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Wedge LIVE!

Wedge LIVE!

By John Edwards
A show about Minneapolis politics from the maker of Wedge LIVE, the award winning local news website.
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Lyndale Avenue Median Episode
John is joined by Melody Hoffman (@MelodySWV) for an episode recorded smack in the middle of four lanes of traffic on Lyndale Avenue (27th Street intersection) in south Minneapolis. Did we capture any usable audio? Listen to find out. This episode is best experienced on YouTube. Special thanks to Conrad Zbikowski (@ConradZbikowski) for his behind the camera work. This episode would not have been possible without his technical wizardry. Watch: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
37:17
May 16, 2022
Lessons for Hennepin Ave: A History of Dedicated Transit Lanes on Minneapolis Streets
John is joined by Peter Wagenius, legislative director for the Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, for a conversation about the history of dedicated transit space on Minneapolis streets and similarities with today's debate over bus lanes on Hennepin Avenue. We talk about what makes our transportation planning decisions so key to combating climate change. Peter recalls his experience, while policy director under former Mayors Rybak and Hodges, of the planning process for a series of bus lanes (most prominently Marquette and 2nd) and the Green Line to St. Paul (Washington and University Avenues). The common threads when it comes to dedicating lanes for transit on our streets: overstated doomsaying about parking, pushback from powerful interests, fierce opposition from Lisa Goodman, near on the council, and the eventual success of those projects. "When the City Council decided, 12 times, [to dedicate lanes to transit], it was successful afterwards. We had no regrets." Peter talks about Republicans' latest talking point against transit: Covid-19. John mentions he's heard that one before -- from our new Public Works director when she argued against immediate implementation of full time bus lanes on Hennepin Avenue. We talk about how unprecedented it would be to have a new department head, after years of work and public engagement, begin her tenure by discarding a staff recommended design at the last moment. John admits to enjoying the transportation options at Orlando-area theme parks. Peter seems not to understand what EPCOT is. Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:02:57
May 12, 2022
"Abortion Restrictions Are Functionally Racist"
John has a conversation with reproductive health researcher Asha Hassan, MPH, about the public health and equity impacts of eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, as a draft opinion has signaled is the intention of the US Supreme Court. What is Minnesota's role in restricting or expanding access? Does this open the floodgates to further attacks on bodily autonomy? With the potential for abortion rights to become more relevant to local politics, what should we be asking of our elected officials? Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
30:53
May 11, 2022
LIVE Episode!
John is joined by Jason Garcia for the first ever Ask Us Anything episode. We take calls from Melody (https://SouthwestVoices.news) regarding Lyndale Avenue safety improvements, and Christin regarding the US Supreme Court's intention to overturn abortion rights. John puts his foot down after superfan Conrad Z makes repeated calls into the show. We talk about the results of the state's investigation into MPD misconduct, the all important Hennepin Avenue reconstruction (which we think is coming up for a vote this month at the city council), the Ilhan vs. Don Samuels race, John invites people to visit him at the DFL's 5th district convention, the city's board and commission meetings going back underground after two years of livestreams, Jason's lifetime ban from twitter, the precarious position John finds himself in by presiding over a media organization almost entirely based on a platform purchased by Elon Musk, and how Tom Hoch has dropped unexpectedly back into our lives like a dead fish delivery from a bald eagle. Most importantly, John learns that "calls" into the riverside.fm podcasting platform must be made using a laptop or desktop computer, not a phone. Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:29:57
May 05, 2022
How to Make Friends in Minneapolis, Stop Being Lonely, and Be Happy Forever
On this episode, John is joined by his dear friends Ryan Brown, Elissa Schufman, and PeggySue Imihy Bean to explore the importance of friendship. We explore questions such as how to go about trying to make friends as an adult?; is it possible for an outsider to make friends in Minneapolis?; how has your outlook on friendship been transformed during the pandemic?; can you maintain a friendship with someone across long distances, such as after they move from the Wedge to the Kingfield neighborhood?; how do you nurture a friendship?; and is it ok to exploit your friends for material for your podcast? Listen until the end for recommendations for fun things to do with your friends. Also: John asks about the right way to use social media and DMs in pursuit of friends, after which PeggySue introduces us to the phrase "Girls, Gays, and Theys Only." Read the book that inspired this episode! PeggySue bought one for her entire wedding party: https://bookshop.org/books/big-friendship-how-we-keep-each-other-close-9781982111915/9781982111908 Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:18:58
April 21, 2022
Breaking Down the Race for Hennepin County Attorney: A Progressive Case for Mary Moriarty
John has a conversation with Kathleen Cole, an organizer with People Over Prosecution, whose mission is "transforming prosecution in Hennepin County" by electing a prosecutor "whose practices deliver justice, not just punishment." Kathleen explains what's wrong with longtime Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. We delve into questions like: Why are prosecutors, and this office, so important? What kind of change is possible? What experience should we expect them to bring to the job? How should they use their discretion in cases that involve low level drug possession or immigration status? Are the candidates' approaches to violent crime really so different? Kathleen doesn't hold back as we talk about all six candidates and why her organization is endorsing Mary Moriarty. The other candidates are Paul Ostrow, Martha Holton Dimick, Ryan Winkler, Simon Trautmann, and Saraswati Singh. You can listen to John's conversations with five of the candidates in episodes published earlier this year. People Over Prosecution: https://www.peopleoverprosecution.org/about Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:08:29
April 13, 2022
Policing and legislating during a time of transition at Minneapolis City Hall, with Elliott Payne
John is joined by Elliott Payne, Minneapolis City Council member in Ward 1. We talk about his plans for a new public safety charter amendment, which he is careful to say isn't a rehash of last year's election; the police killing of Amir Locke, and whether Mayor Frey can start getting MPD policies right after some big failures during his four-plus years on the job; and after hearing big promises for years about the police contract, what should we think about the argument that the police contract isn't the place for disciplinary standards? Did the after action report detailing mismanagement and misconduct of MPD in the summer of 2020 tell us anything we didn't already know? We talk about police "buy back" (the practice of neighborhood organizations or other private entities purchasing extra police patrols from the city) during a police staffing shortage. How has the city's new strong mayor system (shifting power over city departments to the mayor) affected the city council's ability to fulfill its legislative function? Other topics: Elliott's dog, the importance of looking and sounding good during a zoom-based council meeting, and a diversion into a conversation about the smash-hit video game Elden Ring. Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:01:58
April 07, 2022
Hiawatha Golf Course: A Sex Forest Episode
John is joined by PeggySue and Chris Meyer for a conversation about attempts to resolve longstanding environmental issues at a south Minneapolis public golf course, its historical significance to Black golfers, the flooding and trash that plague the adjacent lake and its neighbors, and a longshot plan to replace the course with a sex forest. See the Hiawatha Golf Course master plan, which Chris refers to as the "compromise" plan: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/park_care__improvements/park_projects/current_projects/hiawatha_golf_course_property_master_plan/ Golf Channel video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWJVzjJIDW0&ab_channel=GolfChannel Sex Forest plan: https://twitter.com/sex_forest Watch this episode: https://youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: https://patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:24:47
March 31, 2022
Advertise on the Wedge LIVE podcast!
After 60 episodes the Wedge LIVE podcast is taking it to the next level, and we're extending an opportunity to bring your product or service along for the ride. Whether you're a realtor, a local bar/restaurant, or a cat owner looking to have your cat's birthday announced on the air -- we're here to meet your advertising needs. Contact newsroom@wedgelive.com.
