Redistricting Snafu: Greg Copeland Filed for Ramsey County Commission District 3 Not District 6

Ramsey County Residents need a Commissioner who thinks of their safety, their business opportunities, job creation, while keeping taxes low, instead of a Me First Candidate that comes from an institutional party like the DFL. I will serve you, not a party, nor a special interest group.

I live in one of the worst violent crime neighborhoods of St Paul and Ramsey County, it is known as Crime Statistics Grid 54 by the St Paul Police Department.  They know where the crime takes place but it is business as usual, and if you think the Police will show up within minutes after you call 911, think again.  The 911 Operator has to gauge the severity of the call before they dispatch a squad to your location. It seems it takes longer in a poverty neighborhood than one like Highland Park, or Summit Avenue where the Governor of Minnesota lives.

You deserve better.

I was the City Manager of Maplewood and we froze the taxes there and cut government waste and we hired more Police and EMTs when I worked there. Since then they have raised taxes and have fewer Police and EMTs, how is that possible?

Road Diets Need to Disappear

Commissioner McDonough when he was in office told the residents along Maryland Avenue from Greenbriar to Johnson Parkway the 3 lane street aka Road Diet was a test and that it wouldn’t be permanent.  It went from a 4 lane street to a 2 lane street with a seldom used middle lane. If you get behind a bus or Amish teenagers enjoying a joy ride at 20 mph, you are sure to be late for an appointment.  This stretch of Maryland Avenue became permanent because there were few people who opposed it who could attend McDonough’s odd hour public hearings.  With the ease of implementing this Road Diet scheme other priority streets are going on the Road Diet too, like Rice Street, Dale Street, and probably Snelling Avenue between the Larpenteur Avenue Ford Parkway.

To allow for more business opportunities and allow shoppers to park in front of a restaurant or a hardware store on-street parking needs to take priority over Road Diets.  Homeowners and Apartment dwellers need to be able to park in front of their homes on the street.

Ramsey County Elections Mistake

This year was a Redistricting year, Ramsey County has yet to produce Ward & Precinct Maps for the County and it is nearly the Primary Election.  They do have a Ramsey County Commission District Map, see my Maps Page.

When I went to file for office for the open seat in Ramsey County District 6, I didn’t know I now lived in Ramsey County District 3.  The Ramsey County Elections (RCE) people did not inform me of the change of the new lines.  I’m told from reliable sources, RCE & the MN Secretary of State’s Office does not check for the residency of a candidate. They only require the candidate move to the district they are filing for within 30 days of the Election.  I’ve lived in my present house since 1992 and there is no way I’m moving to the New Ramsey County District 6.

One has to wonder why RCE & MN Secretary of State’s Offices do not check for Residency. Is it because Ramsey County is a Sanctuary City for Illegal Immigrants?

So is it possible that I can be a write in candidate in District 3?  RCE & MN Secretary of State has had almost 2 months to make the change but have not done so.

Greg Copeland Opposed Organized Trash While John Marty Wrote FOR IT

Greg Copeland ran for St Paul’s Ward 6, an open seat vacated by the long time Councilman Dan Bostrom. His top position was and is now is to oppose the Organized Trash Ordinance in St Paul MN.  That’s what the tag line “The Original Vote No Candidate,” refers to.  Though Voting No is an easy position to take in St Paul as the DFL Controlled Government can’t say no to a new tax or freedom limiting ordinance or regulation.  The unfairly, unevenly administered Organized Trash Ordinance was essentially a Garbage Tax hitting people hard on low incomes, zero-wasters, people who shared a garbage bin with a neighbor, and retired people on fixed incomes, while letting businesses and multiple unit apartment building landlords off the hook.

The areas that are light green, white, or light or dark red are mainly in HD 66B

It should not come as a surprise as evidence on social media, and other platforms, residents are complaining about the lousy service and high Trash bills.  Those who Voted Yes in the 2019 Referendum tend to come from more affluent neighborhoods and when compared to the Poverty Level stats you’ll see why those areas just east of Lake Como on the map above are not in favor of the “garbage tax.”

According to the website House District 66B has 40% of Household children under 18 are living in Poverty and 15% of Senior Citizens are living below the poverty line, an estimated 26.7% of people are living in poverty in HD 66B according to 2018 census data.  How do those people afford another increase in fees and taxes?  

Is this Ethical?

Senator Marty seems to not to care at all in the upper middle class neighborhood he lives on the edge of Roseville and St Anthony. How does John live there on just a State Representative’s salary?

