St. Louis Park City Council
‘I will fight for union people’
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 16, 2021
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
ST. LOUIS PARK — “This is the most blue-collar of the four wards in St. Louis Park,” says Jim Leuthner. “I will fight for union people living in my city and for all workers that live here and come here to work.”
Carpenters Local 322 member Jim Leuthner is running for St. Louis Park City Council, Ward 3, with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Leuthner’s other endorsements include: St. Louis Park Firefighters, Local 933; Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council; and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.
Ward 3 is bordered roughly by the city limits on the west, Highway 7 on the south, and the Burlington Northern railroad tracks on the north.
This race is Leuthner’s second run for the seat. The incumbent is not running.
From his 2017 run for city council, and a 2019 run for school board, “I’ve learned so much about the city,” Leuthner says. He adds, “people remember me from running in past elections.”
To prepare for this campaign, Leuthner participated in a Carpenters union “boot camp” for union members running for elected office.
Very much a union activist, Leuthner serves as a delegate from Carpenters Local 322 to the MRLF. He also serves as a delegate from Local 322 to the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. He also is a trustee for Local 322 and the treasurer for the Local 322 political action committee.
Leuthner is a 17-year member of Local 322 and reports, “I’m still swinging a hammer 40 hours a week.”
Leuthner graduated from Chaska High School and the University of Minnesota and for eight years worked as a teaching assistant and teacher for the St. Paul public schools. His wife Ellen Merlin also is a union member, working in the St. Paul public schools. The couple’s daughter, Zoe, went all the way through the St. Louis Park public schools.