Who went to the precinct caucuses?

BY ED FELIEN

Who went?
Almost everybody.
They had double the turnout they expected in the 6th Ward. The Fire Department came and said it was unsafe for so many in the room. Capacity was 450. They had twice that number.  So they had to meet outside in the soccer field.
Tiffini Flynn Forslund said, “Even though there had been a meeting of us three candidates for City Council to provide rules and boundaries with the DFL, I was not prepared for the disorganization and chaos that erupted in many precincts. I am pleased for the amount of constituents that showed up; that is what you want to see happen; however I feel rules were not followed in the fight between Noor and Warsame. It was very hard to know what was happening from precinct to precinct. It appeared to be a free for all.”
Things were more calm but just as crowded in the 12th Ward.
Debra Keefer Ramage reported that in Ward 12, Precinct 12: “There were about 35 or 40 people there. The classroom had about 25 chairs. We were addressed by a number of elected officials and surrogates, including head to head Park Board candidates Stephanie Musich and Russ Henry, an organic landscaper.  Andrew Johnson came to speak and informed us that ours was the best turnout of the Ward. “Yay, us!”  We got out by 8:30.”
Will Jaeger, candidate for 12th Ward, thought the caucuses went well, though Ramage didn’t see him that evening or see any of his literature.
The race for mayor took an interesting turn on caucus day. Nekima Levy-Pounds decided at the last moment she would not seek the DFL endorsement. She said, “The process is flawed, the process is broken. Those with the money and the power are the ones whose voices are typically heard.” It seems to me she’s very right, and she’s very wrong. It’s true that those with money are the ones whose voices are typically heard. It’s true, we have the best government money can buy. But it’s also true that precinct caucuses are neighborhood meetings where everyone has an equal voice. There’s nothing more democratic, and nothing more empowering.  Grassroots democracy, like precinct caucuses, is the best tool we have for fighting big money and entrenched power structures.
We asked candidates seeking DFL endorsement for mayor, “In light of the continuing unconstitutionality of Trump’s immigration bans, will you order the  Minneapolis Police Department to not collaborate with the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in identifying immigrant Minneapolis residents?”
Ray Dehn answered: “Yes, under my administration the Minneapolis Police Department would not collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify non-documented immigrants. Minneapolis shall continue to be a sanctuary—a welcome homestead for anyone looking to make a life.”
C. J. Sparrow said, “I would order the Minneapolis Police Department to not collaborate with the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in identifying immigrant Minneapolis residents until and unless they have been found guilty of having committed a serious crime.”

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