Go to your precinct caucus April 4

Ray DehnBY ED FELIEN

The city DFL will be holding precinct caucuses on April 4.  Anyone who cares about this city and their community should attend.  The caucuses will elect delegates who will endorse a candidate to represent their community on the City Council at a ward endorsing convention on either Saturday, April 29, or Saturday, May 6.
The 2nd Ward endorsing convention will be May 6 at Ann Sullivan School.  Probably no one will show up. Cam Gordon, the incumbent City Council member from the 2nd Ward is a Green Party candidate, and he is universally well loved.  It is the only ward in the city where there is no DFL candidate running for endorsement.
The 6th Ward endorsing convention will be on May 6 on the U of M West Bank Campus at the Humphrey/Carlson Schools.  It looks like a sleeper.  DFL incumbent City Council Member Abdi Warsame doesn’t have an opponent at this point.
Three years ago, newly elected Representative Ilhan Omar was attacked at a DFL convention by Warsame’s aide, in a very public political fight, when Omar was an aide to Council Member Andrew Johnson.  Last year Warsame supported Omar’s opponent in the race she won. Warsame wrote an op-ed piece for the Star Tribune after the election saying he supported Omar.  Maybe peace between the two factions has finally broken out.
Warsame has great political strength in the Somali community because he was a resident manager for the Cedar Riverside housing complex. “Cedar-Riverside” is commonly the first thing people in Somalia learn about America. It’s their Ellis Island.
Omar has strength in the Bernie/progressive wing of the DFL. Warsame voted for Barb Johnson for president of the Council and has generally supported her conservative agenda. Warsame voted to block the referendums on police accountability and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
And nothing seems to be happening in the 12th Ward. Everyone seems to love Andrew Johnson. Their convention will be at Roosevelt High School on May 6.
According to party officials, there are two sets of delegates chosen at the precinct caucuses on April 4.  One set goes to a ward convention and endorses a City Council candidate.  The other set goes to the city convention and endorses for mayor, park board, and Board of Estimate & Taxation.  You can run to be elected a delegate to both conventions.
There was brief flurry of excitement when Steve Brandt, the newly retired popular local columnist for the Star Tribune, announced he would be running for the seat on BET that Wheeler was vacating, but then Wheeler decided not to vacate, and Brandt decided not to run, and Brandt’s many fans wept in sorrow.
It seems probable at this point that Scott Vreeland will not run again for his District 3 seat on the park board, which is a great loss to the city. Londel French, AK Hassan and Abdi “Gurhan” Mohamed  have declared themselves candidates.
Steffanie Musich is unchallenged at this point for her District 5 seat on the park board.  We asked Commissioner Musich: “Would you support dredging Minnehaha Creek from 28th Avenue to Minnehaha Falls to lower the water table in that area of South Minneapolis?”  She did not answer by the time we went to press.
The race for mayor is getting interesting.
Hodges is getting a late start.  She’s running way behind Jacob Frey in fundraising. Southside Pride has been critical of Mayor Hodges’ handling of police misconduct in the homicides of Terrance Franklin and Jamar Clark. We believe the police acted in a racist and irresponsible way that resulted in the deaths of the two young black men, and the mayor and the chief of police have not held those officers accountable.
Hodges is being challenged by Nekima Levy-Pounds, the former president of NAACP, former law professor at St. Thomas and a leader in Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis.
Hodges is also being challenged by Raymond Dehn, a state representative from North Minneapolis. In December we asked all four candidates if they wanted to write something for this edition. Dehn was the only one who responded:
“I grew up with little opportunity, experienced the justice system from the inside, struggled to find my way—and received an opportunity to chart a new direction for my life.  You deserve a mayor who listens and looks you in the eye when it’s not easy or comfortable to do so. This is the mayor I will be for you. Our best days are ahead of us, so long as we work together to build the brighter future that we all deserve. Visit raymonddehn.org to learn more about my values and vision for building a city that works for everyone.”
On Jan. 3 Jacob Frey announced he would be a candidate for mayor.  He seems to be a fundraising machine.  He’s raised over $200,000 already, according to people close to his campaign.  He seems an R T Rybak replica: very photogenic, very slick, and very light on specifics.
People who go to their precinct caucuses April 4 and get elected delegates will have the power to shape the direction of their communities and their city for the next four years.
The more people who show up, the louder the voice, the stronger we all are.

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