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Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice

Local World News By PETER MOLENAAR It is said that no small part of the world had its eye on our 2021 elections. As it came down, 7 of our 13 member city council are newly elected; 8 are people of color, and there are 3 who identify as “Democratic Socialists”. Congratulations Minneapolis! On the other hand there was, I think, an element of unprincipled opportunism in the mix. Question: What is the sociology of our persistent low voter turnout and, for the sake of democracy, what is the solution? Within the immediate purview of the alley community, we must uphold the election of incumbents Jamal Osman (Ward 6) and Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8).On a personal note, I am delighted over the election of Jason Chavez (Ward 9) and Robin Wonsley Worlobah (Ward 2) inasmuch as they have elevated the banner of socialism. Indeed, Worlobah managed to defeat the “wildly popular” Cam Gordon of Green Party fame. As a matter of principle and practical consideration, we suggest to Cam that he pass on any useful experiential knowledge. I believe Robin will, in some fashion, reciprocate. Similarly, our reelected Mayor Frey would do well to welcome Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad into his inner circle. After all, Kate and Sheila garnered many thousands of votes and represent a body of opinion deserving of respect. The winner-take-all approach will not serve the mayor well. No, not this time. “We need to resolve this gun violence crisis… that’s number one”, so said Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5), “and that requires having an accountable public safety system”. Sadly, these two items have been posed as opposites. Early in the period of mobilization and intense discussion, in harmony with the public safety charter amendment, this column advanced the slogan: “dismantle and reconstruct”. Our proposed rehiring procedure envisioned  psychological profiling tests which, in some instances, would result in [...]

Something I Said

By DWIGHT HOBBES This is but one reason I don”™t give a tinker”™s damn who wins what office in Minneapolis next month: if you can name single candidate for mayor, city council or dog catcher who”™s stumping as an agent for change in the prevalence of violence against women, I will eat his or her hat. Yet there isn”™t a single one who wasn”™t born to a woman. Safe Haven Shelter out of Duluth documents that in this so-called progressive state the stats of women being abused in the home is an unmitigated disgrace. Only a few notations made at http://safehavenshelter.org/: domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ”“ more than injuries by muggings, stranger rape and car crashes put together; almost a third of homeless Minnesota women were abused; about 76% of women killed by their partners were stalked by their partners before their murder. There”™s more at the website, a lot more ”“ look it up. And, according to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, 22 women were killed in 2015, 18 in 2016 and 19 in 2017. How much would you like to bet that number has not gone down since. But, here, in 2021, in the aftermath of that damnable contagion having cornered women with their abusers during last year”™s lockdown, we can fully expect it to have considerably risen.     What are seated politicians as well the glad-handing would-be”™s who want you to vote them into a nice cushy job and a fat salary doing to address this ongoing civic catastrophe? That rhetorical question demands a straight answer, at least some indication they give a damn about so much as approaching a solution to this widespread problem. But it is a non-issue.     It”™s not like abused women don”™t vote. Which wouldn”™t be an excuse anyway, but, we know how so-called political movers and shakers think: show me the [...]

Vote!

Vote!

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 [...]

Help for Voters Living with Disabilities

Help for Voters Living with Disabilities

The fifth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. journalistresources.com The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination against individuals living with disabilities, has put the force of law behind mandates for equal access in all areas of civic life, including access for voting. Voting accessibility is essential to ensure that all people have the right and ability to vote, regardless of their mobility or their physical, communication or other limitations. Minnesota has made strides in improving access to voting for all. In addition to the requirement that polling places be physically accessible, here are a few accommodations that may provide individuals living with disabilities better access to the ballot box: ASSISTANCE: You can bring anyone to assist you while you vote, except your employer or union rep, or you can get assistance from election judges. Your assistant can participate in all parts of the voting process, including marking your ballot if you can communicate to them who you want to vote for.ACCESSIBLE VOTING MACHINES: All polling places have a machine that can mark a ballot for you, giving you privacy if you cannot or choose not to vote using a pen. Voting machines display the ballot in large print or with a high-contrast background and can also read the ballot to you through headphones. You can fill out your ballot using a Braille keypad, touchscreen or sip-and-puff device. After you make your choices, the machine prints your completed ballot.CURBSIDE VOTING: If you cannot leave your vehicle, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to you. Two election judges from different major political parties will bring the ballot to your vehicle, wait for you to vote, then take the ballot back inside and place it in the ballot box.AGENT: In some situations, an agent may pick up and return an absentee ballot from your home. To [...]

RCV…Easy as One, Two, Three!

RCV…Easy as One, Two, Three!

