If radical right-wing death cultists can use coronavirus as an excuse to take over local government to hasten the apocalypse, then decent Americans should be able to use the pandemic as a campaign issue to distinguish themselves from clay-footed incumbents.
So figures Taneeza Islam, candidate for Sioux Falls mayor, who points out that her non-profit jumped to the aid of Smithfield Foods workers in April 2020 before the city did:
South Dakota Voices for Peace, which Islam directs, was indeed working with labor and immigrant groups (and in South Dakota food processing, labor and immigrants are inextricable, if not indistinguishable) to bring attention to the mortal risk Smithfield workers were undertaking to keep wieners rolling off the assembly line while Mayor Paul TenHaken and Governor Kristi Noem wrung their hands.
Islam’s critique of TenHaken’s slow coronavirus response is couched in a thread highlighting the need for more multilingual services to better welcome and serve Sioux Falls’s growing population of newcomers. But the pandemic has provided a crucible to test our leaders and their policies. Coronavirus has shown that we can’t just elect handsome family men and pageant cowgirls to make the news prettier; we need to elect competent managers who create smart, effective policies that prepare our communities for adverse conditions and who can respond quickly and practically, without ideological or political hesitation, to crises.