The Strib’s reporting suggests that police reform and public safety have become the top voting motivations for DFL primary voters this Tuesday. The article says “in a period of reckoning for their party and the nation as a whole, they’re also contrasting their ideas on police reform and racial inequality, issues that have fueled several primaries in the city where Floyd died, particularly the contest between Omar and Melton-Meaux.”

This has led to a spirited fight between Omar and Melton-Meaux. From the Melton-Meaux side, “His supporters, like civil rights activists Josie Johnson and Nekima Levy Armstrong, argue their support for him goes beyond policy positions. It touches on a key theme of his campaign: that Omar, a rising star and member of ‘the Squad’ in Congress, is more concerned about her national profile than the needs of the district. ‘I’m in touch with people on a regular basis who feel as if they are being neglected by the powers that be,’ said Levy Armstrong. ‘Understanding our needs is critical of the person who is going to represent us in Congress. Someone who is going to spend the time listening to what we need and not just talking and giving rhetoric.'”

From the Omar side:

Omar said she finds Melton-Meaux’s insinuation “offensive.” Her father was also battling COVID-19 at the same time and later died. Her supporters say she was frequently at the memorial and helping communities hit by civil unrest. They also have criticized Melton-Meaux for a 2015 Star Tribune op-ed that called out protesters’ anti-police chants as he argued that the movement needed to create a bigger tent. Melton-Meaux defends the commentary, saying he wrote the piece to help the movement grow and build collaborations.

It’s fun watching Melton-Meaux criticize Omar. She’s acted like she’s immune from criticism. It’s just a matter of time before she boils over.

Tensions over policing and the Black Lives Matter movement also have extended to Hayden’s race, where Fateh has criticized the incumbent for past backing from the controversial Minneapolis police union. Hayden said an erroneous endorsement was put on his website alongside those of other unions. He denies that he’s accepted the police union’s backing.

Fateh supports the push to radically reimagine policing in the city and the state, and said Hayden hasn’t been a present leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. But Hayden said his experience of more than a decade at the State Capitol has helped him build connections necessary to bring resources back to the district, which still suffers the scars of properties burned, looted and vandalized after Floyd’s death.

On the subject of bringing resources back to the community, he’s stunk at it:

While it’s hard to blame the cops for considering clearing out of town under the current conditions, they may have company as they’re loading up the U-Haul rental trucks. A number of business owners in Minneapolis appear to have had it with their properties being smashed, emptied and set on fire. And if some semblance of normalcy and security can’t be restored, they will be looking to relocate to somewhere safer and taking all of their jobs with them. (CBS Minnesota)

This isn’t helpful in rebuilding Minneapolis. Once the trickle starts to move, it doesn’t take long for it to turn into a full-fledged mass exodus from Minneapolis. That’s what happens when you have ineffective leadership.

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