Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to express my deepest appreciation for the the hard work, money, energy and support all of you put into this groundbreaking campaign. We came just 229 votes short, a painfully small margin. But even before election day, we had already won a tremendous victory for working people in Minneapolis and beyond.
Together we demonstrated that it's possible to stand up and win broad support for an independent left challenge to politics-as-usual and the domination of the two corporate parties. We transformed the debate in Minneapolis and popularized bold socialist demands for working people - issues normally shut out of mainstream political discourse. We built the largest, most determined volunteer base of any council race in Minneapolis.
Last night 75 of you gathered together for a post-election strategy discussion to talk about next steps. The incredible coalition that gathered around this campaign, including union and immigrant rights organizers, Greens and Occupy activists, neighborhood leaders and disillusioned DFLers, will continue to collaborate and build grassroots power. We have a solid foundation for ongoing struggles on housing, education, immigrants rights, better wages and conditions, and an even bolder challenge to corporate politics in the years ahead.
The meeting last night agreed to continue fighting the eviction of Jaymie Kelly, Sergio Ceballos, and other families contesting their foreclosure. We will help campaign for the city to use eminent domain to prevent foreclosures, reduce underwater mortgages, and reclaim bank-owned vacants for community controlled affordable housing. We will mobilize solidarity for Black Friday actions for low-wage workers organized by CTUL, Our Walmart, SEIU, and others. And we will continue plans to build a wider independent working class challenge to one-party big business control of Minneapolis.
In the last days, messages of solidarity have come in from across the city and across the country, congratulating us and testifying to the inspiration and hope this campaign provided. We've gotten national media attention at MSNBC and the Huffington Post, among others. And in Seattle, Washington, where Socialist Alternative ran Kshama Sawant for city council, it seems very likely the final vote count next week will hand us an historic victory.
We are building a movement of raised expectations and exposing the weakness of big business control of politics. Through this campaign, an important debate on the need for independent working class politics has been sparked. What we accomplished in Minneapolis and Seattle are not isolated incidents, but an example of what is possible in hundreds of cities and towns across this country. We need to build a fresh political force in this country, a broad coalition party that represents working people - that stands for the millions, not the millionaires.
If you agree with this idea, you should consider joining Socialist Alternative and our ongoing effort to build a broader party for working people. And we encourage you to join up with the myriad community and labor organizations doing the important organizing work that will provide the foundation for future independent, bottom-up political projects.
In the days ahead, check this campaign page and SocialistAlternative.org for more in-depth analysis of this campaign, next steps proposals, and updates from Seattle.
This campaign was just a beginning. Together, organized around a clear program and strategy to challenge big business control of society, I am more confident than ever that we can achieve our shared vision of a city and world that puts people over profit.
Thanks and solidarity,
Dear friends and supporters,
Over the last nine months, I've spoken with so many of you about the key issues facing our community and our city. From thousands of conversations the unifying theme has been this: A deep frustration with politics-as-usual, with corporate influence, and with the continuing neglect and inequities facing working-class communities.
Our campaign has built a powerful coalition of neighborhood leaders, labor and immigrant rights organizers, residents fighting foreclosure, socialists, Greens, and disillusioned Democrats, all united behind a shared vision of putting people over profits in City Hall.
After eighteen years of organizing for social justice, I’ve established a solid record of winning tangible victories for workers’ rights, communities of color, and the environment. I organized a broad coalition to prevent the closure of North High, mobilized to successfully stop the big banks from foreclosing on Ward 9 residents, and led a two-year youth campaign to restrict military recruiters from schools (see fuller list of accomplishments here).
My experience has taught me how to listen carefully to community needs, craft creative policy solutions, and organize grassroots power to see those solutions enacted. Our bold social justice platform is informed by a continuing dialogue with community groups with a long history of struggle in our city.
My experience has also taught me that unless we are well organized, the needs of working class communities get ignored while wealthy interests are prioritized. Why is Phillips pockmarked with potholes while Kenwood homes overlook beautifully maintained streets? Why is $678 million spent on a stadium for a billionaire instead of on affordable housing, hiring teachers to close the achievement gap, or a youth jobs program for Little Earth?
I will be your most effective advocate for this simple reason: I’m the only candidate with a clean record of standing up to powerful downtown business interests and the city leaders who carry out their agenda. I have the experience and connections to build broad coalitions to challenge inequity and profit-driven priorities.
As we work toward our shared vision of a just society, we need small victories along the way. Whether it’s building safe bikeways, securing a permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market, or cleaning up the factories in Phillips, every win is a building block toward a brighter future.
