A new direction

By

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the people of St. Paul will be given a choice between DFL endorsed Chris Coleman, a mayor who would be prepared to lead us into a better future, and incumbent mayor Randy Kelly who leaves St. Paul in the dust of his own political aspirations. In an age of global terror threatening America’s cities, natural disasters, and disastrous budget cuts this choice has never been more important. Chris Coleman understands the importance of effective city leadership in this day and age. In the face of unprecedented budget cuts, he sees the need to fight to fund the programs that make a difference St. Paul.

As mayor, Chris Coleman will lead St. Paul’s schools forward. He has a clear vision of the St. Paul he wants to leave for his children. That is why he will ensure our public schools get all the funding they need to foster a strong learning environment and create productive members of society. Five of the seven school board members and the St. Paul Federation of Teachers have endorsed Chris Coleman for this reason.

Coleman will create an environmentally conscience St. Paul. Under his leadership St. Paul will convert the city’s non-essential sedan fleet to all hybrid cars. He will hire a city-wide sustainability coordinator, and will work with county and state governments to extend the Mississippi Greenway to St. Paul.

Sustainable St. Paul, the sustainability advocacy group founded by former Green Party mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson, has said that Chris is the best candidate to address issues of sustainability.

Coleman’s other endorsements reveal a lot about his values. He has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice and Stonewall DFL, the GLBT caucus of the DFL party. He has been endorsed by 13 labor unions and by almost all of St. Paul’s House and Senate members. His national endorsements include MoveOn.org, former Vice President Walter Mondale, and (incase you didn’t see all the signs) Senator John Kerry.

It is every person’s right to endorse the presidential candidate of his or her choosing. When the incumbent Mayor Randy Kelly, a self-proclaimed Democrat, endorsed President Bush’s reelection bid in 2004, it was his right.

But that one endorsement is indicative of his political character. Kelly chose to align himself with the policies of President Bush, policies that are harming our city. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act is an unfunded mandate that has forced local government to raise money themselves or go without. His federal budgets have under-funded first responders at a time when adequately funding them is more important than ever. These federal cuts have forced our city to cut several dozen police officers and the fire engine that services Macalester.

Randy Kelly has turned a blind eye to the needs of St. Paul and focused on his own political future. Kelly calls himself a Democrat, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck. And Randy Kelly quacks like a Republican.

Like Coleman’s endorsements, Kelly’s endorsements give us insight into his values. Republicans Norm Coleman, and Rudolf Giuliani have lent their support the incumbent mayor. His biggest supporters and financiers come from the Association of Realtors and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, whose taxes he has kept level for the last four years. By not raising taxes, schools have been cut and the city has grown less safe.

So as you wait in line to vote on Tuesday know that you are not just sending a message all the way to President Bush, Karl Rove and the rest of their cronies in Washington, D.C. More importantly, you are casting your vote for a person who will build a safer, stronger, more sustainable St. Paul: Chris Coleman.

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