On Monday, Socialist Alternative launched an electoral campaign for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9. Below is a letter from the candidate, Ty Moore.
TyMoore.org | facebook.com/VoteTyMoore | twitter.com/VoteTyMoore
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s time we raised our expectations. Our city is governed by a one-party political machine whose loyalty lies with the big developers, the big banks, and the big corporations who fund them.
I’m running as a Socialist Alternative candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9 to support bottom-up community efforts to win real change.
City officials give lip service to the problems afflicting our communities unemployment, poverty, racism, over-crowded classrooms, housing insecurity but their ties to big business prevent the bold initiatives necessary to ensure the quality of life we deserve. We need an alternative to the Democratic Party machine.
We can do better. And each of us has an important part to play.
Time and time again, Ive been humbled by the spirit of resilience and solidarity in this community. When Alejandra Cruz and Bobby Hull asked for support to save their homes from foreclosure, neighbors stood together to defend them against the banks. And despite city officials using police intimidation on the banks behalf, weve been winning, thanks to the inspired organizing of groups like Occupy Homes, a movement I helped initiate. It shows that when ordinary people stand together, when we organize, its possible to overcome the entrenched power of the 1%.
All through history, social progress has been achieved by movements of everyday people challenging those in power. And so our campaign for City Council won’t be narrowly focused on chasing votes. Instead, the central goal of our campaign is to help build, unite, and give political voice to the ongoing struggles for justice in our community. If we can achieve that, we will have already won.
With my partner, Kelly Bellin, I live near the corner where the Phillips, Central, and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods intersect, and we’ve sunk deep roots in this community. My father, stepmother, and two sisters live in Corcoran. We are a family that knows what it means to struggle, and we place a high value on social justice. Ive witnessed the incredible pain that stems from social inequality, and have dedicated my entire adult life to creating a more fair and peaceful world.
Since moving to South Minneapolis in 2002, I’ve played a vital role building Socialist Alternative into a strong organization, whose members have helped build and lead numerous community, labor, and social justice campaigns. We initiated Youth Against War & Racism, a student-led campaign to end military recruitment in high schools, with groups in over a dozen schools at its height. With three metro-wide walkouts, the largest drawing 4,000 youth into political action, we forced Minneapolis Public Schools to pass one of the most restrictive military recruitment policies in the country and trained a new generation of young activists.
When the School District threatened to shutter North High and replace it with a non-union, privately run, military-style charter school, I helped found the successful Save North High Coalition. We organized a series of protests which drew hundreds of parents, teachers, students, and community members, highlighting the institutional racism behind the profit-driven “education reform” agenda. We compelled the District to reverse course and keep North High open.
Most recently, alongside Occupy Homes, I and other members of Socialist Alternative helped initiate the “Foreclosure & Eviction Free Zone” campaign in Ward 9. I plan to use my election campaign to amplify the voices of my neighbors fighting to keep their homes.
But we can’t be satisfied with partial victories won through protest. As long as political power remains firmly in the hands of the 1%, whose profit-driven interests run counter to the needs of our communities, the injustices we face every day will persist.
Our aims are far bigger than winning this election. We want to win a new world, a socialist world where the economy is democratically controlled and the needs of people and the planet are prioritized over the profits of the 1%. We want a society that works for everybody and a stable economy with opportunity for all.
If elected to Minneapolis City Council, my office in City Hall would become an organizing center for labor and community struggles. As more homeowners stand up in civil disobedience against eviction, I would risk arrest with them. Whenever an immigrant family is torn apart by deportations, I will use my access to the media to stand by them and denounce the institutional racism of our government. My office would champion the call for a municipal utility company to transition Minneapolis to a renewable energy grid. If elected, I would give my full backing to workers organizing to achieve a voice on the job, decent benefits, and a living wage.
About 25% of Ward 9 residents live in poverty. Median household income is below $40,000. Meanwhile, Minneapolis City Councilors pay themselves $80,000 a year, and most view the job as a stepping stone to higher office. If elected, I would take only the average wage of those I represent, donating the rest of my income to social movement organizations. And I will refuse any corporate donations to my campaign.
For many years I’ve worked to change the politics of the city and this country, and if you elect me to City Council I am prepared to be a consistent ally for all working people in this diverse, vibrant community that I love.
Thanks for your support,
Would you like to volunteer or donate to our campaign?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612.345.9626. Join us for regular campaign meetings on Sundays (times and location vary, so contact us). To donate, visit our website tymoore.org , or send checks made out to Ty Moore for City Council to 3401 Pillsbury Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408.