Cam Gordon

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For the Australian rugby player, see Cam Gordon (rugby union).
Cam Gordon
Cam Gordon 2009.jpg
Gordon in 2009
Member of the Minneapolis City Council from the 2nd Ward
Assumed office
2006
Preceded by Paul Zerby
Personal details
Born Cameron A. Gordon
1955 (age 61–62)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Political party Green Party of Minnesota
Residence Seward, Minneapolis
Alma mater University of Minnesota
College of St. Catherine
Website Official, Campaign

Cameron A. "Cam" Gordon (born 1955) is an American politician and member of the Green Party in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been an elected member of the Minneapolis City Council since 2006. He was a co-founder of the Green Party of Minnesota and has been called "the most prominent Green elected official in the US."[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Gordon was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1955. He graduated from Minneapolis's West High School in 1973. He earned a BS in secondary education from the University of Minnesota College of Education, graduating with distinction in 1977.[2][3] He then attended the College of St. Catherine, focusing on Montessori education and early childhood development. He completed the primary level of the Montessori Teacher Certification Program in 1983 and the Prekindergarten Teaching Licensure Program in 1986. He taught at Child Garden Montessori School from 1980 to 1984.[4]

Gordon co-owned River's Edge, a children's music company and child care program, from 1997 to 2005. Gordon was also an associate editor of the newspaper Public School Montessorian.[4]

Political career[edit]

Gordon was a co-founder of the Green Party of Minnesota, which was established in two founding conventions held in February and June 1994.[5][6]

In 1996, Gordon was the Green Party candidate for District 62A seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was backed by the Minnesota New Party[7] and received 25% of the vote, the highest percentage for a third party state office candidate in the state of Minnesota in 50 years.[8][9]

Gordon ran for Minneapolis City Council in 2001. He was defeated by DFL candidate Paul Zerby by 108 votes.[10]

Gordon served on the policy board of the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program.[11]

On November 8, 2005, Cam Gordon was elected to represent Ward 2 on the Minneapolis City Council, defeating DFLer Cara J. Letofsky by 141 votes (2481 to 2340). He was endorsed by the Green Party of Minnesota, of which he was a former state party chair. Gordon was re-elected against token opposition in 2009 (with 84.1% of the vote) and in 2013 (with 87% of the vote).[10] He is the only non-DFL member of the council,[12] and was elected Minority Leader of the council in 2014. Gordon chairs the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee.[13] He is one of two elected Green Party members in the Minneapolis municipal government; the other is Minneapolis Park and Recreation commissioner Annie Young.

Minneapolis City Council[edit]

2005–2009[edit]

Following a clash between the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and cyclists participating in a Critical Mass bike ride in August 2007, Gordon arranged for a meeting in City Hall between police officials and the riders.[14]

During the lead up to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Gordon was a member of the city council's Free Speech Committee. In the 2011 book Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Gordon was criticized for his vote giving the MPD legal authority to break up groups of people that are 25 or larger.[15]

2010–2014[edit]

Gordon partnered with the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and students from the University of Minnesota to enact an ordinance in 2011 requiring commercial business owners in Stadium Village to recycle.[10]

Following the June 2011 arrest of CeCe McDonald and second-degree murder charges, Gordon announced his support for her, calling the incident "another example [of] transgender women of color being targeted for hate- and bias-related violence."[16]

With councilmember Don Samuels, Gordon co-authored a resolution in 2012 requiring Minneapolis to take steps to ensure the city addresses racial disparities in hiring, contracts, and promotions. The resolution was the first of its kind in the United States and declared institutional racism "a primary reason for unemployment disparities."[17]

In 2013, Gordon supported the construction of protected bike lanes on Minnehaha Avenue.[18] In 2014, Gordon introduced an amendment to include electronic cigarettes in the Minneapolis smoking ban.[19] The same year, Gordon expressed reservations about the expansion of the Southwest LRT,[20] ultimately voting against it, saying that he wanted his vote to reflect the remaining issues and concerns.[21]

2015–2016[edit]

In 2015, Gordon co-sponsored a resolution to repeal ordinances in Minneapolis against spitting and lurking. Data from the MPD showed that, from 2009 to 2014, 59% of those arrested for lurking were African American.[22] Gordon characterized the ordinances as a part of structural racism.[23]

Gordon at the protest outside Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct following the shooting of Jamar Clark, 2015

Later in 2015, alongside Congressman Keith Ellison and councilmembers Alondra Cano and Lisa Bender, Gordon showed his solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters demanding the release of the police video showing the shooting of Jamar Clark.[24] Gordon supported the demonstrators who set up an encampment outside the Fourth Precinct police station,[25] drawing criticism from MPD Lieutenant Bob Kroll.[26]

In March 2016, Gordon opposed a $129 million renovation of the Target Center arena, citing a requirement in the city charter that a referendum should be held for investments in professional sports facilities of over $10 million.[27]

With fellow councilmember Abdi Warsame, Gordon authored the Bring Your Own Bag ordinance in 2016, which prohibited single-use plastic carryout bags with some exceptions.[28] The plan originated in a citizen environmental advisory group.[29]

In 2016, Gordon supported a proposal before the City Council to place an amendment on the ballot to raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour.[30]

In 2016, Gordon opposed a Minneapolis Public Housing Authority plan to tear down 184-unit Glendale Townhomes complex in southeast Minneapolis and replace them with a mixed-income development.[31] He supported rehabilitation of the row houses and sided with Defend Glendale, a resident group opposed to demolition, writing, "I support Defend Glendale’s efforts to have their homes repaired and improved with no displacement and no gentrification."[32] Gordon also worked with Defend Glendale on a historic designation proposal.[33] Also in 2016, Gordon opposed a housing ordinance limiting the number of non-family members who may live within the same house.[34] He deemed the ordinance arbitrary and said that it prevented the expansion of cooperative housing. Gordon proposed allowing landlords the ability to designate a single property that they owned an intentional community.[35]

Gordon and councilmember Alondra Cano wrote a proposal for Minneapolis to study how it could end its relationship with banks investing in the fossil fuel industry, including Wells Fargo, which has ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline and also handles the city's financial activities.[36][37]

Electoral history[edit]

2005
Minneapolis City Council Ward 2 election, 2005[38]
Political party/principle Candidate  % 1st Choice Round 1
Green Party of Minnesota Cam Gordon 51.25 2,481
DFL Cara Letofsky 48.34 2,340
N/A Write-in 0.41 20
2009
Minneapolis City Council Ward 2 election, 2009[39][40]
Political party/principle Candidate  % 1st Choice Round 1
Green Party of Minnesota Cam Gordon 84.05 2,260
Independent Allen A. Aigbogun 15.17 408
N/A Write-in 0.77 21
  • Threshold: 1,345
  • Valid: 2,689
  • Undervotes: 153
  • Turnout: 2,842 (14.21%)
  • Registered: 20,005
2013
Minneapolis City Council Ward 2 election, 2013[41]
Political party/principle Candidate  % 1st Choice Round 1
Green Party of Minnesota Cam Gordon 87.14 4,060
Socialist Workers Party Diana Newberry 11.25 524
N/A Write-ins 1.61 75
  • Threshold: 2,579
  • Valid: 4,659
  • Undervotes: 497
  • Turnout: 5,156 (27.56%)
  • Registered: 18,705[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pearl, Mike (November 7, 2016). "Foreign Greens Think the US Green Party Needs to Ditch Jill Stein". Vice. 
  2. ^ Haugen, Brian (November 9, 2005). "Green Party takes over Ward 2 with Cam Gordon". Minnesota Daily. 
  3. ^ "About Cam Gordon". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "About Cam". www.camgordon.org. Cam Gordon Campaign for Minneapolis City Council Ward 2. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Green Party of Minnesota". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  6. ^ McCorquodale, David (October 13, 2009). "Why they keep on winning". Green Pages. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, David (Summer 1997). "Angry Voters Do Have Somewhere to Go". New Politics. 6 (3). 
  8. ^ "Green Party candidate Cam Gordon". Synthesis/Regeneration. St. Louis, Missouri: St. Louis Synthesis/Regeneration Collective (5-12): 7, 20. 1996. ISSN 1083-7639. 
  9. ^ "Activism". Z Magazine. Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. 10 (3): 21. 1997. ISSN 1056-5507. 
  10. ^ a b c Arola, Brian (April 24, 2013). "Unopposed in Minneapolis city council race, Cam Gordon has 'time to plan'". Twin Cities Daily Planet. 
  11. ^ Giles, Kevin (October 29, 2005). "Common ground fills Second Ward race; The Minneapolis City Council candidates share many similar visions but find a little room to disagree". Star Tribune. 
  12. ^ Callaghan, Peter (November 19, 2015). "To sidestep 'a big argument,' Minneapolis council names sick leave study group without public discussion". MinnPost. 
  13. ^ Boros, Karen (January 6, 2014). "Minneapolis City Council unanimously keeps Barbara Johnson as president". MinnPost. 
  14. ^ Furst, Randy (September 28, 2007). "Freewheeling Critical Mass will take to the streets tonight - quietly, many hope". Star Tribune. 
  15. ^ Loo, Dennis (2011). Globalization and the Demolition of Society. BookBaby. ISBN 978-1-61792-630-3. 
  16. ^ Mannix, Andy (May 9, 2012). "CeCe McDonald murder trial". City Pages. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Employment Equity in Minneapolis". Race, Poverty & the Environment. 19 (2): 41. January 2012. 
  18. ^ Peterson, Rebekah (May 20, 2013). "Where's the space for community input on Minnehaha Avenue reconstruction? Part one: Bikes". Twin Cities Daily Planet. 
  19. ^ Nelson, Ethan (September 30, 2014). "Minneapolis considers banning e-cigs". Twin Cities Daily Planet. 
  20. ^ Callaghan, Peter (August 27, 2014). "With reservations, Minneapolis Council moves toward final approval of Southwest LRT". MinnPost. 
  21. ^ Owings, Cali (August 29, 2014). "A resigned Minneapolis signs off on Southwest LRT". Finance & Commerce. 
  22. ^ Feshir, Riham (May 20, 2015). "Effort to repeal Mpls. spitting, lurking laws moves forward". MPR News. 
  23. ^ Williams, Brandt (April 3, 2015). "Are Minneapolis laws that ban spitting, 'lurking' racist?". MPR News. 
  24. ^ "Ellison, Mpls. Councilmembers Stand With BLM In Quest For Video Release". CBS Minnesota. November 19, 2015. 
  25. ^ Melby, Todd (November 18, 2015). "Minnesota officials have identified the police officers involved in the shooting of Jamar Clark". Business Insider. Reuters. 
  26. ^ "MPD Union Leader: 'Black Lives Matter Is A Terrorist Organization'". CBS Minnesota. June 1, 2016. 
  27. ^ Roper, Eric (March 14, 2016). "Target Center vote draws attention to other funding shortfalls". Star Tribune. 
  28. ^ "Minneapolis plastic bag ban passes city council". KMSP. April 1, 2016. 
  29. ^ Golden, Erin (July 24, 2015). "Plastic bag ban proposal heads to Minneapolis council, could face criticism". Star Tribune. 
  30. ^ Williams, Brandt (August 3, 2016). "Minimum wage protesters temporarily shut down Mpls. council hearing". MPR News. 
  31. ^ Brandt, Steve (September 9, 2016). "Defend Glendale Group Picks Up Key Ally; Council Member Cam Gordon Supports Renovation of the Complex in Prospect Park". Star Tribune. 
  32. ^ Brandt, Steve (September 8, 2016). "Minneapolis council member wants aging Glendale homes rehabbed, not replaced". Star Tribune. 
  33. ^ Chaduvula, Raju (July 6, 2016). "For Glendale, designation is key objective". The Minnesota Daily. 
  34. ^ Golden, Erin (May 29, 2016). "Minneapolis may open door to more communal living". Star Tribune. 
  35. ^ Schreiber, Eliana (September 13, 2016). "Intentional Communities spur debate". The Minnesota Daily. 
  36. ^ Lauritsen, John (December 8, 2016). "Mpls. City Council Mulls Severing Ties With Wells Fargo". CBS Minnesota. 
  37. ^ Schaust, Sam (December 8, 2016). "Minneapolis City Council Members Consider Cutting Ties With Wells Fargo". Twin Cities Business. 
  38. ^ "2005 Minneapolis Election Results: City Council Ward 2" (PDF). City of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  39. ^ "2009 Minneapolis Municipal Election Results: Council Member Ward 2". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  40. ^ "COUNCIL MEMBER WARD-W-02". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  41. ^ "2013 Minneapolis Election Results: City Council Ward 2". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Municipal Canvass Report". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]