Minneapolis City Politics General Discussion

Elections - City Councils and Commissions - Policies
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1362
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Minneapolis City Politics General Discussion

Postby xandrex » November 12th, 2019, 11:42 am

The 2021 Minneapolis city council race will be for a two-year term (and then in 2023 become decoupled from the mayoral race) without changes to Minnesota law: https://www.minnpost.com/state-governme ... s-in-2021/

Don't think I remember this bit from Phyllis Kahn.

Posts: 6207
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Minneapolis City Politics General Discussion

Postby twincitizen » November 12th, 2019, 9:02 pm

This definitely went under the radar at the time, but it is 100% needed. Not using the new ward boundaries (based on the 2020 Census) until the 2025 election is really bad and undemocratic. Especially in a time of massive (but also massively unequal) population growth across the city in 2010-2020, it is super important to use those boundaries in the soonest possible election. Unfortunately, it isn't possible for the new boundaries to be drawn up in time for the 2021 election - that would be everyone's preference and there would be no reason for Kahn's law to exist. The only flaw in Kahn's law is that it doesn't include a provision for back-to-back 2 year terms, in order to keep Council and Mayor synced up in 2025 and beyond. The article calls this the "double up" solution. Essentially a 2-2-4-4-4-4 pattern every 20 years. I think that's the right move if people think it's important to keep Mayor and Council synced up on the same election years.

Without a change from the legislature, it will just be the single 2-year term in 2021-23, then a 4-year Council term in 2023-27. But the mayor will be elected to a 4-year term in 2021, and would next show up on the 2025 ballot alone, with no Council election that year (basically, St. Paul style). This out-of-sync pattern would continue until two censuses later, when Kahn's law would again call for a 2-year Council term. So from here on out, we could have a 20-year batch of "St. Paul style" city elections in Minneapolis, then reverting to "Minneapolis style" city elections for the next 20 years. This doesn't seem like a huge/bad deal to me, but clearly a number of the current council are against the idea of getting out of sync with the mayoral election, and they want to implement a version of the article's "double up" solution. Currently I'd have to side with Mayor Frey's position over Lisa Bender's, based on the information given in the article. She doesn't make a strong enough case for why the Mayor ought to be included on the 2023 ballot, when the Mayor will have won a 4-year term in 2021 - districts don't matter citywide. If the "double up" change is approved, the Council would be alone on a ballot just once every 20 years, syncing back up with the Mayor the following election. That really doesn't seem like a big enough deal to warrant making the mayor run for a pair of 2-year terms - stability of 4-year terms for the mayor is more important than whatever Bender thinks would be gained by forcing the mayor to compete in 2023 as well.

Capella Tower
Posts: 2314
Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Minneapolis City Politics General Discussion

Postby EOst » November 14th, 2019, 8:13 am

I would argue whether it's necessary or not, but either way, this is 100% not something that the Legislature should be micromanaging for only certain types of home rule cities. If the people of Minneapolis feel this is a problem, it is a problem that should be addressed in the city charter, not at a legislative level. Statutes like this completely defeat the purpose and intention of home rule, especially for a question that is so fundamentally about the structure of a local government. It's not fair to the people of Minneapolis--or Saint Paul, for that matter--to impose this on them without recourse.

The logic behind this statute is not fundamentally different from any of the preemption bills that people in the Legislature have proposed to block local minimum wages, sick & safe time ordinances, etc. It's just something that a different side of the aisle feels somewhat sympathetic to. The problems of good government are the same in both.

Return to “Local Politics and Governance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest