Concerned about Park Board election

As a long time observer of the MPRB, I am concerned about the possible outcome of the Park Board election in November. When Nekima Levy-Pounds was attending Park Board meetings she would criticize the all-White Park Board because of its lack of racial diversity. The current Park Board is composed of five White women and four White men. Currently there is gender diversity, but no racial diversity. The Park Board has had a history of racial diversity with both Black men and Black women serving on the Park Board.

At the DFL endorsing convention in July there were several Black delegates vying for the DFL endorsements for the Park Board. But only one of the Black delegates vying for DFL endorsement was endorsed by the DFL.

Of the eight candidates endorsed by the DFL for Park Board, five were White males, one was a White female, one was a White transgender individual, and only one was a Black male. So those voting for the DFL slate will be voting for an MPRB with ONLY one Black male. It is surprising that the DFL failed to recognize the need for racial and gender diversity on the Park Board.

The DFL unendorsed Black candidates who can bring racial diversity back to the Park Board are coalition candidates-at-large LaTrisha Vetaw, second district; Mike Tate, second district; and Abdi “Gurhan” Mohamed, third district. Londel French is the only Black candidate who was endorsed by the DFL. Third district DFL AK Hassen is running without DFL endorsement.

I am hoping that Minneapolis voters will recognize the DFL’s failure to provide voters with a racial and gender-balanced slate and will vote with racial and gender diversity in mind for the Park Board.

 

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

Minneapolis, MN