03:42
March 23, 2022
The Minneapolis Charter Commission and the Tyranny of Old White Lawyers
John is joined by Jason Garcia (@jasoncomix) and Josh Martin (@JoshMartinMpls) for a conversation about the recent history of the Minneapolis Charter Commission, why this volunteer body is important, and our opportunity to fill 11 of the 15 seats with new appointments in 2022 -- APPLY TODAY! Apply for an open seat on the Minneapolis Charter Commission: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/boards-and-commissions/current-openings/ If you still have questions, attend an info session this evening, March 21: https://bit.ly/charter-info-mpls Star Tribune article quotes Hennepin County chief judge criticizing the blind nature of the appointment process: https://www.startribune.com/judge-removes-commission-chair/98150214/ Josh's Google Docs Directory: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ujl3dviCW3xaLyrYy9oGU4r-_a52FmggadmjzihXEEk/ Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:05:47
March 21, 2022
Replacing I-94 with a Twin Cities Boulevard
John and co-host PeggySue Imihy have a conversation with Alex Burns and José Antonio Zayas Cabán -- both from Our Streets Minneapolis -- about their new endeavor to replace a 7-mile stretch of I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul with a Twin Cities Boulevard. We go over the environmental and economic harms of an interstate, and the opportunity to heal them. We talk about strategies to overcome the political challenges facing such an ambitious plan. We also devote nearly eight minutes to an electric car bashing segment John is calling the "EV Truther Roundtable." Learn more about the project at https://www.twincitiesboulevard.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:19:07
March 08, 2022
Wedge LIVE 4 Kids: A Very Special Minneapolis Public Schools Finance Episode
John's guests are Melissa Whitler and Sara Spafford Freeman (and Sara's large dog). We talk about the Minneapolis Public Schools, racism and segregation, unfunded mandates for special education and English learners, white parents who don't send their kids to the neighborhood school, why you should "defund your PTA," and how to fill an oncoming budget hole once the federal covid relief money dries up. Call your state legislators: The most important bill currently before the legislature is from Rep. Wolgamott of St. Cloud. It would require the state to pay districts for the full cost of the special education services that they provide to students. For MPS, this would be approximately $50 million additional funding in the next fiscal year. Melissa Whitler currently covers Minneapolis Public Schools for Southwest Voices. She is an MPS parent, a public education enthusiast, and has lived in Minneapolis for over two decades. In her free time, she makes pottery. Read her article about the district's "budget emergency" https://www.southwestvoices.news/posts/mps-is-quietly-facing-a-budget-emergency Sara Spafford Freeman is a strategy consultant in the med tech industry, long time volunteer at two Minneapolis Public Schools, cofounder of the MPS Academics Advocacy Group, and Board member for the Advancing Equity Coalition. Watch Sara's presentation: "How Parent Fundraising Perpetuates Racial Disparities in Minneapolis Public Schools." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDQc4XaWGSU FURTHER READING Four years of the Minneapolis school district's financial projections: 2021- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=505243 2020- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=444110 2019- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=320564 2018- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=320091 Links to the audited financial statements of the district, and the meetings at which they were presented: 2018- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=320100 2019- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=320564 2020- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=444109 2021- https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1807?meeting=507242 Report on MN K-12 education finance: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/mnschfin.pdf Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:08:23
March 03, 2022
As Minneapolis teacher strike looms, a conversation with a union leader
With Minneapolis teachers and support staff set to strike if an agreement isn't reached with the school district by March 8, John has a conversation with Shaun Laden, the president of the Educational Support Professionals chapter of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. We talk about the state of Minneapolis schools, what the union is asking for, and what Shaun sees as an existential threat to the school district: "If we don't change how we operate in the schools, how we make decisions, how we fund based on the resources we have - we're afraid we're not going to have a district." Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
55:58
February 28, 2022
Paul Ostrow, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney
John has a conversation with Paul Ostrow, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney. Paul is a former Minneapolis City Council member and currently works as an Assistant Anoka County Attorney. Paul Ostrow's campaign website: https://ostrowforhennepin.com Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:02:01
February 22, 2022
Maybe Jacob Frey is bad at his job?
John and Jason start by reviewing Mayor Jacob Frey's job performance in the wake of Minneapolis police killing Amir Locke in a no-knock raid. Then they move on to a conversation about the state of MPD, the latest on the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction, John's appearance in the faith-based animal magazine All Creatures, and more. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:01:44
February 15, 2022
Amir Locke and police accountability with Minneapolis City Council member Aisha Chughtai
John is joined by co-host Jason Garcia for a conversation about Amir Locke and police accountability with Minneapolis City Council member Aisha Chughtai. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
31:46
February 14, 2022
Burger King Drive Thru
John has a conversation with Adam Wysopal, a man with zoning concerns about a Burger King drive thru in his backyard (NBKIMBY). If you'd like to join Adam's zoning fight against Burger King, he's written an explainer document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W5u2vnvxVrsXOeGL4eoIbON-umwsDOlyxfLdjSU02nw Thumbnail photo credit: Andrew Hazzard. You can read his 2020 coverage of the drive-thru saga here: https://www.southwestjournal.com/news/biz-buzz/2020/02/return-of-the-burger-king/ Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
58:21
February 02, 2022
Ryan Winkler, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney
John has a conversation with Ryan Winkler, MN House Majority Leader and a candidate for Hennepin County Attorney. Ryan Winkler's campaign website: ryanwinkler.com Registration for the February 1 caucus is happening right now. For information on how to participate -- and to access contactless/non-attendee forms -- Hennepin County residents should visit caucus.dfl.org and Minneapolis residents should visit minneapolisdfl.org/2022. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
54:01
January 30, 2022
Simon Trautmann, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney
John has a conversation with Simon Trautmann, a member of the Richfield City Council and a candidate for Hennepin County Attorney. Simon Trautmann's campaign website: simonforcountyattorney.com Registration for the February 1 caucus is happening right now. For information on how to participate -- and to access contactless/non-attendee forms -- Hennepin County residents should visit caucus.dfl.org and Minneapolis residents should visit minneapolisdfl.org/2022. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
55:52
January 28, 2022
DFL Caucus 2022!
John is joined by Senate District 61 Vice Chair Deborah Copperud and Minneapolis DFL digital maestro Conrad Zbikowski for a conversation about the upcoming DFL caucuses (register today!). There's a number of local and state races on the ballot this year: Hennepin County's top prosecutor, sheriff, county commissioner, school board, state house and senate. This year, like last year, is easier than a traditional caucus: take five minutes to fill out a form, check those delegate and alternate boxes, and give yourself a voice in who gets the DFL endorsement. There's also the option to show up to a caucus location to fill out or drop off the form in person on February 1. Registration for the February 1 caucus is happening right now. For information on how to participate -- and to access contactless/non-attendee forms -- Hennepin County residents should visit caucus.dfl.org and Minneapolis residents should visit minneapolisdfl.org/2022. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
34:60
January 26, 2022
Mary Moriarty, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney
John has a conversation with Mary Moriarty, former Chief Public Defender in Hennepin County, who is currently running for County Attorney. Mary Moriarty's campaign website: www.maryforhennepin.com Registration for the February 1 caucus is happening right now. For information on how to participate -- and to access contactless/non-attendee forms -- Hennepin County residents should visit caucus.dfl.org and Minneapolis residents should visit minneapolisdfl.org/2022. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:01:16
January 24, 2022
Saraswati Singh, candidate for Hennepin County Attorney
John has a conversation with Saraswati Singh, currently a Ramsey County prosecutor, who is running for Hennepin County Attorney. Saraswati Singh's campaign website: saraswatisingh.com Registration for the February 1 caucus is happening right now. For information on how to participate -- and to access contactless/non-attendee forms -- Hennepin County residents should visit caucus.dfl.org and Minneapolis residents should visit minneapolisdfl.org/2022. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
50:28
January 24, 2022
Not Your Grandma's SWV
