The leader of Black Lives Matter St. Paul is running to unseat Rena Moran, the only black member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Rashad Turner is challenging Moran to represent St. Paul on the Democratic ticket in next month’s primary elections. Turner says he plans to bring his passion for activism to the Capitol, saying, “The passion that I bring for Black Lives Matter St. Paul is the same passion and dedication that I plan to bring as a representative for this district, a representative for this state.”
Turner says Moran hasn’t done enough to address the state’s widening racial economic disparities. Moran was recently quoted by MPR saying Turner’s criticisms were “comical.” Turner responded, “I guess we’ll see how comical it is on August 9th. I think that some people in our community were offended by that. I didn’t really think too much about it but I don’t think anybody is laughing at how they’re living right now.”
Turner hopes to fix the racial disparities he sees in the state with help of the Black Lives Matter movement behind him, explaining, “If things aren’t getting done just to be able to have that hammer of Black Lives Matter St. Paul and community members ready to step up – and if we have to shut down the parking lot at the Capitol to get things done, I think that’s kind of a bonus that I’ll have is having people in the community ready to mobilize when we need to.”
Black Lives Matter is known for protesting by shutting down major highways, community events and shopping centers. Turner says they have protests planned in the future, which will likely once again include the State Fair, but says unlike last weekend’s protests, his organization’s protests will remain peaceful, saying, “That protest that occurred over the weekend where things got kind of chaotic wasn’t a Black Lives Matter St. Paul protest, all of our protests have been nonviolent peaceful action, so we’ll continue to do that…”
Representative Moran responded to Turner’s criticisms, telling Alpha News, “I am proud of the work I am doing, and will continue to do, for my community. This year, we were able to invest over $35 million to reduce racial disparities. I was especially pleased to work with Ujamaa Place and YWCA St. Paul, two wonderful organizations in my district, to secure funding for job training and wrap around services programs. We have much more work to do and I am committed to continuing this work.”
Turner expects a good turn out for the primary on August 9th. Subscribe to Alpha News for continued coverage.