League of Women Voters Minneapolis The fourth in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. Minneapolis residents can say goodbye to voting for the lesser of two evils thanks to Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), a unique method for electing local officials that was first implemented in our city in 2013. On November 2, you can vote for your first, second, third choice candidates for the offices of Mayor, City Council, Parks & Recreation Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation. That”™s right, just like the lottery, you can pick three. Here”™s how RCV works: Choose the candidate who best represents your views, and fill in the circle beside their name under the 1st Choice column. You can then proceed to indicate your second and third choice candidates by marking the circles next to their names in the 2nd and 3rd choice columns. There is no Primary election runoff, so no candidates are excluded before Election Day. You can choose any candidate among every candidate who files to run for office. You don”™t have to choose three candidates, but here”™s why you might want to: After the polls close, all first choice votes will be counted (including absentee and vote-by-mail ballots). If there is a clear winner ”“ that is, if one candidate receives the highest vote count ABOVE the 50 percent threshold - the race is called, and that candidate is declared the winner. If no candidate reaches 50 percent, then the counting moves to round two. In round two, the candidates with the lowest vote count and no mathematical chance of winning are eliminated, and their voters”™ votes are shifted to their second choice candidate. If, after round two, no candidate reaches the threshold, the counting moves to round three, four, and five etc. until the candidate with the most votes above 50 percent is declared the winner. With Ranked Choice Voting, [...]

Vote, Then Take a Hike!

Vote, Then Take a Hike!

Vote, Then Take a Hike Part 3 in a series of articles about the 2021 municipal elections, brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Minneapolis When did you last enjoy a park? Did you have a picnic? Did you watch a little league game or take a knitting class? Minneapolis parks offer any activities a creative mind can imagine. The many facets of the park system are overseen by nine commissioners elected by YOU. One position for each of six park districts and three at-large positions are up for election this fall.  Meeting monthly, these commissioners are responsible for maintaining park properties, developing new sites to equitably serve residents”™ needs, and proposing policies that govern the use and safety of the 180 park properties, 55 miles of parkways, 12 formal gardens, seven golf courses, and 49 recreation centers in our city. They also appoint the superintendent who implements the board policies, overseeing the budget and staff of more than 600 employees.  Perhaps you”™ll want to know about the improvements planned for your neighborhood park, or maybe you want to learn about plans for the Upper Harbor Terminal on the Mississippi, or how the golf courses are operated. Information is available at Minneapolisparks.org. There you can learn about your park commissioners who are hoping to have your vote. Make your voice heard by contacting them and making your plan to vote in November. ANOTHER CHOICE YOU HAVE This fall you will also be able to vote for two members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation. Board members set maximum tax levies for a variety of city and park and recreation funds. The board also reviews some department budgets and participates in the city”™s debt management policy, concerned with interest rates and prudent debt levels. As a citizen, you vote for your representatives on this important oversight board. Your attention and your vote matter. .

Why Should You Care About City Elections?

Why Should You Care About City Elections?

Part 2 in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis If you drive a car, walk, bicycle, live in a house or apartment, breathe the air, have a pet, discard trash, flush the toilet, or eat or drink in a restaurant, then, as a resident of Minneapolis, you have a vested interest in who runs our city. If your concern is safety, policing, and civil rights, your interests are even more relevant this year. City council members ”“ one elected from each of Minneapolis”™ 13 wards - make the laws and policies that govern the city. They approve budgets, levy taxes and elect a council president who sets the council”™s agenda and presides over meetings. Council members serve on committees that focus on specific issues like housing & zoning, public health & safety, public works and budgeting. The city council writes the rules that govern nearly every aspect of the city that impacts our daily lives. Read more about City Council Powers and Duties here:  https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/city-council/about-city-council/powers-and-duties/ Reminder: every city council seat and the mayor will be on the ballot on November 2! The mayor is the only city official elected at-large; that is, by the entire city voting population. Think of the mayor as the city”™s chief executive, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city and cheerleader-in-chief. The mayor is the most recognizable city official and acts as the city”™s figurehead and spokesperson. That enables the mayor to set the city”™s agenda and wield the bully pulpit. Where city council members typically represent their individual communities, mayors have a broader city-wide perspective. In Minneapolis”™ “weak mayor” system, the mayor appoints commissioners and directors of the various city departments and oversees their work. The city [...]

Register to Vote! – Again?

By THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS The first in a series of articles about the 2021 Municipal Elections brought to you by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis. Believe it or not, 2021 is an election year in Minneapolis ”” a very important election year. The mayor and every city council seat will be on the ballot in addition to members of the Park Board and the Board of Estimate and Taxation. There may also be proposed amendments to the City Charter that could affect policing and the structure of city government. Do you need to register to vote? Maybe. You are eligible to vote in Minneapolis if you are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age on election day, a resident of Minneapolis for at least 20 days and have finished all parts of any felony sentence.  You need to register if you have 1) moved or changed your name since the last election, or 2) not voted in the past four years. You can register to vote when you renew your Minnesota Driver”™s License or State ID and you do NOT have to declare party affiliation.  You can CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION STATUS here: https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/VoterStatus.aspx If you are not currently registered to vote, but you qualify, you can register online or download a paper form which is available in 12 languages. If you or someone you know has a question or needs assistance, call the City of Minneapolis Help Line: 311. Remember: your VOTE is your VOICE and every eligible voter has the right to be heard. Democracy depends on it. Learn more at www.lwvmpls.org.

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