Senator John Marty, the author of SF 510 during the 2013-14 Session wrote the language to allow Organized Trash Ordinances to be enacted by cities. You can read how that bill went through the legislature at Minnesota SF 510.

As seen in the Census Reporter link Senator John Marty doesn’t seem to care that the high poverty seen in the Eastern side of House District 66B was against his inspired Organized Trash Ordinance.  Greg Copeland happens to live in that neighborhood of high poverty.

If you would like to reverse the unfairly applied Organized Trash Ordinance vote No to John Marty, Vote For Greg Copeland.

Greg Copeland Responses to LWV Voters Guide

The following are published responses to the Voters Guide Toolkit by the League of Women Voters.

LWV: Why are you the best [SD 66] candidate to represent voters?

Greg Copeland: Minnesota Voters need at least one Senator who knows how to run a City and make Public Safety Priority #1! Unfortunately, our current Senator has 34 years experience only as a politician.

As Maplewood City Manager I improved Public Safety by hiring five new Police Officers, increased the number of Fire Fighter/EMTs, and hired the City’s first Code Enforcement! This Public Safety expansion was done without a tax hike, and funded by making large reductions in the City’s Administrative costs.

LWV: What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce gun violence in our local communities? 

Greg Copeland:  Local Law Enforcement Agencies must arrest and County Attorneys must aggressively prosecute persons who use guns in violation of the law to terrorize, threaten, commit robbery and assault Citizens. I do not support any actions by Local Government to Defund The Police or to “reinvent” the Police. I will not support disarming the Police. I do support improved Police Administration, it is my opinion as a former City Manager, that training and field management of Police Officers are very critical!

I do not support any actions by Local Government to Defund The Police or to “reinvent” the Police. I will not support disarming the Police. — Greg Copeland

LWV: What concrete steps, if any, will you take to build collaboration, rather than polarization, between parties, as well as rural, suburban, and urban communities?

Greg Copeland: My proposal for a $10,000 COVID Essential Worker Income Tax Credit to partially recognize the risks these workers took together with putting their families at greater risk, is a non-partisan plan to help these families regardless of party or geography!

Adoption of my Homestead Property Tax Credit for Disabled, Seniors and Low Income Familes and my Two Year COVID Property Tax Freeze on Local Government would help all Minnesota Homeowners retain their homes during this economic and health crisis!

LWV:  What legislation, if any, would you support to address any racial or ethnic disparities in education and health? 

Greg Copeland:  In Minnesota an income standard is used to qualify children & adults for MA (Medical Assistance); unless you are Blind, Disabled, or 65+ and only these 3 groups must have no savings above $3,000. In no other case does Minnesota require such a Poverty Test! This is not the way we should treat Seniors, Disabled or Blind persons in 2020. Keeping Seniors in Poverty by limiting them to such a meager savings will increase both Poverty & bad health!

I support Parents School Choice Rights & Charter Schools!

In no other case does Minnesota require such a Poverty Test! This is not the way we should treat Seniors, Disabled or Blind persons in 2020. Keeping Seniors in Poverty by limiting them to such a meager savings will increase both Poverty & bad health! — Greg Copeland

LWV:  What legislation, if any, would you support addressing long term care in Minnesota? 

Greg Copeland:  I would support legislation to prevent a repeat of the COVID Killing of Seniors that occurred as recovering, but still infected COVID persons were discharged from hospitals to Long Term Care Facilities where they infected COVID FREE Residents, resulting in hundreds of needless deaths of existing Residents in their Nursing Homes!

MNGOPAC Endorses Greg Copeland for MN Senate

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, does not endorse candidates, but their Political Action Committee, MNGOPAC does.

MNGOPAC Endorses SD 66 Candidate Greg Copeland

The following is from the email sent to Greg Copeland from MNGOPAC Chair Bryan Strawser, and Political Director Rob Doar:

We are pleased to inform you that the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee has officially endorsed your candidacy in the 2020 General Election.

In addition, our parent organization, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, has awarded you a grade for your support for gun rights in Minnesota.

Your endorsement letter is attached and contains your specific grade. Details of our grading scale and process can be viewed at

We are confident that you will be a strong, steadfast supporter of gun rights in Saint Paul during the 2021 – 2022 legislative biennium – pushing for our legislative priorities such as Constitutional Carry and Stand your Ground and opposing all facets of the gun control agenda.

Thank you for your strong support of the Second Amendment and your commitment to individual liberty.

Please accept our best wishes for a successful campaign.

Yours in Liberty,
Bryan Strawser, Chair
Rob Doar, Political Director

Bryan Strawser, Chair
Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus | 612-424-4032 | @mnguncaucus

MNGOPAC 2020 General Election Grading & Endorsements

Greg Copeland filled out the survey that was sent out and earned an “A” Rating.

