A sexism controversy erupted in West St. Paul this spring. Men challenged women who stepped forward to serve, and then sat silently, refusing to explain their issues. Men ignored the concerns women raised.
And something very similar has happened in the primary campaign. Two men and two women are running for the ward 3 city council seat. The men have refused to answer questions. They skipped out on a candidate forum. They haven’t even put forth a platform or taken positions on issues. They’ve just put their names out there and assumed that voters will hand it to them.
It’d be ironic if it weren’t so sad.
I’ve said this primary election is a moment of truth for West St. Paul. And I believe that. It’s a referendum on this lazy, sexist approach to politics. It’s a turning point—will we accept inappropriate behavior or do we want something better?
I’ve written plenty about this primary, so let’s not rehash it. My many posts are linked below.
As we approach the 2018 elections, people in West St. Paul are engaged. It used to be that nobody knew anything about local elections and finding information was an exercise in futility—especially in our first-ring suburb of 20,000 people. But now my neighbors care. And that’s so inspiring.
It started with a sexism controversy that flared up in April, resulting in packed city council chambers and nearly two hours of citizen comments. The TV news showed up and residents donated money and feminine hygiene products to a local nonprofit—earning national attention. The issue even launched two city council campaigns (here’s the speech launching one of those campaigns)—creating a four-way primary that will be narrowed down next week.
I’m excited to support Erin Murphy for Minnesota governor this year. Really. There’s an energy around her campaign and I like where she stands.
Minnesota has a crowded primary this year, with multiple candidates in both parties vying for governor and other major positions. So it’s important to vote in the primary on Aug. 14, 2018. We’ll see if we can touch the most-recent high turnout of 20% from 1998 (or top 1994’s 27%?).
Excited by Erin Murphy
I don’t think I’ve ever been excited for a governor’s race. Even in 1998 when Jesse Ventura came out of nowhere to win it, I was still a Michigan resident and not paying much attention to Minnesota. I’ve been happy with current Governor Mark Dayton, but he never excited me.
Below is the speech Wendy gave at the pivotal May 14, 2018 city council meeting. The room was packed with more than 150 people and the citizen comments went on for nearly two hours as residents condemned the sexist behavior of certain members of the council.
Back in May, with a standing room only in council chambers, a line of amazing, strong women shared their experiences and their desire to see some change with our City Council. It was as that same time that I officially announced my intent to file for City Council for Ward 3. August 14th is the Primary Election and three months after this meeting. I'm so proud to have gained so much support and to see the level of engagement we saw at this meeting has only intensified.