We showed up. We are here in force. We are ready to move forward.

Today, we are having important conversations with the DFL community at Clara Barton Open School for the CD5 Convention. Tomorrow, we will be having conversations throughout our district, and put our words and our vision as party leaders -- as community members -- into action.

I respect the important role of the DFL and its delegates in the caucus and convention process. I became a State Senator and was reelected to the Senate after winning some hard fought endorsement battles. I have been honored to earn a contested endorsement as a State Senator from District 63.

Today’s CD5 Convention is different.

I am so grateful to the delegates and alternates who have come to fulfill this duty given the incredible circumstances. I also understand that the process we are participating in today was rushed and is unfair. It did not give the voters of our district an opportunity to have their voices heard.  When delegates were chosen, Congressman Ellison was running for re-election. There was no suggestion that this special convention would be called to make such a momentous decision.

As well, it provided no mechanism for voters to join the Convention at such a rushed, late date. Choosing a representative to the U.S. Congress is a decision that will have an extraordinary impact on the district in the years to come. We know that the issues in Washington are incredibly consequential-- from a flawed immigration system that is separating children from their families, to massive tax giveaways, to attacks on public education and the right to organize, to a breakdown of moral leadership on climate change and LGBTQ+ rights and many other issues. This is a decision that will shape our statewide races for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the Minnesota Legislature, and races up and down the ballot.

It’s not a decision that should be made hastily. On Fathers’ Day. With barely ten days notice for candidates and delegates.

Regardless of the outcome today, a rushed endorsement will create controversy and erodes the legitimacy of the endorsement process. Most importantly, a last-minute convention disenfranchises too many voters and delegates that want to have their voices heard.

Today, we’re here in force. Tomorrow, we put our trust in the voters of the Fifth District to choose their next Representative to the U.S. Congress in the August 14 Primary Election.