We have the power to make Minneapolis a model of racial equity. Structural racism is deeply embedded in the fabric of our city, and if there’s anything that will prevent us from uniting around a common vision for Minneapolis, it will be our failure as a city to include everyone in the first place.
We need to aspire to better as a city. I want to work toward a Minneapolis where in classrooms, in banks, in job interviews, in police interactions, in neighborhood meetings, in court, in real estate transactions, and in city hall, black lives really do matter. Data and common sense tell us we have a long way to go. We need to get sophisticated about how systems intersect and reinforce each other so that we can short circuit the cycle. There shouldn’t be any decisions made in City Hall without considering the racial equity impact of the decision.
I have a strong track record of organizing for racial and economic justice, and I look forward to bringing that experience, and that set of community and coalition relationships, to City Hall. I’ll work to make sure that the people who are most directly impacted by structural racism are valued voices at the table as we move forward together toward a better future.
Racial equity isn’t a specific set of policies or approaches – it’s a lens through which every decision has to be viewed. Structural racism is cooked into every aspect of our city, and it will take consistent, focused work to undo that legacy. It’s the undercurrent of every policy area:
When we talk about public safety beyond policing, we’re talking about shifting away from police practices that have disproportionately targeted people of color for harassment and incarceration.
When we talk about eliminating restrictive zoning to allow more affordable housing to be built, we’re transforming a housing structure that is a direct product of racist redlining and restrictive covenant practices in decades past that created our current organization of housing.
When we talk about fair wages and working conditions, these policies disproportionately improve the lives of workers of color, who are the most likely to make the minimum wage, and to be in jobs with inconsistent scheduling and without paid sick time.
When we talk about locally produced, renewable energy, we’re talking about creating ownership opportunities and jobs in an industry that has previously been characterized by environmentally racist, extractive practices, and could be the engine for equity, as well as environmental healing.
These issues are all connected. Other equity gaps in health, education, and more are deeply interconnected with access to affordable housing and jobs. I want the next City Council to be remembered as the Council that finally really dug in and built the political will to make real, sustained investments in equity that transform our city for the better. We can do it, and I promise to do my part on the Council.