John is joined by Melody Hoffman of the local news upstart Southwest Voices (SWV). We kick off the show with an ill-advised detour into parking statistics on Hennepin Avenue. We talk about the history of Wedge LIVE, Melody's deep and extremely well-placed admiration for John's contribution to the local news landscape--and how Melody might live up to that as a founding editor of SWV. How should we cover local crime stories? Is SWV going to fill the gap on school board news? Is Bryn Mawr really a part of Southwest Minneapolis? Melody talks about her appreciation for the collaborative, rather than competitive, approach of local journalists; and the "vibe of positivity and hopefulness" that SWV is delivering to readers by covering neighborhood news. John is eager to get back to a routine of regular social interactions and activities that are the foundation of a strong and healthy community; and he gets nostalgic for the deeply anti-social behavior he witnessed in the early years of covering neighborhood association meetings. Find Melody on Twitter @melodyswv. Read Melody's and her colleagues' work at southwestvoices.news. Read John's commentary on the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction: https://wedgelive.com/hennepin-avenue-in-pursuit-of-worthy-goals-enshrined-in-city-policy-developed-over-many-years/ Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:17:29
January 19, 2022
Transit Episode
John is joined by PeggySue Imihy (city planner) and Jonathan Ahn (transit consultant) for a conversation about transit in the Twin Cities. First, we try to answer a philosophical question inspired by Linden Hills: Can trees and bus stations co-exist? We talk about the City of Minneapolis' plan to reallocate space for transit, pedestrians and bikes on Hennepin Avenue -- and the resulting uproar over car parking. As the pandemic persists and a bus driver shortage forces service cuts, Jonathan and PeggySue offer reasons for optimism. PeggySue makes a distinction between BRT (meant to serve existing riders) and rail transit (economic development). Transit fan "Sam in the Wedge" becomes our first caller to ask a question on the air (about whether the city is truly and sincerely pushing for bus lanes on Lake Street -- a street controlled by Hennepin County). PeggySue describes the many cooks in our regional transit planning kitchen, as a way of explaining why the process and results can be so confusing. We talk about the tradeoffs of free transit. Jonathan has an idea to speed up buses downtown. PeggySue helps John find the city of Crystal, MN on a map. Blue Line light rail extension route information and anti-displacement work mentioned by PeggySue: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Projects/Light-Rail-Projects/METRO-Blue-Line-Extension.aspx Transit Assistance Program that provides reduced fares to low-income riders: https://www.metrotransit.org/tap-riders Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:29:25
January 04, 2022
2021 Post-Moore-tem: "Extra! Extra! Election Jacker Foiled by Taylor Dahlin"
A special episode your host hopes you're too busy to listen to, intentionally scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year's. John is joined by Jason Garcia and Taylor Dahlin for a rehash of the biggest story of 2021 that you didn't want to be reminded of: the bizarre rise and fall of Mickey Moore's campaign for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:13:36
December 29, 2021
Holiday Episode
John is joined by Elissa Schufman and Jason Garcia for a special holiday episode. Elissa takes us through some end of year reflections. Jason gives their naughty and nice list. We name our "persons of the year," make resolutions for 2022, offer book and movie recommendations, and consider the meaning of Chief Arradondo's exit. And much, much more. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:32:14
December 21, 2021
Minneapolis Redistricting and the Power of the Charter Commission
John is joined by redistricting enthusiast Josh Martin for a conversation about redrawing political boundaries in Minneapolis. It's a process that happens every ten years, and it's already underway for City Council and Park Board. Based on data from the 2020 census, the ideal City Council ward should have a population of 33,073.38. The city's most populous ward -- Ward 3 -- currently has a population over 43,000. As the map drawing process kicks off, this is creating ripple effects across the city, as boundaries for less populated wards shift to take on additional population. We talk about the guidelines being used by the Commission's redistricting advisory group, which is made up of commissioners (appointed by a Hennepin County judge) and residents (appointed by the Commission). We also talk about some of the specific changes and concerns that have come up early in the process. Such as, Is it appropriate to consider a council member's home address during the map drawing process? Is Ward 6 at risk of losing its status as the Somali ward? Why did someone submit a map that divided the Wedge neighborhood into three different wards? Will Ward 4 gain an Aldi? We get into some of the arguments for and against downtown Minneapolis having its own ward -- rather than divided between three council members. John makes a pitch for everyone within the sound of his voice to apply to be on the Charter Commission. Not only does the Commission draw our political boundaries, they have the power to put charter amendments on the ballot (they unanimously put the strong mayor charter amendment on the ballot, in a city where voters approved it by just a single percentage point). We close the show by talking about another idea with some interesting implications working its way through the Charter Commission: moving city elections from odd to even years. Links Existing City Council boundaries: https://districtr.org/plan/80467 First draft of a redrawn City Council map: https://districtr.org/plan/80467 First draft of a redrawn Park Board map: https://districtr.org/plan/71683 Find more information about the process and submit comments and maps to the Charter Commission: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/boards-and-commissions/charter-commission/ Sign up to speak at a future redistricting public hearing (select "commission"). The next one is in December. This list will be updated as hearings are scheduled: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/programs-initiatives/redistricting/ Whenever you see openings (there's a bunch coming in 2022), please apply to be on the Minneapolis Charter Commission: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/boards-and-commissions/charter-commission/ Follow twitter.com/JoshMartinMpls for more information about redistricting and other city happenings. A photo of the Portland Charter Commission: https://www.portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
56:55
November 22, 2021
Surveying the Damage of Election 2021
With two weeks to gather his thoughts and recover from a November 2 gut punch, John is joined by Jason Garcia for a wide ranging conversation about the state of Minneapolis politics heading into 2022. John feels bad. Jason feels less bad. It's unclear if this makes things better or worse: we're less than a year from people ramping up city council campaigns for the 2023 election. 2022 gives us a chance to elect the Hennepin County Attorney, County Sheriff, and County Commissioners. We talk about the city council's rightward shift, our new strong mayor system, the unprecedented infusion of big business money into the 2021 election, the state of alternative media, our hopes for the future of the Charter Commission, and so much more. We also take a look back at the David Wheeler episode. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:20:26
November 16, 2021
David Wheeler, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 10
John has a conversation with David Wheeler, who's running for Minneapolis Council in Ward 10. What's David's closing argument in the final days of the election? How does electing David Wheeler help fix our city's problems? What role does he see for himself on the city council with regard to public safety? David is against Question 2 on the ballot (the public safety charter amendment), so John asks what role he could play on police accountability in a world where the city council lacks policy control over police. John observes that David has said his foremost passion is ballot Question 1 (mayoral control at the expense of the city council), which is a counterintuitive thing for a city council candidate to say. Does David agree with removing staffing minimums and creating an integrated department of public safety -- which are the parts of Question 2 that even Mayor Frey has said he agrees with? Does he have a sense from talking to voters about whether they understand the MPD staffing situation is a result of hundreds of officers quitting, and not a lack of funding for police? John compliments David for his willingness to say we should be driving less as a city, and not pandering to transportation NIMBYs like a few of the other candidates in Ward 10. John grinds an axe on Carol Becker, David's current colleague on the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation. What committee would David like to serve on? How is he ranking his Ward 10 ballot, aside from Wheeler #1? John asks David to reject and denounce the $1.6 million PAC run by close associates of Mayor Frey, which is spending to support candidates and ballot questions, including David Wheeler. David says he knows a lot of garbage about other candidates but refuses to name names. John asks if it was ethical for David to have led his Facebook friends to believe he had received the Star Tribune endorsement. How did David feel about the infamous "thumbs down" hecklers at a Ward 10 candidate forum held over zoom? As always, we end with David's recommendations. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
56:58
October 31, 2021
An Inside Perspective on Minneapolis Question 2, the Public Safety Charter Amendment - with Andrea Larson
John has a conversation with Andrea Larson, former deputy city coordinator with the city of Minneapolis. Andrea spent six years in the city coordinator's office, and has overseen teams working to develop alternatives to traditional police response. This is work that began at City Council direction in the years prior to George Floyd's murder. The planning work is well underway, and includes the 911/MPD work group that analyzed which 911 calls the city could respond to without a police response. Andrea describes how well the city's 911 operators correctly code calls as violent vs. non-violent. She talks about how the city's alternative response and violence prevention work is increasingly spread across seven departments. While we often focus on which elected officials a given department is accountable to, we overlook "the implications of having this [public safety] work spread across multiple department heads." She says what troubles her about the current debate is the lack of focus on what Question 2 is really about: the way city government is structured. What needs to be put in place shortly after (and if) Question 2 passes is the appointment of an interim commissioner of public safety and an organizational chart. We go over the common concerns: Can't we do this without a charter change? What's the problem with housing these non-police functions under MPD or in a newly created department in the coordinator's office? Will it fire the chief? Will it abolish police? We talk about how the current charter's minimum staffing requirement denies budget flexibility to shift money to alternatives that are capable of doing work formerly handled by MPD. She explains her conflicted feelings on Question 1 (strong mayor). John asks about the bizarre situation of MPD Chief Arradondo -- in uniform at a press conference put together with city staff and resources -- campaigning against Question 2 and chastising the council for not having a plan. Months earlier, the work of producing an org chart was cut short by the city attorney's office, who warned the city council to back off, because it would amount to engaging in politics in favor of Question 2. Andrea says, "The people we're not hearing from, and the people I worry about leaving" are the talented staff doing the change work around public safety. We don't hear about how difficult their work is or what would make their jobs easier. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
51:14
October 29, 2021
Naomi Kritzer, Election Profiler and Award-Winning Sci Fi Author
John is joined by co-host Elissa Schufman for a conversation with Naomi Kritzer, noted local election profiler and award-winning author. We talk about why Naomi got into writing about elections, her most and least favorite candidates over the years, if she has any candidate endorsement regrets, how scam candidate Mickey Moore actually got much weirder than the last time he ran for office. Somehow we got Naomi talking about rural broadband. We try to answer questions like: Who is the Captain America of Minneapolis? What is it like to win prestigious awards? Which fellow author does Naomi have beef with in the rough and tumble world of science fiction? Does she feel self-conscious about having so much influence over people's votes? Why did she file an amicus brief in opposition to the Don Samuels lawsuit to knock the public safety charter amendment (Question 2) off the ballot in Minneapolis? And much more. It's our longest episode yet. The truest indicator of quality. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:41:50
October 28, 2021
Lisa Bender, Minneapolis City Council President
John is joined by Lisa Bender, President of the Minneapolis City Council, as she enters the twilight of her Council career. We talk about how she feels going into the final week of the city election, public safety, the strong mayor charter amendment, what's next for housing and transportation policy, what it's been like to push department staff to develop a new policy, her hopes and fears for the next council term, her approach to dealing with Mayor Frey, those weird Duluth rumors, and more. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:07:59
October 27, 2021
A Case for Strong Mayor with Paul Ostrow
John is joined by co-host Josh Martin. We begin the show with breaking news (as of last Friday when this was recorded) of the Star Tribune editorial board withdrawing their Mickey Moore endorsement. Then a conversation about Question 1 (aka mayoral control or "strong mayor") with former Minneapolis City Council President Paul Ostrow. Paul is somewhat unusual among question 1 supporters in that he also supports Question 2 (public safety charter amendment). Regarding the City Council and and its relationship to city departments, Paul argues that "14 bosses" is a legitimate and longstanding problem, but isn't a particular problem of the last year and a half. He talks about his experience on the City Council and explains why he's voting yes on Question 2. He thinks it's necessary to remove charter language giving the mayor complete power over the police so that the Council can have legislative control. Listen to Paul Ostrow's podcast MNQuiry wherever you get your podcasts. Find Josh Martin's endorsement tracker and other items he's published to google docs by following him at twitter.com/JoshMartinMpls Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:12:22
October 25, 2021
What's Wrong with a Strong Mayor? A conversation with David Fey about Minneapolis ballot question 1
John's guest is David Fey from Faith in Minnesota. David served as Deputy Mayor during RT Rybak's first term beginning in 2002. Speaking from his experience in Minneapolis City Hall, David explains why he's telling people to vote no on ballot question 1, which would shift control over the city's non-police departments to the mayor. John expresses his ongoing confusion over why the Charter Commission forced us into having this conversation as the police department has imploded in the year and a half since four of their officers murdered George Floyd. David says, "The police department is the most dysfunctional and least accountable department in the city, so the idea of expanding that model to the rest of the city departments - on the face of it - is really alarming." We talk about the implications of this power shift; why it might not actually be about good government; the benefit of bringing transparency to police policymaking that's currently done behind closed doors in the mayor's office; what should be done about rogue council members (Lisa Goodman, I'm talking about you); and the value of city hall that's equally accountable to all 13 wards in the city. David also talks about his support for questions 2 and 3. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
53:47
October 22, 2021
How to Rank Your Ballot with Schufman & Schuman
John and co-host Elissa Schufman (@schufman) have a conversation with ranked choice voting enthusiast Todd Schuman. Is there ever a good reason to not rank every slot on your ballot? Why do we only get three choices for the three Park Board at-large seats (as opposed to three for each seat)? What is a spoiled ballot? How does ranked choice voting work? Why does Todd's last name have an "f" while Elissa's does not? John opens his ballot in front of a live microphone, reveals too much about his potential mayoral preferences, complains about the absurdly long list of Minneapolis mayoral candidates, and suggests there's not much point in figuring out a third choice for mayor if your first two are Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad. We answer voting-related listener questions. John addresses a twitter beef. We all express our unhappiness with the idea of shifting more power to the mayor's office (Question 1 on your ballot). After the show, Elissa fact-checked to make sure John's explanation of the 51% (as opposed to 50%+1) threshold for passage of a charter amendment is correct. Yes, it's in state law: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/410.12#stat.410.12.4  For further viewing, Todd recommends these MPR explainer videos. Single-winner RCV explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHRPMJmzBBw Multi-winner RCV explainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNxwMdI8OWw Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:01:23
September 30, 2021
Robin Wonsley Worlobah, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 2
John begins by scolding co-host Jason Garcia for failing to prevent audio disaster in the previous epside. Then we have an extended conversation with Robin Wonsley Worlobah, who is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 2. We talk about public safety, the "strong mayor" proposal, and answer the question: how long is too long for a podcast episode? What is Robin learning in her conversations with the voters of Ward 2? What big revelations has she come to while undertaking this massive project of running for office? We talk housing and Robin's approach to public housing. John asks Robin to explain the mechanism by which the city would tax the rich and large corporations, and how her proposal for significantly stepped up affordable housing mandates (six times the affordable units with twice as much affordability) would work. What committee would Robin like to serve on if elected? As a group we all answer the question: What argument this election year is getting on our nerves? We close out the show with Robin's three recommendations. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:36:02
September 28, 2021
Jono Cowgill, Minneapolis Park Board President
This episode took a lot of work to salvage. John screwed up his audio and had to re-record. So you'll be hearing John's voice, as it was recorded on the day of this conversation, as well as some re-recorded voiceover from a week and a half later. Please don't be confused. I apologize to Jono Cowgill, President of the Minneapolis Park Board. You should absolutely vote for Jono, even if you can't endure listening to this episode. Jono has a truly terrible opponent this year. Thank you to Jason Garcia for co-hosting. And shame on Jason Garcia for not warning me about how bad I sounded. The co-host has one job. You failed me, Jason. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:29:38
September 23, 2021
Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Council Member in Ward 2
John's guest is Cam Gordon, who represents Ward 2 on the Minneapolis City Council. First, we get Cam's reaction to the recent legal back and forth over the public safety charter amendment (this episode was recorded before the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to allow voters to decide Question 2). John asks how Cam assesses the quality of the advice the City Council receives from the City Attorney's Office. And how should voters assess the effect of the "strong mayor" charter amendment? What's the public safety agenda if a charter change fails this November?What is Cam's reelection pitch to voters when he's knocking on doors (especially in light of the doorbell camera footage that's been sent into the Wedge LIVE tipline)? John asks Cam about his too-nice approach to dealing with mean tweeters? And the times he faced off with right wing media figure John Stossel, and local TV lawyer Joe Tamburino. We talk about the Mayor's PAC, the politicization of the chief, disinformation, and a gullible district court judge. Cam responds to John's constant frustration with conventional wisdom around the state of our failing public safety system: "so many officers left there was no way they the department could possibly spend all the money we've given them..." We talk about housing, the 2040 plan, boarding houses (why limit who can operate them?) -- and the history of ending occupancy limits based on the definition of family in the zoning code. What's Cam learned in his nearly 16 years on the City Council? We talk about the Charter Commission's anonymous interviews with city department heads (which the Commission used to promote their strong mayor amendment -- Question 1 on your ballot) and whether there is a rebellion at City Hall. Cam says the way it should work is that staff answers to actions of the Council as a body, not individuals (John suggests those rules don't apply to Lisa Goodman). John pushes Cam on neighborhood group funding. Cam talks about how a strong mayor system would shift power away from lower voter turnout parts of the city. How have personal relationships at City Hall changed over the course of the pandemic and social distancing? We finish the episode with recommendations and a Cam Gordon beard time-lapse. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:23:05