Find out how some incumbent legislators did, like the 33 year Career Politician Senator John Marty.

MN Gun Owners Caucus MN Legislative Scorecard 2019-20


Greg Copeland on Affordable Housing at Forum

The following is from Questions and Answers from Polina Montes de Oca, the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager, and answers from the original Vote NO candidate for Ward 6 City Council.  The Forum was to be held on October 5, 2019.

The City needs to re-do-the- tool -box. The regulatory powers of the city are simply not Neighborhood Friendly. The City’s regulatory tools are wedded to  a model that still works for the large property developers that are making millions developing the Green Line Corridor with their army of architects, planners, lawyers, finance experts and union tradespeople.  The City is set up to cater to the needs of the Big Boys; not neighborhoods and individuals or small business people.

We need a new model to plan and permit the rehabilitation of the single family and duplex structures that could help fill the gap in the affordable housing crisis in the short term if the City Council is willing to make the policy changes need to accommodate individual homeowner/investors and small business rehabbers. Given the hundreds of vacant homes in the City the City Council must be willing to operate outside the regulatory model that has helped to create and perpetuate the current problem. Saint Paul is not Detroit and we must stop demolishing homes as part of some final solution that keeps people from living in an affordable home that they can call their own.

The City of Saint Paul in addition to the $2 million Housing Trust Fund, also provides Capital Improvement Budget dollars to about a dozen neighborhood  not for profits to develop housing opportunities with about $3 million in 2019 and $2 million for 2020.

None of this is enough to make a significant difference in the current housing crisis. The City must attract outside dollars to create the affordable housing stock we need and to do it we must get the statutory caps on Housing Tax Credits used by the MN Housing Finance Agency to sell tax free housing bonds to private investors removed during this crisis. How is it in the public interest to limit

private investment in affordable housing? It isn’t!

Poverty has made it’s home on the East Side and their is no Cavalry that is coming rescue us from this man-made disaster. We need to see the 200 vacant buildings on the East Side as resources that can be turned into homes with affordable mortgages for which the City should remove all barriers to rehabilitation, such as eliminating building permit fees and other regulatory costs.  We need a special unit in Planning and Economic Development to manage our way out of this inventory of over 500 vacant buildings city wide and that does not mean relying on bulldozers and clam-shells to continue to tear down this housing stock. I want to see the City be creative and wise with it’s resources to leverage all other available funds such as Livable Community dollars from the Met Council. Without looking outside the status quo box we will be adding more houses that were homes to the vacant property list.

Density is not an issue in the short term.  People who have invested in their neighborhoods deserve the City’s protection of their investment. On the East Side we have always welcomed more dense housing options, as the current number of such properties gives testimony too.  When developers have wanted to build high density buildings we have welcomed them and as a senior single family homeowner I certainly support building more senior friendly buildings, which would also serve a young family that needs a big home and backyard.

Housing quality is always an issue in an area with many 100 year old homes as  well as post World War II homes and a large percentage of people living in poverty. These updating and maintenance issues present for both homeowners and landlords. This is an area where we have looked to neighborhood based organizations to play a role assisting low income homeowners with forgivable loans or other financing to make it possible for people to stay in their homes. We should continue these programs for homeowners, working families and seniors as well as explore new options for assisting landlords finance repairs to keep families in safe homes and apartments.





Remembering Black Hawk Down 26 years later at the Polls

Saint Paul Minnesota recently adopted Mogadishu Somalia as a sister city thanks due to Appointed Ward 6 City Councilman Kassim Busuri who lived there.

26 years ago on October 3rd and 4th, a routine mission turned bloody for the soldiers of the 75th Rangers in Mogadishu. Our soldiers were surrounded, shot at, and eventually some of them, their dead bodies were dragged through the streets after their bodies were desecrated by the citizens of Mogadishu.

Here are first hand recollections from an Army Ranger who went back to Mogadishu, Jeff Struecker. His and other Rangers actions on that fateful two days led to a book and later a movie based on the book of the same name called, “Black Hawk Down.”

The movie short shows St Paul and Mogadishu have similar poor roads, violence in the streets, and distressed buildings in it. The big difference is Saint Paul Residents have a choice on who they want to be leaders by voting for them in elections and the Somalis in Mogadishu do not. Why would Saint Paul leaders make this rash decision to embrace a culture a people who have nothing in common with us? Should ask the appointed councilman who disappears from his duty without telling anyone or his constituents and cites a religious holiday so as to be a let down for residents in Ward 6.

