Obscure Local History #3: Saint Paul's Pillar of Black Community Killed by University Avenue Driver c. 1922

[John Quincy Adams, the Saint Paul one.]
I am doing research about the history of Saint Paul these days, as part of my book project (see also, 1851 transit fares) and came across this tragic story in African-American historian David Vassar Taylor's dissertation. It talks about the death of John Quincy Adams, a well-known leader of Saint Paul's black community, the editor of an influential newspaper, the Appeal.

Here's a bit about the history of paper, via MNOpedia:
Adams was an influential writer and a staunch Republican, and like other editors of his day, he expressed his opinions through his paper’s editorial page. The Western Appeal even received funding directly from the Republican Party, another common practice for newspapers of the time. 
In January 1888, Adams opened a regional office for the paper in Chicago. His brother, Cyrus Field Adams, ran it. This brought the Western Appeal to even more readers. Other regional offices followed: Louisville in August 1888, St. Louis in April 1889, Dallas in August 1892, and Washington, D.C. in March 1901. Each Saturday, each of these offices published an edition of the newspaper. Each edition had the same national news, feature articles, and editorials, but carried its own local and social news. The word “Western” was dropped from the paper’s name in 1889, to reflect its national reach. By this time, Adams owned the Appeal outright and supervised both its business and editorial sides.
According to Taylor, Adams (no relation to the president, AFAIK) and his work grew to a national stature for a few years, penning lots of editorials about racism and working to build his paper into a key weekly that served cities from Louisville to Chicago to Dallas, all from Saint Paul. He became influential in Republican Party politics back in the 1890s.

[A front page from the Appeal, c. May 1902.]

It was hard work, and not lucrative, and the paper lost money and eventually shrunk back to a local weekly. The paper's success was helped, however, when he was killed by a car driver trying to cross the street in 1922.

Here's the story on the crash, according to Taylor:
On Sunday afternoon September 3, 1922, John Adams left his home to attend a gospel revival at the Alliance Gospel Tabernacle located at Fry and Charles streets. Upon leaving the meeting he proceeded to the trolley line on University Avenue. As he boarded the streetcar, an automobile spun out of control and struck the aged editor, knocking him to the pavement. Adams was immediately rendered unconscious sustaining a fractured skull, a broken right arm and internal injuries. Although he was rushed by ambulance to the city hospital, there was little the medical staff could do. John Adams died without regaining consciousness at midnight Sunday at the age of seventy-four.  
Funeral services for the departed leader were held September 8, 1922 at Pilgrim Baptist Church. A larger than capacity crowd came to pay its last respects and to hear messages of condolences from throughout the nation for the man who had provided leadership in the community for thirty-seven years.

I guess the point is that drivers on Saint Paul's University Avenue have been deadly and dangerous for almost a hundred years.


Obscure Local History #2: Twin City Transit Fare Competition, c. 1851

[Saint Paul during the boom years of the 1850s.]
An excerpt from J. Fletcher Williams' 1876 History of Saint Paul, detailing the first fierce competition for transit between the Twin Cities.
In the summer of 1851, WILLOUGHBY & POWERS brought to saint Paul and put on their line the first Concord coach ever ran in Minnesota. It is still in use in the Minnesota Stage Company's stock somewhere. Up to the close of this season, they had no opposition in their business, but, during the fall of 1851, LYMAN L BENSON and a MR. PATTISON, came from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they had been in the livery business, bringing a large outfit. In the spring of 1852, they put on an opposition line to Saint Anthony, called the "Yellow Line." WILLOUGHBY & POWERS' coaches were red, and it was generally termed the "red Line." A furious opposition sprang up.   
WILLOUGHBY & POWERS  who had hitherto charged seventy-five cents for fare, reduced their price to a quarter, and, finally, to ten cents, as did also the yellow line, and the latter soon put on an opposition coach to Stillwater also. The war between the red and yellow lines was one of the curious phases of that day. Perhaps some of our readers may remember, when they landed at the levee, how the wordy contest was raged between the rivals. Bishop WILLOUGHBY  says the other line had more money than he, but he "always beat them at sassing." 
This rivalry, with varying success, continued two seasons or more. In the meantime, WILLOUGHBY & POWERS had increased their rolling stock to eight Concord coaches, and had built up a large livery business besides, at their well-known old stand, corner of Fourth and Robert streets. In 1854, they made a compromise with PATTISON & BENSON, the latter buying off their Saint Anthony line. WILLOUGHBY & POWERS had also, in the meantime, opened, and still ran a line to Shakopee, &c, and also ran the Stillwater branch. 