Ward 9 voters have a clear choice. You can vote to reinforce the 35-year political monopoly of the DFL's entrenched leadership. Or you can vote for a change of course, for an assurance that your voice will be heard, and for a consistent fighter for our diverse communities. Together with your active participation, with your organized power, we can achieve our shared vision to put people over profit in City Hall.
Yours in Solidarity,
Before dawn, Hennepin County Sheriffs evicted our neighbor Jaymie Kelly from her life long Powderhorn Park neighborhood. Jaymie received notice of her eviction yesterday. It’s unprecedented that sheriffs would carry out the eviction only hours later. The sheriffs kicked in her door, arrested handcuffed her daughter, and confiscated their phones. I’m tired of our neighbors being treated like criminals by the city and county for simply trying to have a place to stay.
The big banks who got bailed out caused the foreclosure crisis not homeowners. Jaymie Kelly, like so many homeowners who got behind on their payments, just wants to renegotiate a fair mortgage to stay in her home of 30 years. But JPMorgan Chase refuses to negotiate and have proceeded with another unjust foreclosure. Now the sheriffs and city police are being used to evict Jaymie. This is our tax-dollars hard at work!
And why today?
This morning's events are politically motivated. The last attempt to evict Jaymie, which we stopped, took place weeks after they posted the eviction notice. This time they took less the 24 hours in a blatant attempt to disrupt our final efforts to get out the vote on election day.
Jaymie Kelly has been a vocal supporter of my city council campaign from the beginning, and I’ve worked with her neighbors and groups like Occupy Homes MN to help her. This election will mark a historic victory for our movement, and a turning point in the ongoing economic crisis which has already devastated our communities.
This morning the political establishment tried to send us us a message, but they underestimate the strength of our community, and the dedication of our neighbors. They don’t see how fed up people are. Please join me at Jaymie’s house, and in the ballot box, as we fight back for world where people are put before profits.
We can make history today. Now more than ever we need a voice in city hall who will fight these disgraceful attacks on working class people. We’re going to move Jaymie back in today; we’re going to take this battle into the halls of power.
Update: Once the sheriffs left, Occupy Homes and Ty Moore occupied the house and forced management's security guard and the company putting up the boards to pack up and go home. We've moved Jaymie back in her home but she could still be evicted by police at any point. Don't wait another minute. Get of your computer, go to the polls and vote Ty Moore.
Defend Jaymie! Text @Occupyhomes to 23559 to receive information and updates.
Mobilize your friends! Door knock and text your neighborhood, make sure everyone votes!
Vote Ty Moore! Polls close at 8pm
The following urgent alert is reposted from Occupy Homes MN:
Jaymie Kelly received a 24 hour eviction notice today. Sheriffs can evict anytime before November 22nd, the weekend before Thanksgiving, throwing her out of the Powderhorn Park community she’s lived in her whole life. As the community prepares an eviction defense, tomorrow Jaymie and her neighbors will participate in a historic local election, which could see Ty Moore, a Socialist Alternative candidate endorsed by Occupy Homes MN, elected to City Council.
This news is disturbing because Jaymie is technically in negotiations with her lender, JPMorgan Chase. “It’s almost like Freddie Mac planned it,” says Jaymie Kelly. “Ty Moore stood with me and Occupy Homes MN from the beginning. Now, when we’re so close to having a candidate who clearly challenges Wall Street, as corporate PACs like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) pour thousands into the race, the sheriffs may try to move in before we even have a chance to pass policy that would help.”
The NAR spent approximately $12,000 in mailers and robocalls to skew our local election against Ty Moore, and are currently suing the city of Richmond, CA to halt their use of eminent domain to give relief to underwater homeowners.
Jaymie Kelly has paid $425,000 for her home of 30 years, currently valued at $81,000. JP Morgan Chase and Freddie Mac are in contact with Jaymie, saying they’ll reach a decision on her case by November 9th. Freddie Mac’s lawyers refiled the writ after 150 community members thwarted an eviction on October 8th. Now they are dual tracking Jaymie with an eviction while she’s negotiating with Chase.
“I’m asking my supporters to help fill shifts to defend my home, I’m asking our elected officials to stand for the people instead of the banks,” said Kelly. “I’m asking my neighbors to volunteer and vote for Ty Moore for real systemic change, not just lip service to the needs of struggling homeowners.”
Tomorrow we’re going to show that the power of people is stronger than corporate interests and that when we fight, we win.
With less than 48 hours left before polls close on Tuesday the Socialist Alternative candidate, Ty Moore, has mobilized an impressive grassroots effort to get out the vote in Ward 9. According to the campaign, over the weekend over 100 volunteers knocked doors, made phone calls and leafleted outside cafes and churches reminding supporters to vote Tuesday and winning last minute support.