The fact that only two of the eleven Sister Cities to St Paul share Judeo-Christian values with the majority of Citizens of St Paul (Modena Italy, and Manzanillo Mexico) shows how out of touch the City Council is with its citizens.

Seriously, why does Appointed Councilman Kassim Busuri want us to embrace a city full of terrorists?  Is St Paul supposed to lower its standards even further to embrace Mogadishu standards?  It’s been 26 years and buildings our soldiers shot up defending themselves are still standing nor repaired.

Embracing a people who dragged our dead soldiers through the streets is morally unthinkable. Remember Busuri’s Mogadishu values on November 5th.

Greg Copeland Supports All St Paul Strong Principles

John Mannillo, the Chair of St Paul Strong asked St Paul Ward 6 City Council Candidate Greg Copeland whether he supports the 6 Principles of St Paul Strong.  Below are the principles of St Paul Strong, and Greg’s answer.

Saint Paul STRONG

The Six Principles of Saint Paul STRONG are:

SAFETY: We pledge to make public safety our top priority, maintaining efficient and effective first responder systems and enhancing citizen/community relationships with police, fire and other city departments.

TRUST: We will work to make sure full and informed citizen participation comes before decisions are made —not after—and put the interests of all the people, including the affected communities and the intended beneficiaries, ahead of personal or partisan interests.

RESPONSIBLE: We believe city officials must be accountable to all citizens—including persons of color, seniors, persons with disabilities, low-income residents, immigrants and refugees—and that they must be fully engaged to the public, not parties, and must respond to citizen concerns in a timely and nonpartisan fashion.

 OPEN: We will break down the barriers that exclude citizen participation and bring decision-making back into the public arena where it belongs; ensuring taxpayers are fully informed and have an opportunity to participate meaningfully in decision making.

NEIGHBORHOODS: We pledge to strengthen community voices and to work—across ward boundaries— to foster stronger neighborhoods with equal right and access to the resources and amenities of our city.

GENERATIONS: Understanding that our city was built by generations of people who loved it as we do, we pledge to build a stronger, safer and more beautiful city for the generations that will come after us.

Greg Copeland’s Answer

I remain in full support of the six Saint Paul Strong Principles outlined.

Obviously the decline in city enforcement of the law, arrest and prosecution  of criminals by the Carter Administration is resulting in the impression that some neighborhoods will be abandoned as they were by long term homeowners and new residents who no longer feel safe in Saint Paul, as was the case in the early 1990’s when drugs, vice, quality of life crimes and more occurred with out satisfactory action by elected City Leadership.

Sheriff Bob Fletcher is taking action to engage and support Saint Paul Neighbors to make the effort to fight criminal behavior. I would suggest and expansion of the language in the Neighborhoods section to reach not only beyond Wards, but to County Commissioners to coordinate their arterial road construction and maintenance program with the City of Saint Paul to Fix Our Damn Roads!  All entities must be willing to re-evaluate how we are using all Tax revenues for  transportation, including a discussion of filling the Gaps in our existing Metro Transit Bus System and more effective ways to complement and coordinate taxing authority and funding with federal, state and metro governments.

Critical to making any progress significant reforms is a strict Open Government Policy that does not view citizens as the enemy, but rather the catalyst for change and citizen satisfaction as a measure of successful and competent governance. The City Council and Port Authority have to start publishing complete agendas for all their meetings and broadcast these meetings live on Government Cable TV.

Thank you and the other leaders of Saint Paul Strong for the non-partisan leadership provided to bring a much needed Watchful Eye to Capitol City Governance.

Greg Copeland

Saint Paul City Council Candidate Ward 6





Saint Paul STRONG is a nonpartisan community-led organization dedicated to improving open and representative government in Saint Paul.

MinnPost News Q & A with Greg Copeland

It is long past time To Take Out The Trash!  Being a proud original signer of the Citizens 2018 Petition seeking the Referendum on Ordinance 18-39, I will Vote NO!
St. Paul voters are ready to get rid of this Costly, Inefficient and Problem Plagued Mandatory Trash Collection failed experiment. Residents were promised by City Council lower rates, than those offered under the four decades old competitive private hauler system; that promise was broken, costs are $590 for families with the just one large cart.
Seniors, zero-wasters and low income people that had previously shared the cost of trash collection with their neighbors for years, are now prohibited under Ordinance18-39 from sharing a cart with their neighbors to reduce collection cost.
The City mandated everyone had to pay for a Cart, and citizens with the smallest carts soon found themselves being billed at a higher per unit cost than the large 96 gallon carts. The City’s perverse pricing scheme violates Minnesota’s long standing environmental solid waste policy by giving the biggest garbage producers a discounted rate.
Those who create the least trash should be paying less, not more for garbage collection.

