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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017

United States: Minneapolis Socialist campaign chimes with voters

Socialist Alternative member Ginger Jentzen is contesting a ward in the Minneapolis city council elections - similar in size to UK parliamentary constituencies - on 7 November. Ginger's socialist policies and grassroots support have rattled the Democrat establishment, which has attempted to besmirch the campaign. Seraphina Cobeen recently wrote a report of the campaign for socialistalternative.org - which we reproduce in part below.

Ginger Jentzen campaigners in Minneapolis, photo by Socialist Alternative

Ginger Jentzen campaigners in Minneapolis, photo by Socialist Alternative   (Click to enlarge)

Every day volunteers for the Ginger Jentzen campaign are knocking on doors throughout Minneapolis' Ward 3 neighbourhoods, where working people and youth are facing skyrocketing rents and looking for an alternative to the developer-driven agenda that has long dominated city hall.

These volunteers have heard stories of displacement and low wage jobs, along with the fear of Trump's right-wing agenda affecting the city and ward.

One volunteer recently met someone who was moving boxes as she approached their door. They told her that they were moving out of the duplex they had been renting because rents kept rising. Unable to afford the rent in Minneapolis, they had decided to move out of the city. "They told me they had moved every year recently, trying to avoid the rising rents," said the volunteer, "but they were glad to see that Ginger was fighting back so that hopefully their friends would be able to avoid their fate."

The establishment is fearful of the positive reception for our campaign and is pouring corporate 'Pac' (political action committee) money into the race to try to fight against it.

One resident spoke to a volunteer, Tyler, a few days after she voted early. She had voted for Ginger but after having read an article that day in the paper that attacked the Ginger Jentzen campaign was doubting her decision. She told Tyler that she was worried Ginger wouldn't be able to work well with other members of council.

Tyler explained that the victory of passing the $15 an hour minimum wage that summer showed how Ginger and movements of working people could get things done. "Once I told her how the establishment was scared of our movement and that it was movement building that got $15 passed she started to agree again. It was movement building, working with other activist groups, that pressured city council into almost unanimously passing $15 despite them being against it at first," Tyler said.

At the end she donated to the campaign, like hundreds of other Minneapolis voters, knowing that those donations were one of the best ways to fight back against the developers and establishment that are trying to scare voters away from fighting back.

Minneapolis is known for affordable housing but developers want to turn it into another San Francisco in order to make huge profits. Voters are noticing their rising rents and many voters point to recent luxury apartments or nearby planned developments as the cause.

This is why Ginger's slogan of "not for sale" has drawn in so many volunteers and donors from Minneapolis. Her refusal to take corporate or developer money, and only take donations from ordinary people has inspired voters across the ward.

The developers are trying to buy the election with huge pacs flooding money into races across the city, and against Ginger's campaign. Instead of being scared, voters continue to donate money to Ginger, because they want to donate to the socialist who's fighting back against the big developers.

Students make up a big portion of the ward and are also ready to fight back. They see the connection between the fights against the developers and the resistance against Trump. These students are inspired by former left-wing Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' call for a "political revolution", and are excited that Ginger is another socialist who's not for sale.

On campus many students took whiteboard photos with their own reasons for supporting Ginger. Some say that they're on #TeamGinger because "she is not a corporate puppet" or that "we need rent control."

These students recognise Trump as the 'developer-in-chief' and are making the connection between the billionaire-backed administration in the White House and the profit-driven agenda of big developers in Minneapolis that is raising rents for them.

They're tired of the status quo, of 'politics as usual', and are excited by the idea of an activist in office, a socialist who rejects corporate money, and can actually fight back against the establishment.

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In The Socialist 8 November 2017:


What we think

'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us


Socialist Party news and analysis

Westminster sexual harassment scandal

Walk out against tuition fees!

Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

We can win the vote at 16!

Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

PFI privateers dodge tax

What we saw


Workplace news and analysis

Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members

BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay

Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"

Arriva bus strike still solid


International socialist news and analysis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS

Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign

Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Thousands march in London for Palestine

Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

The Socialist inbox


 

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