I have never participated in the elections process beyond voting until this year. This month I attended and participated in my first precinct caucus. I never participated before because I did not believe the process was fair, democratic, or inclusive. I do not have much faith in the democratic process, and less faith in politics and politicians. My belief is any “public servant or elected official,” that has to do more fund begging than actual work IN elected to office for is not a person or process I would trust. I DO NOT BELIEVE MONEY SHOULD BE THE DECIDING FACTOR IF A PERSON GETS ELECTED OR RE-ELECTED. I can say my opinion was not changed for the positive after this experience. On its face the CAUCUS process is inherently discriminatory. I did not see EQUITY OR INCLUSIVENESS in any way, shape, or form.
My precinct caucus was held at Roosevelt High School. Roosevelt High School does not have any disability parking spaces in the front of the building. Not one space from E. 41st St all the way to E. 42nd St. ON TWENTY-EIGHTH Ave. S. Attendees had to park up to ten blocks away from the school in all directions. There were no provisions for a shuttle bus service to get attendees to the building. There were no accommodations for disability parking. I cannot tell you, how a person with a mobility impairment was to get into the building. If a person with a mobility impairment accessed the building, I have no idea how they would have been able to access the building beyond the entry way. A person with blindness or other visual impairments would not have been able to participate fully as an individual. There were no accommodations for the blind or visually impaired. Any individual with hearing loss would not have been able to participate fully.
ALLOW ME TO CLARIFY MY POINT: THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY FOR THIS PROCESS ARE BEING IGNORED. THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT IS BEING IGNORED.
In my precinct caucus five hundred and fifty people entered the room to cast their vote. I could count on one hand the number of clear minorities by color in the room. During the resolutions process the number of minorities was even less, and needless to say, “persons with disabilities,” were noticeably absent excluding myself. What happened to “one Minneapolis”?
For those of you who claim to be democrats: You should be ashamed of yourselves. You have much to learn and nothing to celebrate.
Whoever was in charge of this fiasco should be sued for blatant discrimination. Whoever supported this fiasco should be sued also. All of them should spend a few years in jail for perpetrating such a flawed process upon the people of Minneapolis.
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY THESE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THERE MOMENTUS FAILURETO APPLY THE SIMPLEST OF LAWS AND MORAL CHARACTER.
ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE
Kenneth Brown is a disability advocate/consultant, past chair of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, and twelve year volunteer on the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Persons with disabilities.
He welcomes reader response at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone612-518-2155.