Political Fix at Your Local Tom’s Drugstore

You can’t spend much time around the U’s Humphrey Institute without hearing the story of Humphrey’s dad’s drugstore in Doland, SD and the political discussions that took place there. That civic tradition serves as inspiration for the monthly (give or take) Tom’s Drugstore discussions at the Schneider’s at 3400 University Ave. SE in Minneapolis (across from KSTP). Tom Gupta is owner and host.

Tom’s Drugstore is a a lively, informal political discussion. The conversation takes place around an old, fake pot belly stove, and people sit in the drug store aisles. If you’re a big D local Democrat and haven’t heard of Tom’s, then you’re head has been in the sand as folks like Wellstone, Mondale, and Franken have been in attendance.

Next Thursday, August 21, the topic is how to build on the tremendous civic energy that has been generated this year in the elections — after the election — for positive social change. Harry Boyte, author of The Citizen Solution: How You Can Make a Difference, will lead the open discussion.

This is a very important topic. We all do enjoy the Presidential Campaign Show and we do need a positive change in the top leadership of this country. This campaign has triggered political passions and brought many more people to the polls. But what happens on November 5th? No matter who is in the White House, I doubt if there will be lights on the bike Transit Way that links the Greenway to downtown. I doubt if there will be a stop sign on my corner of Franklin Avenue where traffic has increased like 500% since the 35W bridge disaster. And I have my doubts that the new president will intervene if the Minneapolis Park Board decides to block bike transit ways again to benefit corporate interests. But I do have hope that we can do some things together locally and keep the political energies flowing in positive community-building activities.

I’ll be there and it will be my first Drugstore event. Hope to see you there too.

Bonus Links

In Minnesota, a Drug Store Becomes Town Hall : NPR

November Fifth Coalition | Citizens at the Center

Tom’s Drugstore: Building on the Energy of Campaign Season

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