Why I’m Running for Minneapolis City Council

by Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative (U.S.) on February 16, 2013

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.

My name is Ty Moore and I’m running 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, I’ve 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, we’ve 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, it’s 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. I’ve 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,

Ty Moore

TyMoore.org | facebook.com/VoteTyMoore | twitter.com/VoteTyMoore

Would you like to volunteer or donate to our campaign?

Email [email protected] 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.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Gahtan February 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

@Ty:You may want to print out/distribute the enclosed to those people who are reluctant to participate in a campaign because they are overwhelmed, feel they have too few resources or don’t know where to start.

Best of luck. here is the list

[admin, edit: http://activistshandbook.wordpress.com/ ]


John Halle February 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I gave $50 and encourage those of us able to afford it to do so as well.

This is the first step within a third party organizing strategy which I outlined in an article in the Summer New Politics (linked to below). Here’s the relevant paragraph:
“As a practical matter, one can advance independent politics by doing nothing more than visiting a few of these sites and making on-line contributions to those campaigns which seem most promising. The obvious drawbacks to an individualized, uncoordinated approach is that it will result in duplication of effort as we attempt to determine those candidacies which are most promising. What is needed is an organization which would be take the responsibility to research insurgent candidates, form a judgment as to which are most viable and worthy of support and disburse funds from a war chest amassed from the pooled contributions of progressives who have committed themselves to supporting the development of independent politics.”



John Halle February 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Should have said Summer 2005 New Politics. (The article was, as far as I can tell, entirely ignored.)


scott February 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

We have the technology necessary to create a broad-based third party–we just need to find a platform we can unite around. The Pirate Parties and their technological advances show us the way. We can create a democratically ratified party platform with a new Constitution for the United States composed and democratically ratified by party members.

But the first step is for leftist men to stop creating new factions. Endless splinter-politics only helps the interests of the powerful and it reeks of Cointelpro.

I’m not married to the Green Party, but at least a Green Party vote is not a wasted vote, because the Green Party platforms tend to be excellent. As you mention in your article, there are some conservative Greens or Greens of convenience, but statistically they are insignificant–the Green Party base is progressive. The Green Party has far more ballot access than any other leftist party. Imho the Green Party could be the vehicle for a new broad-based left-patriotic party, but it could also transform into something else.

Of course, that’ s not meant to be a criticism of Mr. Moore, unless he will be competing with a Green Party candidate–in that case Mr. Moore and the Green Party candidate should square off in some sort of primary, if such a thing is possible.


scott February 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Ah, now I notice that Ty Moore is indeed seeking the Green Party endorsement and the convention is happening today!


So good luck to him!


Teddy S February 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Scott – Just an update – We just got the endorsement of the MN Green Party. We also got the endorsement of an immigrant rights organization called Assemblea, 2 shop stewards in the Mpls teachers union(one of whom is a former president) and we have barely begun the fight for endorsements.


Teddy S February 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

On my update above – it turns out I got mistaken information or I misheard it – Assemblea has not endorsed our campaign because they are a 501-C-3 organization – but several of their leading organizers have agreed to publicly endorse us. Sorry about that!


Robert Gahtan February 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Congratulations on the endorsements.

I think you, or someone on your staff could take a look at :From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp. Many of the points he makes apply to current situation and has some superb advice regarding tactics and strategies.

It troubles me to see activists repeat the mistakes of the past, and ignore the successes and are left to re-invent the wheel, get burned out or discouraged.

Hopefully one of your colleagues could take this challenge on. There are many issues that need to be looked at. Specifically: Agent Provocateur, Army, Boycotts, Civil Disobedience, Coalitions, Coming Out, Communism, Consciousness Raising, Cooperatives, Debates Teach-ins, Defensive Formulations, Democracy, Democratic Centralism, Electoral Arena, Expulsions, International, Internet, Local, Maoism, Marches, Membership, Non Violent Direct Action, Occupations, Organization, Outings, Outreach, Pacifism, Police, Press, Program, Recruitment, Reformers, Reformist, Sectarianism, Single Issue, Sit-Ins, Socialism, Stalinism, Third Parties, Trotskyism, TV, Ultra-Left, Utopias, Violence, etc.


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