What does the debate over trash say about St. Paul politics?

Saint  Paul Citizens never before had to go to the Minnesota Supreme Court to place a referendum on the ballot.
The Mayor and the City Council threw our City Charter in the trash, along with the Citizens Certified Referendum Petition signed by over 6000 voters; in an incredible abuse of executive and legislative  power to block the referendum for being put on the ballot for a vote by the citizens.
Even after the Supreme Court ruling went against the Mayor and City Council in an act of immature political pique, they both conspired to insult and  intimidate Saint Paul Voters in a unique act of democratic process suppression, by voting for a 22% increase in the City Property Tax Levy; declaring there will be a $27 Million penalty in the form of higher property taxes, if voters dare to vote NO and repeal the city trash program.
Four days later the Central Committee of the St. Paul DFL ratified their Mayor and City Council’s usurpation of the Truth In Taxation Statute for political purposes; and put out it’s edict that loyal party members, in what otherwise is supposed to be a non-partisan referendum, which was put on the ballot by 6000 city voters and through an Order of Minnesota’s highest Court of Law, are directed to vote to keep the City’s trash and tax system.

Could the issue, alone, be a driving factor behind some voters’ decisions? Could it get someone new elected to the council?

Absolutely to both questions!  A NO Vote will not only Trash the mandatory collection and tax system, but will Put Saint Paul Back On Track, by restoring our civic tradition of Good Government with a New City Council that has respect for the City Charter and the City’s Citizens!

In Ward 6 I am the one candidate: to sign the 2018 Referendum Petition; I have refused to pay Waste Management’s bills based on the City Charter requirement that ordinances are suspended upon referendum petition certification and the subsequent tax assessments are without legal authority; I have made my opposition, and/or Voting NO a full part of my campaign for City Council in print media, radio and television.

(the other candidates who are voting no are possibly doing so because momentum is leaning in the direction of #VoteNo)

League of Women Voters St Paul Guide Q & A

Morgan Hess, a Macalester College student and the Youth Vote Project Coordinator at the League of Women Voters St. Paul was putting together the LWVSP’s voter guide for the 2019 St. Paul local elections.  Ms Hess wanted to ask Greg Copeland a few questions for information for the voter guide.  The questions are below with Greg Copeland, the Original Ward 6 Vote NO Candidate’s answers.

What are your biggest priorities?

Greg Copeland’s Priorities:
  • Public Safety maintain current staffing level of the St. Paul Police Department.
  • Public Works Capital Budget $36 Million to address Streets Decay Crisis.
  • Protect Saint Paul City Charter and Citizens Rights to Referendum and Initiative.
  • Eliminate Barriers to Housing Construction, Jobs and Business Investment to Reduce Poverty in Saint Paul.

How will you work to address the housing shortage in St. Paul?

Greg Copeland on Housing:
  • Stop demolition of existing housing and create incentives for redevelopment of existing housing stock including apartments.
  • Work to eliminate statutory caps on Housing Tax Credit Investment Programs to attract maximum private investment to public housing bonds issued by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to address the housing supply crisis market demand for new affordable housing.
  • Create incentives for Saint Paul and other public employees to buy homes in  the Capitol City to build and strengthen our community and economy.

How do you plan to work with and engage residents to craft policy?

Greg Copeland’s Public Policy: 
  • Broadcast ALL City Council meetings on the City’s Cable TV station.
  • Add a Public Hearing to the Second Reading on all City Ordinances.
  • Schedule Second Reading Public Hearings on City ordinances to evenings so working people can directly participate.
  • Hold City Council Meetings in neighborhoods on development and other local interest matters.

How will you address the issue of distrust between residents and public safety officers?

Greg Copeland’s Police Community Relations
  • Support funding for increased Safe Summer Nights Events and other community building activities.
  • Broadcast Public Sessions of City Police Over-Sight Hearings and Meetings.
  • Schedule regular community forums in the Wards with the Mayor, City Council and Police Chief as well as local Police Commander.

The questions from Ms Hess were sent on September 27, 2019 for the purposes of putting the answers in the League of Women Voters of Saint Paul MN’s Voter’s guide.


Grid 54 Where Are You? Runaway Crime in St Paul

Greg Copeland lives in the Payne Phalen Neighborhood. If you are talking on the phone with him there’s a good chance you’ll hear in the background, a siren of some sort. In some areas of Saint Paul what type of siren depends on where you are, for example along the Green Line LRT a siren is probably an ambulance for the senior living apartments along the avenue.

In the blocks surrounding Greg’s house it is probably several Saint Paul Police Squad Cars because it is the area of Saint Paul with the highest number of violent crimes. How does one know this area has the most violent crimes? It is because Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) keeps track of all sorts of calls it gets and crimes by using what they call a Crime Statistics Grid. On the site you can find out the types of crimes and the number of crimes reported each month. This tool used to be easy to use until just before Melvin Carter III got into office when they upgraded it into a hard to use resource. Just like St Paul Government to create problems where there were none (see organized garbage system which is a violation of the City Charter).

When you hear a siren in St Paul think of the 5 St Paul Police Officers who weren’t hired by Mayor Carter.

Grid 54

Greg Copeland lives in Crime Statistics Grid 54, or Grid 54 for short. Remember Ray Widstrand getting beat up and left for dead? Just south of Grid 54 in Grid 94. On the day Mayor Carter was elected there was a shooting in Grid 54. The Good Samaritan Shooting of Javier Sanmiguel Yanez, Grid 54. (Transcript of the 911 call of the Good Samaritan shooting).

Crime Statistics Grids of St Paul

Usually around the time an incumbent mayor is running for office a “Blue Surge,” is set up in Grid 54.  They know where the crime is, it is just the incumbents aren’t enthusiastic about combating crime like they should and to the level we citizens expect.

The cops have success and failures in their daily fight against crime. The current mayor believes arrests are due to racism and has figuratively shot out the tires in the police budget in St Paul. The police shouldn’t have to fight with City Hall to get help for a basic service the city needs. The City of St Paul needs to prioritize safety for its citizens above non-essential projects they like to steer to their cronies.

People who believe St Paul can go with fewer police officers or put real estate values or other issues above good policing and prosecution aren’t dealing with reality. Ray Widstrand was beat up within sight of the Eastern District Police Station a block and a half away.

JDAI (Catch and Release)

The gangsters, know how to use the system to their advantage. They know of a program run by the Feds called Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative or JDAI. When a juvenile is arrested they get a score for what crime they committed and the circumstances. If their score isn’t high enough they are turned out to the streets or the squad car they are in. At the Ray Widstrand Crime Meeting in Fall of 2013, a resident of Grid 54 accused the cops of a Catch and Release of a youth. The police denied this took place but it did happen, and it happens everyday. The gangs know this here and across the country and gangs use juveniles to commit many of the violent crimes in St Paul. JDAI has some great stats because the fewer data points means better stats. During Barack Obama’s Presidency he stressed fewer arrests of “people of color.”

Stand With the St Paul Police Department

The Police in St Paul do a dangerous job of protecting the citizens of St Paul.  For too long the City of St Paul has undercut the self-less sacrifice of the brave men and women of the St Paul Police Department.  They need the resources to do their jobs such as safety & communication equipment, and more specialized officers.  If the Police Chief asks for 5 more police officers, then we need 5 more.  The Police Chief knows more than the Mayor or City Council what the police department needs.

The Prosecutors and Judges need to keep the criminals, especially the violent ones off the streets of St Paul in support of the Police.

#PushBack Against the St Paul Mayor & City Council, and School Board Now

How much is too much?

It’s a good question to ask of the elected and appointed officials in the City Called Saint Paul Minnesota.

If left up to them with no outcry from residents of the “most livable city” they will steal from you, leave you with no way to defend yourself from the gangs, violent criminals, the demolition union, the Green-Organized Trash Overlords, and Housing Code Zealots.

The Mayor, City Council, and St Paul School Board show by their actions they disrespect EVERYONE in Saint Paul by strangling businesses big or independent, oppressing the poor, the wealthy, and pay attention to special interests lining the pockets of elected and appointed officials.

The Mayor and this City Council despite having a document to guide their leadership, The City Charter; they ignore what it says even when judges or the Minnesota Supreme Court rulings tell them to let the citizens decide on a referendum. Our Mayor doesn’t understand the ruling, perhaps he should read The City Charter.

The St Paul Public Schools are owned by the Teachers Union which resists any change to teach the basics to many students living in families living at or barely above the poverty level. This isn’t the most livable city but rather one of the most UNLIVABLE Cities in Minnesota where accountability has taken a permanent vacation.

When elected I, Greg Copeland, intend to represent all citizens in Ward 6, whether you voted for me or not. Your rights to property, voting, and civil rights will be respected as they aren’t now.

Join with me to #PushBack against Business as Usual Crony Politics and bring Equal Opportunity to all.

