I am honored and humbled to announce that Senator Patricia Torres Ray has endorsed my candidacy for Mayor of Minneapolis! Below is her powerful statement of endorsement.
I’m endorsing Nekima Levy-Pounds because I believe in her capacity to lead, and the strength of her vision for the future of Minneapolis. For the past 29 years I have witnessed many leaders who have had good intentions, but who had timid plans to address inequities in our State. This approach has not worked, and we continue to have some of the largest disparities in the nation. Nekima’s approach to resolving these disparities will not be timid. Letting business elites and developers chart the course for the City has largely left the needs of youth and minority communities unmet. Nekima’s focus on opening jobs and opportunities in low income communities, and building community-led policing services, will generate the growth and trust we need in our City.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are flowing into some campaigns, and we should be concerned about it. The rapidly increasing influence of big money in local politics is troubling and threatens to diminish accountability to communities. Raising big money doesn’t speak to the candidate’s ability to listen or to lead. Money is influencing politics in Washington and it will increasingly influence politics here in Minneapolis. I applaud and respect Nekima’s rejection of big money. We often view a candidates’ ability to connect with business leaders and people in positions of power as an essential requirement to be in public office. What about the candidate’s ability to genuinely connect with voters? Isn’t this actually more important? Nekima is inspiring many young people from all walks of life, who feel empowered by her message. Many of Nekima’s supporters have lost faith in our electoral process, but her candidacy is renewing their hope. They will get out to vote in 2017 and they will follow her into the 2020 election, especially if she becomes Mayor. Nekima inspires a large constituency that is not being inspired by any other candidate. And that inspires me!
Many people know Nekima as a strong activist. In addition to a lifetime of activism, she has 14 years of experience of teaching law, over 20 years of executive experience directing nonprofit organizations and developing strategic plans, 10 years of experience of developing curriculum, and writing extensively about over-incarceration, police brutality, racial inequality, the effects of violence in communities, women’s rights and more . Over the years I’ve supported many progressive candidates, particularly women and minorities. The narratives surrounding people of color’s campaigns are almost always the same. “They are not ready”, They don’t have what it takes to be in office yet”,
“They have a one issue campaign”, “They are great at what they do, they should stay where they are”, “They don’t build diverse coalitions”, and “They can’t raise enough money.” I’m sad to see that the narratives developing around Nekima’s campaign are no different. I’m not buying these stale narratives. Nekima has all the qualifications needed to be Mayor and I’m incredibly proud to support her. I very much hope you review Nekima’s vision for our city and decide to support her effort to become our next Mayor of Minneapolis!
Patricia Torres Ray Minnesota State Senator Senate District 63