COMMUNITY VOICES | One Minneapolis Mayoral Forum: Not sexist, not Minnesota Nice either

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in the One Minneapolis Mayoral Forum that was held at Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. The Forum was designed to carve out a unique space in which candidates for the Minneapolis Mayoral race would be called upon to bring forth specific solutions to address the growing racial disparities in the City. Unlike traditional political forums, the One Minneapolis Forum was organized by youth workers who are routinely forced to confront the harsh realities of poverty, homelessness, and unemployment through the eyes of the young people they serve. In addition to a specific focus on socio-economic disparities, the Forum organizers sought to ensure that racial disparities would for once be front and center in a major mayoral debate, as opposed to a peripheral issue, as is often the case in such forums. For a video replay, see http://www.theuptake.org/2013/06/06/minneapolis-mayoral-candidates-address-race-issues/.The Forum was Not “Business as Usual”The Forum attracted hundreds of young voters, concerned citizens, seasoned freedom fighters, and a large number of residents from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The energy in the overflowing auditorium was electrifying and signaled the desire for an end to a “business as usual” paradigm in political forums and ushered in the possibility of a new form of citizen engagement in political arenas.The organizers of the event decided that the forum would be highly structured in some respects and free-flowing in other respects to allow for audience participation and feedback. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Terra Cole: One Minneapolis mayoral forum was sexist to female candidates

I would first like to start off by saying how extremely blessed I was to have experienced the One Minneapolis Mayoral forum which took place this past Thursday. Over the past six months, I have had the opportunity to either be a part of the planning of or working at least four other mayoral forums this year. I will tell you without reservation that the One Minneapolis forum by far was the best attended, most diverse and posed the most thoughtful questions to the candidates. I was very pleased with the care and meaningfulness of the questions that were posed to the candidates as well as the individuals who asked them. The One Minneapolis forum was truly put on for the people and by the people. Continue Reading