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Four Lessons from St. Paul Ward 1 DFL Caucus

Dai Thao ward 1


by CHAI  Team

Four insights emerge in the recent DFL Ward 1 convention that ended in not endorsing any candidate after 5 rounds of balloting and 2 rounds of voting to close the convention without endorsement and with incumbent City Council Member Dai Thao (in photo) facing tough challengers.

First – the political establishment does not have deep roots in new immigrant communities such as the Oromo and Somali communities and so were all pleasantly surprised to see the strong turnout from these communities supporting a candidate of their choice from their own communities.

Second – very visible was the power of the female minority/immigrant voter. They showed out in large numbers and waited patiently till the end of the marathon session.

Third – with shifts in the demographic composition of most wards in Saint Paul there is a mismatch between the demographic of the ward and the delegates at the caucuses – except when they are mobilized to come out like in Ward 1.

Fourth – Caucus/convention organizers need to develop more efficient and user friendly methods to tally votes. There appears high chance of errors in understanding of rules and execution of rules during voting given language and cultural barriers.