A big thanks to all our recent donors!
A big thanks to all our recent donors!
BIO Bob was born in St. Louis and moved to Minneapolis when he was in grade school and except for a few years he has lived the majority of his life in Minneapolis. After 2 years of college he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in-country in Viet Nam and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. He attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a B.S. degree in civil engineering. He worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for 6 years after graduating. Since then he has worked for several engineering firms over the years. Bob has been an election judge in Minneapolis since 2008, serving as head judge in his precinct for several primary elections and assistant head judge for most general elections. Bob is involved in local politics and currently serves on several Republican Committees and was a strong supporter of Chris Fields, Doug Daggett, Lacy Johnson, and Cicely Davis, all who ran for Congress in the 5 th Congressional District in different elections, and also Karin Housley who ran for the U.S. Senate and at least two candidates for governor. He has also supported several candidates for the State House and State Senate who ran in his Senate District 62. ISSUES In the summer of 2020, Bob testified at a Minneapolis Charter Commission public hearing against a Charter amendment proposed by the City Council that would have abolished the Police Department and replaced it with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. The head of the new department “would have non-law enforcement experience”. The City Council’s Charter amendment was laid over for further study by the Charter Commission and there was not enough time for the Charter amendment to be put on the general election ballot in 2020 so it was removed from consideration. In the 2021 municipal election there were three proposed Charter amendments on the ballot, one of which would have abolished the police department if passed. This amendment was defeated. Bob fully supported the defeat of the amendment. He was also a candidate for City Council in the 8 th Ward for the 2021 election and his campaign literature focused on the defeat of the amendment. Since that election the Minneapolis Police Department has been restructured by making it part of a new Department of Public Safety, with a Public Safety Commissioner as its head. A Police Commissioner was also added and a new Police Chief was hired. Bob is a strong law and order supporter. It is his firm belief that if we do not continue to hire more police and put a stop to all the lawless behavior that has permeated our city, more people will join those who have already left until we could end up with large sections of the city completely deserted, as has already happened in Detroit and St. Louis. When this happens a city has failed. Although Bob is for more police and the restoration of law and order, he doesn’t support giving the police a free rein. He is for tough but fair police reforms that would hold the police to higher standards, but wouldn’t take away their ability to perform their jobs. The Police Department is currently understaffed by several hundred officers. There is an ongoing effort to hire more officers and to weed out those who are found to be unfit for duty. The department is also in the process of writing and adopting police reforms. If elected to the City Council Bob would like to do his part in helping to make this a safer City where people would feel free to walk around without the fear of being attacked by criminals or to have their cars stolen by underage car hijackers. Recently Shivanthi Sathananda, the second vice chair of the Democratic Party in Minnesota was attacked in her driveway in Minneapolis with her kids in the car and her car was carjacked. She was beaten and suffered a broken leg, lacerations to her head, and bruises. Neighbors who tried to help were held off at gunpoint by masked gunmen. She now is calling for holding all carjackers in custody and prosecuting them. It has been the practice in Minneapolis and likely other cities in Minnesota to catch and release underage carjackers. This catch and release underage carjackers practice has been supported by Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s Attorney General, and it was started following the rioting after George Floyd’s murder. Carjacking is essentially robbery. If it is done with weapons it is the same as armed robbery. Most armed robbers are sent to prison for several years and even longer if they injure or kill their victims. Bob is of the opinion that underage carjackers should be tried as adults and given sentences similar to adults convicted of robberies. Another issue that Bob is concerned about is the proliferation of bicycle lanes in the city, along with lower speed limits for cars and timing of signal lights such that motorists are stopped at almost every controlled intersection and in some cases forced to wait there for several minutes until given a green light. Bob is not against bicycle lanes per se, but it seems to him that at least in some areas there are more than are needed. Also, he is unaware of any public hearings on their placement and their design. Last winter there was a large pile of snow in the middle of west 40 th Street which was left there for most of the winter. The pile was between the bicycle lane and the traffic lanes. People with driveways on the south side of 40 th Street had to shovel a path through the snow pile so they could use their garages. Plowing on the north side of 40 th Street did not include the parking spots where people who live on that side of the street parked their cars. Bryant Avenue was recently reconstructed to provide a two-way bicycle lane that is likely wide enough for car traffic. It is separated from the road by a buffer area that is about 6-8 feet wide which was placed there for no apparent good reason and the result is that the street is much narrower than it used to be with barely enough room for 2 cars to pass each other and parking on only one side of the street. On a related issue, the City has been redesigning all the major arteries so they are limited to only one lane in each direction and in a lot of cases, no parking on one side. A notable example is along Cedar Avenue at 42 nd Street, where there used to be parking on both sides of the street for the businesses that are located there. The end result has been a loss of customers for the businesses located in that block.