Ward 6 includes Cedar-Riverside and several other neighborhoods with a lot of immigrants. It’s currently represented by Jamal Osman, who won a special election in 2020 to replace Abdi Warsame after he resigned to lead the city’s Public Housing Authority instead. There were twelve candidates a year ago; now there are two. Abdirizak Bihi was also on last year’s ballot. (He was dropped on the second ballot. AK Hassan made it one more round, then AJ Awed made it one more round past that. Both Hassan and Awed are running for other offices this year — Hassan to be re-elected to the Park Board, Awed for mayor.)
This has been an extremely strange year to learn the job of City Council rep. Jamal Osman notes that he has not yet gone to an in-person City Council meeting.
tl;dr after a whole lot of waffling I decided on Osman, but I think undecided voters should read the post to see if they agree with me. ETA: after some late-breaking news I’m going to say I have no idea who I’d vote for. (For a full update you can scroll down to the boldfaced “I AM NOT SURE WHERE TO EVEN START.”)
This is the sort of “only in Minneapolis” race where the two Democrats are the conservatives and the long-time progressive Green has a Democratic Socialist running to his left. (Also there’s a Republican but I keep forgetting he exists because he doesn’t have a website.)
It’s also one of those “I like multiple people in this race and worry about hurting people’s feelings” races.
Jeremiah Ellison is the incumbent, but almost lost to Victor Martinez at the endorsing convention. He beat previous incumbent Blong Yang for the seat in 2017; the Council Rep before Blong Yang was Don Samuels.
Seven people are running, there are three open seats, you get to rank three, and your rankings matter. I find the counting process with ranked-choice ballots fairly intuitive for single-winner elections, but much more confusing for multi-winner elections. However, this video does a good job of explaining it:
The key things you need to know: you should definitely rank people in your order of preference, and don’t worry about “wasting” that top slot on a candidate you think will be broadly popular. Voting for a second and third candidate will not hurt your top candidate’s chances.
The debate over what to do about public safety and policing is far and away the most central question in pretty much every other race this year in Minneapolis, including the Park Board races. But it’s also actually on the ballot and Minneapolis residents will be able to vote Yes or No on the question of whether to create a Department of Public Safety to replace MPD.
Here’s what’s appearing on the ballot — both a question, and an explanation:
CITY QUESTION 2 (Minneapolis)
Department of Public Safety
Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the Police Department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety, with those specific functions to be determined by the Mayor and City Council by ordinance; which will not be subject to exclusive mayoral power over its establishment, maintenance, and command; and which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?
YES / NO
This amendment would create a Department of Public Safety combining public safety functions through a comprehensive public health approach to be determined by the Mayor and Council. The department would be led by a Commissioner nominated by the Mayor and appointed by the Council. The Police Department, and its chief, would be removed from the City Charter. The Public Safety Department could include police officers, but the minimum funding requirement would be eliminated.
I support this amendment, and would vote yes.
Note: the post below includes embedded videos that show (non-lethal) police violence.