By Jamar Nelson
With just over 8 months to go until the Minneapolis mayoral election, I’m writing this to let people know why I think Nekima Levy-Pounds is not the right choice for mayor of Minneapolis.
First, her divisiveness is dangerous and volatile. Plus, she doesn’t seem to recognize any issues other than criminal justice; for instance, high joblessness amongst black males; and there’s more to being mayor than just criminal justice. Second, who knows what she would do with the Minneapolis budget, however, she probably won’t get the chance with ranked choice voting.
Divisiveness and Identity Politics
She might know about criminal justice issues. But do I believe she would affect positive change for criminal justice in Minneapolis? No! I don’t believe she would affect any good change in criminal justice. Why? Her record. She hasn’t affected any positive change yet.
Instead, she’s always screaming how bad white folks are. I’ve been in plenty of NAACP meetings and I believe she believes all white folks are racist. As an example during the contentious time of Jamar Clark’s unjustified shooting death, I witnessed her have two white NAACP members, who were sitting there not doing anything or bothering anyone, removed for openly carrying firearms; but she didn’t kick out the black NAACP member who was also openly carrying a firearm. Hypocrisy!
Now granted the building we were in, I believe, did not allow open carry on the premises. And that’s fine. But again, she kicked out two white NAACP members for open carry and not the black NAACP member for open carry.
Given this example and her divisiveness, how well will she do with white folks? She will do well with some; and then there are those who know how incredibly divisive she is and believe her rhetoric to be racist.
And how do I think she would deal with budgetary issues, i.e., the Minneapolis financial purse? I don’t know what she would do with a huge budget because, again, she doesn’t talk about financial issues, unless she’s implying white folks have all the money.
Another budget problem is she doesn’t seem to include any other colors in her plans other than black folks.
Minneapolis is 68 percent white. She’s got to be able to work with white folks, as well, to get things done in the city for minorities, but I never hear her come up with a jobs plan. To her credit, every candidate always says they’re going to bring jobs into the city, but no details. But who has she talked to? What incentives has she offered? Again, where’s her jobs plan?
However, whenever she’s pressed on any concerning issues, she normally lashes out and tries to bully or be physical, so how would she respond to being pressed on a jobs plan?
I’d like to know what companies she has approached; I’d like to know what companies she has invited to go into North and South Minneapolis to provide jobs. I highly doubt she has done this because most of the owners of those big companies are white males whom she tends to bash whenever she speaks publicly.
And as far as the Minneapolis City Council is concerned, she’s already butted heads with Council President Barb Johnson from what I understand.
To her credit, I’m sure she’ll hire the right people to help her put together a suitable budget. But I would have liked her to have done this because we never heard her speak of a budget when she was president of the NAACP. I’m not even sure if she grew the membership. She definitely didn’t oversee any increase in jobs.
Last thought, she wants to fire the police chief upon her election. I think it’s laughable because you can’t just fire the chief without cause. That litigation will cost the city millions of dollars. It certainly wouldn’t be a fiscally prudent way to start as mayor. But she might not even get the opportunity to fire the police chief because she has to find a way to get through rank choice voting.
Ranked Choice Voting
Yeah! I believe she has a shot to win but ranked choice voting won’t help her.
I think enough people will come out for Betsy Hodges, Jacob Frey, and Raymond Dehn. And the fact that those others are in the race only complicates things for her. If she had a one-on-one with Hodges, she probably would beat her because I believe she would benefit from the ground swell of social justice youth voters.
But because there are other candidates, and 2nd and 3rd choice votes which won’t help her, she won’t. I don’t believe she’ll do well enough to win.
I’m writing this because I want my community to be aware of black folks with their fists in the air screaming, “Black power!” who don’t always have our best interests in mind; and I’m writing this article to stress the power of voting because we set the tone for our future, not the belief in a politician who tries to dictate how, when, and what we should feel by ignoring the will of the people of Minneapolis.
Jamar Nelson is a guest writer for The Systems Scientist. He is also a co-host of The Black Republican/Black Democrat Show on Twin Cities News Talk in Minneapolis, MN. He is a loyal Democrat and Dallas Cowboys fan.
Photo credit: Lorie Shaull
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