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I appreciate that you are doing this series of interviews with CM candidates. Pushed me over the edge to become a SW Member donator. -Ben, SLP resident and Minneapolis enthusiast

An Interview with Ward 13 City Council candidate Kate Mortenson

Ward 13 City Council candidate Kate Mortenson is married to David Mortenson, heir to the Mort Mortenson fortune, and CEO of Mortenson Construction, which is one of the biggest construction and real estate developers in the world (U.S. Bank Stadium, Allianz Field, Target Center remodel, various hotels and apartment high rises in Minneapolis, etc.). If elected, how would Kate Mortenson square this enormous financial conflict of interest when land sale proposals and construction/development bids involving Mortenson Construction come before the Minneapolis City Council? -Anonymous

Will Lorning Corners Get a Pedestrian Mall?

I think it would be a boon to all of us in the Groveland Loring Park neighborhood.  I hope they can accommodate this beautiful idea. - A neighbor

911 calls and visits to city officials not stopping trespassing at another C. David George property

"Regulatory Services" and landlord "licensing" is a joke at this point. Jacob Frey became the strong mayor solely in charge of and responsible for every single City department and now no department is accessible or responsive to City councilmembers.  Landlords and developers and Frey's donor base absolutely rule this city and get away with the most horrendous things.  It's only getting worse.  Corporate ones, local ones, mom and pops. The City refuses to do anything to reign them in. -Mike Shoemaker, Wedge Resident

Quote from the article: "A resident that lives near 2621 Pillsbury Ave. S called 911 about people accessing the vacant building but they have “given up” because of the lack of response from the City. Southwest Voices is protecting people’s identities and where they live at their request. " JFC, great job admitting right out in the open here that you don't consider people surviving in an abandoned building, well, "people."  Not a single quote from or even reference to people who are housing insecure or who advocated for the unhoused. No discussion whatsoever of the reasons why someone might squat an abandoned building. No regard for their safety or autonomy - only the wishes of nearby property owners. No solutions offered except criminalization. This publication and writer should be embarrassed for seemingly proving the worst stereotypes about southwest MPLS liberals hating poor people correct. -Southsider

[Editor’s note: Hello, writer of the article here. You are correct that this story doesn’t look into why people are sheltering at this property. I can also clearly see how my explanation for why sources were anonymous seemed to preemptively criminalize those at 2621 Pillsbury. It’s a journalism standard–to state that people asked to be anonymous and the placement of that statement created unintended meaning on my behalf. For what it's worth, in my earlier reporting, which is linked to in this article, I do mention why people might be choosing to shelter there. In the editing process for this story, I struck a sentence that ended with “open to people seeking shelter.” Had I left that the piece may have conveyed more sensitivity to those who are finding shelter throughout the city. To be fully transparent, I left out of the story some things I saw that would have added to the vilification of unsheltered people. I appreciate your feedback. We try to be very careful in how we report about housing insecurity. -Melody]

A response to Councilmember Emily Koski's year in office

As an East Phillips resident, I am so thrilled to read this perspective from a Ward 11 resident. Maggie hit the nail on the head when they said, “I expect transparency in how she votes and why.” This is exactly the problem; the councilmembers are following the mayor’s veto, and are beholden to… who exactly? Not the people. Instead councilmembers like Koski are fighting the people and leaving us all to wonder, why? Koski and others on the council, as well as Frey have given zero legitimate arguments against the Urban Farm plan, or in favor of the Public Works expansion. It is clear Koski and others are listening to some shadowy and powerful groups of people while ignoring the constituents. Why the lack of transparency? Why!? -Daniel Colten Schmidt, Ward 9

Has the author of this opinion piece ever used their own money to start a brick and mortar business that was in a commercial retail space? If they haven’t they are not qualified to criticize Koskie’s support of small businesses. Our small business was crippled when the street in front of our shop closed for three months because of road construction. - Anonymous

Author response to a comment in last week’s Voices of Southwest about the Cedar-Isles Plan

In response to the suggestion that without an established bike path that the whole woods will become subjected to "renegade bike paths." I can say as a biker, I too have ridden my share of renegade trails, including Cedar Woods. That is until I became educated and informed of the impacts of my actions. Once informed, I became enlightened about the negative effects of my behavior. There will always be those who do things for the sake of being rule breakers and blind to harm we may be doing to others, in this case nature. And there are those who are open to the world and have the capacity to evolve. I hope everyone will recognize that an established bike path through this wooded area does nothing but sanction the area for biking. A bike path invites more bike use to the area. A share of the bicyclists will be responsible and stay on the path. And there will be a share of this growing number of bikers who will think it's cool to go renegade regardless of the impacts known or not, and destroy an area that is established and has been worked by volunteers for three decades to nurture nature and the nature experience. -Steve Kotvis, author of the article