April 13, 2017
Dan McConnell, Chair
4309 S. 30th Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3710
Re: 6th Ward DFL caucuses
Dear Mr. McConnell:
My name is Mohamud Noor and I am a candidate for the 6th Ward. I am writing you about the serious procedural flaws in the precinct caucuses in the 6th Ward, which took place on April 4, 2017. I would request that you bring these complaints to the attention of the Central Committee, the Credentials Committee, or whichever governing body will supervise the upcoming 6th Ward Convention.
Throughout my campaign for Ward 6 city council, I heard a recurring concerns that the process will be flawed and will stain the entire process of securing delegates for the convention. I assured our supporters that the process will be fair.
Prior to the caucuses, all 6th Ward candidates and the Minneapolis DFL entered into written agreements, copies of which are attached hereto as Exhibits A and B. In that agreement, the candidates and the Minneapolis DFL agreed, inter alia, to set clear rules, regulations, procedures, and other requirements in the conduct of Minneapolis Ward 6 caucuses. Despite our best efforts, the process was flawed and it becomes the unfortunate task of the Minneapolis DFL to repair the damage and credibility of the Party. I have also attached testimonial and other Exhibits that supports our claim. Below are some of the violations, improper rules, fraud, and instances of dishonesty.
The caucus on April 4, 2017 were not conducted in proper procedures and applicable rules. The Constitution and DFL Bylaws are the have set forth clear rules, regulations, procedures, and other requirements in the conduct of Minneapolis DFL caucuses. However, there were clearly numerous violations of the normal processes and procedures of the caucuses. This also includes the Ward 6 agreement signed by all the candidates. We as a DFL pride ourselves on our democratic values and our process is transparent, honest, and fair. Here are some of the violations:
For the purposes of caucuses it has to accessible sites that meet State Building Code requirements. However, it was difficult to conduct business at almost all the locations in Ward 6 due to overcrowding. In precinct 3, the Minneapolis Fire Department shut down the location when it turned to potentially dangerous and some of the attendees converged at the soccer field. One of my supporter Fadumo Osman and others needed medical attention due to the chaos at the precinct 3 caucus. Some of the precinct ended almost close to midnight and it robbed many people of the opportunity to participate. Also, there were no maps posted anywhere to indicate the precinct boundaries for the caucus attendees. A number of attendees complained they could not hear or understand the proceedings at the caucus.
There was no proper registration and people who did not reside in the precinct or the ward participated. This is contrary to the DFL Constitution and Bylaws:
Verify that everyone lives in the precinct and read the eligibility requirements:
By signing in, precinct caucus attendees agree to the following: You affirm that you live in the precinct; you will be 18 by November 7, 2017 and are eligible to vote or will be 16 and eligible to participate in caucus business; you consider yourself a member of the DFL Party, and are not an active member of any other political party; and, you agree with the principles of the DFL Party as stated in the DFL Constitution and Bylaws.
Registration irregularity is far more significant and the failure to enforce the rules directly affected the outcome of the caucus. Likewise it was difficult to properly count the caucus attendees.
After precinct 3 location was shut down there was confusion as to whether the caucus was cancelled or how to reconvene at a different site outside the building without proper procedures. Likewise the presence of attorney council member Warsame was intimidating the caucus attendees at that precinct. There were delegates elected for the ward and citywide. However, it appears the Minneapolis DFL made an arbitrary decision to allocate delegates. There is no data to support this decision. It also appears that there is an attempt to support a particular candidate.
The caucus process is subject to abuse that is why we entered into written agreements in advance of the caucuses on April 4th, 2017. This is particularly true when large number of people attend their precinct caucus. I have personally witnessed many people at the precinct caucuses that were nonresident and they were participating Ward 6 DFL caucuses for purposes of manipulating the outcome of the process. There was no registrations done at almost all the precincts. This is a clear violation of the agreement addendum:
CREDENTIALS AND FLOOR ACCESS: All participants will have to be credentialed to gain access to the caucus floor. Guests and other interested parties will be allowed to observe from the back of the room which will be cordoned off from the caucus floor.
I understand that the fact that making a charge of fraudulent registration is very serious. For that reason we requested the registration of all the caucus attendees so that we proof the facts of this matter and we urge you to conduct an investigation into this matter. We know that this is not the first time that the Minneapolis DFL caucus processes have produced a significant challenge.
There were numerous agreements related to registration, including an agreement by the State DFL to identify additional volunteers to meet each precinct's registration requirements. In fact, registration was chaotic, and irregularities occurred in virtually every precinct.
In precinct 4, an aide to council member Warsame brought in numerous non-residents by 6:00 p.m., who occupied all available seats to discourage and intimidate my supporters from attending. The participants were bused to each caucus locations, although the locations are within walking distance. He also attempted to prevent me to speaking to the caucus attendees and was control of the events precinct 4. Precinct 2 was scheduled to meet on the first floor of the Seward Montessori school, while precinct 1 was scheduled to meet on the second floor of the same building. Registration was virtually non-existent, and numerous residents of precinct 2 went upstairs and voted in precinct 1 without registering. The same occurred in precincts 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
All this can be verified by examining the registrations and data from all the precincts. I have talked to and sent email request to the Chair Dan McConnell. Although, I was promised that I will have access to the document, this has not yet occurred yet. I hope that the Minneapolis DFL will there promise.
Council member Warsame supporter interfered with the integrity of Minneapolis DFL caucuses and it shameful and immoral. Rather than letting the residents of Ward 6 to decide and allow our democratic system to work, they resorted to trickery and gimmicks in an attempt to subvert the will of the people. Council member Warsame supporters hijacked the process of all the precincts, created a tremendous amount of fretfulness among people who were there attending the caucuses. This is clear violation as noted in Addendum 1 to the agreement:
Any attempt to influence this process with threats, intimidation, coercion, or physical violence is prohibited. Any individual who breaks these rules shall be subject to sanctions, at the discretion of the State DFL Party Chair, up to and including being banned from official DFL Party activities and/or criminal prosecution.
There is little disagreement that it was chaotic at all the precincts. I visited all the precincts and saw it firsthand. I informed the Chair Dan McConnell who was present at precinct 5 and 7 that the process was out control and he agreed with me. There are a number incidents that can characterized as an act of dishonesty at Ward 6 caucuses that contributed to the chaotic environment.
Dishonesty breeds distrust, and without trust, no one will accept the outcome of the chaotic precinct caucuses. This is due to unmet expectation, lack of accountability, credibility, and transparency. We have evidence of unfairness, unreliability, deceit, or carelessness. Our interpreters were denied the opportunity to be part of the process and Council member Warsame supporters were allowed and some claimed to be the official interpreters at precincts. The interpreters were biased and misinformed the caucus attendees. None of our supporters were allowed to challenge them at the precincts. In fact one of my representative was kicked out of precinct 8 by the police.
At some point in time, somebody pulled the fire alarm in the building in precinct 2 and 1, scaring people away. In precinct 6 and 7 at the Phillips Community Center attendees were harassed by Council member Warsame supporters at the entrance of the building. People were pushed and shoved, and they were asked to leave if they did not have an ID. They were also misinformed and misdirected. Thus, many of attendees left the location after they frustrated. Several women and Somali elders were threatened and left.
Because of all of the above reasons we strongly believe that the outcome of the DFL selection of delegates was conducted in an unjust way and certainly has violated our previous agreement which led to unfair process that affected my campaign. If rules are bent, norms are violated, all in the hope of securing the Minneapolis DFL endorsement, it will set a precedent that all these violations are permissible way for the Minneapolis DFL to conduct business.
All of these irregularities call into question the legitimacy of the caucuses and the delegates elected at those caucuses. This leads me to demand one of two courses of action from the Minneapolis DFL: Either the caucuses in which the offending conduct occurred by reconvened with adequate registration, respect for the interpreters of all candidates, and no assault or intimidation, or, in the alternative, that the Ward Convention not be held, and all the candidates proceed to the November election without DFL endorsement.
For your review,
Candidate for Ward 6 City Council