Letter from Ray

Hi, my name is Raymond Dehn and I’m running to be Mayor of Minneapolis.

I believe the success of our city means listening to each other’s stories. I’d like to tell you mine. As a teenager, I found solace from struggle in drugs and alcohol. Eventually, I was arrested and convicted of burglary, trying to raise money for my cocaine habit. After serving seven months, I was released to a drug treatment program where I began to understand my addiction, and what in my past had led me to the decisions I made—I’ve been sober for 40 years. In 1982, wanting to vote again, I applied for and received a full pardon from the State of Minnesota.

With my second chance, I went back to school and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters Degree in Architecture—I am repaying my student loans to this day. After graduation, I moved to the Northside and got involved in my community. I worked with the Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition to save our neighbors' homes—the victims of subprime mortgages, we connected them with assistance if they fell behind on monthly payments.

In 2012, my neighbors elected me to represent them in the State Legislature. At the Capitol I’ve fought for criminal justice reform, increased funding for affordable housing, and protected students from rising tuition costs.

Near the end of last year, my community asked me to run for Mayor. Since then, we’ve worked to create a vision that uplifts those traditionally left out of the process, those working multiple full-time jobs to support their family, renters being priced out of their neighborhoods, those who feel unsafe in the presence of officers sworn to protect them, and all who have a stake in the health of our environment.

I hope our vision of an equitable Minneapolis will earn your first-choice vote on Tuesday, November 7th.

On your side,

LettersAkhilesh Menawat