As part of an effort to get more people engaged with their government, local DFLers have voted to support a convict with no government experience who’s running to be mayor of Hopkins.
Leaders of the DFL Senate District 46—which covers Golden Valley and St. Louis Park, as well as Hopkins—approved a “resolution of support” for Hopkins mayoral candidate Anthony Bostic.
The resolution is not an endorsement, Thomas Ross, chairman of DFL Senate District 46, said via e-mail. Instead, candidates are screened by a subcommittee and the Central Committee in the hopes of getting the local party official’s support. Candidates must “adequately declare their support for the same values and goals of the DFL Party”—but the committee is not limited to supporting one candidate for any office.
In addition to Bostic, the committee approved resolutions of support for more than a dozen other people from Hopkins, Golden Valley and St. Louis Park.
It is not unusual for candidates without prior experience to
run in Hopkins (although it is more rare for them to win), but Bostic’s
campaign is unique. He was convicted of illegally carrying a BB gun in public
in 2003 and again in 2006. He then received two drunken driving convictions in
2007 and October 2012.
(Bostic says the first BB gun charge happened because he didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to have a BB gun in public. The second happened because he forgot he had the BB gun in his car. He denies that he was as intoxicated as prosecutors accused him of being during the drunken driving offense and says he just didn’t have the tools to fight the case. )
Bostic is still on probation—but he says he’s had an awakening and wants to help change the system.
The DFL resolution of support is a “tool to provide guidance, insight, training and support for candidates in their process of campaigning as needed for each unique campaign,” Ross said. By embracing the nearly 33-year-old Bostic, the local committee is choosing to welcome him into the political process, along with others who feel they have no voice.
“We understand that he has grown from his past experiences and is willing to use that knowledge to try to make his community more informed and involved,” Ross said. “At some point all of us come to the place where we realize that we can either fight against the system, ignore the system or become active participants in the system. Anthony Bostic has said that he has had that understanding and chooses to become a participant, realizing that his whole life will be changed by that experience. Many people ignore the system, we are hoping that Anthony will engage those disassociated voters and bring them to the conversation. Here, Senate district 46 DFL is making a conscious decision not to alienate young voters from the process.”
Read Ross’ full explanation below.
Thank you for your interest in learning about the DFL Senate District 46 process of Resolution of Support, this is not an endorsement, because these candidates are Nonpartisan and we do not in the DFL, in the state of Minnesota, usually endorse a local candidate who is nonpartisan. We do however support people who come to us, who are screened by a subcommittee and who come to the Central Committee in hopes of getting our support, when they adequately declare their support for the same values and goals of the DFL Party. That is called a Resolution of Support and it is different in the types of support we give to the candidate. Since we provide a Resolution of support, we are not limited to supporting one candidate for any office and the process is generally the same in every Senate District in the state. Here our focus is SUPPORT. The goal here is to encourage and engage people to get involved in their government and learn how to be a positive influence in their community. We offer candidate training as will take place on September 7th & 8th sponsored by the DFL Party, on the campaign process and mentoring in the democratic system of elections and support to those requesting such for all local levels of elected government. We do question them as to whether they support our democratic values and we use those values as a guideline for selection.
Anthony is one of many candidates who have come to us for a Resolution of Support. The Resolution of Support is a tool to provide guidance, insight, training and support for candidates in their process of campaigning as needed for each unique campaign. We are aware of Anthony's past, that you reported on and are encouraged by the course he has taken to engage and learn about the governmental system rather than choose to disenfranchise himself from becoming a participant. We understand that he has grown from his past experiences and is willing to use that knowledge to try to make his community more informed and involved. At some point all of us come to the place where we realize that we can either fight against the system, ignore the system or become active participants in the system. Anthony Bostic has said that he has had that understanding and chooses to become a participant, realizing that his whole life will be changed by that experience. Many people ignore the system, we are hoping that Anthony will engage those disassociated voters and bring them to the conversation. Here, Senate district 46 DFL is making a conscious decision not to alienate young voters from the process. We believe in their generation. They have a valid voice and a growing understanding of their government and we feel a sure obligation to give them support and guidance. Indeed Anthony Bostic is young, strong and energetic and he engages people in a broader conversation about participation and understanding of local government, because he himself needed to learn about his place in the process. We believe he will encourage other young people to learn about their government and become engaged citizens. At this point we can either abandon the next generation to stumble through their process of learning to be responsible engaged citizens or we can step in beside them, mentor them, train them and guide them to become powerfully responsible citizens of our nation, carrying on the traditions of our forefathers and bringing their energy and new ideas to the table of compromise and purposeful action.
Senate District 46 DFL desires to encourage all the young people of their community to get involved and learn the value of a participatory democracy, but in order to do so we have to engage them in the process. Anthony as every beginning campaigner will learn a great deal through this campaign process and be able to build on those positive experiences in order to better serve his/her community in the days to come. We are invested in the process of not just electing candidates to office, but rather building a broader engaged citizenship for the future. We are choosing to be the party of all people, not just the established and personally successful, but those who want to learn the process of success as well. We believe in the power of community and we have an affirmative Action statement that encourages truly expansive participation. We at this place in time, where if the older (my) generation doesn't reach out to young people and teach them the democratic process, the future of our nation will be at risk because we were too busy to share the process while we had the chance. Senate District 46 DFL is making a positive choice for preparing the next generation by raising up young people to positions within our party and in the broader governmental process.
But understand Anthony did not receive a Resolution of Support only based based on this youth. Each one of the below listed values is a good reason to support a candidate and all of our candidates including Anthony are chosen because of their support for all of these values. These specific tenants of the DFL party are the qualities that appeal to our DFL Senate District in the process of Resolution of Support and they are required by all of our local candidates here in Senate District 46.
In the process of the decision to give a Resolution of Support for a candidate, we also keep in mind our affirmative Actions statement which is also listed below.
Honesty Opportunity Prosperity Equality
- Employment - Livable wages for all workers
- Economy - A strong climate for agriculture and small business
- Education - Quality public education and affordable college
- Safety - Safe neighborhoods, streets and homes
- Agriculture - Preservation of the family farm
- Labor - Workers' right to organize and bargain collectively
- Health Care - Quality, available and affordable health care
- Voting - Protect fair and open elections
- Access - Equal access to justice and public services
- Taxes - Sound fiscal policies and fair taxation
- Veterans - Honor and support for those who have served
- Transportation - Safe, efficient roads, bridges and transit
- Environment - A clean and healthy environment
- Energy - Safe sustainable sources for now and the future
Affirmative Action Statement of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party:
"The goal of affirmative action is to recruit individuals for political activity in the DFL and the democratic process of our government. The DFL is an active participant in the struggle to end all forms of bigotry and discrimination. As part of our commitment to ending discrimination, we seek to increase the participation of members of those communities that have been traditionally shut out of and/or underrepresented in the political process. As part of this commitment, we will seek to elect members of these communities to positions both within the DFL Party and in public office. These efforts will be directed toward all underrepresented communities.”
I hope this gives you a sense of why we gave Anthony Bostic a Resolution of Support along with the over dozen other people, from Golden Valley, Hopkins and St. Louis Park, who have either been through this process or are going through this process for the betterment of their community.