Every election year, we ask all the candidates whether they support our six principles for transparent, accountable local government. Leaders that embrace these six principles – safety, trust, responsible, open, neighborhoods, and generations – are likely to govern in an inclusive way that serves all of their constituents, not just party insiders and donors.
We asked all 8 registered candidates in the 2021 Saint Paul Mayoral race to respond. Here’s what they said:
Melvin Carter (Incumbent)
The candidate did not respond to our request, and has not previously endorsed Saint Paul STRONG’s principles.
I Miki Frost stand completely behind all these values that would ultimately make our city a great place to not only visit but live. Thank you for all you do.
Yes I certainly do support all six principles.
Thank you for always looking out for people who’s voice are not heard.
Yes, I support these principals, with the understanding and acknowledgement that others across Saint Paul may and or will have different interpretations of their meaning. My support of my hometown’s well-being is decades long and well documented. I have traveled much of America – Saint Paul is a unique special place. It is time for a change at City Hall and it is time we place Saint Paul back onto a higher track again.
I believe in all the principles and can justify it with action. For the safety principle, I believe all citizens, and law enforcement, deserve dignity and mutual respect. My platform is to reform the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD), which includes supporting community-based alternatives, funding the police, police accountability, and improving relations between citizens and SPPD.
For the remaining principles, I want to create a new system from bottom-up by connecting people’s assets to support existing (or create new) organizations. Decisions will be based on relationship/consensus rather than authority. To achieve this, we build a digital community network platform to advance civic engagement, democracy, and community building for ALL ages. A participatory budget is an immediate application, where citizens can allocate a portion of their taxes to public proposals. Citizens will be investing, building, leading their own initiatives, and holding themselves accountable. The $166 million from the American Rescue Plan can jumpstart the citizen economy!
Dora Jones Robinson
Yes, I support Saint Paul Strong.
Paul Langenfeld, a candidate for Saint Paul City Mayor, commends and fully supports the six “Saint Paul STRONG” principles.
Paul stands with Saint Paul Strong on Public Safety:
Paul Langenfeld’s top priority, like many in our community, is law and order. It’s time to prioritize the freedoms of our citizens, and their businesses, over the freedom of criminals. As Mayor, Paul will work to restore law and order in our city because our community cannot economically thrive without safe streets first.
Paul stands with Saint Paul Strong on Trust:
Paul Langenfeld will not tolerate cronyism and will make it abundantly clear to everyone in his administration that we are all here to serve the public, not serve ourselves or the will of outside political parties or special interests. It’s time to think and act as a team. Not like a player.
It’s time to think about how our choices impact our neighbors. It’s well past the time to put all of Saint Paul first and stop listening to those who seek to drive their own national interests while having nothing invested in the success of our community.
Paul Langenfeld supports having an informed citizenry and will work to provide the people a readable legislative synopsis, including fiscal impact disclosure, prior to bringing an item of public interest to a vote. Furthermore, on items more complex in nature such as infrastructure (roads, storm water, etc.), Paul supports hosting in person and online trainings/overviews for such subject matter in advance. The city already provides access to some presentations/trainings on their website, we can work to expand this if the citizens will find it valuable.
Paul stands with Saint Paul Strong on Responsibility:
Paul Langenfeld further believes that public service is to remain color blind while serving others, and in the spirit of Martin Luther King, not by the color or age of their skin, not by their ability or their wallet, nor by the accent in their voice, but by the content of their character. We are to serve the public, not serve ourselves or the will of outside political parties. It’s time to think and act as the “Saint Paul First” team.
Paul stands with Saint Paul Strong on Openness:
Paul Langenfeld absolutely supports having an informed and engaged citizenry that includes all taxpayers. Furthermore, he believes that every voice has the right to be heard, even the quiet voices. It is important that all our citizens have the opportunity to participate in our government decision making process. However, Paul also understands the fundamental distinction between a Direct Democracy and a Representative Democracy.
Today, in our Representative Democracy, citizens have a major voice in electing their representatives. It then becomes incumbent upon their representative(s) to truly listen and represent their own constituencies and not their own interests, those of their party, or those outside of their constituencies. Their elected representatives then must walk a tightrope in their engaged decisions so as to satisfy the maximum number of people in their constituencies. The growing fear many citizens have, and Paul believes this to be justified, is that once we elect someone from our ward to represent us, they tend to turn their attention away from our voices and those interests specific to their own constituencies to the more powerful influences typically found outside of their constituencies.
The answer to this dilemma (a growing lack of trust in our elected representatives) is not necessarily to embrace a more direct form of democracy, which in practice beyond a very small organization, can become impractical. This can also create dysfunction, while choking all decision-making ability within a government the size.
Scott Evans Wergin
The candidate was not reachable during the comment period, and has not previously endorsed Saint Paul STRONG’s principles.
Note: Saint Paul Strong contacted registered candidates in early September 2021 and gave them the opportunity to state whether or not they supported our six core principles. All responses we received are printed verbatim, in alphabetical order by last name.