A winning outcome: 'no endorsement' in Ward 13 convention


by Ward 13 parents Steph Smith, Sara Spafford Freeman and Ellen Walthour  and Ward 13 candidate Kate Mortenson

In Ward 13, the turnaround from Caucus to Convention is less than two weeks from when Delegates are confirmed. Also, 13 is the only Ward with a Convention coinciding with Minneapolis Public School's Spring Break, when large numbers of would-be Delegates with young families have plans out of town. Further, it's a confusing year, with a general lack of awareness that there even is an election, and yet it's a critical time for our City. Given these anomalies, 2023 is a year for Ward 13 DFL Delegates to pro-actively decide for No Endorsement on April 1.


It's an unusual election cycle for several reasons. Ward boundaries have been redrawn due to our recent census, meaning that hundreds of folks will select a City Council member in Ward 13 for the very first time. Also, the typical 4-year term is only 2-years in this election, however with a critical activity being the shaping of a new culture and pratice within the changed governance format that has recast the role of the Council Member. With the truly unique nature of this election year, and with the challenges our City faces, it is especially important for the will and intention of Ward 13's voters to be central.


No endorsement is a responsible outcome, considering the short time frame and lack of representation from the Ward's college and parenting-age participants. Minnesotans are known for being fair-minded, and parenting age voters deserve the opportunity to evaluate the differences between the candidates and determine their preferences. It allows a non-partisan City Council race with two viable candidates to play out through the summer, in full view of the voters. 


A No Endorsement decision by Delegates is not the same as failing to reach a conclusion. In fact, No Endorsement AS the conclusion, is one that we believe will be appreciated by the Voters, especially those not able to serve as Delegates for reasons already mentioned. This is the outcome that respects and honors the professionalism and good faith in which many DFL Party volunteers have put this Caucus and Convention together -- their efforts should not be impuned. With No Endorsement, both the incumbent and challenger for Ward 13's seat on Minneapolis City Council will have access to important DFL resources to reach voters with their message. 


Choosing No Endorsement does not diminish the contribution of the DFL Party and Delegates. In fact, absent a limiting directive from the party, we'll see far greater participation by campaign professionals and volunteers alike. Activities to bring communities out in consideration of the candidates will lead to a lively season of discernment. In this way, the track record of accomplishments and leadership style that will best serve Ward 13 and the City over the next two years will surely prevail. This is wholly positive from the standpoint of attracting more folks to participate in future DFL processes. 


For all these compelling reasons, we commend the No Endorsement action on the very first ballot, to our Ward's DFL Delegates. And then, beginning with early voting in September, may the best woman win.


Steph Smith, Sara Spafford Freeman and Ellen Walthour are Ward 13 parents.

Kate Mortenson is a Ward 13 Candidate for Minneapolis City Council.


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