Podcast 254 – Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley
Local Political Organizing. People feel they have no influence in their government. While federal and state politics can be daunting for beginners, the city and town council, village, school board, and planning commissions can be fertile ground to fight city hall, and win. Crystal, Minnesota is a typical suburb of a major city. As recently as 2007, the Crystal City Council acted as a rubber stamp for nationally generated ‘master plans’ pushed on towns whether the people wanted them or not. Light Rail, Commuter Rail, Apartment Buildings, Increasing Densities, Walkable Cities, Bike Paths, and all kinds of so called ‘Green’ initiatives, created by unelected technocrats, and pushed by unelected governing boards, like Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s Metropolitan Council. Many of these towns see increasing costs year after year, higher property taxes, more debt, and unelected ‘professionals’ who pick police and fire chiefs, set priorities, expand staff and increase regulations, oblivious to opposition from the seemingly powerless citizens they are supposed to serve. In 2007, two ‘regular guys’ from Crystal, Minnesota; Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley became involved after asking some pretty innocent questions about projects the city council was considering. They organized their neighbors and laid siege to a City Council meeting. The city council listened to the citizens but passed the projects anyway. That night, Community Solutions Minnesota was born. Seven years later, in the 2014 election, Community Solutions completed a house cleaning of Crystal City Government, getting rid of all the city council members who had ignored the people years before. What did Andrew and Bradley do and how did they do it? In this podcast they tell anyone interested in taking back their city government, school board, planning commission and ultimately state and federal governments, how. Despite fierce resistance these two young men, and the community, in Crystal, Minnesota literally ‘threw the bums out’. If you’re involved in politics you know that at almost every meeting you attend these days, politicians talk and talk, but say nothing of substance. Especially in Minnesota. Especially in the Republican ranks. People are furious at local, state and federal governments that ignore them, but most don’t know what to do about it. Minnesota Republicans marvel at Wisconsin’s reforms while Minnesota’s taxes and regulations keep increasing and Republican leaders talk about ‘working with’ Governor Dayton. Minnesota Republicans wonder how they lost out in the historic 2014 election, again. Here’s how to start and build an organization that generates votes, money, and clout; The kind of political organization that terrifies rich inside consultants, wins elections, and forces politicians to do what the people want and puts the insiders … on the street. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar.