With a full slate of city offices up for election in 2005 – mayor, City Council, Park Board, Library Board, and the Board of Estimate and Taxation – political parties have a busy schedule of spring and summer endorsements.
Here’s the schedule and the affected Southwest neighborhoods:
DFL endorsing conventions
- Ward 13 (Linden Hills, West Calhoun, Fulton, Armatage, Kenny, Lynnhurst and a bit of East Harriet): Saturday, April 2, Southwest High School, 3414 W. 47th St., 10 a.m.
- Ward 6 (Whittier, Stevens Square): April 9, Van Dusen Mansion, 1900 LaSalle Ave., 10 a.m.
- Ward 10 (East Isles, East Calhoun, the Wedge, CARAG, Lyndale, most of East Harriet): April 16, Jefferson School, 1200 W. 26th St., 10 a.m.
- Ward 11 (Tangletown, Windom and the southwest part of Kingfield), April 16, Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St., 10 a.m.
- Ward 8 (North and east Kingfield): April 30, King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave., 10 a.m.
- City Convention, May 14, 10 a.m., Melby Hall, Augsburg College, 715 23rd Ave. S.
(Note: the Ward 7 convention, covering Bryn Mawr, Kenwood, Cedar-Isles-Dean and Lowry Hill, occurred March 19.)
The Green Party will hold a citywide endorsing convention on Sunday, May 8 at the Park House, 2120 Park Ave., at an afternoon time to be announced, said Eric Makela, a 5th Congressional District Green Party spokesman.
The 5th District "is the most local level that we have right now," he said.
Makela noted that only four candidates have expressed interest in endorsement so far: incumbent City Councilmembers Natalie Johnson Lee (5th Ward) and Dean Zimmermann (6th Ward); incumbent Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board member Annie Young; and Cam Gordon, who is challenging for the open 2nd Ward Council seat in Southeast Minneapolis.
The Green Party has a screening committee to interview people interested in endorsement, Makela said. Campaigns need to contract the party before April 8 to schedule a meeting. They should call District Chair Farheen Hakeem at 964-9143, Darrell Gerber at 802-5372 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Independence Party will have caucuses in two Minneapolis locations on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m., to create the Minneapolis Independence Party organization. The Independence Party has not had a Minneapolis-specific organization before.
- For Southwest wards (8, 10, 11 and 13), the caucus will be held at Fuller Park, 4800 Grand Ave., starting at 7 p.m.
- Elsewhere, including Ward 7, the caucuses will be held at Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St., lower level auditorium, starting at 7 p.m.
After the new city organization is created, the party expects to hold precinct caucuses in mid-May, though the date will be decided at the regional caucus, said Peter Tharaldson, state party chair and regional caucus convener.
The caucuses will screen and review candidates, elect local party leaders and refine the city party structure.
The local organization will decide when to hold endorsing conventions, most likely in early July, Tharaldson said.
According to the party’s Web site:
"This year’s caucuses will address such issues as the structural reform of city government, school district organization, tax issues, and the debt delivered by elected Democratic and Republican leaders. We will consider starting a charter amendment drive."
Tharaldson said the charter amendments could include pushing for a strong mayor system and consolidation of the Minneapolis Library Board, Minneapolis Parks Recreation Board and the City Council. A second initiative would propose instant-ballot runoff elections that would allow people to priority rank candidates.
David Donnelly, chair of the Independence Party’s 5th Congressional District, said he was not ready to release names yet, but, "we have people for multiple wards for this election."
The Republican Party will hold endorsing conventions for city candidates at a time and place yet to be announced. Ezra Ebner, chair of the Minneapolis Republican Party, said the convention would be around the time of the city’s candidate filing period, which this year is July 5-19, according to the city’s Web site.