Does Mark Andrew Think His Opponents Aren’t Minneapolis Enough to be Mayor? #mplsmayor

Larry Jacobs through out a question on Twitter yesterday that drew some responses that I found interesting:

Q for Mpls Mayor field at State Fair: Why are you stronger than competition? @cam_winton clearest. Join us Sat 2PM U of M Stage #mplsmayor

First, a member of the Andrew campaign decided to be divisive with this response:

MT “@larryrjacobs: Q for Mpls Mayor field at Fair: Why are you stronger than competition?" - @MarkForMpls experience, from mpls. #mplsmayorReview Android Smartphone

At least, that’s how I take statement.

Is Mark Andrew’s campaign honestly saying that candidates who weren’t born in Minneapolis aren’t qualified to be mayor?

Is it because Betsy Hodges has ONLY lived in Minneapolis for 15 years, worked for Hennepin County, and been a very effective city council member?

Is Don Samuels less qualified to be mayor than Mark Andrew because he was born in Jamaica? He’s ONLY been on the Minneapolis city council for the past 10 years. Can we trust a guy like that?

Is Cam Winton less qualified to be mayor that Mark Andrew because he’s ONLY lived in Minneapolis for seven years? Can a guy honored as a 40 Under 40 by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal really be considered one of us?

Is Stephanie Woodruff less qualified to be mayor since she’s ONLY moved to Minneapolis after graduating from Drake University in 1987?

I decided to find out, so I replied to the Andrew campaign staff member who raised the issue:

@ryanearp What do you mean by "from Minneapolis" when describing mayoral credentials? Must be born here? Certain number of years? #mplsmayor

Ryan Earp’s response? Crickets.

As someone who’s lived in Minneapolis since 2004 and really likes this city, I have a hard time with crap like this from the Mark Andrew campaign. Minneapolis is my home. Yes, there are people who’ve lived here longer than me who can say that I’m not from here, but that doesn’t necessarily make them more qualified to be mayor than people who’ve lived here for shorter periods. For example, mayoral candidate and lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Jackie Cherryhomes, thought Block E was a good idea when she was on the city council.

The Andrew campaign does seem to have a bit of a coalition of the “you weren’t born here” crowd. Mayoral dropout, Jim Thomas, mentioned his Minneapolis roots as a differentiator with Don Samuels during a debate earlier this year:

After Don Samuels mentioned in his opening remarks that he had arrived in the United States with $83 in his pocket, Thomas was ready with a response.

“I was born in Minneapolis at Swedish Hospital, and I can beat Don,” said Thomas, kicking off his opening statement. “I had no money in my pocket when I arrived in Minneapolis,” he said, drawing a laugh from the standing-room-only crowd at Solomon’s Porch in south Minneapolis.

Back at that same debate, when asked about ranked choice voting, here was Andrew’s response:

“It will increase participation,” said Andrew. “It will take the fangs out of some of the political discourse.”

If that’s how Andrew feels, perhaps he can get his staff to drop the “they weren’t born here” rhetoric and focus on what makes Andrew a candidate to consider for a 1, 2, or 3 choice on this fall’s ballot?

Larry Jacobs gave both Ryan Earp and Mark Andrew an opportunity to make their case on Twitter:

@MarkForMpls Thanks. But "history of public service" is true for # of candates. What sets yours apart in ways that voters should appreciate?

Given that opportunity, what did Earp and Andrew do? Nothing.

If the Andrew campaign continues with this divisive rhetoric, will they alienate voters who’ve moved to Minneapolis and consider the city to be their home? Why would they vote for the “you’re not from here” candidate when they can rank candidates on their ballot who’ve moved to the city, made it their home, and are willing to work together to make the city a great place for those who’ve lived here forever and our more recent residents?

13 thoughts on “Does Mark Andrew Think His Opponents Aren’t Minneapolis Enough to be Mayor? #mplsmayor”

  1. YOU are the only one who thinks Andrew is being divisive. What I have a problem with is you criticizing him for making comments like “as a life long resident, I owe everything to this city.” Again not divisive but a fact. What Andrew is saying is that along with his proven public service experience (Midtown Greenway, county recycling program, etc…) and business experience (state fair stands that helped pay for his college and GreenMark) he also has Minneapolis experience and has been around to see a lot of things happen here from the race riots to the failure of the public schools.

    That DOES differentiate him from other candidates and yet he has never criticized other candidates for not living hear long enough.

  2. Not only is Mark Andrew divisive, but he’s the only candidate who has been investigated by the FBI for corruption after his service as a Hennepin County Commissioner. I really wish some more of his history would come out, especially his mandated work-for-welfare program that got unions upset that unskilled laborers were being put next to union professionals on road construction projects, and his single-handed advocacy FOR the downtown trash burner. Do your research of his time in office, people!

  3. @Ben, I didn’t criticize Andrew for making the statement you quoted (yet returns no search results).

    When Larry Jacobs asked what makes mayoral candidates stronger than the competition, an Andrew campaign member tweeted “from mpls”. When I read that, as someone who’s ONLY lived in Minneapolis for nine years, it sounds like the campaign is saying that Hodges, Samuels, Winton, and Woodruff must not be capable to understand the city well enough to be mayor. At least compared to him.

    In fact, the very first thing Mark Andrew highlights out about himself on his campaign site is that he’s a “Lifelong Minneapolis resident”. He doesn’t need to directly criticize other candidates for being born in different locations to get his point across. His point is clear to me. If you’re not born here, you’re not as qualified to be mayor as he is. It’s pure crap, and insulting to people who’ve chosen to make Minneapolis their home and a great place to live for other . . . by choice.

  4. I was not going to respond, but then I saw Ben list seeing the race riots as a qualification that differentiates Mark from other candidates and as an African American let me just say that “watching” the race riots doesn’t qualify anyone to lead a city and it is offensive that anyone would think it does. If that is what anyone thinks of significant experience or involvement then it shows the measure of what they consider “good enough” to address one of the most deeply dividing issues in our city and country: race. When questioned about his commitment to the African American community at a candidate forum in April at New Salem Baptist Church, Mark’s evidenced that he was committed to African American issues by relating a story about he and his friend biking across the City in 1965 (age 15) to Plymouth Avenue and he “didn’t know what it all meant, [he] just knew it was wrong.” At age 15, Martin Luther King, Jr. was entering Morehouse College as a Freshmen; At age 15/16 the Little Rock Nine were integrating Little Rock Central High School; at 16 Barbara Johns, one of the 117 students that helped launch the Brown vs. the Board of Education case, organized a take over and strike of her school leading to one of the lawsuits filed in the Brown vs. BOE case; at 13, I was working on Mel King’s mayoral campaign, the first African American to run for mayor of Boston.

    If Mark’s only involvement during one of the most pivotal times and issues of history was biking over from another part of town to look at the aftermath, then he and/or his supporters should really stop noting that as experience to be mayor and come up with something better. Anyone can drive by a car accident on the highway, it doesn’t make them qualified to be Transportation Commissioner or address public safety on the highway.

  5. @Ed, I have heard Andrew say that at a community event. Nothing like directly from the source instead of the internet…

    I hope you would be able to differentiate between a “campaign member” and what the campaign as a whole would be saying? I’m sure you know better than to make broad assumptions off of a 140 character tweet.

    Do you want him to hide the fact that he has lived here his whole life? If anything Andrew is the most welcoming candidate as he has made it a priority to bring 100,000 new people to Minneapolis. (

  6. @Ben, instead of trying to obfuscate the issue, either own up to the campaign making a gaffe or recognize that it appears to many people that Mark is trying to claim living here longer as being a greater qualification. NO ONE has said he should hide the fact he’s lived her his whole life, you’re pulling the far extreme to avoid directly addressing the issue, which is that Mark and/or his campaign has put out living in Minneapolis his whole life as a significant differentiation and qualification for being mayor, and merely living someplace doesn’t. George Wallace lived in Alabama his entire life, didn’t make him the best person to be Governor as much of the Civil Rights movement showed.