Pew: 75% of Americans Have Trouble Discerning Between Fact and Opinion


A few years ago, the ACT released a study showing that K-12 teachers and college instructors believe discerning between fact and opinion is one of the most important things students can learn. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of first-year college students are able to tell the difference between these two items.

As it turns out, discerning between fact and opinion doesn’t appear to be the sole problem of millennials. According to a recent Pew report, other Americans struggle with this task as well. Pew explains:

“A new Pew Research Center survey of 5,035 U.S. adults examines a basic step in that process: whether members of the public can recognize news as factual – something that’s capable of being proved or disproved by objective evidence – or as an opinion that reflects the beliefs and values of whoever expressed it.”

The study posed ten statements to participants, five of which were factual, five of which were opinions. (Take the quiz here.) Only one in four adults were able to correctly identify all the factual statements.

Pew Fact Opinion

Such news, of course, is quite alarming, particularly in an age when we are saturated with headlines and opinions from everyone under the sun through various social media channels. None of us want to be taken in by false ideas… but how can we avoid doing so given the culture in which we live?

The author and educator Richard Weaver (1910-1963) offered some thoughts on this subject in his book Ideas Have Consequences. According to Weaver, the continual bombardment of information, whether it be fact or opinion, is keeping us from discerning the core, root principles which can help us sort our thoughts:

“The whole tendency of modern thought, one might say its whole moral impulse, is to keep the individual busy with endless induction. Since the time of Bacon the world has been running away from, rather than toward, first principles, so that, on the verbal level, we see ‘fact’ substituted for ‘truth,’ and on the philosophic level, we witness attack upon abstract ideas and speculative inquiry.”

Weaver goes on to explain that even those who are able to recognize their facts may be missing the deeper meaning and thoughts which underlie and support them. The trick, notes Weaver, is not just to accumulate knowledge and facts, but to really know how to use them effectively:

It is not what people can read; it is what they do read, and what they can be made, by any imaginable means, to learn from what they read, that determine the issue of this noble experiment. We have given them a technique of acquisition; how much comfort can we take in the way they employ it? In a society where expression is free and popularity is rewarded they read mostly that which debauches them and they are continuously exposed to manipulation by controllers of the printing machine…. It may be doubted whether one person in three draws what may be correctly termed knowledge from his freely chosen reading matter. The staggering number of facts to which he today has access serves only to draw him away from consideration of first principles, so that his orientation becomes peripheral.”

If you are one who can take Pew’s fact and opinion quiz and successfully pass, then you are a step ahead of three-quarters of Americans. The question is, what will you do with that knowledge? Will you use it simply as a badge of honor and superiority… or are you one of the even fewer number of Americans willing to go deeper and consider the difficult thoughts, the challenging ideas, and the other aspects from which these facts stem?

Perhaps it’s time we start training both ourselves and our children to do the latter.

[Image Credit: Flickr-Maarten van Maanen CC BY-SA 2.0]

This post Pew: 3 in 4 Americans Have Trouble Discerning Between Fact and Opinion was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Annie Holmquist. We copied this post which was originally published on June 19. 2018.


Why Are More Colleges Turning a Blind Eye to Cheating?

Imagine that you’re the president of a community college. To justify your institution’s existence and your enviable salary, you must convince the board of trustees that the institution is meeting—possibly even exceeding—certain productivity benchmarks: for instance, a threshold number of new enrolments, solid graduation rates and satisfactory retention of students from year to year.

The ethical dilemma you face is whether to maintain academic integrity standards in order to make a principled stand against student cheating or relax those standards in order to artificially inflate key productivity figures—for instance, graduation and retention rates. Which would you choose?

Ever since higher education leaders and executive administrators adopted the business model, the scenario I’ve described is no longer so outlandish. In fact, it’s playing out at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), a community college system in Central Pennsylvania serving over 70,000 students at five campuses and in its online program, led by President John Sygielski.

HACC is no stranger to mismanagement and corruption. Poor administrative oversight has led its accreditor to twice issue warnings and temporarily suspend the community college’s accreditation. Almost a year ago HACC’s Vice President Nancy Rockey embezzled over $200k in school funds. She is now serving a federal prison sentence.

I inquired about the truth of rumors that HACC regularly conducts fake or rigged investigations into alleged violations of its academic integrity policy. I published the results of my inquiry in an article on the site  In addition, I made an open records request under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law, asking HACC to disclose the details of one specific investigation to which I was privy. Unsurprisingly, HACC chose to claim an exemption so that it could hide the truth. I appealed the decision to the PA Office of Open Records.

