Noor for Senate District 59

Mohamud Noor will bring a fresh perspective to the state Legislature.

Daily Editorial Board

From the state shutdown last summer to the federal debt ceiling debacle and failure of the congressional âÄúsupercommitteeâÄù to agree on a deficit reduction plan, there are many examples that show our political system is broken. At the same time, the United States, Minnesota and Minneapolis are all becoming more diverse. These two facts mean we need fresh faces with new perspectives to represent us. That is why the Minnesota Daily Editorial Board endorses Mohamud Noor for State Senate District 59. The DFL primary vote will take place next Tuesday, Dec. 6, and the general election will occur Jan. 10. The DFL primary is crucial, since District 59 voted for the DFL candidate by a margin of 78-22 percent in the last general election in 2010.

Mohamud Noor is the candidate of change in this election. His ideas, experiences and character will combine to bring a new perspective to the Minnesota State Legislature.

As a black immigrant, Noor brings a significantly more diverse range of experiences to the state Legislature than the typical Minnesota politician. Right now, only six of the 201 total seats in the state Legislature are held by self-reported minorities, only three of which are in the state Senate.  ItâÄôs time for that to change.

NoorâÄôs experiences âÄî and his knowledge of several languages âÄî can help him interact with and represent more easily a much greater part of his constituency than any other candidate. And being black and an immigrant means there is no doubt he will stand up for the interests of the underrepresented.

An argument critics of Noor might make is that he has little experience in the political system. In this political environment, we consider that an advantage. While Noor might not be familiar with the inner workings and mechanisms of the state Legislature, he is also not a part of the current political power system. He comes in with none of the personal loyalties that other candidates might have, and his new perspective makes him capable of thinking outside the current political processes and ignoring conventional wisdom.

At the recent Daily candidate forum, other DFL candidates blasted âÄúTea Party RepublicansâÄù and said that voting Republicans out of office would be the best way to get their policies passed. This is an unconstructive attitude and the wrong one to take. It places too much importance on politics and not enough on governance. Even if the DFL had the majority in the state Legislature, its members would still have to negotiate with Republicans. Noor avoided this kind of talk and seemed more willing and more likely to avoid the poisonous rhetoric of demonizing opponents that hamstrings oneâÄôs ability to compromise and negotiate.

While Noor is a great match for his district, he also has a broad enough view to understand that his work at the state Senate will affect all of Minnesota. His push for competitive bidding for public employee health insurance plans and expanding broadband connectivity in the state show that his interests are not narrow and he will not focus only on provincial projects for District 59.

Noor also has policies that will specifically benefit students. Besides having firsthand experience with the education and higher education systems of Minnesota, he wants to be continually engaged with students on our campus. Noor will work with a student liaison and has promised to hold a quarterly forum on campus, in addition to his office having an âÄúopen doorâÄù policy for students.

We believe that Noor will represent students at least as well, if not better, than all the other candidates. He will also bring a far different and much broader perspective to the Legislature.

This election is about old ways of thinking versus new ones. Noor is District 59âÄôs best hope for real change.