Immigrants draw lines for change in Minneapolis

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2012 - 11:05 PM

Activists and redistricting officials are drafting revised political wards in Minneapolis to consolidate and increase influence.

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thiniceFeb. 16, 1212:05 PM

Some Cedar Riverside residents feel the new ward would stifle diversity, creating a new "poverty ward." They wonder if a African council person would represent all the population. Experience shows that in Cedar Riverside politics the Somali diaspora is very much clan based and ethnocentric in their outlook.

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liberaleliteFeb. 16, 12 2:49 PM

Why not just keep it based on clumping similar neighborhoods? These proposals make it difficult for neighborhood groups to be effective since some neighborhoods are split into 2 or 3 wards.

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hanad12Feb. 16, 12 8:32 PM

Maya thank you for that great story. The Citizens Committee for Fair Redistricting have presented a coherent and compelling proposal, one that meets all the principles set forth by the charter commission. It’s high time that the minority population of our great City got better representation at City Hall. It’s also unfortunate that some people in this day age would make racist and absurd claims such as “They wonder if a African council person would represent all the population”. The East African-American community have proven their political cohesiveness and strength in recent elections and hateful individuals will not be able to undermine that fact. Again, a great article.

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Dan_FehlerFeb. 17, 12 1:46 PM

So, there is a complaint that Minneapolis only has two minority council members. And they plan to fix this by increasing the minority percentage of the two wards currently represented by those two members? Am I missing something?

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huflungpuFeb. 17, 12 3:02 PM

So the race/ethnicity of city council members is how we measure political representation? That is an awfully simple way of looking at things. Any council member with 48% non-white in their district is going to be extremely concerned about the needs of non-whites even if they happen to be white. Packing groups into select districts might actually reduce the groups' representation since it will limit the number of elected officials who have constituents that are members of said group. But hey, why let something like that get in the way of drawing political boundaries based on race/ethnicity. I am confident that dividing the city into segments based on race/ethnicity will generate good results for everyone. Maybe we can build physical barriers between racial/ethnic groups if the political barriers do not prove divisive enough.

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