Duluth Police Department

It is important that the Duluth Police force be acknowledged, not only as part of the positive community in Duluth, but as being integral to our social fabric.  The Duluth Police have made successful efforts as being part of our neighborhoods and being fair and just protectors of our city.  They are even critical parts of our public schools and recently were unanimously welcomed back by the school board.   The Duluth Police are accountable to Duluth citizens.    It is thanks to our Duluth Police that our fair city has not devolved in the anarchy that too many cities around the country seem to be sinking into.   Thank you Duluth Police!

Art Johnston

Candidate for Minnesota House 7B (West Duluth)

DLH

Here we are at the Duluth International Airport. June 12. Built 4
years ago for $80 million. The 400 vehicle parking ramp is empty and
the 300 vehicle outdoor parking lot is nearly empty. Usually it is hard
to find a parking spots. There are now only two flights out of Duluth per day.
The few travelers are business, and there are no vacationer. This is a
disaster for tourism and construction jobs in Duluth. This is just
another example of the economic wreckage and devastation that the
lockdown and its dictatorial politicians have done to our Duluth
economy. Since the lockdown, 26,000 people have applied for
unemployment in St. Louis County. Probably 10,000 in Duluth. This
nightmare is not sustainable and must end.

Another Gut-punch to Local Economy: approximately 1000 employees will be laid off

Art Johnston at Verso paper mill, June 2020

Verso to Idle Duluth Paper Mill, Cites Market Decline

Freezing of Property Tax Statement

Most property owners in Duluth saw their property taxes go up by 10% this year. If elected, I will freeze this year’s property tax at last year’s amount, and make a retroactive refund to all property owners. This is a decision that must be made by the Minnesota Legislature, which I plan to be a part of after this election. The corona virus emergency, and government overreaction, has caused massive unemployment in Duluth—an estimated 20% of the work force are unemployed—an estimated 10,000 unemployed, just in Duluth alone. These workers need a property tax freeze until the economy is opened and rebounds. Government must start tightening their belt like everyone else. Duluth Mayor Larson and other state government officials have been pissing and moaning about projected tax revenue shortfalls while they keep spending $millions on new projects. It has been those same government officials that have used emergency powers and flawed, draconian computer modeling to strangle our economy long beyond what is necessary to protect our citizenry. Government claim that they can pick the pockets of tax payers at will. It is time say NO to tax increases.

Duluth for Change

Duluth: For a Change—In the Midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic and Looking Forward

Today is March 27. We are now in the throes of the corona virus lockdown. As a society, we are working together by minimizing social contact and using strict hygiene. This is necessary but has devastated our economy and we must start looking into the future.

As bad as the pandemic is, what is worst is the continued nasty politics that are swirling in the nation’s Capital and in mass media. One would think that the Democrats would think more about helping people, in this time of trouble, than to fan political hatred. To think that the Democratic Party can sink to even a lower moral and democratic nadir than they’ve shown for the last three years is almost unbelievable.

But it is heartening that Minnesota Democrats and Republicans are working together much better and have not submerged themselves into the political gutter. Though it would be Minnesota nice to see the Minnesota DFL telling their national leaders to just stop the political BS and work together to solve this problem.

We have a long way to go to claw our way out of this. Canal Park and downtown Duluth is empty, most stores, bars and restaurants are closed. Schools are closed. The economic toll is going to be enormous. One of the hardest hit people will be small businesses and their employees. We, as a government must assure that their financial credit is extended and their employees have money to weather this storm. We have to assure that food supplies are available and clean, and that energy and water are available.

I am confident that this pandemic will bring this country together.

We are a resilient people. Humor is always a healthy antidote as anyone that follows social media can tell you.

But we have to learn from this. We need to reassess how we got here and advocate for change. We have to learn that easily disruptable global supply chains can have a downside, particularly when we should be having jobs and manufacturing HERE, in Duluth. We must vigorously promote jobs in our area. We must promote the mining industry. When 50% of our steel comes from China, when we have the world’s largest reserves of steel in our back yard barely being tapped, something is wrong.

We must continue to use American ingenuity to help us, and other countries, combat this pandemic.

We need to end the rampant political correctness that controls the DFL, like the asinine ban on plastic bags.

As a state government we need to put a freeze on foreclosures and defer loan payments for small business. And governments need to do their part: we need to freeze property tax at the 2019 level; we need to slash the sales tax—which is so regressive for our citizens that can least afford it in this crisis. We, as elected government officials must take an immediate 10% pay cut.

All of us Minnesotans will beat this and get back to work. We have to stop being partisan. But we need to learn from this, and we need a cultural change to bring us together and to bring jobs back to Minnesota and Duluth.

Duluth: For a Change Pre-pandemic.

Duluth is our town and it is a wonderful place to live: we have beautiful green spaces; a multitude of trails; Lake Superior; mountains; amazing architecture; a history which is eminent in the development and in the current prosperity of our entire country; and we have great, hard working people.

We are connected to and prosper with the resources that we have in abundance: we have the largest inland port in the world; we provide resources like mining and logging; we have robust medical and education industries; we have many small and large businesses; and we have a tourist industry that shares in our beauty.

Duluth: we are a unique place that is more connected to Greater Minnesota than the urban cities. We need legislative leadership in St. Paul that emphasizes our Duluth’s unique economy: it is time we stop being led around by the nose by the DFL machine in the Cities.

We need to support policies that promote and grow our jobs in Duluth, including mining. We need to support our union brothers and sisters in keeping and growing jobs in Duluth.

But jobs in Duluth are being chased away by the DFL and their taxes. Minnesota is among the highest taxed State in our country. Duluth is among the highest taxed city in Minnesota. We need to say “No” to the DFL gas tax increase; we need to say “No” to granting more DFL special taxing authority to unaccountable Duluth Public schools; we need to say “No” to more wasted taxes coming out of our pockets.

Government needs to be completely open, accountable, and efficient in providing policy, planning, infrastructure, and social services.

I have a proven history in Duluth of assuring that our government is by, for, and accountable to the people of Duluth. I will continue that passion by representing one special interest: all of West Duluth.

Thank you for your support in changing our governmental representatives to ones that support Duluth.