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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Friday, August 07, 2020

State: CōV COVID Compliant

CōV Wayzata was one of 14 bars and restaurants warned last month for employees violating mask requirements, adherence to social distancing with tables less than six feet apart and establishments serving to more than 50 percent capacity.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) now says that CōV Wayzata and the other 13 establishments are now COVID compliant.

“We are grateful to those establishments who are working hard to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following a few simple guidelines,” said DPS Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges. “We can all do our part to help keep our businesses safe by wearing a mask, social distancing and adhering to establishment seating limits.”  

The other 13 bars and restaurants initially warned include:

  • Neisen’s Sports Bar, Savage 
  • K & J Catering , North St Paul
  • Route 47 Pub & Grub, Fridley
  • Long Siding Bar & Grill, Princeton
  • Danno’s, Anoka
  • Hoban Korean BBQ, Minneapolis
  • Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant, Shakopee
  • Arnie’s Friendly Folks Club, Shakopee
  • Princeton Speedway, Princeton
  • Rollie’s, Sauk Rapids
  • Breakfast Bar, Minneapolis
  • The Stadium, Annandale
  • Cowboy Jacks, Minneapolis

Law enforcement officers surveilled 919 restaurants and bars throughout the state looking for violations between July 4 and July 13.


Thursday, August 06, 2020

Wayzata Schools To Present Hybrid Learning Plan To School Board

In a letter to Wayzata Public Schools families and staff, Superintendent Chace Anderson announced that the school district will present a hybrid learning plan to school board members next week.


Below is the text the school district sent out in an email Thursday afternoon.

Dear WPS Families and Staff, 

I am pleased to share Wayzata Learns—A flexible plan for the 2020-21 school year. Safe learning is at the heart of our planning for the 2020-21 school year. One thing the virus is teaching us all is to be flexible. This plan reflects that flexibility, preparing us for the possibility of in-person learning and the necessity of distance learning as the year progresses.

Based on the current trends of COVID-19 in our community, we are proposing to practice safety by beginning the year with hybrid learning. Our Wayzata Distance Choice scenario is an option for families who are not comfortable with hybrid or in-person learning.

The Wayzata Learns plan is being presented to the Wayzata School Board at a Work Session today at 4 p.m. A link to the meeting can be found on our online District Calendar.

Please share your feedback by completing the survey that can be found in the Wayzata Learns plan no later than noon on Saturday, August 8. The Board is planning to take action on a recommendation at its August 10 regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Thank you again for your continued support, patience and understanding as we do our very best to plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Sincerely,

Chace B. Anderson

Superintendent


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Gov. Tim Walz announced last week that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.


Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.




There were basically three options on the table: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.


According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.



Wayzata High School Football And Volleyball Moved To Spring Amid COVID Concerns

The Wayzata state champion football and volleyball teams will have to wait until spring to defend their titles.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) announced football and volleyball are moving to next spring.

The board states spring football will have no scrimmages, a shorter season, and fewer games. The postseason plan still has not been determined.

The MSHSL’s board of directors decided to move forward with other fall activities including girls tennis, cross country, soccer and girls swimming and diving.

“Our Board of Directors recognizes the importance of the League’s activities in supporting the mental and physical well-being of our students and worked very hard to provide some level of participation in all activities,” said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. “In addition, they recognize their responsibility in focusing on the health and safety of all who participate in or support these opportunities.”


2 City Planning Commissioners File For City Council Seats

Two Wayzata Planning Commissioners have filed for city council seats.

Both Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill filed this week.




Iverson ran for city council two years ago. Ultimately, current council members Johanna McCarthy and Jeff Buchanan were elected.

Iverson and Parkhill will face off with current council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash in the November election.


Meanwhile, council member Johanna McCarthy announced she is running for mayor. Current mayor Ken Willcox recently announced he is not running again.


 




Sunday, August 02, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p


According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota House District 33A Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota House District 33A seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in House District 33A.

Rep. Jerry Hertaus

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent Jerry Hertaus and did not receive a response to our questions.

Hertaus was first elected to the legislature in 2012.



