Next Minneapolis City Council Expected to Have a Majority of Colored People | New

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The nation’s eyes were on Tuesday’s Minneapolis municipal election for a ballot measure that sought to create a new public safety department and place the Minneapolis Police Department there. This electoral measure failed with only 43% of voters supporting it.

However, people of color who have suffered the brunt of the city’s police brutality are smiling when they are expected to form the majority on the 13-member city council. Eight of the 13 members who prevailed last night are people of color and six are black.

New faces of the council who are people of color include Elliot Payne, a black man, in Ward 1 who defeated incumbent Kevin Reich, a white man.

In Ward 2, Robin Wonsley Worlobah, a black woman who ran as a Democratic Socialist and married to a Liberian, defeated four-term holder Cam Gordon of the Green Party.

Aisha Chughtai, whose parents are from Pakistan, won a vacant seat in Ward 10 previously held by City Council President Lisa Bender.

Chughtai, Payne and Worlobah are the three pickups for people of color in yesterday’s historic election. The three will join Andrea Jenkins, Jeremiah Ellison, LaTrisha Vetaw, Jamal Osman and Jason Chavez in bringing together people from the Caucus of Color. Vetaw and Chavez are newcomers to council, with Vetaw beating up another person of color, outgoing Ward 4 Councilor Phillipe Cunningham. Chavez, whose parents are from Mexico, ran for an open seat to represent Ward 9 to replace another Latino, city councilor Alondra Cano, who did not seek re-election.

The newcomers are also decidedly young and were propelled to power by Shana Wanjohi, a student at the University of Minnesota.

“Young people are the future. Youth participation in the electoral process is important because we need to know the people who govern us and receive the resources we need to live in safety and peace here in Minneapolis, ”said Wanjohi.

The new Council will be sworn in in January.

The opportunity for transformative change this Council represents is immeasurable.

In some ways, the seats of this group of visionary pragmatists and limitless intersectional activists resemble the era-shifting leadership that erupted into the political landscape of Minneapolis in the early to mid-1970s.

At the time, the Foshay Tower defined the physical profile of Minneapolis. The phone book cover cemented this image in our public minds. Every household and business had a telephone directory. Each directory displayed the brilliant commercial photography of the era, the vast, flat cityscape anchored by the phallic Foshay, which could be seen from anywhere in the city. It gave you benchmarks, the feeling of knowing where you were.

Then the world changed.

The Young Turks – some known as the DeLaSalle mafia – took power as the Doors “Riders On The Storm” or “Rolling Thunder Revue” by Bob Dylan while the Ozzie & Harriet neighborhoods were still obsessed with “Leave” every night. It To Beaver “and” Father Knows Best. “

Mayor Al Hofstede, Northside Council members Lou DeMars, John Derus, Dick Miller and others who had been groomed for power unleashed pent-up development, then deploying new financial tools, like boost funding. tax, relegating the Foshay and everything it stood for, to the shadows of the IDS and the banking towers that disrupted and reconfigured the image of the Minneapolis idea.

Looks like we’re at this place again, about 50 years later. Most of today’s players, reelected and newly elected, weren’t even born in the 1970s. But this group is fueled by a driver of expectations, transparency and accountability never seen before. What lies ahead may be immeasurable right now, but it is not unimaginable. In fact, even more than the DeLaSalle mafia half a century ago, this group inherits the wings of the imagination and the challenge of an era: leaping into fairness and equality, into justice and justice. equity, in solutions yet to be discovered that liberate us all because they are solutions that recognize us and invite us to co-create a future in which everyone is a winner.

Panashe Matemba-Mutasa contributed to this story.


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