I ran for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council because of my great dissatisfaction with how our community has been treated, engaged and represented. I also wanted to explore life beyond the level I was currently at. I had been in a funk for the past two years after the death of my youngest brother prior to my run for 5th Ward City council. After his death in 2006, I lost interest in everything including my responsibilities to support my life and eventually grew very tired of the world that surrounded me. I made the choice that I needed to be refreshed and pushed to greater heights in my life and I was willing to put everything that I had into it. I had nothing to lose because I felt as if I had already hit rock bottom, so I had nowhere to go but up.
Going through the process taught me a lot more about looking at issues from a political standpoint, how to categorize issues, the process by which issues are handled, levels of engagement, relationship building, refined approach to public appearances and speaking, choosing battles, patience, endurance, media politics, community planning, constituent services, how to be more politically correct, how to be more efficient, refined listening skills, the political difference between friends and foes, the stakeholders who are engaged in the work of North Minneapolis, the importance of prioritizing, balance, sleep and a good diet and so much more.
Most of this process has increased my life and awareness and value for our community in more ways than I can describe in this article, I have learned a great deal about North Minneapolis from a political stand point. My run for City Council gave me the boost I needed to move forward in life, indeed a great reward. The greatest reward is the love and support my community has and continues to give me despite not being elected; I am very humble and grateful for my community. So many of my peers and people who have seen me grow up throughout the 25 years I’ve been in North Minneapolis are very proud of me for running, most of all they expect greatness out of me. They have been part of my inspiration because of the great work that many of them are doing which does not make it to the spot light, especially my peers. It’s been a wonderful experience for me, I wouldn’t change a thing because the belief my community has in me regardless to the slander and many challenges that I faced during and after the election helped me continue to grow stronger.
Since the election, publically I have returned to my job as a Program Manager/ Consultant for NEON, returned to working on the HIRE MN Campaign, Engaging In Social media networking on face book by using my campaign group page to communicate 5th ward and other important community updates, became one of the DFL directors for my Senate District 58, a member of my 5th Congressional District Committee, hold bi-monthly educational sessions within the community, Participating in the Northwest Area foundation African American leadership circle, building a relationship with Council Member Samuels to work on community issues, volunteering with youth activities and continue my regular civic participation as much as possible because I love it. Most of my time is spent focusing on my Job at NEON, the other commitments are maybe once or twice a month –this gives me personal time to attain a healthy balanced life. Personally I have been taking care of my physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing one step at a time while replenishing my friendships and family relationships with my siblings, nieces and nephews who I missed greatly. Would I run again? Absolutely. Going through the process has groomed me for a future victory. We need more people of color to run for office and be elected to community boards to better ensure that our concerns are being addressed. A special thanks to everyone who supported and continues to support me.Contact face book- Minneapolis 5th ward.