Libertarians and liberty-supporters are encouraged to support our endorsed candidates this November. While odd-year municipal elections tend to receive minimal publicity by the media and lower turnout by the general public, it also affords libertarians an opportunity to have an outsized impact on the election results. Also, for the first time, Minneapolis residents will have a chance to try out the new Ranked Choice Voting method (Instant Runoff Voting), which the Libertarian Party had endorsed before its approval by city voters in 2006.
Michael J. Katch is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 7 (consisting of Downtown, Kenwood neighborhood, and Cedar Lake/Lake of the Isles area). His primary campaign issues include:
- An end to the 8% per year property tax increases, which continue to hurt both property owners and renters.
- Fiscal responsibility, including a complete audit of city finances, which has not occurred for several years.
- City Council discussions which are open to the public rather than conducted behind closed doors.
- A focus on providing basic city services such as roads and fire protection, rather than new ordinances, restrictions, and permitting requirements.
- A city climate friendly to small and large businesses.
- Advocacy of personal liberty and individual rights.
- Broadbased support, with endorsement by the Libertarian Party, Independence Party, Republican Party, and a majority in a Green Party straw poll.
Katch’s website is www.neighborsforkatch.org, and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. His main rival is incumbent Lisa Goodman, who has been accused of corruption, strongarm tactics, trampling on private property rights, and obstructing development in the downtown area, in a recent article by the City Pages. A map of Minneapolis wards can be found at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/about/maps/wards06.pdf.
Mary O’Connor is running for Brooklyn Center School Board in District 286. Her primary campaign issues include:
- Eliminating operating debt, saving taxpayer money on interest payments by restoring a balanced budget.
- Emphasis on not raising taxes, with homeowners already burdened with a 300% property tax increase over 11 years.
- A focus on cutting unnecessary administrative expenses as well as nonessential programs, such as community programs (exercise, dance, and crafts classes for adults) and the Early Childhood Family Education program (pre-kindergarten sessions). These nonessential activities have increased the burden on taxpayers while distracting the School Board from its core mission of providing quality K-12 academic education to students.
- Advocacy of withdrawal from the federal No Child Left Behind program, which has triggered bureaucratic mandates and increased testing requirements, but which has not resulted in a better education for students.
- Opposition to more school referendums. School officials have conducted 6 tax-raising referendums, and all have failed. She believes the taxpayers have spoken, and no more effort or expense should be wasted on additional referendums.
- Defense of alternate education options for those parents who may decide to choose private schools or home schooling.
- Prior experience in education, specializing in finance for 39 years in the Controllers Department, the business office of the University of Minnesota.
- Prior experience in city government, having been previously elected to Brooklyn Center City Council.
O’Connor’s email is email@example.com.
If there are no Libertarian candidates where you vote, then please consider lending your support to these campaigns. Michael Katch and Mary O’Connor would appreciate financial contributions as well as any volunteer efforts on their behalf. Success of these candidates would give a voice to liberty, benefiting the entire metro area.
In addition, two other candidates may deserve your consideration. Both are running under the Libertarian banner, although they did not seek or receive LPMN endorsement. Christopher Clark is running for Minneapolis Mayor; his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Raymond Rolfe is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 3; his email is email@example.com. These candidates have not been vetted by the LPMN Executive Committee, so we cannot vouch for their positions on issues or their qualifications, and voters are urged to perform their own due diligence by investigating media sources or contacting them directly with any questions.
To find your polling place and other important voting information, you may use the Secretary of State’s Poll Place Finder. Please stand up for liberty and vote on Tuesday, November 3!