Eight Black women are among the list of finalists to serve as members of Metropolitan Council, which recently selected finalists for each of the 16 council districts. The finalists will have an opportunity to provide public testimony at a public meeting scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis.

More than 200 applicants applied to serve as a council member. The nominating committee, which was appointed by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, identified five applicants from each of the districts.

The public meeting will provide an opportunity to see the selection process firsthand. At each meeting, the nominating committee will interview several candidates for four different council districts. Time will not allow for public testimony at the meetings, though people may submit letters of recommendation for candidates.

The committee will recommend three candidates for each district to Walz by Feb. 18. The governor will make appointments by March 4.

The nominating committee has historically been comprised of seven members who are current or formerly elected local officials, plus the council chair as an ex officio member. Walz expanded the committee to 12, including the chair and four additional ex officio members derived from the metropolitan community. Minneapolis City Councilmember, and council vice president, Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8) serves on the nominating committee.

Finalists include, District 1: Doug Anderson, Aarica Coleman, Kenneth Ferguson, Judy Johnson, Karen Skepper; District 2: Reva Chamblis, Nelima Sitati, Joy Stephens, Tim Willson, Della Young; District 3: Christopher Ferguson, Denny Laufenburger, Jennifer Munt, Douglas Reeder, Norrie Thomas; District 4: Deb Barber, Francis (Frank) Boyles, Gerald Bruner, Gail Cederberg, Molly Koivumaki; District 5: Katherine Bass, Molly Cummings, Joe Ellickson, Ron Erhardt, Leticia Guadarrama; District 6: Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson, Janne Flisrand, Shauen Pearce, Paula Pentel, Thomas Streitz; District 7: C Terrence Anderson, Thomas Forsythe, Robert Lilligren, Kenya McKnight, Juana Sandoval; District 8: David Fisher, Pakou Hang, Cara Letofsky, Abdiraman Muse, Elizabeth Ryan; District 9: Dan Erhart, Christopher Geisler, Kathryn Schwartz Eckhardt, Paul Way, Raymond Zeran; District 10: Karl Keel, Janna King, Angelica Klebsch, Peter Lindstrom, Marie McCarthy; District 11: Mollie Miller, Rolf Parsons, Lori Pulkrabek, Kaying Thao, Susan Vento; District 12: David Engstrom, Francisco Gonzalez, Julie Ohs, Leonard Price, Jason Willett; District 13: Keith Franke, Richard Kramer, Chai Lee, Jill Smith, Avinash Viswanathan; District 14: C Cooper, Angela Finney, Kris Fredson, Nathaniel Hood, Sean Kershaw; District 15: Steven Chavez, Paul Mandell, Jeff Spartz, Phillip Sterner, Shannon Wohlman; District 16: Danna Elling, Bryce Lebrun, Raj Rajan, Wendy Wulff. 

The Metropolitan Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. The 17-member Metropolitan Council is a policy-making board, which has guided the strategic growth of the metro area for nearly 50 years. 

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