Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » September 18th, 2018, 5:04 pm

Elected officials spending tax dollars to hire a PR firm to convince voters that the elected officials know better than the voters is bizarre and gross.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 19th, 2018, 8:15 am

I would love to believe the City of Minneapolis communications department is equipped on messaging to help sell their vision for the city. But then somebody with advance knowledge of the fourplex element of the 2040 plan started making noise about it so that busybodies like Carol Becker could start banging the drum for the status quo.

If the city recognizes they're not properly equipped for combating this kind of fact-free messaging, I'm glad they're taking steps to try better this time around instead of falling into the same pattern and getting bullied into scaling back the plan again.

MNdible
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2018, 8:49 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 8:15 am
I would love to believe the City of Minneapolis communications department is equipped on messaging to help sell their vision for the city.
Whose vision needs selling?

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby hiawather » September 19th, 2018, 8:53 am

How is it possible that politicians are unable to present and sell their visions on their own? Isn't that a core part of the profession? It's so frustrating that liberals/leftists/progressives...whatever you want to call us...are so appallingly incapable of effective politics. Policy wonkery, facts, data, etc. simply do not sell and so many people with great ideas are utterly blind to this reality.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 19th, 2018, 9:04 am

It comes down to it's easier to attack something in a sentence or with a yard sign, trying to defend a plan with facts and data requires your opponent to listen in good faith.

It also sucks that on housing, NIMBYs have done such a good job of convincing the far left to be opposed to it too because of the "evil developers." At this point, with a plan that's going to drive the policies the city makes for the next twenty years, I would prefer our milquetoast leaders to pull the emergency cord and get help with messaging than to, again, repeat the mistakes with the draft plan and end up having to concede further to the south Minneapolis mansion district.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby amiller92 » September 19th, 2018, 9:08 am

I'm still waiting for someone to find out who funds Minneapolis for Everyone because there are definitely "developers" who run in that circle.

Multimodal
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby Multimodal » September 19th, 2018, 9:10 am

Try trademarking “Minneapolis for Everyone” and see who comes knocking on your door.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby QuietBlue » September 19th, 2018, 9:12 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:04 am
It comes down to it's easier to attack something in a sentence or with a yard sign, trying to defend a plan with facts and data requires your opponent to listen in good faith.
Which is why it's a bad strategy when dealing with an emotional issue like this.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby hiawather » September 19th, 2018, 9:23 am

QuietBlue wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:12 am
VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:04 am
It comes down to it's easier to attack something in a sentence or with a yard sign, trying to defend a plan with facts and data requires your opponent to listen in good faith.
Which is why it's a bad strategy when dealing with an emotional issue like this.
Right- that's my point. So far the 'pro-2040' side has been pretty much facts and data. The emotion and lie based arguments of people like our own local Donald Trump- Carol Becker- are winning out. I'm not saying we should lie but I am saying that we need to figure out a way to effectively sell in a more immediately appealing way. We can win among the wonks (who are what- 2% of the population?) but change is scary and it's so easy to whip up fear and shut down people's minds.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 19th, 2018, 9:29 am

hiawather wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:23 am
I'm not saying we should lie but I am saying that we need to figure out a way to effectively sell in a more immediately appealing way. We can win among the wonks (who are what- 2% of the population?) but change is scary and it's so easy to whip up fear and shut down people's minds.
...which is why I don't think getting professional help on this is a bad thing. It's intentionally putting us at a disadvantage to pretend the reactionary, emotional rhetoric from conservatives is a grassroots development and not carefully weaponized in think tanks.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby hiawather » September 19th, 2018, 10:10 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:29 am
hiawather wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 9:23 am
I'm not saying we should lie but I am saying that we need to figure out a way to effectively sell in a more immediately appealing way. We can win among the wonks (who are what- 2% of the population?) but change is scary and it's so easy to whip up fear and shut down people's minds.
...which is why I don't think getting professional help on this is a bad thing. It's intentionally putting us at a disadvantage to pretend the reactionary, emotional rhetoric from conservatives is a grassroots development and not carefully weaponized in think tanks.
I don't disagree with you but I would add that a core competency of a politician is to craft a message that sells and I bemoan the fact that progressive politicians don't seem to get that.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 19th, 2018, 11:04 am

You're right. Part of this problem is that the city has been letting the staff drive the discussion and (at least as far as I'm aware) the only elected officials who have been wading into discussion are the ones who are asking for less. Frey and Bender should have been on the frontlines of this, and that was also a mistake.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2018, 11:19 am

It's one thing if a private group wants to hire a PR firm to promote a message. But again, it's really not good to have the city, who are in the end a bunch of bureaucrats hired by elected officials, hiring a PR firm to convince the people that elected them that they're wrong.

I know that in this case you all happen to agree with the plan, so it's all cool. But it's really not.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby hiawather » September 19th, 2018, 11:44 am

MNdible wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 11:19 am
It's one thing if a private group wants to hire a PR firm to promote a message. But again, it's really not good to have the city, who are in the end a bunch of bureaucrats hired by elected officials, hiring a PR firm to convince the people that elected them that they're wrong.

I know that in this case you all happen to agree with the plan, so it's all cool. But it's really not.
I haven't really pondered so much whether or not staff hiring professional communicators (a PR firm) is right or wrong. Personally I've bemoaned the inability of progressive politicians to sell a vision. Can you tell me why it is inherently wrong for staff to hire PR to sell their plan...I don't know if I automatically follow without some sort of reasoning. If the points they sell are factual and accurate I don't see it as necessarily inappropriate but perhaps there is some dimension to this that I haven't considered.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Well, I think you've kind of hit on it.

At one level, in a democracy, the elected officials should be responding to their constituents' beliefs. Now, I'm not suggesting that elected officials need to be wind veins that whip around to whatever the whims of public opinion are. There are countless instances of principled politicians taking an unpopular stance and working hard to change the views of their constituents, and that's great.

But it's something else entirely for these politicians to use taxpayer money to hire a PR firm to push the narrative and give the officials political cover. The job of government is not to tell their constituents how to think on political issues -- that's the job of political parties.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby hiawather » September 19th, 2018, 1:12 pm

MNdible wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 12:34 pm
But it's something else entirely for these politicians to use taxpayer money to hire a PR firm to push the narrative and give the officials political cover. The job of government is not to tell their constituents how to think on political issues -- that's the job of political parties.
Here's where I think it is not necessarily wrong for city staff to hire PR to push their ideas: because PR can push the truth- more effectively than wonks can. I think your opinion, if I am accurately reiterating it here, is that it is inherently wrong for city staff to hire PR to present certain ideas to the public regardless of how it is done. I don't know that I agree with you - I'd certainly say it's less than ideal because these ideas should be fought for and articulated by like-minded politicians (in addition to the wonks with their data and analysis). In the end, the fundamental reasons why the Minneapolis 2040 plan is by and large good (in my opinion) isn't getting effectively disseminated to the public, so the public debate suffers. To me, that is a wrong that can be curtailed by city staff hiring PR. It is very much government's job to communicate iwith constituents (here is the problem, and here is how we propose to solve it and why we propose to solve it in this manner), which is a different thing than telling people what to think.

Regardless, it's a failure of our city's political class.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby NickP » September 19th, 2018, 1:20 pm

Thank you for the well stated points folks! It’s great to see civil dialogue in a online forum. I feel like I see it so rarely, so I want to give props when I do see it. :-)

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby FISHMANPET » September 19th, 2018, 2:00 pm

Mndible keeps saying "elected officials" but it's not the elected officials that hired a PR team it's planning staff. And after the red-sign brigade started convincing people that the city was going to use eminent domain to seize homes and demolish them, I'm not sure I blame staff for realizing they're in over their heads when it comes to conveying what's in the plan.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby amiller92 » September 19th, 2018, 2:35 pm

I mean, they face an opposition that has no compunction about lying to get their way (yesterday it was Lisa McDonald implying that the comments are somehow being hidden from the public, when they are readily available to anyone: https://www.facebook.com/fox9kmsp/video ... 7920019926). I can see how planning staff thinks they need help.

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Re: Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2018, 2:59 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:
September 19th, 2018, 2:00 pm
Mndible keeps saying "elected officials" but it's not the elected officials that hired a PR team it's planning staff.
If in fact it was bureaucrats who hired the PR firm without approval from elected officials, that's not better -- it's much much worse.

As I noted previously, if Neighbors for More Neighbors wanted to pass the hat and hire a PR firm to combat the fact that many voters don't like what's in the plan, that's great! Do it!


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