I represent a group of concerned citizens from across Minnesota, many of whom reside in St. Paul; and, who will be voting for St. Paul City Council candidates.
We will be getting out the views of all candidates concerning their stand on this issue and what they think should be done with the Ford Plant.
This is a primary, if not the primary, issue of the campaign.
Where there are no responses we will take this to mean the candidate does not care about the future of the plant; and, this will be so noted.
To provide you with some back-ground information from various perspectives feel free to click the link below and check out this blog on the issue:
Candidates might want to spend some time talking with Ford workers and UAW 879 elected officials about how they view the pending closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant before responding; we look forward to sharing your response with residents of St. Paul and voters.
This is a primary issue for St. Paul residents… random exit surveys we conducted at polling places during the last election indicated voters were very dissatisfied candidates for governor and state legislative races did not address this important issue; we assume this means voters expect candidates for City Council will certainly provide their views on this issue before Election Day.
Some of the topics you may want to comment on:
1.) There is a lot of talk about job creation; however, it is very difficult to create 2,000 good paying jobs where workers are protected by a union. We are expecting any candidate who is for the demolition of the Ford Plant to explain how another 2,000 jobs with similar wages and benefits will be created in the City of St. Paul.
2.) We would also like your position on the Ford Dam, and if you intend to oppose the sale of this dam to a foreign company? If so, what steps will you take, and advocate the City of St. Paul takes?
3.) Would you support the continuing operation of the Ford Plant and Dam under public ownership? Would you support public bodies using the right of eminent domain for this purpose? If not, what are the other options?
4.) Do you feel Ford workers should be a part of this decision making process concerning the future of the Ford Plant?
5.) Do you feel the citizens should have the right to determine what is done with the Ford Dam and who should own it?
6.) Do you agree with the position of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce on this issue?
You may want to comment on this statement:
To date, all efforts made by public officials, the union, and others to keep this plant operating have failed. The one option that has not been considered is that of Public Ownership; an option which has worked very successfully in saving industries and jobs all over the world. The plant could continue producing pick-up trucks or “green” related devices like components for wind generating equipment, solar devices, and public transit. Continuing to produce a fuel efficient, environmentally friendly pick-up for use by construction companies, farmers, small business, and the outdoor recreational community would make the most sense. Public ownership could be considered as a long-tern solution or as a measure until a new corporate owner of the plant can be found. Obviously, an operating plant is worth much more than an abandoned building. Workers and management have negotiated, over the years, to make this plant a “clean, green, environmentally friendly operation” in many ways… closing and demolishing this plant just when it has become a model for industrial production makes little sense to most people. There are worse things the government spends our tax-dollars on… the war in Iraq being one.
While we are focused on saving the Ford Plant and Dam, we are concerned about the direction of the Ford Site Planning Committee in that upscale housing seems to be the objective while there is a need for racially integrated, quality, affordable public housing for the presently employed low-wage workers in St. Paul, most of whom have to travel long distances to their jobs for which they are receiving minimum wages working at establishments like Lund’s Supermarket on Ford Parkway and cleaning floors in upscale jewelry stores like Moeller.
Responses received after September 20, 2007 will be ignored.
(Please note: All candidates who did not list an e-mail address have been contacted by phone and asked to respond.)
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Alan L. Maki
Member, Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party State Central Committee
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
Check out my blog:
Thoughts From Podunk
This was e-mailed to the following candidates:
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Further contact and info on the candidates can be found by links from this site:
Ramsey County Elections
50 West Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 722
St. Paul, MN 55102
This was sent to the following newspapers, you make want to contact them and encourage coverage of this issue: