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Ginger Jentzen announces run for Minneapolis Council seat under Socialist Alternative banner

MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue
Ginger Jentzen: "After the fight for the $15 minimum wage and with the Trump Administration, it’s incredibly important that we have real fighters for working class people."

Ginger Jentzen isn’t the first 2017 Minneapolis city council candidate to come out of recent social justice movements. But after declaring for the open Ward 3 seat Wednesday evening, she will be the first to run under the banner of the Socialist Alternative organization.

Jentzen was the campaign manager for the $15NOW movement that lost the battle last summer on making Minneapolis the first city in the state with a higher minimum wage. But the campaign appears to have won the larger war on the issue — bringing pressure that turned a majority of the current council in favor of a city-only minimum wage.

She made her candidate announcement as part of a Socialist Alternative event in Northeast that featured Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant, who won her seat in 2013 as an independent socialist, one of the first in the nation to do so. Sawant is now helping take the movement national.

“After the fight for the $15 minimum wage and with the Trump Administration, it’s incredibly important that we have real fighters for working class people, candidates who come out of social movements that are rooted in the struggles of our communities,” Jentzen said in an interview Wednesday.

“We need people who are as comfortable with building social movements as they are with the everyday tasks of city hall.” she said. Jentzen will not caucus with the DFL this spring.

The Socialist Alternative came into prominence in Seattle in 2013 after electing Sawant as the first independent socialist candidate to win a major city position in decades. Then, with Sawant at the lead, the organization was part of the coalition that succeeded in winning a $15 minimum wage ordinance there.

It is now a national movement, with headquarters in New York and chapters around the nation, including in Minneapolis. It asserts that it fights for the 99 percent and has disdain for the two major parties. “We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires,” says the party’s website.

It is currently organizing resistance to policies of Trump, specifically the threats to deport recent immigrants, to defund sanctuary cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul and the attempt to reopen construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

A Jentzen-led signature gathering project was successful in collecting enough valid signatures to place the $15 wage issue before voters last November. In August, however, the city council voted 11-2 to keep it off the ballot after hearing legal advice that it wasn’t a valid subject for a charter amendment. While a district court judge disagreed and ordered it to appear on the ballot, a city appeal to the Supreme Court successfully defended the council’s original decision to keep it off.

The show of support for the issue, however, led a majority of council members to support the idea and ask city staff to research and draft an ordinance for the council to consider this spring.

Jentzen was also a field organizer for the 2012 council campaign of Ty Moore, who identified as a Socialist Alternative candidate. Moore lost the race in Ward 9 to Alondra Cano by just a few hundred votes. He returned to the city from Seattle Wednesday to be the moderator of what he called a discussion on how to counter Trump and conservatives in the state of Minnesota.

Ty Moore
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Ty Moore returned to Minneapolis from Seattle Wednesday to be the moderator of what he called a discussion on how to counter Trump and conservatives in the state of Minnesota.

The Ward 3 council seat will become open when incumbent Jacob Frey files for mayor, something he has announced he will do. Already in the race are Samantha Pree-Stinson, Justin Adams, Maleah Otterson, Cordelia Pierson and Steve Fletcher. All but Pree-Stinson are listed on the Minneapolis DFL website as seeking the party endorsement when Ward 3 convenes May 6. The current council’s only Green Party member, Cam Gordon, said Pree-Stinson has told him she will seek the Green Party’s endorsement.

Some may not file for the office if they are not endorsed by the party but there is no legal restriction. And party rules require a supermajority for endorsement so if no candidate reaches that level, all would be free to run without breaking a promise to abide by the endorsement.

All who file will appear on the November ballot with the winner determined by the city’s ranked choice voting rules.

Among declared council candidates, Jentzen is most strongly associated with the wage campaign, but others also come out of social justice backgrounds. In Ward 4, candidate Stephanie Gasca is a labor and Latina activist who pushed the paid safe and sick time ordinance. And in Ward 1, Jillia Pessenda was a leader in the successful legislative campaign of Ilhan Omar. There are also several candidates to emerge from the police accountability movement, especially the protests that sprang from the November 2015 killing of Jamar Clark by a Minneapolis police officer.

Nekima Levy-Pounds, the former president of the Minneapolis NAACP, is running for mayor. Raeisha Williams was communications director of the NAACP and and an organizer of the Black Lives Matter movement. Fellow Ward 5 candidate Jeremiah Ellison (both Ward 5) was a vocal participants in the Black Lives Matter-led activities surrounding Clark’s death.

Correction: This article was updated to include Cordelia Pierson as a DFL candidate in Ward 3.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/26/2017 - 11:48 am.

    More info?

    More about Ginger…

    Where is she from?
    Work history?

    Probably more important resume requirements…

    Has she ever been arrested for shutting down a highway, shopping mall, pipeline, police station or train station?

  2. Submitted by Mitch Ritter on 04/22/2017 - 04:00 pm.

    Co-Op Movement Pioneer Passes Even Biz Press Must Take Note

    2 weeks ago some of y’all who follow the Co-Op Business Model beyond housing as in CASCADIA COMMONS or the local
    Co-Op grocery stores or even the advantages and drawbacks of Spain’s sprawling trans national MONDRAGON worker-owned enterprises
    might have noticed the passing at blessed productive age of 107 the co-founder of Seattle-originated REI, MARY ANDERSON (RIP, Z”L).

    It is almost unheard of for corporate-captured news media to reflect upon the track record of co-operative or worker-owned ventures unless they fail
    or experience declines in membership. In this regard the REI thanks to the remarkably productive life of its first-generation founders, both of whom
    worked day jobs in Seattle in 1938, Mary teaching in Seattle’s Public School and her husband working for the Seattle Municipal Transit company.

    I am sending below the links to the sole remaining newspaper of record’s obituary from early April of Mary Anderson’s passing and her co-operative life
    at the forefront of U.S. enterprise and advancing that other U.S. media taboo, “THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.” Also, a few days later in the NYT Op-Ed section
    Timothy Egan wrote a piece on REI’s exemplary history (though not perfect when they went national and pushed the founders out…) Tim Egan well captures
    not just a heroic story of individuals who founded this Co-Op that proceeded to create a new economic sector and still leads it along with another Pacific Coast Co-Op PATAGONIA.

    Read and share how Egan and the obit capture the Scandinavian immigrants first to the prairies then to Seattle, the gateway to Asia in the early 20th Century
    and the ready acceptance during the GREAT DEPRESSION WITH NO ACCESS TO CAPITAL FOR SMALL AND MID-SIZE BUSINESS to form Co-Ops. They, along with State-Banks provide the backbone for the last real challenge to the 2-party Duopoly we’ve had in U.S. political history when not 1 but 2 Socialist Parties (the one headed
    by Presbyterian Minister Norman Thomas scared the bejesus out of FDR and his family’s social circle of Robber Barons and the Feudal Lords of Finance
    on Wall Street and monopolizing industry without creating any jobs so that for FDR to save capitalism from the SOCIALISTS he had to work with more progressive elements leading the left and with the Socialist Alternative to create the infrastructure and job stimulus that the Robber Baron and Investor class historically refuse to invest in.

    FDR with Socialist input got the tax base re-structured, created the Social Safety Net of Social Security providing elderly Americans our first chance at aging with dignity and some security as 50 years earlier the pre-German Feudal Leadership created the world’s first SOCIAL PENSION system that took root especially in Northern European and Scandinavian nation states.

    And of course Seattle-Tacoma’s City Council has now for the 2nd time elected a SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE candidate, KSHAMA SAWANT, whose $15.00 NOW campaign 5 years ago got the first livable minimum wage in a major metropolitan area. Without the catastrophe or inflation or massive closures of small businesses (who are sensibly exempt from the $15.00 NOW minimum) and just like the Economists who can’t ever get on corporate-captured TV NEWS or be invited into the GOLDEN ROLODEX of Expers that newspapers of record regularly noted: Sustainable minimum wage has INCREASED MONEY CIRCULATION LOCALLY. That is why the banishment of the phrase “SOCIAL CONTRACT” even from Minnesota Public Radio is so toxic to informing the body politic. Why do we keep voting against our interests?

    Don’t believe me or even SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE, believe the far-from Socialist supporting
    PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL who waited a decent interval of 2 years to study the effects of the $15.00 Minimum Wage and found:

    So, let’s all share these article links, let U.S. highlight the counter-intuitive
    OUTCOMES that contradict the drum-beat of corporate-captured Mass Media
    which has yet to feature even one regular program from the perspective of WORKERS!

    Meanwhile every day on tax-payer supported and corporate-underwritten PUBLIC RADIO & TV
    the indoctrination and skewed findings on the so-called past RECESSION and rosey UNEMPLOYMENT numbers
    (there’s an exercise in “How to Lie With Statistics”) via THIS WEEK ON WALL STREET, MARKET PLACE and PLANET MONEY
    (that’s Liberal Media, but know what the CONswervatives don’t admit, they’ve drunk the NEO-LIBERAL E-CON Kool Aid and added DADDY WARBUCKS which is SOCIALISM for CORPORATE AMERICA, dba Socializing the costs\risks while PRIVATIZING the PROFITS:

    Also spread the word that GINGER JENTZEN running in Minnesota on SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE PARTY ticket needs to win to convince Bernie Sanders that there is a viable alternative to colluding with the corporate-captured big D DEMOCRATS…

    Vote Ginger Apr 21 at 4:17 PM

    {Creative Commons Copyright}
    Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Shifters
    Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
    Media Discussion List

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