Do you remember Kate Knuth? When we last heard from her, she was cashing checks as a resilience officer for the city of Minneapolis. It didn’t end well:
Knuth, an environmental educator and former DFL legislator, spent her first months in the job interviewing people and conducting a survey, but had not delivered any finished work product before she resigned.
So what happened? Tell me if you can figure out what happened:
Mychal Vlatkovich, a spokesman for Mayor Jacob Frey, said they’ve begun looking for a replacement and hope to hire someone by the end of March who will focus on the mayor’s goals. He said the mayor’s office did not ask Knuth to step down, but declined to answer whether she was allowed to continue in the position and referred further questions to Knuth and former City Coordinator Spencer Cronk, who is now the city manager of Austin, Texas.
Go ask the guy who moved to Texas. We aren’t sayin’ nothin’.
As you might imagine, this unceremonious departure didn’t sit well with Knuth, who has been rent-seeking for the better part of her career. And unsurprisingly, after her tussle with the tousled mayor, she’s looking for revenge:
Frey’s contentious relationship with the city’s elected representatives, among other issues, got Knuth thinking in January about running for mayor. “Especially in the last year, especially in the last six weeks, there has been an absence” on the part of Frey, she said. “I also haven’t seen as strong of an interest in the basic running of the city that I would like to see from my mayor.”
In theory, revenge is a better motive for running than monomaniacal incoherence, which is what usually delivers the goods around City Hall. But is Knuth coherent? Let’s check out her Jack Handey imitation:
“The thing that I bring is this really strong commitment to moving through the work of structural transformative change, particularly when it comes to public safety, particularly when it comes to climate change,” she said. “Pairing that with [my] experience in, and just liking working within, big public institutions and working with them and through them to make sure they’re serving what we deserve as a city is potentially really powerful and I think something people in this city would really value.”
Dude. But there’s more. Oh my yes, there’s more:
Climate change intersects with progressive economic policies for Knuth. “I think one of the best resilience strategies we could accomplish is if every family had $500 in the bank,” she said. “Whether it’s a car breaking down or the power going out and losing some food, they’re better able to handle that. Does that sound like a climate policy? No, but if climate change increases risks in the most vulnerable [communities] now or even more vulnerable [communities in the future], decreasing vulnerability overall is super important in terms of dealing with climate change.”
That’s just super.
Will Knuth have a chance? Given the puzzle palace structure of elections in Minneapolis, it’s entirely possible. Frey has been weighed and found wanting, but the current competition has Mos Eisley Cantina written all over it, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Coming on like a amalgam of Marianne Williamson and Rachel Carson may just work.