Facing corporate and right-wing attacks under a Trump presidency, our healthcare, livelihoods, and environment are under siege. In Minneapolis, the campaign to elect Ginger Jentzen to City Council Ward 3 is fighting against corporate power by putting forward a serious, high-profile socialist program. Ginger’s campaign is built upon years of movement building in the Twin Cities, including the incredible victory of the $15 minimum wage, which grew under her leadership as executive director of 15 Now. The Vote Ginger campaign is carrying that momentum forward to build a movement for the 99% in Minnesota.
A Bold Program for the 99%
Minneapolis is at a crossroads. This is starkly apparent in Ward 3 – while working class people are increasingly priced out of the ward and the city, it is home to some of the fastest developing neighborhoods and the new, wildly unpopular, taxpayer-funded U.S. Bank stadium.
The Democratic Party establishment in Minneapolis has repeatedly defended corporate interests over working people, as we saw in the movement for a $15 an hour minimum wage. We need representatives like Ginger who fight unapologetically for working and oppressed people, refuse donations from corporate executives and big developers, and view the social power of ordinary people as the key force of change.
Ginger’s campaign offers a bold program to inspire working class movements: taxing the rich to fund affordable housing, mass transit, and health care programs; challenging big developers by strengthening tenants’ rights; and ending the undemocratic state pre-emption of rent control. We can make Minneapolis a city of resistance to the Trump agenda by fighting for full LGBTQ rights, no deportations, and an end to “stop and frisk” policing.
A Socialist Alternative Is Possible
Unions that supported Bernie are supporting Ginger. The Minnesota Nurses Association and the Communication Workers of America have both endorsed Ginger, a crucial step in continuing the political revolution. Recent endorsements from the Democratic Socialists of America and the International Socialist Organization highlight this campaign’s potential for inspiring united front organizing and a wider discussion of socialist tactics.
This campaign is actively building movements to resist Trump’s attacks and strengthen movements of working people – Ginger has already hosted Town Halls to mobilize for Medicare-For-All, resist Trump’s fossil-fuel agenda, and stop transit cuts. With over 50 volunteers at the door-knocking kick-off in June, the campaign is off to a strong start. By establishing a network of “block captains” – local leaders who organize their neighbors – we are building a framework for a sustained movement. This campaign has also raised over $35,000 with over 500 donations from working people, showing that it is possible to build a viable campaign that’s not for sale to corporate cash.
Ultimately Ginger’s candidacy offers a platform from which to organize for working people’s power in Minneapolis and a path forward to show that an independent political alternative is possible.