I'm Running for Mayor of Brooklyn Center with No Money

Originally published: 07/2006 by J Wynia

I'm going over the paperwork to make sure I do this properly. I'm running for mayor of Brooklyn Center, the Minneapolis suburb I've been living in for the last year or so. I made the decision while sitting at the Earle Brown Days parade a couple of weeks ago and the decision has been cemented a bit more over the last few days.

  • First, the current mayor has been in the job since 1995.
  • Over the last month or so, I've seen an anecdotal rise in crime. Graffitti, a violent incident in a neighbor's yard and stolen cars being deposited on our street have all suddenly become a part of life here. These are the first incidents I've seen since moving here and my other neighbors who've lived here for 18 years say that it's always been quiet without incidents. I want to do some more digging to see if this is just anecdotal or is backed by stats, but my gut says it's a real rise. The parade shouldn't be the only time we see the police cars roll through the neighborhood.
  • I think the ways that Brooklyn Center has used eminent domain is an abuse. One incident (that I won't cover right now as I don't yet have all of the facts) comes to mind that is not only an abuse of the policy, but seems to have targetted an immigrant business specifically.
  • I want to go through the process and document it for others to read and understand.
  • It only costs $5 to file and run. That makes the barrier of entry low. I do want to win, but even if I lose, it's a reasonable experiment and a good way to show the process from the inside.

Those things are the impetus for my candidacy, but I'll be spending the coming months making my positions/platform clearer as I get a better handle on the scope of authority for mayor.

I'll be filing as a member of the Independence party when I finish going through the paperwork and making sure everything is squared up.

I'm also going to run this campaign without spending money. I'm curious how far I'll get using only free tools and will be sharing the details of how this whole thing works.

FYI, Brooklyn Center is about 30,000 people an located just north of Minneapolis proper. And, since a couple of people have asked when I mentioned this in conversations in person, Jesse Ventura was mayor of the neighboring suburb: Brooklyn Park before running for governor.

Now I just need to read through the piles of campaign regulations to make sure I don't run afoul of anything accidentally. Then, it's down to the city office after work to plop down my Abe Lincoln and become an official candidate.


Garrick Van Buren on 7/8/2006
Good luck J - may the blog be with you.
Katy on 7/11/2006
Oooh, Fingers crossed!! I'd vote for you if I was eligable!
BillyG on 7/17/2006
as long as you don't become a 'politician', G/L!, otherwise I'll have to wait longer in-between your reads (sorry, been busy)
JacMadsen on 11/18/2006
Well??? How did it go?
Cmaxwell on 1/10/2007
Hi Jay, I'm interested in running for mayor of a town in Arizona. Where do I begin?
J Wynia on 1/10/2007
First you need to find out when the next election for mayor will be. In most cities, it's every 4 years. When the office is next open, you'll need to check with your local city hall or city office to see when the filing opens. Mine was the beginning of July for the November election. You'll file as a candidate. After that point, you'll probably get a packet of stuff explaining how to comply with the campaign finance rules. I sidestepped most of that by not spending any money beyond the filing fee. Otherwise, you're going to need to set up an official campaign. I can't really speak to that from experience. There are a few books over at Amazon that deal with the structuring of your official campaign (i.e. "The Committe to Elect Joe Johnson"). From there, it's just like you'd think. The next time around I'd really focus my time on pounding the pavement and talking to people in a personal way. Given how few people it actually took to get elected in my town of 30,000 people, a couple of weekends actually talking to people about their concerns would have likely put me in the serious running.
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