Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has become the latest high profile elected Minnesota official to call on Minneapolis voters to get rid of current Mayor Jacob Frey.
At a news conference Monday outside city hall flanked by Frey challengers Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad, Omar announced her endorsement of the two women as better choices for Minneapolis because “both share my vision of a better Minneapolis. A Minneapolis where every person of every background, Black, Brown, Indigenous, and white, can afford a roof over their head.”
Minneapolis uses ranked choice voting in its municipal elections where voters rank their choices in order of preference. To deny Frey a chance at winning, the congresswoman urged voters to not rank the mayor in their ballots.
State legislators of color from Minneapolis last week also voiced their vote of no confidence in Frey in a hard-hitting statement sent to the media that said “A new direction is possible in Minneapolis. To get there we need a new mayor, one committed to taking concrete action to address the city’s deep and persistent racial disparities, to improve public safety and police accountability, and to meet the needs of all Minneapolis residents, especially those marginalized by the status quo.
“We represent different communities within Minneapolis and
we support different candidates for mayor. But we are coming together today to say that our city needs a new direction and that begins with electing a new mayor on November 2nd.”
The statement was signed by Senator Scott Dibble (61), Senator Omar Fateh (62), Rep. Esther Agbaje (59B), Rep. Jim Davnie (63A), Rep. Aisha Gomez (62B), Rep. Emma Greenman (63B), and Rep. Hodan Hassan (62A).
Senator Fateh, is the first Somali-American elected to the Minnesota Senate and one of only two Black males serving in the state Senate.
A major bone of contention is a ballot question in the November election that calls for the Minneapolis Police Department to be placed under a Department of Public Safety in what proponents of the change describe as a holistic approach to public safety. Mayor Frey opposes the change while Rep. Omar supports it.
Minneapolis City Council candidates are also split between those who support and oppose the change as evidenced by the candidate forums hosted by Mshale.