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Readers Write: (Nov. 2): Minneapolis 11th, 12th and 13th Ward endorsements; business experience in politics

  • November 1, 2013 - 5:10 PM

13TH WARD

The arguments for Durant, Palmisano

The criteria I will use to choose the best candidate in the 13th Ward of Minneapolis is very different from the Editorial Board’s. All three candidates have experience in business, volunteering and handling budgets. All three are smart and care about the city. But Missy Durant stands out. What she lacks in attendance at community meetings, she makes up for in real-life experience. As the only candidate with children in public school, she has a deep understanding of the need to make Minneapolis a community where all children thrive. Rather than coming to elected office with all the answers, Missy asks questions, applies reason, common sense and heart, and listens to community voices. She is a big-picture thinker and understands, for example, that my property taxes are directly related to economic stability, or lack of it, on the North Side of town. Missy’s interpersonal skills and her ability to bring people together may not be evident in a single interview, but they are exactly the skills needed to move our city ahead. As in business, schools and families, success is all about building relationships. Missy has the unique ability to do just that.

MICHAEL TEDFORD, Minneapolis

• • •

The Star Tribune missed an opportunity to endorse a rising star in the 13th Ward. We are supporting Linea Palmisano, who has the experience, commitment and passion to represent us well.

Linea won the DFL endorsement and has broad support across the political spectrum. She has been a neighborhood and community leader as chair of her neighborhood council and point person in working with the city on development projects and multimodal transit solutions.

Linea’s 15 years of experience with IBM and UnitedHealthcare, and her MBA, equip her well to help control property taxes, shape the city budget and find innovative ways to deliver basic city services.

On the critical issue of addressing climate change, clean air and the city’s environmental health, Linea is the strongest candidate. Her deep knowledge and advocacy experience will serve us all in negotiating more renewable energy and a better transportation infrastructure.

As a running coach at Southwest High, mentor to immigrant students, and mother, Linea is a big supporter of Minneapolis schools. She will support city policies that help students arrive at school ready to learn.

We urge 13th Ward voters to make Linea Palmisano their first choice on Tuesday.

 

The preceding letter was signed by Madalyn Cioci, Minneapolis; Minneapolis school board member Rebecca Gagnon; state Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis; Stephen Rueff, and George Soule, Minneapolis.

 

12th WARD

Johnson shouldn’t have been written off

As a resident of Minneapolis’ 12th Ward, I am simply astounded that the Editorial Board barely gave a nod to Andrew Johnson in its assessment of our City Council candidates. I first learned of Andrew in March when I found a hand-delivered letter in my door announcing his candidacy and positions. I then met him at several community events and became increasingly impressed with his intelligence, his knowledge of our community and similar communities around the nation, his passion for positive change, and his commitment to meeting and seeking input from neighbors.

I am not the only one. Andrew also earned the respect and endorsement of our current mayor; City Council president and vice president; county commissioner; several unions, and caucuses representing the diversity of our neighborhood. How could all of this hard work, experience and potential go unrecognized by the Star Tribune? It certainly is noticed in the 12th Ward.

LISA NILLES, Minneapolis

 

11TH WARD

Steele would be close to the neighborhoods

We need a fresh voice on the Minneapolis City Council from the 11th Ward. The candidate endorsed by the Editorial Board, incumbent John Quincy, voted in favor of the Vikings stadium, putting an out-of-state developer’s interests ahead of those he represents, and seems to avoid talking to his constituents.

Conversely, Matt Steele has been very open about his positions on a multitude of issues and has a forward-thinking viewpoint that can take us further as a city. He won’t be beholden to special interests.

Matt is a strong thought leader in the tactical urbanism movement, which promotes small-scale investment in our neighborhoods. I have intently followed this movement in a variety of online forums, and believe it is the right way forward for Minneapolis. Matt is also very knowledgeable about issues affecting the ward, such as airport noise.

Bill Kinney, Minneapolis

 

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Business experience lacking, and it shows

Regarding federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius et al.: Should we appoint nonbusinesspeople to executive positions where such skill and experience helps? Just 8 percent of President Obama’s Cabinet has worked in business. We end up with people willing to take an arrow to protect their boss, but wouldn’t we rather have competence?

MIKE WELBAUM, Edina

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