For some context, a quarter in 1850 would be about $8-$10 today,

Twin City Lampposts #27

 [Osaka, Japan.]

  [Osaka, Japan.]

  [Osaka, Japan.]

  [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Somewhere in Japan.]

 [Kinosaki Onsen, Japan.]

  [Kinosaki Onsen, Japan.]

[Somewhere in Japan.]


Twin City Bike Parking #42

 [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Somewhere in Japan.]

[Tokyo, Japan.]

 [Onomichi, Japan.]

  [Onomichi, Japan.]

 [Onomichi, Japan.]

[Northeast, Minneapolis.]


Signs of the Times #171


[Window. Frogtown, Saint Paul.]


[Bike lane sign. Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul.]


[Yard. Chickamaw Beach.]

The walk sign will turn
Wait for walk sign
before crossing.

[Pole. Northeast, Minneapolis.]


[Stop sign. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]


[Yard. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]


[Telephone pole. Prospect Park, Minneapolis.]


[Fence. Prospect Park, Minneapolis.]


Twin City Lampposts #26

[Osaka, Japan.]

 [Seto Inland Sea, Japan.]

[Kagoshima, Japan.]

[Kagoshima, Japan.] 

 [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]

 [Osaka, Japan.]


Ten Things "Highland Bridge" Could Be But Isn't

The new name for the Ford Site was revealed this week and it is "Highland Bridge."  As always, I became inspired by Chris Steller's subsequent tweet.

Here is a list for you of things Highland Bridge could be but is not.
  1. dance troupe at Irish Fest
  2. ride at Como Town
  3. tedious card game
  4. most played track on an Enya album
  5. fundraising website for impoverished bagpipers
  6. grass-fed beef ranch 
  7. wing of an assisted living facility 
  8. kinky sex position
  9. long-running New Zealand soap opera
  10. actual bridge
Feel free to add more in the comments!


Obscure Local History #1: The First Flag in Saint Paul c. 1842

[From whence Saint Paul got its name...]
I've been reading through J Fletcher William's 1875 book, A History of the City of Saint Paul, which has aged better than I initially thought. It's a colorful and rather encyclopedic accounting of the stories of the city's first settlers and notables, and if you look past the glaring anti-indigenous racism, is worth some time.

For example, I came across this anecdote which claims to be the story of the city's first American flag. It's from the section on Sergeant Richard W. Mortimer, an Englishman who arrived at Fort Snelling in 1835, retired from the army a few years later, and moved to Saint Paul in 1842:
Sergeant MORTIMER was really uniftted for the new life in which he had engaged... He was a liberal and public-spirited man, and, had he lived, would have been a prominent citizen. The first flag every [sic] raised in Saint Paul, was procured by him, at the expense of $35. He had one of his men raise it on a pole, in front of his house, on Christmas, 1842. There seems to have been almost as much rivalry between upper and lower town, those days, as there was subsequently, for the flag had been flying but a little while, when some wicked scamp, from the lower part of the village, cut it down. MORTIMER was terribly enraged when he found it out, and was about to put it in force Gov. DIX's famous order -- "if any man hauls down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." He went to load a gun, and ordered his horse to purse the offender. His wife, fearing there would be bloodshed, unloosed the horse, and there was so much delay before he was caught, that MORTIMER's anger cooled down.
According to a very ambitious inflation calculator, $35 in 1842 is about $1,000 in today's dollars. Meanwhile, you can get a Saint Paul flag right now for only $15.


La Croix Flavor Rankings

Here you go. Years of careful study has led to this.

  1. Pamplemousse
  2. Lime
  3. Lemon
  4. Hibiscus
  5. Pure
  6. Orange
  7. Crazz-Cranberry
  8. Tangerine
  9. Peach-Pear
  10. Apricot
  11. Watermelon
  12. Limoncello
  13. Berry
  14. Mango
  15. Key Lime
  16. Passionfruit
  17. Coconut

Stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.


Things to Keep from COVID-19

[Parking lot patios in Saint Paul.]
I hope it goes without saying that almost everything about the COVID-19 pandemic is horrible. The first thing we should do is consider on all the deaths, economic devastation, and social fragmentation that have come from the disease and our government's inability to remedy its worst effects. We must demand better answers and social solutions from our elected officials and each other.

That said, there are some things that are better now than they were before. There are a few thing we should keep around if and when COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror.

Here's my partial list:
  • Better unemployment benefits, for more people
  • Parking lots becoming patios (see examples above)
  • Take-away beer
  • Parkways without cars
  • Better checkout lines (e.g. one long queue instead of many short ones)
  • Fewer 9-5 commutes
  • More biking and walking
  • Hotel rooms for people without homes
  • Cowboy Jack's closing 

Anything to add? I will update this as needed.


Signs of the Times #170



[Boulevard. Longfellow, Minneapolis.]


[Window. University Avenue alley, Saint Paul.]




[Window. Downtown, Saint Paul.]


[Boulevard. Location forgotten.]






[Window. Frogtown, Saint Paul.]

As of June 25th
Until Governor opens

[Window. Pine River.]



[Window. Pine River.]

3.1.20 FROM


[Window. Pine River.]


My First Byline, feat. the Minneapolis Charter Commission

[Collections of campaign buttons from 2005.]
Way back in 2005, I was volunteering as a news reporter at KFAI Radio, a community station in Minneapolis. This was before I went to graduate school, and seems like ages ago. Working once a week at the radio station was where I started to learn about local city politics and the Byzantine ways of Minneapolis, with all its Commissions and Boards and internecine cliques that formed the ties between the City Council, Mayor's office,  Downtown Council, and more. I had no idea about the deeply uneven geography of the city, who funded what, how the racial, ethnic, and class divisions played out,.

Even then, it turns out I was writing about the Charter Commission. My piece was centered on the redistricting process that shaped the 2005 Minneapolis City Council election, which at the time was a battle between a fledgling Green Party (two of whom had gotten elected in 2001) and the DFL party's attempt to regain a monopoly over city offices and eliminate a rival on the left.  I wrote the article for a tiny alt-weekly named The Pulse of the Twin Cities. (I think I got paid $50 and I do remember being pissed at some of the edits.) It no longer exists, of course, and has even disappeared from the internet.

The interesting thing about this, in retrospect, was that the Minneapolis Charter Commission was the vehicle for the district gerrymandering. They were and are set up in an undemocratic way, with Republicans (! - being the a major state party) having a seat on the Commission, rather than an actual left-wing party that would better fit actual Minneapolis voters. I remember someone explaining this to me at the time, and having the info go straight over my head.

With the increased and unfortunate relevance of the Charter Commission to our daily lives again,  I'm going to repost it here. Enjoy this blast from November 2005:

[Article follows.]