September 21, 2021
Aisha Chughtai, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 10
John is joined by co-host Jason Garcia for a conversation with Aisha Chughtai, who's running for Minneapolis City Council. We start with an inappropriate degree of fawning from an uninvited special guest. Aisha wants to know how long this show will go (we have no good answers). Aisha talks about balancing work and running for office as she enters the heart of the campaign. And what it's like to be a running as a woman of color during an intense, sometimes angry, time in our city. What's her vision for public safety? How to campaign in an ideologically and racially diverse place like Ward 10? What's she hearing from voters? What are some campaign metrics, money, volunteers, etc? As with most episodes, we talk about the self-induced disintegration of MPD. John gets heated over the strong mayor charter amendment (or "mayoral power grab") and misinformation in the local news ecosystem. Do voters know the mayor has full control over MPD? Aisha says largely no. We talk about housing, the 2040 plan, rent control. What do we do about terrible streets like Lyndale and Hennepin Avenues? Aisha talks about her labor priorities if elected. John forces Aisha to say one nice thing about each of her Ward 10 competitors (special bonus round featuring Park Board President Jono Cowgill's hair). Jason wants to know about favorite Ward 10 restaurants and bars. John reminisces about bike lane protests of yesteryear. We close out the episode talking about the joys of turtlenecks and Aisha's other recommendations. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:15:46
September 16, 2021
Katie Jones, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 10
John has a conversation with Minneapolis City Council candidate Katie Jones. We talk about the incredibly high stakes for this election while Katie sits on the floor of her attic. In a time like this, why disrupt your life to become a candidate? John chides Katie the engineer for not laughing at his jokes and expresses frustration with election year distraction politics. What is Katie's response to the empty catchphrase "support our chief"? Katie says the framing is all wrong. It's about sending the appropriate response to every situation. How do we counter the lie that the public safety charter amendment eliminates the police? John asks about doorknocking and is surprised to learn "how many lonely people there are out there opening their doors for strangers." What is this campaign experience teaching Katie about humanity? We talk about the Wedge's unique position in the transportation universe (bikes/buses/grocery stores). John says these 2021 charter amendments are all about who has the power. Katie talks about rent control, other housing priorities, climate and transportation. John gets real for a moment and reveals the reason for his long-ago skepticism of Katie. We close the show out with Katie's recommendations for things that are making her happy. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:19:49
September 14, 2021
Steve Brandt, candidate for Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation
On the thrilling conclusion of BET Candidates Week: Steve Brandt. John begins by asking Steve to give his assessment of where Minneapolis stands after the events of the past year or so. How would Steve explain the BET to a normal human being? What would Steve do if the Council needed his help raising the tax levy to fund alternative public safety priorities beyond what's contained in the mayor's budget? How is Steve different from the tax hawks who currently occupy the two directly elected seats on the BET (and who endorsed his candidacy)? We talk about Steve's prior career as a reporter with the Star Tribune and why he's give up the retired life to become a candidate for elected office. Steve reveals that Carol Becker planted the seed for him to run for BET all the way back in 2009. John asks Steve which local candidates he's knocked doors for in recent years. Steve says he's against the public safety charter amendment, saying it gives too much authority to the City Council (the proverbial "14 bosses"). Steve and John go back and forth in disagreement over the wisdom of the strong mayor ballot measure. John gives Steve one last opportunity to renounce his Carol Becker endorsement. Steve declines. But we are able close the show on a note of agreement. [If you are concerned about why only two BET candidates appeared this week: a third candidate was scheduled and rescheduled. On two separate occasions this candidate just did not show up. I tried.] Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
42:54
September 02, 2021
Pine Salica, candidate for Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation
Pine Salica is our first guest for BET Candidates Week! We start off with the basics. What is the BET? Why do you want this job? Are you a fiscal conservative or are you willing to provide budget flexibility to fund essential city priorities? We talk about the public safety charter amendment and the recent ballot language controversy. Pine tells us about their desire to have Minneapolis raise money for public housing maintenance using a public housing levy. A Lisa Goodman soundbite prompts a conversation about appropriate workplace conduct at City Hall. John urges Minneapolis not to turn back the clock to the days of the Rainville dynasty. Pine talks about what it was like doorknocking Ward 7 voters during the 2017 election. John punctuates an emotional BET story with the words, "Shame on you Tom Lyden, and shame on you Carol Becker." What issue has Pine evolved on over the years? Finally, Pine gives recommendations for things that bring happiness. Bonus content: John reveals deep, personal feelings of anxiety that come with his high-stakes, pressure-filled role as the host of the Wedge neighborhood's highest rated podcast. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:03:58
August 31, 2021
Jeremiah Ellison, Minneapolis City Council Member in Ward 5
John is joined by Jeremiah Ellison who represents Ward 5 in North Minneapolis. Jeremiah says he's a progressive outlier in a historically low-turnout ward that tends to elects more conservative council members ("we made people feel like it was worth voting" in 2017). We talk about a housing crisis Jeremiah faced early in his first term; the rent control charter amendment (and mayoral veto); public safety ("Long before the past two years Ward 5, and Ward 4, we've had to carry the burden of gun violence in this city"); and the backlash to even having the conversation about creating a department of public safety. We talk about the high stakes in this year's election (and the wards where the stakes are a little lower). John asks about the surprisingly competitive campaign of his Trumpy opponent. Jeremiah says the challenge has lit a fire under his campaign, and admits he may have taken too many nights off campaigning during the last year. What has a grizzled Council Member Ellison learned in his first term -- what's some wisdom that would have benefited his younger, activist self? How has he evolved in his thinking during his time as an elected official? Does Jeremiah Ellison the artist find the elected life satisfying? Jeremiah tells the story of the time he got arrested for a girl (at a minimum wage protest). We close out the show with advice for raising a giant dog and music recommendations.  Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:14:56
August 24, 2021
Erica Mauter on 2021 and the experience of 2017
John is joined by Erica Mauter for a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the 2021 election. Erica reacts to John's narration of what he calls "the Kneecapping of Erica Mauter" by the Star Tribune Editorial Board. Erica talks about her experience campaigning for City Council as a Queer Black woman in an especially white part of Minneapolis (Ward 11), and how that influenced her decision to find a new neighborhood. We ponder the current state of the race in Ward 11 and elsewhere. How do we, as residents of this city, get to a shared theory of the last 15 months -- and how we arrived at this moment when it comes to police and public safety? How do we deal with that gnawing fear of the Rainville (Ward 3) and Hofstede (Ward 11) families returning to power at city hall? We relive the horror of LaTrisha Vetaw (Ward 4) turning herself into the worst caricature of a politician. Listen until the end to hear John do one of the most embarrassing things a person can do: reciting a protest chant on a podcast. And Erica turns the podcast into an ice cream advertisement. Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:10:28
August 17, 2021
David Brauer talks us through the 2021 election in Minneapolis
It's a wide ranging election year conversation with longtime local journalist ("40 years of sedimentary layers in Minneapolis"), and Twitter Dad to all, David Brauer. David talks John through the various scenarios, ranking them on a scale of how likely they are to make you poop your pants. After covering the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the various City Council races, we discuss two charter amendments — "strong mayor" and public safety — that could shift the balance of power and reshape how local government works. With law-and-order authoritarians emboldened, how do we talk about public safety in a way that brings people over to the good side? John asks David about how his thinking has changed on housing policy over the years. And David tells us one question he'd like this year's candidates to answer. Watch video clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:12:57
August 11, 2021
The Mickey Moore Episode
