Opinion editor's note: In light of additional information, the Star Tribune Editorial Board has withdrawn its endorsement of Michael "Mickey" Moore in the Ninth Ward. An explanation is here. The editorial as it originally appeared is below. There are no changes to our opinion regarding the 10th Ward contest.
Residents of the Ninth and 10th Wards live in central Minneapolis neighborhoods that include or are nearby Lake Street, Uptown and George Floyd Square.
The two wards have experienced high-profile tragedies and challenges in recent years, from George Floyd's murder to rioting, rising crime and homeless encampments in Powderhorn Park.
Residents want effective law enforcement, but some are wary of the police. Many want a "both/and" approach to public safety — a reformed Minneapolis Police Department and increased violence prevention efforts. The wards are also home to many vibrant businesses and strong neighborhood groups that work diligently on community issues.
Both seats are open because City Council President Lisa Bender in the 10th and Alondra Cano from the Ninth are not running for re-election, giving voters the opportunity to have a significant impact on the city's future.
Emerging from a ballot that includes a number of strong candidates in each race, the Star Tribune Editorial Board's endorsements go to Michael "Mickey" Moore in the Ninth Ward and Alicia Gibson in the 10th.
Moore, 51, is retired after owning and managing several small businesses that have employed many immigrants and people of color. He grew up in Minneapolis and says he benefited from access to the parks and programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA. His business experience, in particular, would be an asset to the council.
Moore backs the governance change in City Question 1 that would better define the roles of the mayor and council. He strongly opposes Question 2, which would remove the Police Department from the city charter. He says public safety is the top issue he hears about from residents and that the city needs more police, not fewer. He's also against Question 3 on rent control, arguing that it would lead to less development and reduce incentives for landlords to maintain their properties.
Moore faces strong competition from Jason Chavez, 26, a legislative aide for the Minnesota House who earned the DFL endorsement. Born and raised in the Ninth Ward, he is passionate about working on affordable housing, social and racial justice and other issues that impact communities of color. He also opposes ballot Question 1 and supports Questions 2 and 3.
Candidate Brenda Short, 48, is a financial clearance representative for Allina Healthcare whose campaign is focused on public safety and housing.
Candidates Jon Randall Denison, Alfred "A.J." Flowers Jr., Carmen Means and Yussuf Haji and Ross Tenneson did not participate in the Editorial Board screening interviews.
This race has several strong candidates, but we narrowly give the nod to Gibson, 44, a lawyer, stay-at-home mom and former college professor. She has been active on various boards and in school communities and has served as president of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association.
Among her priorities are restorative economic and environmental justice. Through her community work, she has demonstrated an ability to bring people together, navigate systems and develop pragmatic solutions to problems. She rejects what she calls the "leadership through division" approach she's seen on the current council.
Candidate David Wheeler, 69, also would be an excellent council member. He's a retired Methodist minister and former Duluth City Council member and currently serves as president of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation. He has a deep understanding of the issues and would be a collaborative leader.
Chris Parsons, 47, is a St. Paul fire captain would could bring an important first responder perspective to the council on issues of safety and policing.
Gibson, Wheeler and Parsons all wisely support City Question 1 and oppose Questions 2 and 3.
Also on the ballot are Katie Jones, 34, an engineer and community program and policy manager at the Center for Energy and Environment, and Aisha Chughtai, 24, a political organizer at SEIU Minnesota State Council. In our view, Jones and Chughtai are on the wrong side of the ballot questions.
Candidate Ubah Nur did not participate in the Star Tribune Editorial Board screening process.
Opinion editor's note: The Star Tribune Editorial Board operates separately from the newsroom, and no news editors or reporters were involved in the endorsement process. To read all of our endorsements, go to startribune.com/package-opinion-endorsements/.