Why we stand behind Mark Andrew for mayor

Mark Andrew is the consistent progressive leader who brings people together to get things done. As public leaders, we know that no one accomplishes great things on their own but rather by building relationships across diverse groups to drive consensus toward a common goal. Mark excels at building these relationships. That is how he provided the leadership to create our recycling program, build the Midtown Greenway, pass pay equity for women, pass domestic-partner benefits and make Target Field the greenest ballpark in the world.

Mark led the DFL for U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone's re-election. He is a lifelong progressive who stands up for working families and builds economic opportunity for everyone. Jobs with high wages are the quickest way to close our gaps and create equity across our community, and we are grateful to Mark for his past work to this end. At a time in our state and nation where the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, we need leaders who stand up for working people.

Throughout Mark's career, he has collaborated with both business and labor to move our whole community forward. That is why he has the support of both business leaders and rank-and-file workers. Both have seen him build relationships and consensus, and they know that is how we will make our great city even greater.

In this 35-candidate field, no one exemplifies progressivism and collaboration more than Mark Andrew. He is our first choice for mayor of Minneapolis. He will lead with stability, integrity and consistency.


The writers are, respectively, former vice president of the United States, former Minnesota secretary of state, and deputy majority leader of the Minnesota Senate.


Opponents want the vote they didn't get

Lori Sturdevant judges anti-­ stadium populism to be cheap in the current Minneapolis election season ("It's easy to say no to stadium now, and many are," Oct. 27).

But this is the year Minneapolis' chief cheerleader for the stadium deal promised voters a chance to vent: "We're not going to do a referendum in the city. We are going to have a referendum in a couple years when I stand for re-election." (Mayor R.T. Rybak, Star Tribune, Jan. 27, 2012.) By not running again after all, Rybak denied voters even that form of referendum on the issue.

"City candidates who ride stadium opposition into office on Nov. 5 will already be in their debt," Sturdevant concluded, referring to Rybak and City Council stadium backers. Indeed, debt from the stadium-funding decision — political and otherwise — is plentiful. But it's not all cheap.

CHRIS STELLER, Minneapolis


Priest's 'two sides' didn't emerge clearly

I'm not Catholic and have no particular reason to defend the Catholic Church, but I'm among the Rev. Kevin McDonough's many friends and admirers. The Oct. 27 profile "Two sides of priest emerge amid scandal" was a classic in false journalistic balance. On the one hand, we have his decades of tremendous service to the community, especially the poor, to which thousands of people could attest. On the other side we have … what, exactly?

It is not clear, in the three very different cases the Star Tribune describes, what he should have done but didn't, given what he knew at the time. What is clear is that he took on the utterly thankless and risky task of sorting through charges of sexual misconduct by priests, including charges of noncriminal sexual activity not involving children. Reasonable minds may differ on how these cases should have been handled, but let's not pretend the right choices in such situations are always obvious, especially when the evidence is uncertain. The church's atrocious history of covering up priest sex crimes makes it all too easy to assume more coverups and to ignore the difficulty of making real-time judgments based on actual evidence.



Young men must learn empathy early, often

I want to believe that the majority of young high school and college men would not take advantage of someone who is incapacitated by alcohol consumption or physically weaker than they are ("No, really, college women: Stop getting drunk," Oct. 27). However, I think if we take a deeper look into the lives of the young men who have been caught doing just that, we would see similarities in parenting styles and a household culture that encourages getting what you want by any means possible, a sense of undeserved entitlement, and a disregard for life deemed inferior or weak. As a result, the ever-important traits of empathy and delayed gratification are never learned or put into practice. While females may be genetically designed to exhibit these traits, young boys perhaps need more consistent and effective role modeling from adult men who are their fathers, teachers, coaches, bosses and neighbors in order to stave off the desire to emulate the ridiculously vulgar behavior of celebrities and sports figures. As for young women, let's help them develop a healthy self-respect through their formative years so they don't choose to risk their safety or dignity in order to gain dubious attention, desire or acceptance from their male counterparts.