    Merely living somewhere does not make someone qualified to effectively lead a ward, city, county or state, you have to do something, be involved and engaged, and while Mark may have done a lot in the 90s, he hasn’t been doing work of significance to represent and run the city since then…to that end, perhaps living in Minneapolis his whole life is the most significant qualification he brings since leaving the County Board and in that case, I can see where it makes sense for him to list that as his differentiating factor…

  7. When it comes to what Mark Andrew thinks about the Mayor’s role in improving race relations and closing the gaps between the have and have not’s in the city – his silence and past actions speak for itself. When the MPLS police goes rogue and thinks its ok to call the citizens n*****S and make bigoted and disgusting comments towards the LGBT community, all of the mayoral candidates spoke out. One had “no comment.” Guess who had “no comment?” Mark Andrew. His silence speaks for itself. He is unfit to bring the city together. He is clueless about what goes on in NE MPLS and communities of people of color and communities that are plagued by high unemployment. His past work on the county board, which made poor people pick up trash at county parks for dirt wages were beyond degrading and totally disgusting. His actions and true thoughts are abhorrent and transparent. he is fooling no one. Evidence of this is right here…

  8. @Ben, Mark Andrew was clearly following the Larry Jacobs thread since he personally responded in it. If he had a problem with the tweet of someone working for his campaign (we’re not talking about a rouge supporter) he could have asked that person to delete the tweet.

    I didn’t make broad assumptions based on a 140 character tweet. I looked at Mark Andrew’s website and saw that his #1 bullet point he uses to differentiate himself as a candidate is that he’s a lifelong Minneapolis resident. That’s not the act of a rouge supporter or a single staff member. That’s a way to say that others aren’t as qualified simply because they weren’t born here.

    Mark Andrew is certainly not hiding the fact that he’s a lifelong resident (nor should he). Instead, he’s attempting to leverage nonsense.

  9. I won’t be voting for Andrew, but at the same time, I don’t read too much into his campaign’s occasional ‘crickets’ when pestered by Larry Jacobs.

    Larry has the luxury of being paid by the MN taxpayers to while away his hours on Twitter and call it research, but it’s a waste of taxpayer money. He’s asking questions which aren’t suited for a Twitter-constrained response, he’s contributing to ‘sound-bite politics’ which are partly to blame for our sorry state of political affairs, and he’s building his personal brand so he can get more invitations to appear on ALMANAC, which probably leads to paid pundit gigs, sells books, etc.

  10. I’m sorry Ed but this whole thing is absurd. So Mark Andrew was born and raised in Minneapolis, went to the University of Minnesota and so on. What he is saying is that his story is the story of our city and he wants everyone to have the same opportunities he had.

    You are certainly free to decide if this is a persuasion point that matters to you or not. Much like deciding who to vote for based on gender or a single issue like the Vikings stadium, biography is a part of a candidate’s profile. It is up to us as voters to decide if that matters to us or not.

    Myself, I tend to like candidates who come from more hardscrabble upbringings, regardless of geography.

  11. (two comments above) Very insulting comment coming from Davnie. First, he teaches way out in Buffalo, not the Mpls public schools. Second, because it looks like a slam on Hodges, who doesn’t have children, as far as I know.

  12. Richard,

    I’m not an Andrew supporter- not writing to defend him, so much as im writing to defend truth and common sense. Your comment piqued my interest. You’ve got to clarify your statement about Andrew “making poor people pick up trash..for dirt wages.”
    Where is the evidence he “made” people do that? So, he forced people to do that?

    Also, I find it odd that offering poor and/or unemployed folks a job in exchange for money is “disgusting” to you. So instead of giving able-bodied poor people a check in exchange for picking up trash at County Parks, you’d rather the govt confiscate money from the working middle class, and give it away to said able-bodied poor people, in exchange for nothing? THAT, to me, is disgusting. I, along with a lot of other folks I know, picked up trash, cleaned bathrooms, and mopped floors at one point or another. It’s called work.

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