John is joined by Jason Garcia and investigator Taylor Dahlin. Taylor has untangled the web of mystery and deceit that surround the Mickey Moore campaign for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9. Questions beget more questions in the quest to understand the real Mickey Moore. Does Mickey Moore really live in Ward 9 where he is currently running for City Council? Did he ever live in the 5th District when he ran against Ilhan Omar last year? Or has he always lived with his family in Oak Grove, as photographic and other evidence uncovered by Taylor seem to indicate. Oak Grove is not in Ward 9. It's not in Minneapolis. It's not even in the 5th Congressional District. Why is Mickey Moore, someone with a glaring residency issue, attacking his opponent for guilt-by-association with a residency scandal? What is the League of Minneapolis Homeowners and why does it exist nowhere besides Mickey Moore's endorsement page on his website? Was this fake group invented to make it look like Mickey Moore has supporters? How has this buffoonish candidate attracted the support of prominent local figures like Tom Hoch and Don Samuels. Do they have no shame? And what's the deal with Moore's small business? Why is there a white man in a Halloween style dreadlock wig on the website for Moore's "hair saloon"? And why does Mickey spell it "hair saloon" and not salon? Why is John so deeply embarrassed about having done an entire episode devoted to Mickey Moore? We ponder these questions and more on a special Mickey Episode. Watch video clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:07:52
August 03, 2021
Jason Chavez, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9
John and co-host Elissa Schufman start off the show with an extended period of delightful co-host banter, demonstrating mutual respect and admiration — making a convincing case to listeners that they enjoy being in each other's presence. John asks, does Elissa consider herself to be the Wedge LIVE equivalent to the late Andy Rooney, of 60 Minutes fame? Does she who know that is? What's the deal with people who drive on the Midtown Greenway? Elissa provides an Aldi update: she still hasn't been to one.  We're joined later in the show by guest Jason Chavez, who is running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 9. Jason, the son of Mexican immigrants, talks about his family's experience in Minneapolis and how that informs his desire to make city government more accessible. Other topics: Environmental justice at the Roof Depot site. Has Jason shifted on issues, or the way he talks about issues, in response to community feedback? How do we rebuild community trust in systems of public safety? How should we be addressing immediate safety concerns? What to do with the MPD Third Precinct site? What does it mean for something to be community-led? What does it mean to be "strategic" about the police union contract? Elissa speaks to how decisions about streets and transportation are determined by preferences of individual council members, then asks Jason to talk about his transportation priorities. Municipal sidewalk shoveling. What does "taxing the rich" look like as city-level policy? SROs (rooming houses). John asks Jason to describe his housing philosophy? Stay tuned after the interview for special bonus banter regarding the Mickey Moore campaign in Ward 9. Watch video clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:14:08
July 15, 2021
Jeremy Schroeder, Minneapolis City Council Member in Ward 11
John and co-host PeggySue have a conversation with Jeremy Schroeder, who represents Ward 11 on the Minneapolis City Council. First we ask about chickens. Then we talk about his first term, the leadership role he's taken on housing and public safety, and how city hall has been more political and less collaborative than he expected. PeggySue's cat derails the episode by obliterating John's script. Then we talk some more about public safety and what's wrong with the mayor. John asks why Jeremy's rooming house legalization proposal (in process now) would be limited only to housing run by governments and non-profits. We also ask a series of rapid fire questions solicited from twitter. John reminds everyone of the time in 2017 when Jeremy Schroeder was labeled by big business as a child dentist, before asking Jeremy which character he'd like to portray in a 2021 attack ad.  Watch video clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:09:08
July 01, 2021
Nick Kor, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 7
John is joined by co-host Pine, a Senior Political Analyst who is currently managing the only citywide DFL endorsed campaign in Minneapolis. After some co-host banter, Nick Kor arrives for a conversation about his run for the Ward 7 seat on the Minneapolis City Council. We talk about the political geography of Ward 7 (East of Hennepin Ave vs. West of Hennepin Ave). How do you convince the apartment dwellers of Ward 7 the stakes are high enough that they should come out and vote in a city election? Among this episode's topics: public safety, housing, the Hennepin Avenue reconstruction, the single room occupancy debate, food carts, and Nick plays his guitar. Watch video clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:18:12
June 29, 2021
The Wedge LIVE Election Year Halftime Show Conventional Wisdom Spectacular!!!
John is joined by Jason Garcia and Taylor Dahlin to dole out conventional wisdom on everything that's happened through the first half of the 2021 election year in Minneapolis. Did Mayor Jacob Frey really win by losing, as traditional media personalities would have you believe? Will the city council swing conservative or progressive? We can help you interpret the meaning behind DFL endorsements and non-endorsements across the city. Later in the show we're joined by Jacob Garcia and Dr. Melody Hoffman for a dramatic reading of mean tweets about Mayor Frey. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:30:53
June 22, 2021
Fixing Lyndale (And All the Rest of Our Terrible, Unlivable, Deadly Streets)
John is joined by guests Ash Narayanan and Elissa Schufman to talk about what's wrong with Minneapolis streets and how to fix them. Ash is educated as a civil and traffic engineer, but decided to use those powers for good, as the executive director of Our Streets Minneapolis. Our Streets is an organization that "works for a city where biking, walking, and rolling are easy and comfortable for everyone." Elissa (who is also a board member at Our Streets) has a day job in transportation advocacy. Among the topics: What's a 4-to-3 lane conversion and why is it better and safer? Why do we value moving tens of thousands of cars at high speed through very dense neighborhoods like the Wedge and Whittier, instead of creating livable streets for the tens of thousands of people who live there? What government entity (city vs. county) is in charge of our most dangerous streets and how do we know who to hassle (elected official or unelected public works official) to get them fixed? How do we get the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County to stick to some of the truly impressive transportation/climate plans and policies they've adopted in recent years? Why is it important that Minneapolis hire a visionary public works director to fill the position currently occupied by an interim director? What do you say to a person who shouts angrily at a public meeting, "electric cars are coming online!" as an argument against a less car-centric transportation system? Also: John debunks the myth of the $900 million bike lane. Elissa introduces us to the concept of "human infrastructure" and talks about Minnesota's status as a nation leader in road miles per person (and by land area). Episode recorded on May 28, 2021. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
55:34
June 16, 2021
PARK BOARD EPISODE! with Becky Alper and Tom Olsen
John is secretly very tired of talking to candidates for Minneapolis Park Board, so he combined two of them into one episode, just to get this over with quicker. Becky Alper (beckyforparks.org) is running in district 3 and Tom Olsen (olsenforparks.org) running citywide at-large. We talk about parkways and how to use them. John maintains that not even the biggest automobile enthusiast goes to a park to experience the sights and sounds of car traffic. Tom talks about his ideas for reallocating space from underutilized baseball fields towards things like soccer, skateboarding and basketball. John accuses him of going to war against baseball. Becky wants to speed up the implementation of new ideas by using pilot projects rather than extended years long processes. We also talk about encampments, park police, boulevard trees, pesticides, legalizing alcohol in parks, and much more. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:10:25
June 08, 2021
Reimagining Public Safety with Asma Mohammed Nizami
John is joined by co-host Jason Garcia for a conversation about public safety and election year politics with guest Asma Mohammed Nizami. Topics for co-host banter include the conservative effort to quickly build out an array of new organization to match progressive political infrastructure in Minneapolis; an update to the Wedge LIVE endorsements venn diagram and voter guide; the Yellow Pages; John recalls the time he was named one of the 100 People to Know in 2020 by the prestigious Twin Cities Business magazine. Then, Asma joins the conversation. We talk about her work with RISE (revivingsisterhood.org); her assessment of the last year in Minneapolis; the momentum built for a new system of public safety; how to talk to people in the middle, who aren't sure what to think about shifting to that new system; her work on the successful Yes4Minneapolis campaign to put a public safety charter amendment question on the ballot. We talk about the strong mayor charter amendment and shake our heads in disappointment at the nakedly political actions of the unelected Minneapolis Charter Commission. All three of us agree that Mayor Frey has shown an incapacity for leadership, something that's been exposed during the crises of the last year. John closes the show with an uplifting message for this city election year, urging people to forget their hopes and vote their fears. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:07:57
June 03, 2021
Eric Moran, candidate for Minneapolis Park Board in District 2
John talks to Eric Moran, who's running to represent North Minneapolis (and a tiny part of the North Loop neighborhood) on the Minneapolis Park Board. Eric says he's running a campaign focused on both physical and digital access to the parks system and its government. With recent news of Minneapolis dropping in the ranking of best urban parks systems (based on the percentage of people who live within a 10 minute walk to a park), John asks what can be done to increase the number of people who can live near parks and how to narrow the racial disparities in park access. We also talk about encampments, park police, and Eric's desire to reopen a North Minneapolis ice arena that's fallen into disuse. John recounts 45 years of basketball NIMBYism in the Wedge neighborhood's Mueller Park -- and the racist trope of public basketball courts as magnets for crime and undesirable behavior. Eric comes out in support of full court basketball and introduces John to the concept of Pokemon NIMBYs. In response, John introduces listeners to the concept of Pokemon fanatic, and Uptown mainstay, Ryan Brown. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
40:55
June 01, 2021
Operation Safety What?
