Eyes darting from news story to blog post to social media message, but nothing looks any different. The same text flashes before your eyes. The St. Paul Mayoral election race has a pre-determined winner. People are already upset, others satisfied. The turnout of this election holds in its hands a very pinnacle moment in St. Paul’s history. No matter what happens, you think, I hope Minnesotans never forget what is ahead and what we’re coming from.
The past few years have been everything but calm. The Mayor who walks into this next term walks with a community who continues to heal, grow, and change. The aftermath of a city on fire, the deaths of innocent lives, these are, consequentially, things that a Mayor holds in their hands.
They must be held carefully, tenderly.
What was a long-awaited presidential election burns in the minds of so many across the nation and world. The effects on Minnesotans is just as strong as anywhere else.
A Mayor must think wisely in the political climate that exists.
The trauma and pain of a community grieving the loss of life and racism that continues to herd us all like cattle is ever-present.
A Mayor must not forget the murders, the turmoil, and the unrest, as it has become a vein in the bloodstream of St. Paul.
To look ahead is a prominently hopeful stance. St. Paul holds an eagerness, like a child the night before the holidays, to build and adjust and serve. Communities want change, people want justice, and governments want order. The city begs for revolutionary and foundational disruptions – disruptions to clear away racism and homophobia, lies and violence, pain and homelessness.
A Mayor must be looking forward, with a thoughtful and empathetic lens on their city.
A Mayor must embody what St. Paul needs next. A Mayor must represent this city for who she is, the communities she has, and the people she looks out for.
Abha Karnick is a south Minneapolis resident with East Indian roots who graduated from Hamline University in 2019. Her passion lies in storytelling and finding moments to capture.
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