So why is a true-blue former DFL legislator like me voting for Independent candidate Nancy Ford instead of 12th ward incumbent Andrew Johnson? It’s because my loyalty to Minneapolis exceeds my politics and her policies are better than his.
Nancy Ford opposes defunding the police. She’s against eliminating Chief Arradondo’s job and erasing the city charter’s minimum police staffing requirement. She thinks shifting supervision of the MPD to the city council is a risky power grab. She pledges to reform the MPD, not to disband it.
Conversely, Andrew Johnson vowed to defund and disband the police. He’s sat quietly and idly by as the MPD shrank from 850 officers in 2019 to the mid 500s now. He favors staffing the MPD only “if necessary.” He wants to erase Chief Arradondo’s job and the minimum police staffing requirement from the city charter. He has a high opinion of the city council and thinks it would be ideal if they commanded the police department.
Nancy Ford opposes Mr. Johnson’s work to undermine single family home zoning. The Star Tribune depicted city council actions saying, “Minneapolis [was] the first city in the nation to prohibit single family zoning,” meaning single family zoning no longer exists.
Nancy Ford thinks housing ordinances should protect our modest homes and neighborhoods from developers, speculators and flippers who plop apartment buildings without front yards or off-street parking wherever they can. She realizes that apartments built up to the front sidewalk make more money for investors, but steal green space, sight lines and play places from the neighborhood. The lack of off-street parking saves developers money, but crowds streets with parked cars.
Conversely, Mr. Johnson spearheaded the plan to allow larger, longer and wider buildings. He led the effort banning single family home zoning. He argues that off-street parking requirements are not needed, because automobile use will decline in the future and off-street parking inhibits apartment construction. He has been silent about the effect of platting buildings from almost the front sidewalk to the alley.
I supported Mr. Johnson in his two previous elections. I voted for him, talked him up in the coffee shop, donated money to his campaign, had his sign in the yard and gave him some tips on how to win, because he was new to our city.
I bear no ill will against Mr. Johnson. He’s a pleasant enough fellow who’s had eight years to govern, but recently chose to follow others on the council down paths not good for our city.
It’s time for a change. Vote for Nancy Ford.