A year after George Floyd's murder by four Minneapolis police officers, rising rates of violent crime (locally and across the country) have created a backlash to the backlash. Demands for a new system of public safety have been met with calls for more police from a reinvigorated law-and-order political coalition. John and co-host Jason Garcia speak with Logan Carroll about his story in the Minnesota Reformer, uncovering coordination between Mayor Frey, Chief Arradondo, and a newly formed pro-police political organization run by "PR pros" called Operation Safety Now (as distinct from the multi-jurisdictional law enforcement and military operation Operation Safety Net which put National Guard soldiers on street corners during the Derek Chauvin trial). Unlike the typical activist-politician relationship, Logan has obtained a giant stack of emails that show some of Operation Safety Now's talking points are flowing out of City Hall. John sees OSN as one piece of a constellation of new and existing conservative business and community groups working to affect the outcome of the 2021 election. But, as Council Member Lisa Goodman asks, is this really so different from activism happening on the other side? John is particularly troubled by the degree to which the police chief, an appointed city department head, has become a political actor in an election year. Logan's story shows Chief Arradondo collaborating on talking points and social media video content (a scripted fake interview) with an organization that is campaigning against progressive members of the city council in favor of a law-and-order slate of candidates. While council members complain about being ignored by the department, layers of MPD staff, including the chief, are turning around requests for information in rapid fashion for OSN. Jason asks about financial incentives for the chief's allies, and what explains Council Member Alondra Cano's rapidly evolving positions on policing. Logan has also uncovered that OSN founder Bill Rodriguez isn't actually a Minneapolis resident and has told two different versions of a home invasion story, neither of which appear to be true. We also talk about one detail left out of Logan's story: an idea to influence Ward 12 Council Member Andrew Johnson by holding a pro-police puppy parade. Read Logan's story: https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/05/24/with-budget-on-the-line-minneapolis-police-chief-coordinated-with-political-operatives-to-lobby-the-city-council-emails-show/ Listen to Logan's podcast, Unbalanced.MN, which examines "America's burgeoning right wing." Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:28:49
May 28, 2021
Kate Knuth, candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis
John is joined by guest co-host PeggySue Imihy. The guest is Kate Knuth, candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. We start the show by playing PeggySue's theme song. Then we poke fun at a rival podcast host. John expresses disappointment in PeggySue's late decision to become a city delegate and reveals he takes pleasure in the pain of Ward 10 candidate David Wheeler. Kate and PeggySue bond over their shared heritage in the suburbs of NE Minneapolis. John asks Kate if she thought she'd ever run for office again after three terms in the state legislature (2007-2013), the urgency she felt to run for mayor, and if she's ready for things to get mean. Kate disputes Mayor Frey's fear-based framing of this year's choices for mayor. We talk about what a potential Department of Public Safety would look like at the end of the next mayoral term, why Kate would succeed where all other mayors have failed, her resistance to making big promises she can't back up. PeggySue asks about the Roof Depot site, and pushes Kate to get specific about whether soldiers on street corners was the right approach for Operation Safety Net. As someone who's spent a career working on climate change, what does "Kate Knuth, Climate Mayor" mean for housing policy, transportation, street design, and energy policy? PeggySue demands more housing. I nominate PeggySue for the Planning Commission. John asks, what does rent stabilization accomplish? Does Kate support the strong mayor charter amendment? PeggySue bashes the Charter Commission. We close the show by pressuring (bullying?) Kate into revealing better "fun facts" than the ones on her website. PeggySue: "The fun facts on your website are bad." Here's what we unearthed: Did you know Kate Knuth used to rollerblade along the shore of Lake Michigan to her job sequencing moth DNA at the Field Museum in Chicago? Or that she has an irresistible urge to dance whenever she hears the song Timber by Ke$ha? And something else about a pet millipede named Milton. We hope you'll soon be able to check kateformpls.org for these updated fun facts. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:21:43
May 06, 2021
Sheila Nezhad, candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis
John is joined by guest co-host Jason Garcia, and they begin by chatting about the state of the race for mayor. Then, a conversation with Sheila Nezhad, candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. Sheila's a policy organizer with Reclaim the Block, who's spent the past few years pushing Minneapolis elected officials to divert funding away from police into alternative approaches to public safety. What does Sheila think of Mayor Frey's fear-based framing of the 2020 election? What would a potential department of public safety look like in four years? What do people misunderstand about her positions? What's the alternative to soldiers on street corners during times of civil unrest? We also talk about crowd control weapons, George Floyd Square, a vision for the city's public works department, housing, the strong mayor proposal, a newfound perspective on sexism that women experience running for office, Ruby the dog, and if Sheila was disappointed at losing the endorsement of the DFL Senior Caucus. Among this episode's gotcha moments: Sheila admits she is to blame for the great police horse budget debate of 2020 and that Jessica Simpson is an "inspiration." Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:18:06
May 04, 2021
DFL Caucus Data Dump with Conrad Zbikowski
Minneapolis DFL caucus registration closed on April 30, so we're checking in with data wizard (and cat tour cinematographer) Conrad Zbikowski for an early look at the results. Over 10,000 people registered -- 3,000 of them in the final two days. 4,500 yet-to-be-confirmed caucus registrants have until midnight on May 7 to input the security code mailed to their home address. We don't know who has the most supporters or who the delegates are. The actual endorsement won't be decided until June. We don't know much of anything, so the most compelling part of this episode might be Conrad looking up John's private information in the DFL database. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
53:08
May 02, 2021
Where Will They Park?
Parking has an impact on everything from the environment to housing affordability to public health to foreign policy. John talks with two people excited that the city of Minneapolis is about to eliminate car parking minimums once and for all. Linnea Goderstad's concerns about climate change led her to join up with Neighbors for More Neighbors, and work to move us away from the car-centric way cities are built and designed. Chris Meyer is a Minneapolis Parks Commissioner and member of the Planning Commission. We talk about the history of parking reform in Minneapolis, including the nationally-heralded 2015 reforms (thanks Lisa Bender) that started this conversation. John asks someone to explain what a TDM is, and how it's changing -- Linnea says the city is shifting "Travel Demand Management Plans" (a requirement placed on certain kinds of development) away from requirements that promote car infrastructure and towards an emphasis on helping the city meet its goals for transit, biking, and walking. We talk about Hennepin Avenue and all the unused off-street parking the Star Tribune won't tell you about. John counts all the ways he admires Linnea, including the time she unwittingly saved an innocent from Carol Becker. Chris tells us about his love for velcro shoes and the time he won $25,000 at a national geography bee. And we take a voicemail from Anton's mom, who offers an assessment of last week's Steve Fletcher episode (co-hosted by her son), and suggests John ask his guests about their favorite bus route. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
01:02:36
April 27, 2021
Risa Hustad, candidate for Minneapolis Park Board in District 6
John interviews Risa Hustad, who once led him into danger on Lyndale Avenue. Risa is running for Minneapolis Park Board in District 6 (southwest Minneapolis). Because the Minneapolis Park Board is the meanest level of municipal government, John challenges Risa to "prove to us you're not a malignant personality." Topics include Burger King, Lake Chipotle, Embers family restaurant, keeping pollution out of our lakes, park accessibility, encampments, and park police. What does it mean for something to be good for the parks but bad for Minneapolis as a whole? What makes a leader? Risa refuses an opportunity to settle an age old debate: full court or half court basketball? John suggests that in addition to pollution and safety concerns, cars are making our parks too damn loud. We also take an Aldi-themed listener voicemail. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive Wedge LIVE theme song by Anthony Kasper x LaFontsee
53:59
April 23, 2021
Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis City Council Member in Ward 3
Our guest is Steve Fletcher, who represents Ward 3 on the Minneapolis City Council. In the wake of the police killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, we talk about how to break the cycle, the need for a new system of public safety, and Steve's work fleshing out what that looks like in Minneapolis. John bemoans a year of crime and safety politics that haven't made sense, and worries that we're going to get really good at declaring states of emergency and deploying soldiers to street corners -- but not actually address the problem of police regularly killing Black men. We talk about Mayor Frey's absence from Friday's Council meeting, not taking questions in the wake of a emergency declaration early in the week. Other topics: the strong mayor proposal, what we need from the city's next mayor, the facial recognition ban, short term rental regulations, parking minimums, and the evolution away from aldermanic privilege (a system where individual council members decide how rules apply differently in their ward). John's co-host for this episode is his dearest friend in Minneapolis, cybersecurity expert Anton Schieffer. John and Anton team up to do the most compelling thing you can do on a podcast: drawing mental maps of potential redistricting outcomes for City Council ward boundaries.  Episode recorded Friday, April 16, 2021. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:26:08
April 20, 2021
Mike Norton, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 13
John is joined by co-host Pine, who is unreasonably excited about the opportunity to interview Ward 13 candidate Mike Norton. Pine's connection to Ward 13 consists entirely of finding the name Palmisano on a mailbox during a visit to Italy. Norton is an award-winning business leader who was once falsely accused of being a media mogul by a crime-themed Facebook page. He tells us he he felt compelled to run because nobody else was willing, and Ward 13 deserves a choice in 2021. But his policy positions face an uphill battle in conservative southwest Minneapolis -- he supports the public safety charter amendment (which would give the City Council more policy control over MPD) and the 2040 plan that would allow more variety of housing in Ward 13. We also talk about our hopes and dreams for Hennepin Avenue, Norton's diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome in 2019, and play "Who is that local mayor?" Norton tells us about his dog Maleficent J. Woofingtons. He shows us the skull and crossbones lining of his blue blazer, and explains why it's inscribed with "bad motherf----r." Episode recorded Sunday, April 11. Caucus registration is ongoing through the month of April. Don't forget to check the box to become a delegate: caucus.dfl.org Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:14:07
April 15, 2021
BIG HUGE MINNEAPOLIS ENDORSEMENTS
2021 election season is underway in Minneapolis! In a conversation continued from our previous episode, Taylor, Jason, and John give their endorsements for Mayor and City Council (note: only John's endorsements are approved by the Wedge LIVE editorial board). Check out John's written endorsements at wedgelive.com/caucus. To have a say in the virtual Minneapolis DFL endorsement process, register to caucus and become a delegate at caucus.dfl.org -- now through the end of April. This year's process is quick, painless, and entirely online. There's no reason not to do it. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:11:36
April 12, 2021
Taylor Dumps Norm Coleman
We're joined by Taylor, Simon the cat, and arena announcer (former Meatjacker) Jason Garcia. As we prepare for our upcoming Big Huge Endorsements episode (next episode), we talk about Taylor's teenage crush, former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, and her bizarre encounter with him at the State Fair. Taylor reports on a string of Minneapolis meat thefts over the years. I challenge Taylor and Jason to defend the mean tweets they direct at Mayor Frey. All three of us talk about the experiences that shaped our views on local politics. We take listener voicemails: one that's kind of weird, one that's very complimentary towards your host, and one with a question about intellectual property law. Finally, Taylor shows us her very large cat, Simon. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
25:15
April 09, 2021
Elliott Payne, candidate for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 1
A conversation with Elliott Payne, who's running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 1. We ask Elliott about his time with the Minneapolis office of Performance and Innovation, public safety, transportation, why change needs a champion at city hall, and what he thinks about a proposal to restructure Minneapolis government to strengthen the mayor's office at the expense of the city council. John asks Elliott why he's potentially disrupting his life to run for office during hard times. Elliott expounds on his housing philosophy and what it means to be a dynamic and welcoming place. PeggySue pins Elliott down on his favorite Ward 1 restaurant. And most importantly, why are people calling it the "Eastside" instead of "Northeast"? Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
50:31
April 05, 2021
PeggySue Reads the Tweets
Co-host PeggySue Imihy joins me, as we prepare to interview Minneapolis City Council candidate Elliott Payne. PeggySue is originally from Columbia Heights but didn't let that stop her from usurping the throne of Miss Northeast Minneapolis. She's put that life behind her and is now interviewing powerbrokers and narrating tweets on a podcast (in addition to a blossoming urban planning career). The best co-hosts make sure their partner is prepared, so I tease PeggySue about the extensive Google document she put together in a failed attempt to make me a better host. If you'd like to hear our interview with Elliott Payne, stay tuned for the next episode. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
25:24
April 03, 2021
It's Caucus Season! with Devin Hogan, the Minneapolis DFL Chair
Minneapolis DFL Chair Devin Hogan is here to talk about the 2021 virtual caucus and convention process. I ask Devin what it feels like to get yelled at for fun, and how it felt to have Mayor Frey and a number of other City Council candidates try to cancel the work they'd put into having an endorsement process this year.  This year, the process is virtual which may increase participation. In a normal year, as a delegate, it could land you in a school auditorium for 10 hours. Why do we do this? Shouldn't we just have primaries? I admit to Devin that I hate caucuses and conventions - but have come around to the conclusion that it's better than not having them. Devin sounds committed to making the process less painful in future years. Check out minneapolisdfl.org for details on how to register so you can participate in the caucus starting April 1. Find out how it works and which candidates (57) are seeking the endorsement for 25 city offices - including mayor, city council, park board, and board of estimate and taxation. I tried to end this episode at 35 minutes but Devin insisted we talk about some hot topics, so consider that bonus content. This is the best deal in podcasting. Watch this episode and view other clips: youtube.com/wedgelive Join the conversation: twitter.com/wedgelive Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:03:59
March 30, 2021
BET WTF? with Christa Moseng
Christa Moseng is a career public servant and first time candidate running for the Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation. The BET is a line on your ballot that may have confused you in prior years. I ask Christa to explain what the BET does and why she's qualified for this obscure role. We talk about the two elected members of the BET, their conservative approach, and what role ideology should play on a body with such limited scope. I ask Christa what it means that she has a .bet domain name (Is she a bingo parlor?). We commiserate over how hard it is to get people to call in to a pre-recorded podcast. Christa's campaign manager, Pine, tries and fails to join the conversation from a ten year old laptop.  And we have fun with BET President Carol Becker (who has said she's not running for reelection), who once tried (and failed) to steal the Wedge LIVE trademark and use it to start a podcast. We play audio of the time Becker repeatedly shouted "have the balls" at other public officials. And I talk briefly about the time Becker lied about city debt refinancing for the sake of TV news cameras. Watch this episode on YouTube. Join the conversation on Twitter: @WedgeLIVE For video clips from the show subscribe on YouTube. Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
43:32
March 25, 2021
Wedgie and the Meatjacker (and the Failed Microphone)
My microphone failed, but that didn't stop me from talking to Jason Garcia for 75 minutes. If you don't enjoy this episode's low quality, we know who to blame. It's Jason's fault for single-handedly wrangling 40+ subscribers during the week of the Wedge LIVE Pledge Drive. It has forced me into the podcasting business.  Jason's from a small town, the kind of place that teaches you the value of bullying the mayor. Jason talks about bringing that attitude to Minneapolis, mopping the floor with a 5th grade version of Ronald Reagan (during a stint as a Walter Mondale impersonator), and the joys of nextdoor.com. We talk about backyard meat storage and team up to form the tri-neighborhood area's wackiest radio duo: "Wedgie and the Meatjacker." Finally, we play a listener voicemail. How do we already have a listener? Join the conversation on Twitter: @WedgeLIVE For video clips from the show subscribe on YouTube. Support the show: patreon.com/wedgelive
01:16:22
March 22, 2021
Coming Soon: The Wedge LIVE Podcast!
Tired of having local news delivered through your eyeballs? Open your ear holes for the Wedge LIVE podcast. Join host John Edwards, a less compelling version of Chuck Todd, for hard hitting interviews with newsmakers and power brokers. This is just like the tweets, only worse, and harder to digest. Coming soon!
00:37
March 05, 2021