When a Minneapolis Police officer responding to a 911 call shot an unarmed Fulton-neighborhood resident this July — the city’s third officer-involved shooting death in four years — it made police accountability a top issue in the 2017 municipal election.
That’s particularly true in Ward 13, where the DFL-endorsed incumbent, Linea Palmisano, organized a community forum weeks after Justine Damond’s death. Some of her constituents in the relatively low-crime Southwest ward said they were no longer comfortable calling the police.
On Nov. 7, Palmisano faces a rematch with independent candidate Bob Reuer, who also sought the Ward 13 seat in 2013. Reuer, the owner of a sewer and drain business, was critical of the incumbent’s vote in support of a municipal minimum wage ordinance that will raise the wage floor to $15 in five to seven years, depending on the size of the business.
Arguing that city regulations are harming small businesses, Reuer said he would have resisted activist pressure to pass the minimum wage and paid time off ordinances, as well as another recently approved ordinance that restricts the sale of menthol cigarettes.
Palmisano said her goal, if re-elected, is to continue her efforts to make Minneapolis “safer, greener, and prosperous.” She would prioritize public safety and fostering “effective working relationships” with police, counteracting climate change, adding workforce and affordable housing, reducing barriers for small business owners and using her post on the City Council Audit Committee to ensure city programs are operating effectively.
Reuer said he aims to “restore faith” in city leadership, reinforce public safety through police and firefighter training, cut spending in order to hold down property taxes and reduce the number of regulations on small businesses. While acknowledging that he “made some bad choices” as a young adult, Reuer said he has turned his life around to become a business owner and a productive member of the community.
Neighborhood: Linden Hills
Current job: Ward 13 City Council member
Endorsements: Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL), AFL-CIO, WomenWinning, Minnesota Nurses Association, OutFront Minnesota, Stonewall DFL, Minneapolis Firefighters, AFSCME
Fundraising total: $64,898 (Jan. 1, 2014–July 25, 2017)
Current job: Owner of a sewer and drain contractor
Fundraising total: No current campaign finance filing on record