Damned by Faint Praise

Even the pro-stadium StarTribune has trouble finding reasons to endorse Kevin Reich:

Despite only serving one term so far, Reich would be more experienced than several of his first-time council colleagues. He should use that experience to build consensus around progrowth policies.

That’s the whole thing. Two sentences.

How can a guy who is so weak at outreach and engagement build consensus? To Northeasters, this sounds like selling our community out for the interests of more ambitious politicos at City Hall.

And experience doesn’t make up for lack of talent and limited insight. Remember, after three years of experience, he voted for the Vikings deal. Because, he reasoned, “it was the best we could get.” All the recent headlines are arguing the opposite. Even the Governor, for example, acknowledges that forgetting to include seat license revenue in the deal was a mistake.

Kevin and I came up in the same system, as community organizers under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). We were peers. But while he was getting paid by his neighborhood organization, I was out in the ordinary world, working, investing and gaining practical experience.

Now, it is true that I can’t match his four years of sitting through Council committee meetings. Kevin knows his way around City Hall. So if I need to find the restroom, he’ll be the one I ask.


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