A sign progressive council candidates are winning

A recent Star Tribune article detailed the role the political action committee Minneapolis Works is playing in Minneapolis City Council races.

Minneapolis Works was formed as a partnership between downtown business interests and the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, the right-wing Republican PAC that helped the GOP win control of the Minnesota House in 2014 and the Senate in 2016. The PAC is now aggressively courting wealthy corporate donors with emails saying, “You are in the cross-hairs of this progressive title wave [sic]. Help us elect a moderate City Council we can work with.”

Their goal is clear. Warehouse District Business Association President Joanne Kaufman told the Star Tribune, “The last thing we want is for [Council President] Barb [Johnson] to lose her seat and then who becomes president of the council? That’s a terrifying thing.”

Minneapolis Works is not fighting for the interests of Minneapolis residents. Their partnership with the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which regularly uses “Minneapolis” as an epithet in their attack ads on Democrats, makes that clear. They are fighting to retain council members like Barb Johnson and Lisa Goodman who they clearly believe support their right-wing agenda.

This sudden influx of outside, conservative corporate PAC money to prop up City Council incumbents is a desperate attempt to retain the status quo. This can only mean one thing: progressive City Council challengers are winning.

Minneapolis Works even sent fundraising emails calling out specific candidates, including Janne Flisrand in Ward 7. Flisrand, an eminently capable businessperson, has successfully energized supporters with a positive, progressive vision of a city that lives up to its promise and works for everyone.

Her campaign has an abundance of volunteers, whose bright orange shirts are visible in Ward 7 neighborhoods every day. Flisrand has received many major endorsements since announcing her candidacy, including most recently the Sierra Club, which abandoned its earlier support for the incumbent.

The attempts of big business and Republican operatives to buy Minneapolis elections should be denounced. The people of Minneapolis should decide who represents them, and the progressive choices they make should not be overruled by outsiders. Keep this in mind when you cast your ballot for City Council on Nov. 7.


Luke O’Neill