John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trades & Labor Questionnaire

Today I have uploaded another endorsement screening questionnaire. Today's is from the Saint Paul Area Trades & Labor Assembly. I'm very proud to have earned their approval, and to have the right to print "Labor Endorsed" on my lawn signs.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Door-Knocking the Antipodes

I've been out knocking on doors for a month now. The people I've been targeting are reliable primary voters — I figure they'll be voting again this year, as they do every year, so I may as well introduce myself (or leave a letter of introduction if they aren't home).

Yesterday I was working on the far south leg of Maplewood. Given how hot the day was already when I set out in the morning, I figured this would be a good plan, since you know the seasons are opposite in north and south — isn't it supposed to be winter down south of I-94 right now? Well, turned out that's not the case; it was plenty warm down there too (thanks, Deb and Paul, for those three big and much needed glasses of ice water). As for the rumor that water flushing down a toilet swirls in the opposite direction down there, I didn't have a chance to test it, but I fear that may be just another urban legend among the North Maplewoodians about our mysterious and distant antipodes.

But seriously — south Maplewood is beautiful and has a distinct character. The terrain is much more hilly, reminding me of my childhood home in Duluth (albeit without Lake Superior at the bottom of the hill). The people are friendly, too — though I'm happy to report that people have been friendly (and overwhelmingly interested in seeing some positive change in this year's elections) all over Maplewood.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

AFSCME Questionnaire

The first endorsement I received in this race was from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. I have now uploaded a PDF of the questionnaire I completed for AFSCME as part of their screening process.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Lillie News Surveys the Field

This week's Maplewood-Ramsey County Review features an article about the candidates for this year's city council race by Katy Zillmer.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

DFL Endorsed

Last night the Maplewood DFL Endorsing Convention was held at the library. All candidates who have filed for office were invited to nominate themselves for endorsement; five of us did so. I'm honored to share the news that I (along with Will Rossbach) received the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement for Maplewood City Council.

Many thanks to the delegates who turned out for this historic meeting and cast their votes. Thanks also to my fellow candidates who participated in the process, voiced their concerns about Maplewood today, and expressed their ideas and hopes for its future. If there's a silver lining to the troubles Maplewood has endured over the past two years, it's that a new generation of citizens has been inspired to get involved and commit themselves to the public good.

Maplewood Voices has a short article about the convention today.

Update: Here's a picture of Michelle and me at the convention, taken on her phone.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Progressive Majority Endorsement

I recently received some great news from Gia Vitali, the Minnesota Political Director of Progressive Majority, telling me that I now have their official endorsement.

In case you aren't familiar with Progressive Majority, they are an organization devoted to recruiting and coaching progressive candidates at the local and state level — cultivating a new generation of political leaders, if you will. This is their first year working in Minnesota. As a first-time candidate preparing to run for office, I have found them to be a tremendously valuable resource. I am proud to have their endorsement and their continuing support.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Labor Endorsed

This morning I received a phone call with great news. The board of the St Paul Area Trades & Labor Assembly met last night, and decided to endorse me (and Will Rossbach) for Maplewood City Council. I'm tremendously proud to have the support of organized labor.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Official Candidate

It's now official. A little before 11:00 this morning, I signed my Affidavit of Candidacy at City Hall, in the presence of City Clerk Karen Guilfoile, who then added her own signature to officially certify the document. So now if you visit the city website's front page, you'll see my name on the list of those who have filed for office!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Personal Endorsements

Earlier this week, I wrote about receiving AFSCME's endorsement for my city council race. I wanted to take a moment to talk about another kind of endorsement I've been getting, which means a great deal to me — the unsolicited public endorsements of friends and colleagues from my professional life as a publisher and writer. Nicole Lindroos, Matt Forbeck, and Ryan Dancey have each known me for ten to twenty years, and have been my competitors as well as collaborators at various times. At the risk of appearing immodest, here are some excerpts from their blogs commenting on my run for office.

Nicole Lindroos, general manager of Green Ronin Publishing: "It is precisely this incisiveness, this shrewd understanding of fiscal responsibilities and unflinching willingness to go to the guts of a problem that has made John such a formidable businessman. He would be an excellent asset to any board of directors, advisory committee, or council."

Matt Forbeck, game designer and novelist: "While I know next to nothing about Maplewood, I know John, and he’s just the kind of candidate any city needs. I’ve counted John as a good friend for years, and I’d trust him with both my checkbook and my kids, much less helping run a city in which he and his wife Michelle live."

Ryan Dancey, business consultant and former brand manager at Wizards of the Coast: "I suspect that John’s politics, at least on the big issues, and mine, are quite different . . . On the other hand, I know him to be absolutely honest, rigorously logical, and compassionate. On that basis alone I would support him for any office he might seek to hold."

I've always tried to run my business in a responsible and ethical manner. It's humbling to see people who have known me for such lengths of time give me a positive grade, and then some. Now my job is to earn such confidence from the voters of Maplewood.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rumors of Cheese Curds

Maplewood's Independence Day bash is at Hazelwood Park tomorrow, starting at 5:30 PM. I suppose I should be there in any case because I'm a candidate for office, but what sealed the deal for me was the report that deep fried cheese curds will be available for purchase.

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