Civil rights activist Nekima Levy-Pounds speaks during a press conference Tuesday at the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct, where the former Minneapolis NAACP president said she will run for Minneapolis mayor in 2017. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

Civil rights activist Nekima Levy-Pounds speaks during a press conference Tuesday at the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct, where the former Minneapolis NAACP president said she will run for Minneapolis mayor in 2017. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

Civil rights activist Levy-Pounds enters 2017 mayoral race

Civil rights activist Nekima Levy-Pounds announced her bid for Minneapolis mayor Tuesday.

The former St. Thomas law professor and Minneapolis NAACP president made the formal announcement in front of the 4th Precinct police station in North Minneapolis. It came on the anniversary of the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a black man, by a white police officer.

Levy-Pounds touted her leadership during the occupation of the 4th Precinct after Clark’s death and her work in getting Minneapolis’ spitting and lurking ordinances repealed. She said she would bring a “paradigm shift” to the city, calling for an overhaul to Minneapolis’ criminal-justice system and for more racial and economic equity.

“We have an opportunity in the city of Minneapolis to demonstrate what racial solidarity really means,” she said.

Her announced comes just less than a year before the election. Mayor Betsy Hodges will seek re-election in 2017, her communications director confirmed Tuesday, but she has not formally announced her bid.

Hodges defeated 34 candidates to become mayor in 2013, the second election under the city’s ranked-choice voting system.