In the Star Tribune Editorial Board City Council endorsements, why did the board go along with the farther-left candidates' co-opting the "progressive" label?
Minneapolis has tens of thousands of DFLers whose progressive values are firmly in place, thank you very much. They don't happen to subscribe, though, to further-left Democratic Socialists of America goals such as defunding police, implementing discredited rent control policies and shoveling all the sidewalks.
The DSA candidates don't own the word "progressive." Don't keep conceding it to them. You are editors. You respect words. Respect this word by not letting it be stolen by people more properly labeled as far-left. (This is not a pejorative label. It is merely descriptive. Most on that end of the spectrum would wear that more accurate label proudly.)
David J. Therkelsen, Minneapolis
11TH WARD RACE
I'm not a reformer. I want revolution.
My name is Gabrielle Prosser, and I am running for Minneapolis City Council in the 11th Ward. I'm also a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The article "Public safety is a top issue in Minneapolis Council races" printed Oct. 23 misrepresented my positions as reformist. The SWP program is for socialist revolution.
The most important position of the campaign of the SWP today is that workers everywhere need to oppose Jew-hatred and defend Israel's right to exist as a refuge for Jews. We need to speak out unequivocally against the Oct. 7 Tehran-backed pogrom carried out by Hamas. Hamas acts with the goal of maximizing the deaths of Palestinian civilians to gain sympathy for its Jew hatred. Their goal is to kill Jews and wipe Israel off the map.
Opposing Jew hatred is an important question not just for Jews, but for the working class. Those who champion Hamas today will easily find themselves allied with future fascist forces, who target both Jews and the working class in times of sharp capitalist crisis.
The Socialist Workers Party campaign supports what advances the working class' confidence and its capacity to organize and fight. Only through working people taking political power, establishing a workers' and farmers' government and carrying out socialist revolution, can we end the social and economic crisis deepening around us today, including ending Jew hatred once and for all.
Gabrielle Prosser, Minneapolis
The writer is a candidate for the Minneapolis City Council's 11th Ward.
I request a longer break
The letter "Can't we take an hour off?" (Nov. 2) hit the nail on the head. But ... take an hour off? Seriously, I'd like to see a full year off. We get political campaigning nonstop, election to election. I say the odd-numbered years should be campaign-free for state and federal office. Let the candidates actually do some work in our Capitol. And imagine the evening news without the talking heads opining on how evil the other side is. We might even calm the partisan waters with some serious time off.
Harald Eriksen, Brooklyn Park
Star Tribune columnist Jennifer Brooks tells us that "Election season is catnip for online trolls" (Nov. 3). Sadly, the social media troll season in America is 24/7/365.
The various social media platforms have enabled many, many Americans to criticize, attack, slander and threaten those whose views and beliefs are not the same as theirs. Most, if not all of them, would never have the courage or intestinal fortitude to come face to face or eyeball to eyeball with those they disagree with. Nor would they have the intelligence or courtesy to actually discuss, in person, their differing points of view and beliefs. Thus they hide behind their cellphones and computers. Social media has many positive uses, but it has also many negative uses. The creation and emergence of the "gutless American" is one of those negatives.
George Larson, Brooklyn Park
TRUMP ON THE BALLOT
Rules are rules
The Jack Smith indictment of Donald Trump does not start out so well for Trump:
"The defendant lost the 2020 election. Despite having lost, the defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following Election Day on Nov. 3, 2020, the defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the defendant knew they were false."
Then we get to the fun parts:
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States by fraud and obstruction.
- Conspiracy to corruptly obstruct the Jan. 6 hearings.
- Conspiracy to obstruct the right to vote and to have your vote counted.
We do not need courts of law or indeed the Supreme Court to determine if Donald Trump violated the Constitution. It is in black and white in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
"Let the people decide" is complete nonsense. The Constitution is the Constitution or it is not.
Richard A. Pommier, Long Prairie
In defense of the building and the community we built inside it
As a retiree of the Minneapolis YWCA, I can say many staff and participants were thrilled in the 1970s when the Minneapolis YWCA was rebuilt. In an era that saw women's rights changing, including Title IX, it was a facility and organization "on the mall" that embraced and empowered this. It was also an organization that provided so many important health and wellness programs for women who were seniors, working and with their newborns — and essentially a building where women and girls felt safe.
Following college, I began working at the health and fitness desk and after a few years I was fortunate to become director of the department. When working at the desk I always thought it sort of funny when men would complain about the size of their locker room; the women had a locker room three times the size of the men's. There was also a health club (women only) where women could relax, get a massage, take a hot tub and unwind after work or a workout. It was a time when aerobics, strength training, yoga and stretching were new concepts for many women. The design/architecture was built for women. Men had their places for exercising. The design was intentional.
The building was designed with an atrium and full of natural light. As an instructor for the "over 50 and fit" class, I had participants walk up the ramp (three flights), and at the top would have them monitor their pulse with their two fingers on their carotid artery to see if they were in their target zone — way before Fitbits and sports watches. It was a great use of the building design.
For the many years I spent in that building (12-plus), it was great space — warm, full of life, a place to grab a bite, a place that had the best child care in town — and it helped accomplish what the staff set out to do. Women's and girls' lives were enriched. Women were healthier. And it was staffed and operated by women.
Suffice it to say, the description in the article of the look of the building is harsh ("Hoping to say bye to the Y," Oct. 23). Don't judge a book by its cover. I, among so many others who worked and participated there, would choose to look at the design and architecture 180 degrees from the way it was described. I am so grateful for that building.
Suzie Woodrich, Plymouth