Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano has made quite a name for herself since assuming office two years ago.
She toils on behalf of neighborhoods including Corcoran, East Phillips, and Powderhorn Park. In between globe-trotting international travels, she was a vociferous force during December's occupation of the Fourth Precinct after police officers shot Jamar Clark.
But like the rest of us, Cano can't be a master all things.
Last week, the city council was discussing the 20-year neighborhood park plan. Cano was eager to introduce an amendment to add language promoting "racial equity" to the ordinance.
That's when her struggles began.
For starters, Cano didn't have the latest draft of the park funding ordinance, which came as no big shock to some of her peers.
"She's always late to meetings. Sometimes she doesn't show up at all," says a council member, who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity to maintain their working relationship. "When she does, she hasn't done her homework and has to wing it. That's what she was trying to do here. The problem is this is stuff she's supposed to know. It's city council 101."
Cano also didn't have a printed version of her amendment. For 13 minutes, Cano grasped as she tried to figure out how to add her amendment. In other words, what should have been as simple as adding a couple words became a Laurel and Hardy skit.
"Why don't you try to walk us through what you would like to do," suggested colleague Elizabeth Glidden.
"I guess should I just read it?" asked Cano.
" — if you'd like me to assist you a little bit," Glidden offered.
What Cano lacked in procedural know-how, she more than made up for in sticktoitiveness. Her measure passed unanimously without a whisper of discussion. But she could've saved herself a lot of breath.
"All she had to say was I want to add the words 'racial equity,'" says a council member. "That's it. As soon as it was obvious she was clueless, I just wanted to shoot myself. It felt like a waste of my time and a waste of my colleagues' time. It was hard to watch. Unfortunately, it's not a surprise anymore. It's been like this for three years and just seems like she never pays attention. It's her lack of self-awareness that kills me. But what should we expect from someone who's more concerned about the number of her Twitter followers than anything else?"
"By that point, we all just wanted to euthanize the whole situation," another council member says. "We all know who she is. She's lazy. She's all about talking, not working hard."
Click here to watch Cano in action, which starts around the 2-hour 19-minute mark.
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