COMMUNITY VOICES | Why I’m Addressing Racial Justice in my Ward 3 Campaign

When Cam Gordon and some other Green Party members approached me about running for city council in Ward 3, I was hesitant. I had run for city council before with another third party, the Citizens Party, back in the 1980’s. At that time I was running against what felt like a Chicago-style political machine, run by Walter Dziedzic who served innumerable council terms in Ward 1. I recall, and not with fondness, the poor treatment I received running in a 3rd party in a DFL-controlled city, locked out of debate forums, dismissed by the media, and the thought of going through that again was not high on my list. But, now with Ranked Choice Voting and so many years of community engagement and experience behind my belt, I acquiesced to the idea of giving it another shot, believing in myself as a well qualified and credible candidate. Now in Ward 3, 2013, I find myself running against two machines, the old guard DFL machine of the incumbent and the slick, new guard machine of the DFL endorsed candidate. The dual machine politicos combined have sunk close to a quarter of a million dollars into their campaigns. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Food Giants Benevolence Detracts from the Root Causes of Hunger

The business pages of the Star Tribune often highlight the well meaning efforts of employees of Cargill and General Mills in their charity projects for Africa, as noted in “Partners work to bolster African food chain” (Star Tribune, 3/5/12). No doubt a number of the on-site projects which involve working with local communities in Africa are important and beneficial in the short term. But an emphasis on the corporate food giants benevolence masks the root causes of the worlds food crisis and the role that unregulated global markets, financial speculators, and global monopolies have on it. Decades of flawed agricultural policies, inequitable trade, and unsustainable development have thrown the world’s food systems into a volatile boom and bust cycle and widened the gap between affluence and poverty.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading