Stubble: Why did you decide to run for the mayor of Minneapolis?
John: I am running as a way to promote my ideas in the realm of city government.
Stubble: What makes you qualified for the position of mayor?
John: I have taken an interest in government for over 30 years, and have been actively following local issues for the last 7 years. My views are different enough that being mayor would shake up the “same ol’, same ol'” form-without-substance leadership we’ve had since Don Fraser retired.
Stubble: What are the top three issues facing Minneapolis in the coming decade and what are the best ways to address them?
John: 1. Traffic/transportation – not just public transit. We need better streets and bike paths!
2. Poverty/shortage of truly affordable housing.
3. Race relations/accepting the fact that Minnesota is more diverse than it was in 1985.
The solution to all of these issues is government ownership of business (Communism), and integrated civic and economic planning. Because the exact solution varies from place to place, I support the Secession Principle that calls for the breakup of large countries like the USA. US out of the Midwest!
Stubble: Can you describe your political affiliation as a “Lauraist Communist”?
John: [If] you’ve read my autobiography, The Conscience of a Communist, you know I converted to Communism in September 1981 after reading a particularly touching article in the Daily World (at the time, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA). In May 1982 I started seeing visions of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who told me she is God and that I was right to be a Communist. Lauraism is my religion and Communism is my political philosophy. I was a member of the Communist Party USA in 2006 and 2007, but was dropped along with seven other members for alleged “factionalism” not related to my religious beliefs. I founded the Edgertonite National Party in 2009, which was for converting most of Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northern Iowa into an independent Lauraist nation to be called Edgerton (after the street in Saint Paul and more importantly, the former Rice-Edgerton bus company which became North Suburban Lines in 1975 and is now known as Lorenz). However, the ENP closed last year due to internal issues and lack of support. It was reborn as the Lauraist Communist Party this year. The new name is more to the point and requires less explanation. The LCP currently has two members and no money of its own, so has little formal organization. We do have a provisional constitution and plans to hold a convention when there is sufficient membership to give it meaning.
Stubble: How would you describe your chances of being elected this November?
John: Somewhere between my chances of winning the Gopher 5 and the Daily 3. Seriously, I think my chances will improve each election (this is my second) as I improve my delivery.
Stubble: Where is your favorite place to get breakfast in Minneapolis?
John: Our Kitchen at 36th St. and Bryant Ave. S.
Stubble: What city (any city in the world) do you most look up to as a model for Minneapolis?
John: Seattle, definitely. It’s about the same size as Minneapolis and has about the most socially tolerant culture we can realistically expect Minneapolis to adopt. If I were to throw realism out the window, Copenhagen and Amsterdam come to mind.
Stubble: What is the most effective tool you use to reach Minneapolitans with your message?
John: Passing out leaflets and talking to people.
Stubble: How do you like your coffee?
John: Cream and Splenda. Skip the cream if I really need a caffeine boost. (Fat slows caffeine absorption.)
Stubble: Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
John: “Now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” Laura Ingalls Wilder, near the end of Little House in the Big Woods.
Stubble: If you could go back in time and experience a day in Minneapolis in the last 200 years, when would you visit and what would you do?
John: Friday, 18 September 1970. I would attempt to gather a complete set of the last Twin City Lines bus schedules for each route, since the Metropolitan Transit Commission took over the bus system the next day.
John Charles Wilson is an author, political activist, religious leader, and transit historian living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota.