct level, Phillips voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of Question 3, which authorizes the City Council to enact a rent control ordinance. All six Phillips precincts voted against Question 2, which would have created a city Department of Public Safety. Precincts in Ward 6 all voted strongly against Question 2, whereas precincts 9-3 and 9-4 in Phillips saw a much more evenly divided vote, with 51.57% voting no in 9-3 and 52.81% voting no in 9-4. Phillips voters were split on Question 1, the Government Structure Amendment. Four Phillips precincts voted against the so-called “Strong Mayor” amendment: 6-6, 6-8, 9-3, and 9-4. The Yes and No votes in Precincts 6-6 and 9-4 were separated by less than one percentage point. Mayor: In the mayoral election, incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey had the most first round votes in all Phillips precincts, though he didn’t receive a majority in any precinct. Kate Knuth had few first choice votes, but consistently did well on second choice votes. AJ Awed did well in Ward 6 Phillips precincts. Voter Turnout: City elections typically have much lower voter turnout than national or state elections, and this election year was no different. The citywide voter turnout in the 2020 general election was 81.3%. Citywide voter turnout for the 2021 city election was 54%. Both Wards 6 and 9 had lower voter turnout than the [...]

Pledge to Vote! Make Your Plan Today!

Pledge to Vote!  Make Your Plan Today!

The sixth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. Election Day is November 2, 2021. Do you have your plan to vote? You want to vote in the November Minneapolis local election! Your city is important to you. You care about racial justice, housing, police reform, education, the environment, public transportation, parks and who is elected Mayor! Did you know that you are more likely to actually cast a ballot if you make a concrete plan to vote? How do you make a plan? Follow these simple steps: Be sure you are registered at your current address. In Minnesota, you can register to vote online, by mail or in person at your polling site. Pre-registering online and by mail must be done by October 12. Or you can register in person at a local early voting center or Election Day polling place.  If you are registered to vote at your current address, you do not need to bring an ID. If you need to register at your polling place site, you”™ll need to bring an ID or other proof of residence to vote https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/register-on-election-day/. Not sure if you”™re currently registered or want to register online? Visit www.mnvotes.org. Decide when you want to vote. Minnesotans have been voting absentee for over 75 years. Since 2014, Minnesotans have been able to cast an absentee ballot without a specific reason. The popularity of early voting in Minnesota has grown in each election since this change took effect. To vote early by mail: Request your absentee ballot no later than October 19th, fill it out and return it right away, either through the mail or to your local election office. Ballots must be received by November 2. Request and track your ballot at www.mnvotes.org. To vote early go to Minneapolis Election & Voter Services, 980 Hennepin Ave. E. Early in-person voting begins September 17 and is open [...]

City Council Candidate Questionnaire

City Council Candidate Questionnaire

This year, the alley asked the City Council candidates who want to represent Phillips in City Hall some questions about issues that are important to the people of Phillips. These questions were adapted from suggestions by Phillips residents and alley contributors.  Adapted Minneapolis City Hall photograph, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Micahmn/photos The alley reached out multiple times to all candidates running for Ward 6 and Ward 9 City Council. Candidates were given a deadline for responses as well as a word limit. We received completed questionnaires from three Ward 9 Candidates: Jason Chavez, Mickey Moore, and Brenda Short. We received no responses from candidates running for Ward 6 City Council. Responses from candidates are presented in alphabetical order and have not been edited. Ward 9 1. How long have you lived in Ward 9? What do you love about Phillips? Jason Chavez: I was born and raised in the East Phillips Neighborhood located in the 9th Ward. What I love about the Phillips Neighborhoods is its diversity, culture, and perseverance despite the obstacles. Displacement, pollution, and hardship are all too familiar here, but we always have the determination to fight back to get on our feet. The people in the Phillips Neighborhoods are what the community looks like, strong, courageous, and friendly.  Mickey Moore: I currently live on 15th Ave., across the street from Powderhorn Park, but have lived in and around Ward 9 since 1983.  I grew up in these wonderful neighborhoods and spent my formative years at the parks, along Lake St., and especially 3rd Ave.  I”™ve always been drawn to the cultures and opportunities of new experiences and have focused my business efforts around communities like Phillips because it is such a fantastic example of diverse people, all with similar goals, ideals and passions.  Brenda Short: I have been living in Ward 9 for over 27 years. I have been a constant in [...]

Pledge to Vote! Make Your Plan Today!

The sixth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. Election Day is November 2, 2021. Do you have your plan to vote? You want to vote in the November Minneapolis local election! Your city is important to you. You care about racial justice, housing, police reform, education, the environment, public transportation, parks and who is elected Mayor! Did you know that you are more likely to actually cast a ballot if you make a concrete plan to vote? How do you make a plan? Follow these simple steps: Be sure you are registered at your current address. In Minnesota, you can register to vote online, by mail or in person at your polling site. Pre-registering online and by mail must be done by October 12. Or you can register in person at a local early voting center or Election Day polling place.  If you are registered to vote at your current address, you do not need to bring an ID. If you need to register at your polling place site, you”™ll need to bring an ID or other proof of residence to vote https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/register-on-election-day/. Not sure if you”™re currently registered or want to register online? Visit www.mnvotes.org. Decide when you want to vote. Minnesotans have been voting absentee for over 75 years. Since 2014, Minnesotans have been able to cast an absentee ballot without a specific reason. The popularity of early voting in Minnesota has grown in each election since this change took effect. To vote early by mail: Request your absentee ballot no later than October 19th, fill it out and return it right away, either through the mail or to your local election office. Ballots must be received by November 2. Request and track your ballot at www.mnvotes.org. To vote early go to Minneapolis Election & Voter Services, 980 Hennepin Ave. E. Early in-person voting begins September 17 and is open [...]

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