Minneapolis voters elected three socialist candidates to the Minneapolis City Council during the November general election.
The first, Jason Chavez, a 26-year-old, was endorsed by the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Chavez won Ward 9’s council seat by a large measure in the general election over a wide-open field.
“People are tired of doing the same thing over and over again,” Chavez said. “This new wave in Minneapolis that just hit with the three of us is something that is going to return power back to regular people.”
One of Chavez’s desires is to see legislation pass that would help all Minneapolis residents obtain a driver’s license.
“We didn’t do it, and we let down undocumented neighbors,” Chavez said, “It makes it so if the police stop them, they could be deported back to a country they haven’t been to in years.”
The second, community organizer Robin Wonsley Worlobah won the Ward 2 council seat unseating Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon. Wonsley Worlobah only won by 19 votes, the Minnesota Public Radio reported. The DSA also endorsed her.
Following the election at a forum hosted by the Twin Cities chapter of DSA, Wonsley Worlobah reportedly said that Minneapolis was “one of the worst places to live as a Black, working-class person.” She said, “And this place is run by Democrats.”
Wonsley Worlobah said, “Our local [DSA] chapter was calling out Gov. Walz every step of the way. Why are you not prioritizing financial packages for every family and individual across Minnesota?”
“There’s a mandate for a black woman renter, who also is a Democratic Socialist,” Wonsley Worlobah said. “There’s a mandate even more so in this political climate, where there’s more consolidation of power going towards the rich, corporations, big business, for a movement leader in city hall.”
Wonsley Worlobah said, “Our generation is the one that lived and is living under late-stage capitalism. And we’re seeing the failures every single day of this particular political system. We’re living proof that — no, this is not sustainable.”
The third, Aisha Chughtai defeated former Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender to represent Ward 10.
Chughtai said, “I live in an 80 percent renter community, and I saw a lot of people step up to run that did not understand what the experience looks like in the here and now. Ward 10 has not been fully seen and understood as a community that is made up of working class people, immigrants, first-generation families, multigenerational families.”
Ian Ringgenberg, the co-chair of Twin Cities DSA, reportedly said that the organization is “optimistic” about its wins, while it considered the reelection of Mayor Jacob Frey and the failure of the public safety question losses.
“We feel really optimistic and heartened by what will be a progressive and socialist minority on the council, but we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Ringgenberg said. “Our goal isn’t just to be critical of power, but to build power for working people, so we need to do more.”
In a Facebook group, Uptown Crime, many residents lamented the results of the city council election, with some saying that the new members are “worse” than the ones that got voted out.
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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Robin Wonsley Worlobah” by Robin for Minneapolis. Photo “Aisha Chughtai” by Aisha Chughtai for Ward 10. Photo “Jason Chavez” by Jason Chavez for Ward 9. Photo “Minneapolis City Hall” by McGhiever. CC BY-SA 4.0.