While the appeal was eventually defeated, it revealed that HACC’s ersatz investigation of alleged student cheating involved merely examining the student’s transcripts, not vetting their academic work. How could this constitute a good faith investigation?

Presently, HACC’s accreditor, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), is investigating the matter. The accreditor seeks to know, one, whether the institution failed to enforce its own academic integrity policy and, two, whether it afforded adequate safeguards to prevent student ghosting (someone other than the student taking exams and tests in the student’s place, a common practice for cheating in online courses). President John Sygielski has been sent a series of questions by MSCHE that he must answer pursuant to a possible third warning and suspension of HACC’s accreditation.

According to PennLive reporter Jan Murphy, Sygielski or “Ski” (as he likes to be called) has faced “no shortage of adversity” during his tenure as HACC’s president. Close adherence to the business model has led HACC to wade into morally murky waters. He and other college leaders should be challenged to answer a single question: Does their drive to increase productivity justify lowering academic integrity standards?

[Image Credit: Deviant Art]

This post Why More Colleges Are Turning a Blind Eye to Cheating was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Shane Ralston.

Owen Rickert: How Identity Politics Ruined My High School

A former high school student from Minnesota explains how social justice politics ruined the school he once loved.
Student: How Identity Politics Ruined My High School

Owen Rickert always loved his school.

The Blake School, a private college prep school, located in Hopkins, Minnesota, was a place he woke up excited to go to each morning. And then, about four years ago, something changed.

“Slowly the unification of our great community began to deteriorate,” said Rickert, who had attended Blake since kindergarten.

Rickert, currently a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, explained what happened to his school during his senior presentation last spring. In a nine-minute speech titled “Division,” Rickert explained how the Blake School’s new emphasis on race, gender, and privilege created fissures between students and kindled resentment.

“White. Black. Asian. Gay. Straight. It never mattered before. Yet now, we are all identified by what group we were assigned,” Rickert said. “We didn’t assign these; the school and society did.”

Where previously students had learned a core curriculum and were taught how to think, students suddenly found themselves being fed an agenda.

“We are not here to be manipulated to think a certain way,” Rickert said. “That is called indoctrination.”

As an example, Rickert cited the first day of school. He said students were required to introduce themselves by their pronouns.

“If someone sees themselves as a gender other than what they were born, I don’t care,” Rickert said. “But forcing me to participate in something where I have to proclaim what gender I am has no place in a school classroom.”

The school’s new emphasis on race and gender theory created an environment in which many students no longer felt comfortable to talk about and share ideas. Lectures on “white privilege” in particular seemed to chafe Rickert.

“All of a sudden the suggestion is put in front of every white person in this school that racism is inherent in them because of the color of their skin,” Rickert said. “White privilege equals shut-up; anything you say has no meaning because you are privileged.”

Rickert noted that school officials at Blake, a private institution, can run the school however they choose. Parents, similarly, are free to remove their children if they wish. He simply expressed his hope that the school he loved would rediscover its ideals.

“I’ve had many incredible teachers that helped me along the way, and for them I am grateful,” he said. “My wish for the Blake School is that it becomes what it used to be. A school where the students accepted each other’s differences, and the leaders of the school didn’t force their political agendas on us.”

We’ve noted these education trends at Intellectual Takeout before (here, here, here, here, and here), so many readers likely are familiar with the issues to which Rickert speaks.

But I was impressed to see a young man share them so clearly and calmly. Most of all, I was impressed with Rickert’s courage. There is perhaps not a single issue in America that is more difficult to challenge. Orthodoxy on social justice is expected today, at least in educated, corporate, and upper-class circles.

Those who challenge this orthodoxy know they place their careers and future prospects in jeopardy. If you doubt this, just look at what happened to Google’s James Damore or Apple’s Denise Young Smith.

Pushing back on this orthodoxy is not easy. People may loathe the ideology, but they are also afraid of it, something Rickert learned.

“As I was putting this speech together and discussing it with my friends, I was in disbelief in how many people actually agree with me,” he said. “Many have similar viewpoints but are afraid to say anything.”

I don’t believe this is some throwaway line.  I say this because I’ve experienced the same thing.

I get emails and calls from people “fed up” with the divisiveness of identity politics. Yet when I ask people to go on record for a story, they almost always decline.

This won’t do.

Writing articles about school indoctrination is all well and good, but it’s going to take parents speaking out about these issues at the local level to bring school officials back to their senses.

If parents are serious about seeing their children get a real education instead of divisive social justice mantra, they’ll need to find their voices—and their courage—like Owen Rickert did.

Convictions, even if they are right, are worth nothing if one is afraid to share them.