By Mike Norton, former City Council candidate in Ward 13 and small business owner

Last month, Southwest Voices published an interview with Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano in which Charlie Rybak asked her about the recent election and her priorities in the coming term. One of his questions was: "Are there policies or ideas that Mike Norton pushed during his campaign that you’d like to adopt during your term?" This was her answer:

"Can you remind me of any policies he pushed? He was running a campaign against me, but I don’t know that he was for other things. I think he wanted to invest in electric vehicle charging stations, and he didn’t know where they were.
I'm honestly trying to think about it. He had allegations against me, he had votes he says he would have taken differently than me, but I don’t know that he had new ideas that held any water."

Palmisano is free to think and say whatever she wants about me, but suggesting that she doesn't know anything about our campaign platform is dismissive of the more than 3,000 Ward 13 residents who ranked me first and over 46 percent of voters that ranked our campaign on their ballot in November. Those voters are still constituents of Council Member Palmisano and it’s disappointing that she doesn’t seem to care why they voted for our campaign.

Her answer seems especially odd in the context of the rest of her interview, where she highlights the importance of collaboration, staying informed, and reducing barriers to participation in city government. Given those stated values, why would Palmisano want to so publicly dismiss the positions and supporters of her strongest challenger after she won the election?

Here are just a few key priorities from our campaign:

Public Safety:

  • End pretext traffic stops, which disproportionately impact Black residents while doing little to prevent crime
  • Shift MPD resources from arrests for misdemeanors and drug crimes to violent crimes and major property crimes
  • Significantly increase resources for unarmed mental health crisis response and unarmed traffic enforcement to increase public safety and reduce workload for MPD officers

Climate Change and Transit:

  • Significantly increase the number of protected bike lanes, dedicated transit lanes, and Bus Rapid Transit lines in Minneapolis
  • Shift responsibility for clearing snow off sidewalks from residents to city staff to help control the use of chemicals and reduce burden on elderly and disabled residents
  • Significantly increase investments in Green Zones and other environmental justice initiatives targeting low-income and historically disadvantaged neighborhoods


  • Implement a rent stabilization ordinance that protects renters and incentivizes small landlords to voluntarily participate
  • Raise the minimum wage to $20/hr (to match Hennepin County’s employee wage floor) to make housing more affordable for low-income residents
  • Further loosen restrictions on single-room occupancy residences (SROs)
  • Increase housing density, including building more deeply affordable housing in Ward 13
  • Explore reparations for residents who were denied homeownership due to our history of racist, exclusionary housing policies, including the redlining, single-family zoning, and racial covenants that have resulted in Ward 13 having the three whitest neighborhoods in the city

I was not alone in support of these issues. I stood together with many other progressive city council and mayoral candidates. Palmisano and I discussed our differing positions in-person on stage of the Ward 13 Candidate Forum organized by the League of Women Voters, and our policy priorities are still on the campaign website:

We ran a campaign focused on Ward 13 being better neighbors to the rest of the city, and we heard from many people who were frustrated with Palmisano being seemingly out of touch with greater Minneapolis. It’s reasonable to assume that disconnect is why she failed to win endorsements from key progressive organizations like TakeActionMN, Minnesota Young DFL, Stonewall DFL, MN350, Sierra Club, or the MFT when so many other incumbents were able to earn those endorsements. The College Democrats of Minnesota even went so far as to rescind their endorsement after outcry from their membership. 

She is free to disagree with our positions, but to say she can’t even recall the policies brought forward by our campaign is not a productive way to interact with such a large plurality of Ward 13 constituents nor with progressives in the rest of Minneapolis. For someone whom dedicated supporters often refer to as “the only adult” on the City Council, this was a disappointingly childish response when our city so desperately needs strong, courageous leadership.

The following Ward 13 residents have signed this statement to affirm their support for the above-mentioned policies:

Mike Norton, Lynnhurst

Elianna Lippold-Johnson, Linden Hills

Heather Silsbee, West Maka Ska

Maire Kate Sustacek, Armatage

Jenny Floria, Fulton

Melissa Manns, West Maka Ska

Sarah Pumroy, Lynnhurst

Maria White, Lynnhurst

Nance Kent, Linden Hills

Steven Rubinstein, Lynnhurst

Steve Ulrich, Linden Hills

Paula Luxenberg, Fulton

Lynnell Mickelsen, Linden Hills

Artemis Johnson, Linden Hills

Todd Schuman, Fulton

Drew Rosielle, Fulton

Jessica DeWeerth, Fulton

Chris Henjum, Kenny

Bianca Zick, Lynnhurst

Andy Martens, Lynnhurst

Rev. Laurie Bushbaum, Linden Hills

John Bender, Fulton

Katherine Hamberg, Fulton

Mary Breen, Fulton

Anne Hacker, Armatage

Erin Shackett, Armatage

Laura Balfour, Linden Hills

Michael Walker, Lynnhurst

Margaret Walker, Lynnhurst

Janelle Nivens, Lynnhurst

Michael Altmann, Linden Hills

Eric Magnuson, Armatage

Sarah Thompson, Fulton

Kathy Tuzinski, Linden Hills

Jonathan Banks, Kenny

Clair Daley, Fulton

Virginia Dale, Lynnhurst

Polly M Talen, Armatage

Peg Mitchell, Armatage

Patricia McKee, Lynnhurst

Sheila Dingels, Armatage

Sean Collins-Dippel, Armatage

Ryan Greenwood, Lynnhurst

Erika Grantier, Lynnhurst

Paul Dingels, Armatage

Katherine Hamberg, Fulton

June Thiemann, Fulton

Chelsea Chase, West Maka Ska

Abby Sliva, Linden Hills

Sara Kasten, West Maka Ska

John Carpenter, Fulton

Dani Hofstad, Linden Hills

Margaret Spriggs, Lynnhurst

Caroline Royce, Linden Hills

Ethan Komoroski, Armatage