A Face-Lift for the St. Paul City Council?

Primaries could mean a stronger, tougher lineup

Dickinson's pitch to potential voters this evening skews heavily toward environmental issues, particularly the benefits of a city-run power plant and the potential of wind as an untapped source of energy. She repeatedly informs residents that the 29 power plants in Minnesota offering consumers the lowest rates are all operated by local governments rather than corporations. She also claims that wind power could provide electricity for at least 90,000 St. Paul households at a cost comparable to existing energy sources. "That one thing would make us the greenest city in the country, because nobody else is doing it," she exclaims.

The response from potential voters is generally sympathetic, if noncommittal. She receives a genial reception from one apartment dweller who describes himself as a "pro-life, eco-radical." Another woman grills Dickinson for 20 minutes before enthusiastically declaring, "I think I like you."

As darkness descends on Grand Avenue, Dickinson comes across a twentysomething man lounging in a lawn chair in his front yard, smoking a cigarette and drinking a Corona. He turns out to be the only professed Green Party supporter she encounters this evening. "I think you can count on two votes from us," the man says of himself and his wife. The couple is about to move to a new residence in Ward Two; the man retreats inside to find the address so that they can be added to the Green Party mailing list. "Every time I find a Green voter," Dickinson beams, "I just want to yell, 'Score!'"

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