Editorial: The Minnesota Daily’s endorsement for Ward 6

From left: Ward 6 City Council Member Abdi Warsame and challenger Mohamud Noor

From left: Ward 6 City Council Member Abdi Warsame and challenger Mohamud Noor

by Daily Editorial Board

Editorial: Our endorsement process

Abdi Warsame, the current city council member representing Ward 6 of Minneapolis, was elected in 2013 as the first Somali-American in a municipal office. During this past term, Warsame undertook important challenges in the community and worked relentlessly to address them. His clear experience in the city council, his commitment to continue improving Ward 6 and his passion to become a leader in the city council moving forward are clear reasons why we endorse him as our first-ranked choice for the upcoming Minneapolis election on Nov. 7.

Warsame grew up in Great Britain, and obtained a master’s degree in International Business. His academic resolve and desire to pursue evidence-based solutions to problems substantiates claims about his commitment for improving the community he currently serves. He has already shown clear leadership in several issues pertaining to Ward 6. First, his strong leadership was evident in the recent co-authoring and passage of the $15 minimum wage ordinance in Minneapolis. This not only reflects his ability to work with other, potentially disagreeing city council members, but the ability to respond to the demands made by his constituency. In addition to this, his leadership in the reallocation of police funds to the increased funding of Minneapolis parks and other important community spaces gives credence to his ability to use creative measures to build the ties between the community in Ward 6 and the police force patrolling the area. 

With regard to Ward 6 related policing and crime issues, we predominantly agree with Warsame’s assessment that we need more police officers on the force. Currently, too many police officers are simply going from call-to-call without really engaging the communities they reside in. The increase of police officers should be done systematically, and have the intended goal to increase the number of officers from minorities underrepresented in police forces. Furthermore, with more police officers on the force, Warsame agrees with our assessment that community engagement between the police force should continue and be strengthened. In addition to the work that Warsame has done, we believe that he is best suited to continue strong efforts for police reform and improving the growing safe environment in Ward 6. 

Change not only takes time, but requires strong, decisive leadership in the community. While certainly Ward 6 has many issues to address, we believe that Warsame has done a good job in his four years. Additionally, in order to continue many of those changes unabated, he is the right person.

Our second-ranked choice for Ward 6 is Mohamud Noor. Noor currently serves as the director of an important non-profit, the Confederation for Somali Community in Minnesota, which helps integrate Somali immigrants into their communities in Minnesota. Noor also has the endorsements of key officials and organizations — including state Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis and Mayor Betsy Hodges — which undisputedly shows the legitimacy of his candidacy and the strength of his campaign platform. His ability to draw much community support is also indicative of the need of future administrations to listen more carefully and often to their constituents in formal settings. However, while many components of Noor’s platform aligned with our board, we believed that he did not give enough concrete evidence of the need for change. There is no denying that there are still problems facing Ward 6 — however, the next leader must be willing to offer clear, tangible solutions to the problem. While we believe that Noor’s platform did this to a substantial degree, his inability to give us concrete examples of failures by the incumbent Warsame raises a critical question about the need for change.

The third and final candidate for Ward 6 is Fadumo Yusuf, whom the Daily did not interview. She is the only candidate running as a Republican in Ward 6, and has lived in Minneapolis for 15 years, according to her campaign website. The Daily elected to not rank her third.

On Nov. 7, we urge Ward 6 residents to rank Abdi Warsame as their first choice and Mohamud Noor as their second.