City Council & School Board Candidates' Endorsements of Saint Paul STRONG principles

Candidates' Responses Prior to November 3, 2015 Election


* Although all the incumbents indicated their support of six principles put forward by Saint Paul STRONG, or used confusing language in crafting their response to us, it was their collective action during their tenure and that of the Mayor that led to our grievances and the establishment of Saint Paul STRONG. We recommend each voter check out their own council member’s voting record as to adhering to our six principles. We hope that pledging support for our principles will result in the accountability and transparency changes needed.

The following are the candidates' responses to our request for endorsements to Saint Paul STRONG (in order of when received).


Steve Marchese:


I can't make tomorrow's event, due to work commitments, but am in solidarity with what you are trying to do.  Keep me posted.





Darren Tobolt:


I support the tenets of Saint Paul Strong.  These principles have been central to my work in politics since I first worked for Senator Paul Wellstone in 1996. In my current role as aide to Commissioner Reinhardt, I see the positives results of being an inclusive decision maker everyday. Responsiveness and transparency have been central to my work and community activism and I will bring those values with me to the city council.


I especially appreciate the focus on citizen participation, both including folks before decisions are made, and including persons of color and low-income residents in every decision.  Engaging the public, especially the traditionally underrepresented, is one of my top priorities. I will look to the leaders in Saint Paul Strong to help me do this, because it's not easy to do. We need to work across the entire spectrum to reach out and engage people in decisions that will effect their communities.


I respect these principles and I have a twenty year record of acting on them. Thank you for your work toward our goal of a Stronger Saint Paul. 


Darren Tobolt

Candidate - Ward 2



Jane Prince:


I support all six principles advanced by Saint Paul Strong.


Thanks to Saint Paul Strong for calling public attention to the need for greater transparency, openness and accountability, that have been the hallmark of Saint Paul city government under our City Charter.


Jane L. Prince

Candidate, Saint Paul City Council/Ward 7



* Keith Hardy (never responded)


Hi John,I will respond tomorrow.




Rashad Turner


I support St. Paul Strong and I wish we didn't have to pledge to things like the six principles, but it shows that we still have a lot of work to do and we need to do it together!


Rashad Turner Sent from my iPhone

Rashad Anthony Turner


* Russ Stark:




I support all 6 principles, thanks for the work to develop this. 






Kevin Bradley:


I fully support and endorse Saint Paul Strong.


Kevin Bradley

Candidate for City Council Ward 6



Trahern Crews:


I support the platform



Trahern Crews



Ed Davis:


I support St. Paul Strong principals as they embody the strategies of effective urban planning and community organizing, which is at the core of my campaign and personal philosophy.  No matter how "right" the decisions are being made, the resulting decisions are always better when all of the stakeholders are involved.  If our next City Council fully embodied this community organizer model of representation, I believe our city could shine even more as the North Star Capitol City.


Ed Davis

St. Paul Ward 6 City Council Candidate



 Rebecca Noecker:


"I support the goals of St. Paul STRONG.  Over the last two years I have been hearing from residents across Ward 2, demanding a city government that not only makes the right policies but that also has the right culture.  We need greater transparency so that people know what decisions are being made and how they can meaningfully give input.  We need a culture of inclusiveness that actively seeks to engage people where they live.  And we need a Council that has the courage to do what is best for the city even if that means doing things differently from how we've done them before or disagreeing with the mayor.  I am glad groups like St. Paul STRONG are mobilizing on behalf of these changes and I look forward to working with them on the City Council."




David Glass:


Dear Executive Committee Members of Saint Paul STRONG, 


"I support the tenants and goals of St. Paul STRONG.  More accountability, transparency, integrity and honesty is what the residents and business owners of Saint Paul are looking for in their elected officials.  Residents from Ward 5 they have expressed to me the frustration in not being included in discussion with decisions, which affect their homes and businesses.  Mostly the meetings they are invited to, is the "City" telling them what is going to happen rather than gathering information, asking for input and determining best approach and practices. They feel left out of the process, their voices aren't being heard or are ignored.  I fully support Saint Paul STRONG and look forward to a new city council that engages in dialogue with the community before making decisions that affect our neighborhoods and wonderful city."


