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For the People

Despite becoming an activist as a teenager, it took me years to come to terms with the deep roots of systemic oppression in this country (and globally). My younger, more idealistic self knew these systems were flawed. But I had such a simplistic view of things. I thought that if we just raised awareness, we could work together to fix everything. I was shocked to realize that so many people were apathetic or supported, either actively or passively, systemic injustices. I learned how these systems are intended to pit us against one another. How unique expressions of privilege and oppression can exist simultaneously.

That was a long-winded intro just to say that hey, today is day one of the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd’s murder. As a Minneapolis resident (and human), I have been outraged. George Floyd’s family will have to endure hearing the horrific details of their loved one’s murder along with character assassination from the defense. I am anxious about the outcome of this trial. Will these officers be held accountable for their crimes? Our country doesn’t have a great track record in these situations. There is so much uncertainty. But what I am certain of is that the City of Minneapolis needs new leadership. We are demanding a more just Minneapolis and Sheila Nezhad has the vision and the skills to help us build it. I’ve pulled some information from her website below. You can support her campaign by supporting the Auction for the People that also launched today.

You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.

– Angela Davis

We deserve to thrive, not just survive.

What does it mean to thrive? To Sheila, thriving means having the power of self-determination. Self-determination means, simply, a person has control over their own life. Social justice means that your race, your gender, where you were born or the work you do does not restrict how you get to live your life. Thriving means that we have the right to joy, not just to get by. We deserve to have places for our youth to be together safely, green spaces to play, and community art that inspires hope and resilience, like the murals we saw emerge throughout the city this summer, windows into a world we have not yet built.

Justice and safety are intertwined

Sheila wants to build a world where we are all safe, all people can walk down the street without fear, everyone has their basic needs met, and every person has someone to call when they need help. Our city deserves better options than violent policing and mass incarceration as our only choices for public safety. The majority of crime happens because people don’t have their basic needs met. In order to create a safe city, we need affordable rent, fully funded schools, more youth programs, comprehensive sex ed that teaches healthy relationship skills, and accessible mental health supports. We need economic, social, racial, and environmental justice to have a safe city, and we need to start investing in alternatives like mobile mental health teams, so we make sure we can get the right care to people experiencing emergencies.

Power comes from the people

Power comes from the people and our policy-making should too! Sheila believes that we should craft our policy solutions together, creating city services that meet what communities really need, following the lead of those actually doing the work on the ground. The People’s Budget is a great example of ground-up policy development. Sheila was a lead organizer and endorses the demands in the People’s Budget, alongside seventy-two organizations and hundreds of Minneapolis residents.

Throughout her campaign, Sheila will work with you to build a people’s platform! Did you join the Policy by the People series? In this six-part series, community members shared the transformative work they are doing in their community and the real-time needs they are seeing in their neighborhoods. The series included: environment, housing reparations, safety & health, community wealth, and education, and informed Sheila’s policy platform.

This auction starts today!

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