Greens endorse Hakeem, Zimmermann and Young

At its May 8 Fifth Congressional District convention, the Minneapolis Green Party endorsed its first-ever mayoral candidate, Farheen Hakeem, and re-endorsed 6th Ward City Councilmember Dean Zimmermann and At-Large Park Board Commissioner Annie Young.

Said Hakeem, "I have four major platform issues. I would like to deviate ourselves from being dependent on state and county funding and try to create our own income. I would to see real affordable housing - currently the standard is based on income of approximately $38,000 per year. As a result, 30 percent of the people of Minneapolis can't afford housing. Which leads to my next issue, which is livable wages: $38,000 a year is about $19 an hour; this is a salary whose jobs are not easily available. My last issue is an anti-racist approach to public safety. We still have a problem of our communities not trusting police officers, and this makes it difficult to increase their funding."

The 29-year-old, a membership coordinator with the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis, also emphasized her opposition to a new Twins stadium, in contrast to DFL mayoral candidates R.T. Rybak and Peter McLaughlin.

Zimmermann, a Whittier resident, faces DFLer and fellow incumbent Robert Lilligren in the Ward 6 race. Lilligren was redistricted into the ward in 2002.

In Council races affecting Southwest, delegates rejected Robert Halfhill for the 7th Ward race against DFL incumbent Lisa Goodman and delayed a verdict on 8th Ward hopeful Reginald Birts, who was not able to attend the convention. No candidates sought the endorsement for other Southwest seats in the 10th, 11th and 13th wards.

The party platform includes "no stadium paid with taxes unless we have a locally owned team," restoring Metro Transit budget cuts, more parks and libraries funding, publicly financed elections and establishing a commission to study raising local taxes progressively.

The Green slate also includes Cam Gordon in Southeast's 2nd Ward, Aaron Newman in the 3rd Ward just north of downtown and incumbent Natalie Johnson Lee in the North Side's 5th Ward. The next stop for all is the Sept. 13 primary election.

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