David Glass / Zhawanuinini



Sharon Anderson:


YES Sharon supports St. Paul Strong



* Chris Tolbert:


Saint Paul Strong has laid out principles that we should continue to prioritize in our government. As your council member, I will work to ensure we have strong St. Paul for generations to come.

- Chris Tolbert



Greg Copeland:


This is good work you are doing! I am only too happy to endorse the Principles of Saint Paul Strong.

You and I  know John, as those who have actually fought many public battles at Saint Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse, that foreclosing public participation in public policy making is not a new problem in River City !


In February 2011 as an individual Citizen I stood up at the Ramsey County Commission's to meeting to demand that Public Comment be heard in opposition the Ortega/Bennett proposed Viking's Stadium 1/2 Cent Sales Tax after County Commissioners listened to the Viking's Lester Bagley Billion Dollar Stadium Pitch just before they voted, ultimately, without taking any Public Testimony to spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to sell the Public the Stadium and the Sales Taxes to pay for the Billion Dollar Bond Issue. Discarding for almost nine months any opportunity for public participation for their "We know Better Than You Do" sales campaign for more taxes; Governor Dayton ended the Ramsey County Commissioner's stadium quest on  November 1, 2011 after the Viking's rejected a public outcry demanding a public referendum on the tax under the Ramsey County Home Rule Charter.


Next I had to sue Mayor Chris Coleman, who was in such a hurray to build the millionaire owners of the Saint Paul Saint's a new $63 Million Stadium financed with Millions in unprecedented taxpayer subsidies, that Coleman decided to issue the city construction contract to his pals at his favorite construction company without any public bids! Coleman's City Attorney defended his Boss in the press, but before the first court hearing could be held, Governor Dayton told Coleman if he did not put the city construction project out for Public Bid as the law requires, the State of Minnesota would withdraw their $24 Million stadium grant to the City of  Saint Paul. Coleman finally relented agreeing to publicly bid the job; and his buddies still amazingly got the contract by bidding for it the old fashioned way.


I would like to suggest that Saint Paul Strongamend it's statement of Principles to include Public Education as important as Public Safety.  No doubt you are aware of the Saint Paul School Board decided on August 18, 2015 to no longer broadcast on the city's Cable TV Public Channel,  Public Comment offered by the Public at the Regular Monthly Meeting. This ill advised policy was, the School Board Members and Staff declared done to: "treat members of the Public more Equitably" and "reconnect with the Public"; really? I think the policy is absurd, and unfortunately is emblematic of the School Board's numerous public policy failings, such as the 44 point GAP in the 2015 MCA'sin Math and Reading proficiency between white and black students in Saint Paul Public Schools .

I am here to tell you as a Candidate for the Saint Paul School Board,  New Leadership is on the way, and a New Superintendent is needed to hire a staffthat has the common sense to know that Government does the People it is supposed to serve, no favor by turning off their television cameras, so Citizens who used to watch the school board meetings at home, now can not see or hear what the People are saying at Public Comment


Amazingly theBoard Members attempt to defend this because Public Commenthas been taken off the official School Board's Regular Meeting Agenda; really, I can't make this stuff up, and they passed it on a 6 to 1 vote with only John Brodrick opposed, as he was to giving Superintendent Silva a three year contract extension in March 2015 with only minimal public comment. On November 3, 2015 Voters can return common sense and transparency so we can begin to reform the Public Policy work of the Saint Paul School Board!




Saint Paul School Board Candidate



Linda Freeman:


This is fantastic! I strongly support all 6 principles.


Linda Freeman

School Board Candidate 2015, Teacher