Readers Write: (Nov. 1): City governance, election endorsements, ranked-choice voting, online habits, orchestra

  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 6:56 PM

Consider poverty, Democratic control, and the value of organized labor.

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CITY GOVERNANCE

What Democrats do for urban areas

An Oct. 29 letter writer blames Democratic government control of large cities for the high poverty rate among urban black Americans. I think we can all agree that the reasons for poverty among Americans, no matter their race, are varied and complex. I think we can all agree, too, that black Americans aren’t stupid. Then isn’t the concentration of poverty in urban areas a testimony to the greater access to jobs, community, amenities and services provided in areas largely under Democratic control? Isn’t that what draws anyone to urban areas? If we were to allow facts to enter into this conversation, it would be beyond dispute that the states with the highest overall poverty rates are under control of Republicans.

CHRISTOPHER EGAN, Minneapolis

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There’s more to be said to challenge the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s position that a mayoral candidate’s support for teachers, police and firefighters unions would impede progress (“Betsy Hodges for Minneapolis mayor,” Oct. 27, and Readers Write, Oct. 29.)

For good reasons, there is plenty of room for both progress and workers’ rights. In fact, there is no progress if workers have less pay, rights and power for self-advocacy in the workplace. Without collective bargaining through unions, workers are left to the mercies of the higher-ups, as anyone who works in corporate America knows all to well. Top-down decisions without workers’ input almost always leads to inefficient and stupid things happening. When workers have the ability to pushback that a union provides, they have the ability to demand respect and decent pay for their contribution.

PAUL ROZYCKI, Minneapolis

 

ENDORSEMENTS

Ty Moore is better in Minneapolis Ninth

The Star Tribune got it wrong in the Ninth Ward (editorial endorsement, Oct. 30). As residents and business owners in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis, we have seen the wide base of support that Ty Moore has brought together among working people, immigrants, people of color, business owners, labor and our other neighbors. The pragmatism of Alondra Cano hailed by the Editorial Board means more of the same: more subsidies for big development projects, more one-party rule by the DFL and more city inaction on the foreclosure crisis. Despite Cano’s being hailed as the Hispanic candidate, it is actually Moore who enjoys support from grass-roots Latino organizers and leaders in the ward.

Moore is not a protest candidate. He has sophisticated policy proposals and a proven record of organizing for progressive change in our schools and community. It is time to expand the range of voices heard in City Hall by making sure that those who suffer most under the status quo are able to shape policy.

SUSANA DE LEON and BRUCE D. NESTOR, Minneapolis

 

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING

Just stick to your favorites, in order

An Oct. 30 letter writer claims that giving your second- and third-choice votes to the weakest candidates (and encouraging others to do the same) may help your first choice win — but if your first-choice candidate is strong enough to win, your second and third choices will never be considered and will not affect the outcome of the election. If your first choice is eliminated, you would rather have your other votes go to your preferred candidates, not those most likely to lose (or govern poorly if they win).

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