St. Louis Park City Council
‘I will fight for union families’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 27, 2017
By Steve Share, editor, Minneapolis Labor Review
ST. LOUIS PARK — “I will fight for union families, for middle class families,” says Jim Leuthner. “I’m proud to represent the most blue-collar ward in St. Louis Park… A lot of union people live here.”
Leuthner is running for the open Ward 3 city council seat in St. Louis Park with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Ward 3 is bordered roughly by Highway 169 on the west, W. 28th St. and Minnetonka Blvd. on the north, Lake St. on the east, and Highway 7 on the south. Ward 3 incumbent Gregg Lindberg is not running for re-election.
‘This community has been really good to me and I want to give back.’
A union activist, Leuthner serves as a delegate from Carpenters Local 322 to the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, to the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, and to the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.
Leuthner grew up in Victoria, graduated from Chaska High School, and earned a degree in urban forestry from the University of Minnesota. For eight years, he worked as a teaching assistant and teacher for the St. Paul public schools.
In 2004, he joined the Carpenters union and has worked in the trade since then. “One of the reasons I’m still a Carpenter is because of the union activism,” he says. “The unions have brought us so much,” he says. “Wages in this country run a parallel line with union membership.”
Leuthner’s wife, Ellen Merlin, is also a union member and has worked 18 years for the St. Paul public schools. The couple’s daughter, Zoe, went all the way through the St. Louis Park public schools.
“This community has been really good to me and I want to give back,” Leuthner says.