Can the Greens survive the DFL’s attention?
Date: 2005-11-02 02:42:57

by Bill Lindeke

Four years ago, the Green Party was celebrating a sea change. Unlikely mayoral challenger R.T. Rybak had just defeated a solid DFL incumbent by relying on the support of independents, rebellious Democrats and the Green Party. And those same Green-leaning voters had come out in unprecedented numbers for Council candidates throughout the city, electing the scruffily unorthodox Dean Zimmermann over a well-groomed opponent, pulling in big numbers in South Minneapolis, and nearly almost (but not quite) electing Cam Gordon in the progressive 2nd Ward. But probably the biggest upset occurred on the least-traditional Green Party turf, the Northside, where neighborhood fixture Natalie Johnson-Lee defeated Council President Jackie Cherryhomes by a nano-thin margin of 72 votes. Add to the millennial mix such third-party success stories as Ralph Nader’s showing in the 2000 presidential race or Jesse Ventura’s comic-book term in office, and Minneapolis seemed to be part of a trend that would finally challenge a politically ingrained two-party structure.

This year things have changed, and the Green Party is fighting hard just to keep from slipping back into outsider status. The two Green incumbents on the City Council are locked in difficult races, and with the retirement of independent Barret Lane in the 13th Ward, there’s a real possibility that the DFL “establishment” candidates will sweep the Minneapolis elections for the first time in decades. But due to vagaries of the local electorate, it could also take a progressive swing. Unexpected turns of events will ultimately reveal a great deal about the challenges third parties face when establishing themselves in America.

First, it’s safe to say that Minneapolis’ political landscape has shifted since 2001, that the old labor-backed power circles have grown more fractured. The new political crop—Mayor Rybak, along with Council members Robert Lilligren, Don Samuels and Paul Ogren—are more grassroots-savvy than the old Sayles-Belton/Jackie Cherryhomes coalition. As a result, when candidates have campaigned this summer, it’s been harder for outsiders to make the case that the system needs a radical correction. Plus, at the national level, Democrats are highly unified in the face of Republican control of both the White House and Congress.

Greens, for their part, are aware that the tone has changed in city politics. Cam Gordon, who served a term as Green Party chair, admitted that “campaign finance hasn’t been as much of an issue this time around.” He pointed out that the Green Party didn’t endorse Ralph Nader in last year’s presidential election, and that David Cobb, who did get the Green endorsement, promised not to launch an all-out campaign in the swing states (such as Minnesota). But, Gordon said, “Greens are having success by sticking to their core principles of grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom and social justice.” It remains to be seen whether that message is enough to undo the damage of Bush vs. Gore and sway uneasy Democrats over to a third party.

A more troubling prospect is that the Minneapolis political landscape hasn’t just shifted metaphorically, it has shifted literally. Lurking underneath this year’s election is a decennial redistricting plan that has literally changed the lines of Minneapolis’ thirteen wards, and shifted most Council seats to the right.

“The redistricting process isn’t meant to re-draw entire districts. It’s a process that happens after every census, where you account for changes in population,” said incumbent 6th Ward Councilmember Dean Zimmermann. “Typically you make some changes around the edges, and keep the old wards largely intact. That’s not what happened,” he told Pulse.

Zimmermann has good reason to be upset by the new district boundaries. When the new map was approved, without public input, his house was sitting on the other side of his ward boundary. Particularly troubling, Zimmermann said, is that the lead architect of the new map had served as campaign manager for Dean Kallenbach, the DFLer Zimmermann defeated in 2001. While Zimmermann isn’t floating any outright conspiracy theories, he candidly suggested that the redistricting decision looks like dirty politics.

While the 2001 commission that drew up the new City Council map was bi-partisan, the Green Party, clearly Minneapolis’ second most influential group, only had one representative. That was due to a technicality in the city charter, which granted seats on the commission according to the largest statewide parties. Back in 2001, those rules meant multiple appointments from the DFL, the Republicans and even the new-found Independence party.

Needless to say, that kind of ideological distribution doesn’t fit the typical Minneapolis voter profile—combined, the Republican and Independence parties polled a mere 2 percent of the final 2001 city vote. That those parties held five seats on the commission while the Green Party had only one seat is an injustice that should go down in the annals of unrepresentative democracy … that is, if it is remembered at all.

Faced with the newly redistricted Minneapolis map, Councilmembers Johnson-Lee and Zimmermann, along with a handful of concerned citizens, filed a lawsuit accusing the commission of gerrymandering the city map. But challenging redistricting in court is notoriously difficult. The law requires that wards be contiguous, simple and representative, which are all subjective terms. Zimmermann, who was involved in the lawsuit, alleges that the ’02 Ward map failed on multiple counts. “First of all, it packs the fifth ward,” Zimmermann told Pulse. “Now, if you look at it, you’ve got an 80 percent minority ward.” At the time, Johnson-Lee was more pointed, and called the new ward boundaries “racist and classist.”

There are a number of other allegations against the new city map, like the questionably long and skinny 3rd Ward running along the river in Northeast, or the shifted 8th Ward, where almost half of its primary votes came from the (wealthiest) two of its 10 precincts. But despite the litany of argument, the judge deciding the redistricting case ruled against Johnson-Lee, Zimmermann and their coalition of litigants. The ‘02 redistricting map was upheld, and it, as much as anything, is the reason why the political landscape for this election looks so different from the one four years ago.

This year, Greens haven’t spent much time campaigning on the redistricting trickery. Behind the scenes, though, it continues to be a nagging irritant causing many a sleepness night for affected Green candidates. And, as Woody Allen famously quipped, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s recent indictments involve redistricting in his home state of Texas, where the Republican majority gerrymandered up to seven new congressional seats for the last election. Just the possibility that the same thing might be happening in the grassroots stronghold of Minneapolis is a troubling thought.

Nowadays, however, the battle over redistricting is but a burning memory. As a result, Zimmermann and Johnson-Lee are locked in close races against incumbent opponents, and there’s a very real chance that Greens will lose representation on the City Council. Faced with the prospect of a one-party town, Zimmerman sounded defiant. He pointed to better-than-expected success in the mayor’s race, where Green upstart Farheen Hakeem pulled in 14 percent of the vote. “The Green Party is the only political party in this country that’s growing,” he said. “No matter what happens, we’re going to be here. Our platform and our values represent the mainstream of American thinking,” Zimmermann said.

In the short term, though, the Green Party is sitting on the brink of either relevance or obscurity. There’s a big difference between merely polling well and winning a seat on the City Council. At the moment, all three top-tier Green candidates—Zimmermann, Johnson-Lee and Gordon—are confident they’ll win on Nov. 8. If they do, the Green Party will have done much to solidify its legitimacy as a voice within Minneapolis politics. On the other hand, if the new ward boundaries translate into a DFL sweep, Cam Gordon believes that something important will be lost. “That would be tragic for the political conversation in Minneapolis,” Gordon said. “A level of accountability, ideological diversity and an independent voice in City Hall would disappear.”

2005 Minneapolis City Election Round-up

THE ISSUES: With the controversial redistricting map shifting most ward races to the right, this election is a rematch of the same interest groups from 2001. The Minneapolis Police Federation and other important unions are putting a lot of time and money into changing the tone at City Hall. The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has come under a lot of fire from the community, and many of the new Council members are advocating change within the MPD.

As always, real estate development money is flowing into campaign coffers, while a lot of the real work is happening door to door. Thanks partly to well-funded incumbents, many of the City Council races aren’t very close, particularly in Wards 1, 4, 7 and 11.

Also, a group called Minneapolis Park Watch (MplsParkWatch.org) is aiming to remake the city’s independent Park Board. According to the grassroots group, the Park Board has spent the last few years wasting money on boondoggles, giving away irreplaceable park land, and slowly privatizing access.

St. Paul Mayor

THE CHOICES: After Green Party candidate Elizabeth Dickinson was eliminated in the primary, incumbent Mayor Randy Kelly and DFLer Chris Coleman remain in the race. Before the 2004 presidential election, DFLer Kelly called a press conference to announce his support for Republican President George Bush over Democratic challenger John Kerry. Recently he called another press conference to announce that St. Paul voters shouldn’t vote for Coleman out of anger. According to pollsters, a majority of St. Paul voters are angry, and the Kelly endorsement of Bush is a big reason why they will be voting for Chris Coleman.

