Mayoral Survey 2013
Minneapolis Election Day is November 5, and there are 35 candidates running for Mayor of Minneapolis. In an effort to ensure all voices are heard and provide more clarity on some of the issues, we have conducted a Mayoral Candidate survey. Below are results focused on education and public safety in Minneapolis.
As Mayor how will you address the achievement gap in Minneapolis Public Schools?
- Mark V Anderson: I will not address this issue as mayor. Part of the problem of government in our time is that every jurisdiction tries to solve every problem, which negatively affects their focus on the issues they can affect. The mayor doesn't have jurisdiction over the schools, but has many other functions on which he/she should be focused. In any case, I don't believe the achievement gap can be ultimately solved except through treatment of every person as an individual and not a representative of his or her race. This will not a be short-term solution.
- Merrill Anderson: We need to address low expecations among teaching educatorsl and peer predssure against achievers within both poor white and minority comunities rescaling curriculum to student interests and employers job availabilty... creating more of a practicum, including mechanical arts, architecture, auto repair and shop classes.
- Mark Andrew: The next mayor of Minneapolis has a moral obligation to be an education mayor. As Mayor I will dedicate my administration to ensuring that all kids are educated for their futures. I will support the superintendent and the school board, and I will expand the Youth Coordinating Board into a broader collaboration to focus solely on closing the achievement gap.
- Neal Baxter: As the Mayor isn't on the School Board, he or she should concentrate on measures that fall within her purview. I believe the achievement gap needs to be addressed as a poverty issue. Kids who are hungry, live in dangerous neighborhoods and have dysfunctional families won't learn as well (by and large) as other kids. Fight tooth & claw for these children during their 1st 5 years of life; that's where the difference starts. Money? The Mayor is already fighting this fight. I'd look for more money from any source to give poor children a better start in life.
- Bob 'Again' Carney Jr.: Young people know our system is fundamentally broken – it can’t provide jobs for everyone. My proposed Transit Revolution is an achievement gap solution – when people see we’re making transit and housing affordable, with access to jobs, they’ll study and graduate to get those jobs. Education that doesn’t connect to jobs rings up “no sale,” but that’s what we have today.
- Jackie Cherryhomes: We are currently in an ideological argument about education and that argument is not serving parents or children in our school system well. As Mayor, I will use the platform of the office to bring together the parties to find common ground. As Mayor, I will insure that our city policies support strong families.
- Christopher Clark: As mayor, I will select all the school board members rather than stagger out elections every few years. No accountability at this point as a whole board. Letting down children and our fine city. Put kids first, not teacher seniority! Extend the school day by 2 hours and school year by another month added to calendar.
- Dan Cohen: I believe we have been analyzing this based on a false premise: that it is a black/ white problem. Not only does this stigmatize African Americans, the programs based on this premise have been ineffective, In my opinion, it is a rich/poor achievement gap, not a balck/white achievement gap. I refer you to 'Coming Apart' by Charles Murray. He cites the example parent household, usually headed by a woman, often low income. Compare that with the two parent two income family and in that case, the child is much more likely to get better grades. Wh? Becasue the two parent two income family can provide the child with material benefits that he or she will share with his or her peer group, the lessos, the family outings, the tutoring, the stabilty that goes with the extra parent provides. This chilld will get better grades than the child in the single family home. So the challenge is, get the father back into the home. And the way to do that is to get him a job. Is this guaranteed total solution to the problem? Of course not. Would I abandon the programs we are currently using. No. The certainly can't harm, they might even kick in. But the rich/poor approach to the problem can work and should be adopted along with existing programs.
- Bob Fine: I’ll collaborate with the School Board to close our devastating achievement gap. We’ll recruit more teachers of color and make sure that teachers and administrators get excellent cultural competency training. We also will focus on creating specific programs that give more support to underperforming students; these programs will include opportunities to work, intern, and volunteer in their communities.
- John Leslie Hartwig: 2-3 teachers each grade preschool to 10th grade. At high school graduation all students speak 3-4 foreign languages. In a world economy, to buy you speak English. To sell you must speak their language. Play time is over at our schools.
- Gregg A. Iverson: We have an elected School Board---They should make the changes that are required. The Mayor has other tasks to do.
- Bill Kahn: By giving the Youth Coordinating Board the attention it deserves and staying the heck out of the public education; business and government at all levels do an atrocious job of education and they always will. I would also redouble efforts at resolving problems of homelessness, unemployment, child care demands, and food needs in the city working with, but not depending on the faith communities that deal with any of these problems today.
- Abdul M Rahaman The Rock: All of the people have to love themselves and love one another. Having accomplished this they will look more honestly and logically at the problem with education. All of the school systems are performing under par. Lack of nutrition (GMO food and floridated and radiated water) is poisoning and 'dumbing down' all of the parties involved. ' Eat the pure foods of God...'
- Don Samuels: Education is the reason why I entered this race in the first place. No other candidate in this race has been talking about education, with the experience and sense of urgency for change, more than I have. I'm a firm believer that if you want to solve a problem, you must put yourself in the middle of it. I don't just talk about this issues in the abstract from the comfort of distance. That's why I choose to live in North Minneapolis. You can't solve this problem unless you're immersed in it; unless you live it. Literally. That's why I created the organization that would later become the Northside Achievement Zone, an organization focused on transforming outcomes for our most underprivileged young people. That's why I created the HOPE Collaborative, which brought together the leaders of the top schools in the nation for educating kids of color, to study what they were doing to close the achievement gap. My history and work on this issue is by far the strongest of any candidate in this race. I'm the only candidate to set out a comprehensive education plan for how to move forward on this issue. But more importantly, I am the only candidate with the political courage to actually see it through. Don't just take my word for it. In those same comments you talked about earlier, Mayor Rybak said 'Don Samuels has the boldest plan for closing the achievement gap, and I know he has the guts to follow through.' The problems surrounding the achievement gap don't exist because we don't know the solutions. We know what works. We have a lot of the answers. The reason we haven't made progress is because we've lacked the political courage to do what needs to be done. You better believe I have the courage to lead in a way we've never seen from a Minneapolis Mayor on the issue of education. As Mayor, I'll create, in partnership with philanthropy as well as businesses, such as Target, the Trust for Innovation in Minneapolis Education (TIME). These TIME funds have several purposes. First, TIME funds will be used to fund new and innovative approaches in education to raise achievement and close gaps. Second, these funds will help provide support to newer schools that need help offsetting start up costs. Third, this fund will help provide financial support to schools that are struggling academically that seek to make changes. Lastly, this fund will help offset some costs to teachers who spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pocket on school supplies. In addition to that, I'll be the sunshine on what is typically a closed debate and conversation about public education. Far too long are conversations about education away from the public eye. Because of that, many decisions that would never stand up to scrutiny end up becoming policy. Those days will be over. Lastly, I'll be the champion for what works in our schools and demand replication of their practices at all of our schools. Harvest Prep and Hiawatha Academies are great models for how to close the achievement gaps. It boggles my mind why we are not collectively learning from their success and making sure we make all of our schools more likely to succeed.
- Captain Jack Sparrow: I will ensure the children are healthy, alert and motivated by providing for their families nutritional and other needs before arrive at school. I will raise property taxes, especially on those with a lot of property, to ensure that all of our schools are equally and adequately equipped to educate the students. I will use unbiassed studies of different methods of education to see what works best.
While there have been some reductions in crime overall, some parts of the City continue to suffer. What will you do to insure all of our neighborhoods are safe and welcoming?
- Mark V Anderson: 1) Increase professionalism of police force. There are still numerous individuals on the force who believe that the job of the police is run roughshod over the populace just because there are some criminals amongst them. They need to have the attitude that their role is to help citizens. 2) Increase transparency. Citizens have still heard next to nothing on the killings of two people by the police on May 10th of this year. That is an example of the tight control over information the police hold on all critical incidents. Improvement on both issues above will result in much more cooperation from the people of this city, including the law abiding people in the poorest areas, which constitute most of the people. With more citizen support, the police will become much more effective in routing the criminals.
- Merrill Anderson: There is no excuse for a city with a 1.2 billion dollar budget running its Fire and Police Departments below standardize dstaffing levels. If uniformed first responders feek tge have poor backup in dangerous situations you have poor results.. Staffing up will improve morale ,performance, and community relations,....especially in areas perceived as dangerous.
- Mark Andrew: Minneapolis has been enjoying historically low crime rates, but not everyone in every community feels safe. As Mayor, I will advance four main strategies with MPD to build the safety of downtown: keep officers on the street; support and expand partnerships; expand the force’s diversity; and support the work of Heading Home Hennepin’s Street Outreach program to address panhandling.
- Neal Baxter: Continue 'predictive policing' and put more police on the street. The neighborhood associations, and the residents in general, are essential to fighting crime. I also think this Street Ambassador program downtown makes the loop very welcoming, with more eyes on the street. Expanding it without socking local business would serve us well.