"In an election like this we can't say for sure until all the votes are counted," said campaign manager, Kelly Bellin, "but we're in really good shape to win this and that would be real a victory for everyone in our ward who is fed up with politics as usual and looking for a real voice for working people."
The campaign officially reported having raised over $46,000 by Tuesday October 22 while the DFL-endorsed candidate reported $29,000. Since then Ty Moore has raised an additional $10,000, according to Bellin. "This outpouring of support is a clear indication that our message and our platform is connecting with people across Minneapolis and beyond. Our sharp critique of corporate politics, a $15 an hour minimum wage, taxing the super-rich, that's what people want to hear and that's what we're campaign for."
An independent socialist defeating a DFL-endorsed candidate would be a major upset. Ty Moore stated, “I couldn’t have asked for a better response from the community in this campaign. Our volunteers are more energized than ever. I’m ready to represent Ward 9 with a powerful mandate to take on the entrenched big-money interest in Minneapolis and lead as a bold advocate for working people.”
Below is a letter from a number of our supporters who have or continue to face foreclosure and imminent eviction. This letter was a response to an endorsement statement from Winona LaDuke for Alondra Cano, raising important questions about the strategy to fight the foreclosure crisis in Minneapolis. The housing issue is a crucial discussion for Ward 9 and all of Minneapolis.
Despite the excellent work of so many educators and administrators in our public schools, political leaders have abandoned public education. It is a system in crisis. Our schools’ failure to educate children of color is an injustice that weakens our economy and deepens the divisions in our society. We all have to do our part to ensure this basic promise: every child deserves an excellent, fully funded public school in their neighborhood.
The City Council does not run the schools, and it shouldn’t – an elected school board is an important way to make sure the community has a strong voice in our schools. Still, there are things city leaders can do to help ensure our shared vision of quality public education becomes a reality:
Keep schools open. It's our job to invest in schools to make them great– not to close them. School closures don't just hurt kids – they hurt whole neighborhoods. Having Howe and Cooper sitting empty was bad for safety and property values as well as for education, and it's great to have them reopening. I helped lead the fight to save North High School, and we’re now seeing great results at a school many had given up on. My strong track record of fighting for public schools may explain why charter school lobbyists hosted a fundraiser in Kenwood this month for my DFL-endorsed opponent in Ward 9. I will always be a strong advocate for great public schools.
Friends and neighbors,
I'm writing to thank you. We're on track to win a historic victory. Together we've organized a movement of raised expectations in Ward 9 - a campaign of working people demanding what we need to live a decent life, not just what we're told we must settle for.
The next six days will be decisive. We need all hands on deck to Get Out the Vote. But the grassroots power we're mobilizing won't disperse after November 5th. Our electoral victory will be a mandate to energetically push forward with our shared vision to put people over profit in Minneapolis.
Just step back for a moment and take in the breadth of support we've gathered behind this anti-establishment campaign:
We've raised over $46,000 from over 400 contributors, most of them working people who don't typically give to election campaigns. That is $17,000 more than our DFL-backed opponent raised (not including the outside corporate PAC which spent at least $8,000 to back our opponent with two mailers and robocalls). Update: Since the reporting deadline, we've raised another $10,000!
Over 100 volunteers have helped in direct voter outreach, and dozens more volunteered in other ways. Those numbers will rise this week. Over 60 volunteers are signed up for each of the final four days of the campaign.
- Support in the immigrant community has been overwhelming. Twenty community leaders signed onto a "Latin@s for Ty Moore" letter which was published in the three main Spanish-language newspapers this week, and La Raza radio is playing our campaign ad all week! Almost thirty Spanish-language canvassers have hit the streets in the last two weeks.
A big-tent coalition is emerging as an alternative anti-corporate base of political power in Minneapolis, uniting union leaders with socialists, Greens with disillusioned Democrats, block club leaders with urban farmers, immigrant rights advocates with LGBTQ organizers, and Somali residents with Occupy Homes. These are relationships we will continue to nourish after Nov. 5th.
I'm running for City Council because I know, together, we will be the most effective advocates for the day-to-day needs of working people in Ward 9. But this is far bigger than one ward in South Minneapolis. A decisive victory here will raise the confidence of working people and progressives across the country and open the space to imagine a political alternative to this broken, corporate-controlled, two-party system.
We are who we have been waiting for. Donate today. Volunteer today. I ask for your first choice vote on November 5th.
In hope and in solidarity,
Click the link below to hear Silvia Perez and Maria Cisneros, community leaders in south Minneapolis, recording a short statement of support for Ty Moore on La Raza 1400 and 1470 AM. This clip will play multiple times a day between now and the election!