THE ISSUES: Lots of suburban money is commuting its way to St. Paul proper in this race, with Kelly receiving 58 percent of suburban money for his campaign, and Coleman getting 30 percent. Coleman received the DFL endorsement, and has the support of former Mayor George Latimer, and the entire St. Paul state legislative delegation, all of whom are DFLers. Kelly is endorsed by former St. Paul City Councilmembers Vic Tedesco, Len Levine and Ron Maddox, as well as U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Coleman’s vision for St. Paul includes more affordable housing, a sustainable energy policy for the city, and Kelly wants to keep taxes down and cites his progress on transportation issues such as the Phalen Corridor and Shepard Road.

Minneapolis Mayor

THE CHOICES: This year marks a rematch of the 2001 election, with Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin taking the place of old ally Sharon Sayles-Belton against incumbent Mayor R. T. Rybak. While these two candidates don’t stand that far apart on the issues, they stand far apart on the stage during debates, as McLaughlin lambasts Rybak for not doing enough on public safety while Rybak talks about his “vision for the future.”

THE ISSUES: Rybak took office in the worst of times, with the state cutting city funding, and the budget in a mess. Both candidates support downtown development, mass transit and a publicly-funded baseball stadium. McLaughlin has been boosted (ever so slightly) by the support of the Minneapolis Police Federation, although Rybak counters that he will work to hire more police officers and continue to increase diversity within the police department.

Ward 2

THE CHOICES: After losing by 108 votes only four years ago, Green Party candidate Cam Gordon is running a tight race against well-connected, well-funded DFLer Cara Letofsky. Both have spent years working in the neighborhood. Gordon is the more passionate speaker, while Letofksy excels at political organizing. Letofsky used to head the DFL-leaning Progressive Minnesota, and is married to a DFL legislator.

THE ISSUES: Both Gordon and Letofsky express concerns about building bridges between the ward’s neighborhoods and the University of Minnesota. Both are supportive of liveability issues, environmentalism and economic justice. Maybe the biggest difference between them is campaign finance: Gordon doesn’t accept contributions from real estate developers, Letofsky does.

Ward 3

THE CHOICES: The race between Green Party up-and-comer Aaron Neumann and DFL-endorsed Diane Hofstede is a real David and Goliath struggle. Hofstede is a well-financed executive who is responsible, in large part, for the new downtown Minneapolis Library. Neumann is known as a strong neighborhood advocate, environmental and social justice activist, and passionate campaigner. Full disclosure: Neumann currently works for Pulse.

THE ISSUES: Neumann’s campaign issues are a lot like fellow Green Party member, Dean Zimmermann—fair and low-cost housing, alternative energy and police department reforms. Hofstede, almost a polar opposite, talks about her experience in balancing budgets and keeping a lid on taxes. Neumann has been campaigning heavily in Northside precincts, while Hofstede is focusing on the newly-swank riverside developments and the old labor base.

Ward 5

THE CHOICES: The first of two “redistricting” races, the two African-American City Council incumbents are facing off in a campaign that’s been fraught with inflammatory negativity. PEACE Foundation head and Rybak ally Don Samuels, who won a special election over a DFL endorsee with the help of Greens and Green-leaners from NE Minneapolis in Ward 3, is running against outspoken Green Party incumbent, Natalie Johnson-Lee.

THE ISSUES: In theory, public safety and economic development are the two biggest issues in this Northside ward, which has seen a leap in crime lately. Samuels places strong emphasis on community policing, and holds day-long vigils each time a murder occurrs on his turf. Johnson-Lee talks a lot about economic justice, and holding City Hall accountable for unequal distribution of resources. But, unfortunately, this campaign has been all about “he said, she said,” as the two have been making pointed barbs at each other’s perceived biases and campaign tactics.

Ward 6

THE CHOICES: This is the other “redistricting” race, where incumbent Green Dean Zimmermann is running against first-term DFLer, and City Council Vice President, Robert Lilligren. Zimmermann, a handyman by trade, is an iconoclastic social justice advocate. Lilligren, who is both Native American and gay, is an articulate small-time real estate developer.

