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)

Featured

#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.

Should School Choice Matter To Christians?

Back in the day when Christianity was a part of the public school system our students achieved and had a balance of knowledge, morality and both of which help to understand who God is.  God is the source of knowledge.  Since 1962 & 1963 when Prayer and Bible Study was taken from public schools respectively our students achievements have taken a nose dive.  Student & Teachers moral values are scattered widely. Perhaps to help make all students achieve to the extent of their God given talents and to help them live fulfilling lives free of moral problems we should welcome Judeo-Christian values and teaching back to public schools.

The article below is from the website MyFaithVotes.org it is from a three part series about school board elections.  It was posted on October 26, 2017.  We’ve not changed it.  ~~Publius Jr


Article 2 of 3. [My Faith Votes] created this 3-part series on school boards elections to address some critical issues that every voter should consider in their local school board election.

Should School Choice matter to Christians?

There seems to be a giant wall of division between those who defend the current state of education (anchored by the teachers union) and those who believe in school choice, by way of vouchers, special programs, and educational savings accounts. As people of faith, should we take a position on school choice?

This is an issue that many believe is too complicated, better left to the educational experts and our government officials to solve. Yet, it’s an issue that gambles with the future of our children. And more importantly, it’s one that scripture speaks to clearly. In fact, at the core this is not a political issue – it’s a Biblical one.

School choice should matter to Christians for three primary reasons.

1. Choice Matters Because Parents Are Best Equipped to Care for their Children.

Nobody knows what a student needs to thrive educationally better than the student’s parents. A government or institution cannot possibly care for children in the same way that a father and/or mother can. We witness a great decline of society when we substitute the judgment of “experts” and bureaucratic systems for the judgment of parents.

Children are entrusted to parents as a gift from God. Psalms 127:3, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” A gift that comes with great responsibility.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

3 John 1:4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

When parents can’t afford to live in a “good” school district, or don’t have the means to private school or homeschool, and are told where their children must attend school, based solely on their zip code, their freedom to educate their children as they see best is restricted. Their parental authority is compromised.

“We’ve allowed ourselves, as parents, to be bumped from the ‘table.’ We’ve allowed policy makers, school administrators, and self-interested teachers’ unions to decide what’s best for our children. This needs to change.” – Pastor Jim Garlow (Well Versed, page 78).

2. Choice Matters Because Every Child is Unique.

We know from both research and common sense that every child is different and unique, created by God (Jeremiah 1:5). Cookie-cutter factory models don’t work for every child.

In recent decades there has been some movement towards school choice as a few states have begun to slightly crack the door open for limited educational freedom through the allowing of charter schools.

These charter schools give us a glimpse of what education would look like in a free market educational system.

These are schools that are often differentiated by their special emphasis in areas such as the arts, mathematics and the sciences, classical learning, technology, and a hands-on educational model approach.

In most traditional public school environments students are expected to learn at a pre-determined pace, mass-educated, moved along through the system according to standardized tests and curriculum. For many parents whose children have special needs or special giftings and talents there are no other educational options. As one of the most advanced societies in the world, we should be doing better. It should stir us to know that our educational system is rooted in socialistic and communistic ideals rather than innovative free market ideals where opportunity abounds, choice is the currency and prosperity is the result.

One more note: This is no reflection on the incredible teachers who have dedicated their lives to helping our children learn. Rather, it is an example of a broken educational system in America.

3. School Choice Empowers the Underprivileged

Here are the facts:

  • 50.7 Million students attended public elementary and secondary schools in the fall of 2017 (NCES)
  • Of those attending public schools, roughly 2.5 Million students attend charter schools in the United States (Business Insider)
  • Experts estimate that around 3.5 Million students are homeschooled in the United States (Business Insider)
  • 4.5 Million students attend private elementary and secondary schools (ONPE 2014 survey)

The bottom line, the vast majority of students in America receive a public school education. It’s reasonable to assume that many did not have a say in the matter because they lacked the economic means to live in a “good” public school district, to attend a private school, or to be homeschooled. Nor were they lucky enough to win a lottery to attend a charter school.

This is educational discrimination and it is simply not fair. This is un-American in every way.

Pastor Jim Garlow in his book Well Versed said it best,

“We have an educational system that discriminates against the single mother and the poor, by limiting options. It’s a system that allows wealth to determine a child’s education. If you are fortunate enough to buy a home in a good school district, your child has a better chance of receiving a strong education.

“However, if you cannot afford to live in a good district or pay for a private school, you have no choice but to send your child to the school located in your neighborhood, even if it’s a poor performing school.” (Well Versed, page 77).

Educational Choice is just one way of extending care and compassion for the less fortunate. (1 John 3:17, Philippians 2:4, Deuteronomy 15:11).

If we as Christians believe all people are equal in the sight of God and should be afforded the same freedoms regardless of economic status, then it is our responsibility to care about the education of all people, regardless of their zip code. It is our responsibility to do what we can go give all families a choice in where they educate their children.

Thanks for reading part two of our education series! If you missed it, read last week’s article, “Why Should You Care about Your Local School Board.”

 

Non-Partisan Candidates Speak out against Corporate Elitists Auctioning the SPPS

The following was copied from Anthony Lonetree’s Class Act Blog of the Star Tribune from October 27, 2015.  The content was not altered.  The fonts, and color were added for emphasis.  ~~ Publius Jr.


St. Paul school board hopefuls answer to youth

Eight St. Paul school board candidates took questions from students at a youth forum on Monday that for the most part focused on personal rather than political concerns.

First, though, there was the politics.

The event came a week after the St. Paul Federation of Teachers filed a campaign finance report showing that it had received $50,178 from Education Minnesota to assist with this year’s get-out-the-vote efforts.

That was in addition to an earlier $50,000 contribution from the American Federation of Teachers — all part of a union push to persuade DFL activists and now city voters to back four candidates running under a Caucus for Change banner critical of district leadership.

Most of the students at Monday’s event at Sun Ray Library were middle-school-aged, but that did not stop two candidates — Greg Copeland, a former Maplewood city manager and St. Paul city GOP leader, and Scott Raskiewicz, a former substitute teacher — from issuing sharp opening statements straight out of a rally or political science lecture hall.

Copeland, pointing to the infusion of national and state money in district-level races, thundered that the teachers union had turned the school board election into “an auction.” Raskiewicz railed against the “leadership class” and a Democratic party controlled by the “corporate elite.”

The students — many wearing orange Battle Creek Middle School Panthers T-shirts — responded to each of the board hopefuls with equally robust applause. But then, with the first question, they showed that this would be a different type of candidates forum. That question being: How would the candidates work to improve the quality of school lunches?

Rashad Turner, organizer of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, who is running a write-in campaign with Green Party support, said that the lunches should reflect the various cultures within the state’s second-largest district. “I don’t want soul food to be cooked only at the crib,” he said.

But there was time for weightier subjects, too. Students wondered why there were stereotypes based on “someone’s actions.” One student, identifying himself as D.J., asked why students should be expected to show respect to teachers but not always receive it in return.

“Adults don’t always do the smart thing,” said Zuki Ellis.

“It breaks my heart that you have to ask that question, D.J.,” added Mary Vanderwert.

Along with Steve Marchese and Jon Schumacher, Ellis and Vanderwert are running with DFL endorsement in heavily DFL St. Paul.

One incumbent, Keith Hardy, still is in the race, and he hinted at the potential of the crowd in a simple greeting: “Good afternoon, young leaders,” he said.

Monday’s forum was sponsored by groups that include St. Paul Youth Services, Youth Intervention Programs Association and Students for Education Reform – Minnesota.