- Bob “Again” Carney Jr.: For a dose of reality, go read Jim Graham’s posts on e-democracy. Here’s what I see: big city police departments “manage” crime – by letting it happen in some neighborhoods, and fighting it in others. The long term solution is to end the war on drugs, and make transit and housing much more affordable. People with jobs don’t need crime.
- Jackie Cherryhomes: I will implement strong community-oriented policing strategies and create an environment where citizens trust the police and police respect citizens; a partnership with the courts and judiciary to prosecute misdemeanor crimes and working with our non-profits to insure support for our young people to deter them from crime. Successful reduction in crime involves: (1) Policing; (2) Prosecution and (3) Prevention.
- Christopher Clark: Hire a more diverse police force. Educate the current officers on conduct and work with their unions especially if discipline comes into question. I am an union steward. Some issues are very complex when there are various parties involved. Organize neighbors with what NECP (Northeast Citizens Patrol) has been doing the last eight years. Connect with neighbors and local precincts. Reach out to your neighbors and conduct walks. Let your presence be known. Don't let crime take over your beloved neighborhoods.
- Dan Cohen: Public safety is the first priority of every city. It begins with public support and conficence in the integrity and non-discriminatory conduct of the police. That means we must end racism in the Minneapolis Police Department. The Apple VAlley /Green Bay incidenets were mishandled. Those cops should have been fired on the spot. There is not an institution in this country that would tolerate that kind of behavior. If anyone at the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce had behaved in that fashion, they would be out the door iimmediately.Thel response by public officials came from multiple directions: the Mayor, the Chief, the union, council members. That is not the way you handle a crissis. We should have responded with a single, strong voice. that is why we need a crisis managment team with a designated spokesperson to speak for the city when these situations arese. I.
- Bob Fine: To reduce crime, we must invest in communities. I’ll encourage businesses to develop on main corridors, like Lake Street and Broadway. This development will create better jobs and increase economic prosperity, thus reducing crime. I’ll promote private/nonprofit collaborations that offer opportunities for youth to gain marketable skills. The police must re-focus their energy on crimes that harm citizens and business.
- John Leslie Hartwig: A.Downtown crime, Zigi Wilf owner Vikings charged with fraud. Breach of contract. Breach of judiciary duty. Violation of states (New Jersey) civil racketerring laws. Zigi Wilf born Germany April 1950. Deport him to Germany for criminal activity here. B. Join a gang here, we will send you, so a road gang in Miami (Dade County) Florida. Road gangs are composed of guards, with shot guns, and prisoners. If you are a minority in Minneapolis, you don’t want to be within, 5,000 miles of a road gang in Miami.
- Gregg A. Iverson: Put criminals in jail---Have a police visibility in high crime areas.
- Bill Kahn: I feel pretty strongly that prohibitions are what make crime an attractive proposition in these neighborhoods and refraining from enforcing those laws and concentrating on diverting those involved (prostitutes, johns, drug addicts and low level dealers) to public health programs and other activities (like legitimate work) will take the money out of the criminal enterprises and boost the local economy. We have to have adequate law enforcement, but until we reduce demand, this is a money pit we can't afford.
- Abdul M Rahaman The Rock: Free the people, including the civil servants to exercise their powers and rights to handle the safety and security in their areas.
- Don Samuels: I've been lucky to serve as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee on the City Council for the past seven years. During my tenure as Public Safety Chair, I've led many initiatives to help secure our city. For example, I led the effort to institute Results Minneapolis, a data management system that allows us to track various types and locations of crime, so our law enforcement officers are able to predict crime. This data, among other initiatives, have led to a double digit drop in crime every year since I took over as Chair of the Public Safety Committee. I am proud of my record leading Public Safety in our City. Since talking over as Chair, crime in the city has decreased by double digits every year. But, there's so much more we can do. Newer data, in part from Results Minneapolis, suggests that there are six extended families that are responsible for a hugely disproportionate amount of crime in our City. Now, this isn't a mafia type family; rather it's, more like, a father who commits a crime and goes to jail, a child who grows up fatherless and commits crime, and the cycle continues. Once elected, as part of my '6 Families Initiative', I will knock on the doors of each of these families and offer to parents an alternative path for their children, so the next generation don't become criminals.
- Captain Jack Sparrow: I would legalize non violent drug crimes and prostitution offenses between consenting adults. I would provide free treatment on demand for alcohol, drug, sex and gambling addiction. This would result in less violent crime and more resources to deal with it. I would start a public relations campaign about getting ones self esteem from doing for others rather than from materialistic pursuits.