THE ISSUES: Development, parking and transit are big deals in this ward. Both candidates are passionate supporters of transit infrastructure, though Zimmermann places higher priority on alternative energy. Lilligren is dead set against the controversial 35-W access project, while Zimmermann suggests it could be done without destroying existing homes. Lilligren does talk about public safety, but Zimmermann repeatedly emphasizes long-term sustainability and making “a world safe for our great-grandchildren.”

Ward 8

THE CHOICES: In this open seat, Park Board member Marie Hauser is running against civil rights attorney Elizabeth Glidden in a close race. Hauser has received a slew of labor endorsements, and Glidden has the support of most of the neighborhoods west of 35W. The 8th Ward is a “majority-minority” ward, so either candidate will have to focus heavily on economic development issues and police tensions.

THE ISSUES: Hauser got into hot water by distributing iffy literature during the primary. The offended party, third-place finisher Jeff Hayden, has since campaigned for Glidden, who touts experience with building diverse coalitions. In addition, Hauser, who has nursing credentials, has come out belatedly against the citywide smoking ban after Glidden had publicly supported it.

Ward 9

THE CHOICES: First-term incumbent Gary Schiff is facing a challenge from Green-endorsed mechanical engineer Dave Bicking. Schiff is one of the more independently-minded Councilmembers, while Bicking is a union member, veteran and small business owner who has been involved in the peace movement as well as his neighborhood for decades.

THE ISSUES: Both are progressive candidates, and don’t have large differences of opinion on issues of small-business support or controlling city development. Bicking has been campaigning heavily against public money for a new downtown stadium, though Schiff doesn’t support the stadium either. Bicking is a lifelong peace and justice advocate, and wants to ensure police accountability in the city.

Ward 10

THE CHOICES: This open seat is a close race between two DFLers, Ralph Remington against Scott Persons. Persons is a longtime Democrat and businessman, and a self-proclaimed pragmatist. Remington, who is one of the few African-Americans running for local office, is a nonprofit manager.

THE ISSUES: Putting some reins on real estate development is the big issue in this ward, and both candidates have been campaigning on the issue of controlling building height. However, Persons seems more willing to compromise with developers. For example, he’s quite in favor of the controversial 35-W “access project,” that would remove some freeway-side houses to add new onramps to an expanded Lake Street. Another difference is that Remington has refused to accept developer money in his campaign.

Ward 12

THE CHOICES: A match-up between independent candidate Kevin McDonald, a pollution expert and incumbent DFLer Sandy Colvin Roy.

THE ISSUES: McDonald is talking a lot about campaign financing, an issue that’s been put on the back burner elsewhere in the city. He accuses Colvin Roy of being too unabashedly pro-development and taking loads of campaign money, while he has made a campaign pledge to reject contributions from developers and their contractors. McDonald is very pro-union, as is Colvin Roy. Colvin Roy takes credit for being good at neighborhood concerns and compromises, such as the LRT launch in this ward.

Ward 13

THE CHOICES: DFL and Rybak-supported Betsy Hodges is running against ex-councilmember and ’01 Mayoral candidate Lisa McDonald in this Southwest ward, which hasn’t elected a DFL-endorsed candidate in over a decade.

THE ISSUES: Airport noise is a big deal in South-West, and these two candidates differ over MSP’s new runway. McDonald, who is famously independent and experienced, has toned down her usual high-strung rhetoric for this race, emphasizing education and better city management. Hodges has been promising to tackle the city’s pension problems. ||


Twin City Doorways #61

 [West Saint Paul.]

 [Frogtown, Saint Paul.]

 [Summit Avenue, Saint Paul.]

 [University Avenue, Saint Paul.]

 [Midway, Saint Paul.]

 [University Avenue, Saint Paul.]

 [Grand Avenue, Saint Paul.]

[West End, Saint Paul.]