Minneapolis mayoral candidates face off in forum

With the Minneapolis mayoral election seven months away, the six DFL candidates met for a panel Thursday at the University of Minnesota School of Law, discussing a wide ranging set of topics including the minimum wage, how to curb violent crime and the city's status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

The six candidates include current Mayor Betsy Hodges, state Rep. Raymond Dehn, DFL-Minneapolis, City Council Member Jacob Frey, former Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds, filmmaker Aswar Rahman and theater executive Tom Hoch. 

All of them agreed local law enforcement should not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and that they would use the power of the Mayor's office to undermine ICE raids. 

"As long as I am mayor we will have a separation ordinance," Hodges said. "As long as I am mayor we will stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters."

Rahman also said as a result of these stances he would prepare the city financially to lose federal funding, and stood in opposition to most of his fellow candidates in advocating against raising the minimum wage, with both sides citing the city of Seattle as an example of what happens after such policies are implemented. 

When conversation turned to the Minneapolis Police Department, they all agreed changes were necessary, including demilitarization, diversification and adding members to the force.

Caucuses to choose DFL delegates will take place in April, with the general election in November.