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.

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.

 

Greg Copeland Champion of All in His Neighborhood Since 1992

Many people who run for office are prodded by a sitting office holder to run to make sure they hold onto a majority in that organization.  These candidates are what one might call a placeholder.  NASCAR uses placeholders to make sure that some racers can’t get closer to the front–their real goal is to hold back others so that their team members can win the race.

Greg Copeland has lived in the Cook/Payne Avenue neighborhood since 1992 and even without running for office he still is a champion and fighter for his neighbors to live in a safe and secure neighborhood.

The following is from Nextdoor.com neighborhood of Payne-Phalen, written by Greg Copeland in response to an increase in criminal activity in his neighborhood.

“I have lived at my Cook Ave/Payne Ave home since 1992 my neighbor Mark and I are the only two homeowners from that time left on this short block between Edgerton St. & Payne Ave. My alley was blocked by crime tape for many hours over the weekend behind my place and my neighbors duplex and the homeowner across the alley who is next to 615 Lawson where multiple police units were present for hours blocking access from the Salvation Army Buildings on Payne through to Edgerton St. The SPPD Crime Data Base reported an “Aggravated Assault/ Firearm”. The owner boarded up three windows Monday.

Police Reports made two weeks before about possible criminal activity at this address were not responded to; subsequent contact made to the SPPD investigating officer regarding another crime in our neighborhood did not yield a return call; contact with the landlord at 615 Lawson just days before the throng of police arrived yielded only a “Thank you.” and “Would you like to buy it ?”

It is 1992 again. It is frustrating now for new homeowners and law abiding renters. When Norm Coleman was elected Mayor in 1993 there was a New, Close Partnership on the blocks where people organized to help the Police to aggressively work to shut down drug houses and street corner drug vendors, end prostitution, clean-up graffiti, enforce excessive noise laws against ghetto blasters and a host of other quality of life crimes. We then got the Mayor to help to convert multi-family rental buildings to single family rental homes, or bring them into homeownership.

In 1996 and 1997 I worked to get the first Ramsey County/Federal Community Development Block Grant funds invested in the City of Saint Paul spent to close a 24 unit alcohol rehab facility on Cook, and a new Habitat Home was built in its place; finally winning a battle the neighbors had fought unsuccessfully for the previous 20 years.

My point is WE, homeowners and renters, can beat the criminals, and the landlords that house them; but WE need more than hollow words and press releases from the Mayor’s Office to take back our neighborhoods again. City Hall has been chasing ribbon cuttings, rather than fighting criminals in our economically challenged neighborhoods where the crime tape appears with great regularity. Beating the criminals should become job one; but the current Mayor and his cronies, have other priorities, like getting Chris elected Governor. Citizens here know this current crop of City Hall politicians, who all come from a single political party, have to be true to their altar of political correctness that allows crime to spread unchecked and intimidates good citizens from calling 911 because they are scared the politicians won’t back the cops on the beat to do their jobs, or protect the citizens calling 911 for help to enforce the law.

In 2016 Saint Paul City Hall is delivering more crime, higher property taxes, while hiking city fees for roads as well as raising basic water rates 20% to residents on the East Side, Thomas-Dale, Summit-University, the North End and West Seventh neighborhoods where incomes are lower, and seniors and families are trying to just keep the bills paid.

Of course, City Hall will tell you crime is down; really!
If you want lower tax increases and less crime you should move to Summit Avenue; it is the price of admission that is the problem for working families and retirees modest means. The $356K median value home in Summit Hill is up 5.1% in market value will pay $105 in higher taxes or 1.9% more. Dayton’s Bluff homeowners with $109K median value homes will pay $144 more in taxes, a 12% tax hike!

In Saint Paul it’s true, the Poor get poorer while the Rich pay less; so much for all that liberal talk of “equity” and “lifting all boats” in a rising tide of government spending that does not deliver either safe streets or academically excellent public schools for our Saint Paul kids.

WE are not the problem! WE do pay the property taxes, and the water bills. WAKE UP SAINT PAUL! Property owners, and renters (Apartment Values up 21.4% city wide…higher rents will follow) you are being sold a fairy tale, that higher costs, higher taxes and less public services produce: America’s Most Livable City.”


A reply to Greg Copeland on the street after one of his neighbors read the post.  We are withholding the name of the person.

Greg Fighting for his Neighborhood for 20 years;  Battling Criminals Successfully, Despite Complacent  Politicians at City Hall. 

Greg is the Champion for Seniors and Families who deserve Peace of Mind, as well as  Protection and Security for their Families, and the Investment in their Homes.

Safe Neighborhoods and Secure Schools Require Safe Streets!


This article was originally published on October 14, 2016.  It’s title has been changed to renew it.  Some in the press will criticize my posts because they aren’t “new” though I offer light they offer the same vapid offerings with different dates and places.  The content hasn’t been changed other than the title ~~ Publius Jr.