For Mayor, Ray

Ray Dehn for MayorBY ED FELIEN

We like Ray Dehn for mayor.

We think he understands the problems we face in Minneapolis: “Centuries of over-policing and misconduct have created a fundamental distrust of police by people of color and indigenous communities (POCI)”; “Every person deserves to live in a safe, quality, affordable home. Markets alone cannot meet the needs of low- and moderate-income people, therefore the duty falls on government to implement nondiscriminatory housing policy”; “People of color and indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards.”

And he has solutions:

“Fundamentally change the funding and operations of MPD to redirect a portion of the police budget toward affordable housing, education, homelessness prevention, mental health services and job training programs”; “demilitarize the police by banning military-grade equipment and create a culture of policing that prioritizes de-escalation.”

“Build affordable housing at every income level; work for Rent Control to stabilize neighborhoods; mitigate the impacts of real estate speculation to combat displacement and gentrification.”

“Areas of North Minneapolis have higher rates of lead poisoning than the city of Flint, Mich. Shut down industrial polluters prioritizing low-income and majority- POCI neighborhoods. Build community wealth and health through the expansion of urban agriculture, community solar gardens and energy efficiency programs. Combat lead poisoning by holding landlords accountable to addressing lead contamination.”

The incumbent, Betsy Hodges, has failed the citizens of Minneapolis on two very important fronts.  She had the opportunity, when it was clear that US Bank and Wells Fargo had systematically discriminated against minority communities in mortgage lending practices, to bring suit against these banks and try to recoup some of the $20.5 billion dollars in home equity that was lost in the 2014 housing bubble. She had the facts. She had the opportunity. She did nothing.

The officers involved in the killing of Jamar Clark and Terrance Franklin have not been disciplined by the MPD administration for their egregious violation of the civil rights of those two victims. They were not charged for criminal offenses, but they will likely cost the city millions of dollars in court-ordered damages paid to relatives of the victims. But, regardless of criminal or civil proceedings, it is the responsibility of the MPD administration to enforce discipline and establish rules of conduct. Hodges is in charge of that administration. She had the facts. She had the opportunity. She did nothing.

Jacob Frey and Tom Hoch are cut of the same cloth. They agree with Hodges (and the Star Tribune, and the Downtown Business Council, and the big donors to mayoral campaigns) that the most important priority of the MPD is to keep downtown shopper-friendly. These are the same folks who gave us the stadiums and the increase in the downtown sales tax and no parking, and they want to blame the demise of downtown on a few rowdies after the bars close.

Senator Patricia Torres Ray announced on Oct. 5: “I’m endorsing Nekima Levy-Pounds because I believe in her capacity to lead, and the strength of her vision for the future of Minneapolis.

“For the past 29 years I have witnessed many leaders who have had good intentions but who had timid plans to address inequities in our state. This approach has not worked, and we continue to have some of the largest disparities in the nation. Nekima’s approach to resolving these disparities will not be timid.

“Letting business elites and developers chart the course for the city has largely left the needs of youth and minority communities unmet. Nekima’s focus on opening jobs and opportunities in low-income communities, and building community-led policing services will generate the growth and trust we need in our city.”

In Ward 2 everyone supports Cam Gordon. We are happy to join the parade.

In Ward 12 we support Andrew Johnson. He is responsible and responsive. He was one of only three council members to support the Charter Amendment raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

We support Meg Forney, Mike Derus and Charlie Casserly for Park Board at-large. They want to keep the Hiawatha Golf Course open.

Bill Shroyer, the Park Board candidate in District 5, supports keeping the golf course open and removing the dam.

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