News

New Council Members Push Progress

Olivia Allery, news editor

​​Three newly elected Minneapolis City Council members – , Jason Chavez, Aisha Chughtai and Robin Wonsley Worlobah – ran as Democratic Socialists, and were endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). They will be sworn in next January to the most racially diverse city council Minneapolis has ever seen, contributing to the highest influx of socialists on the council. 

Chavez, Chughtai and Worlobah have expressed their main focus while serving is to make headway on progressive policy changes to help solve the city’s housing crisis, rent control policies being a major focus. This will be a challenge as voters shifted more executive power to the mayor, Jacob Frey, who does not support rent control. 

Chavez, who represents Ward 9, was formerly a legislative aide for the Democratic party. He decided to run for city council after legislative Democrats were unable to pass legislation allowing drivers licenses to all Minnesota residents regardless of their immgration status. We didn’t do it, and we let down undocumented neighbors,” said Chavez in an article from the Sahan Journal.

Chughtai, the youngest ever member to be elected to the Minneapolis City Council at 24, will be representing Ward 10, which includes most of the neighborhoods in Uptown. She expressed that she did not see any officials representing the majority population of the Ward, which is overwhelmingly composed of immigrants, renters, and working class citizens. “I saw a lot of people step up to run that did not understand what the experience looks like in the here and now,” Chughtai told MPR News.

Collectively, these three candidates have a goal to push Democrats in the council to support progressive changes that they have failed to move on. “We (DSA) made it very clear that city council really has failed to move on the issue of rent control, especially when renters and students have informed them numerous times that rent continues to increase, and wages are not,” said Worlobah, who represents Augsburg’s own area, Ward 2, to the Echo.