Caitlin Cahill

His opponent, Democrat Caitlin Cahill, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

As a lifelong Minnesotan and longtime resident of this district, I have first-hand insight into the values and challenges of our community. We live in some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, and we need practical, forward-thinking representation to match that growth. Business as usual will not suffice. I will make it a priority to listen to constituents and develop data-driven solutions to make our communities even better.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As a city council member and a former county library board member, I have over a decade of experience developing effective public policy, and I understand the interconnectedness of local government from municipal to county to the state. As a small business owner, I know the importance of open communication, which includes being available and listening to people’s concerns to identify pain points.

Tell me about your family.

My family has a tradition of public service. From my grandfathers who served in the military to my parents and siblings who have all worked in public institutions, including local schools, county government, and state services. My three siblings and I grew up in Plymouth and all graduated from the Wayzata Schools. Growing up, we enjoyed Minnesota’s wonderful outdoors, with many family road trips to state parks.

What do you see as the priorities in District 33A?

Many of our cities need support upgrading their water and sewer infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water, to protect our environment from pollution, and reduce costs to residents. We also have several roadways, such as Highway 12, in need of safety upgrades. As such, I would prioritize a robust jobs & local projects bill, which would also help counteract some of the effects of the pandemic on our construction industry. I have also heard from many small businesses and parents about the struggles of slow internet, as commerce and schools moved online due to the pandemic; I would also prioritize reliable high-speed internet across the state. Ensuring economic security and affordable healthcare for all will always be a priority for me as a legislator.



Saturday, August 01, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.


600 block of Lake Street with Plaza area in the foreground (Wayzata.com photo taken 7/12/20)

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

The overall construction project and additional delays are impacting local businesses.

“It has been difficult because the majority of our guests only feel comfortable eating outside,” said Gianni’s Steakhouse owner Terri Huml. “The dust and construction are not a pleasant situation for our diners to enjoy the experience.”



Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

Stahl Construction releases a weekly report showing the plans for the upcoming weeks.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

The paving of the plaza appeared on a previous report to be worked on the week of June 29. It has appeared on the subsequent six weeks including next week, the week of August 3.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

On Friday, July 24, Wayzata.com asked the City of Wayzata and Stahl Construction what was causing the delay in the paving of the plaza. 


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"There were a few elements beyond our control that has impacted the overall schedule regarding the plaza and the paving," said Stahl Construction President Jessie Houlihan. "Namely the catenary light pole base design and materials, which were stuck for a few months with the design team / procurement."


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"Procurement means stuck with the vendor," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "The shipping of the actual catenary equipment has been delayed, unfortunately. There were a few needed design tweaks, as well, given all of the underground utilities running underneath."

"The plaza will be poured soon and we are projecting that the park, along with the rest of the project will be substantially completed by our original goal. There, of course, will be things that will be completed afterwards such as the catenary lighting," added Dahl.

Dahl stated that the goal has consistently been substantial completion by James J. Hill weekend which was supposed to begin Friday, Sept. 11.


In March, Stahl estimated the targeted entire project close out date as September 7.

“A lot of people ask about how the street is going to function with parking and two lanes of traffic, when is it going to be done, etc.,” said Huml. 

Stahl also stated that because the light pole footings are located over a Met Council forced sewer main and they had to come up with a different plan. Stahl said it needed Met Council’s approval and that pushed the work back by weeks.

The Met Council says that an inspector is overseeing the work in the area of the sewer main on south side of Lake Street during the Panoway project. According to the Met Council, the line enters Lake Street at Grove Lane (lift station) and continues east along Lake Street and transitions into Eastman Lane and then down Highway 101/Bushaway to Minnetonka.

The catenary lighting system is illustrated in the images below as system that will be strung over Lake Street.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Meanwhile, the precast benches and walls requested by the city have also been an issue. According to Stahl, the exploration of a hybrid alternative delayed the ability to secure an order with the precast supplier. It was later determined that the hybrid alternative was not a viable solution. Once the product was confirmed to install, the order was placed, according to Stahl. The issue of benches and walls took more than two months to resolve.

As COVID-19 hit Minnesota, the Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.



According to the Wayzata Lake Effect "Panoway On Wayzata Bay" Phasing model,  the targeted completion date for the 600 block was July 16.

Plaza Park is targeted to be completed by August 14 according to the phasing model.

The construction is a part of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1.

The city allocated roughly $9 million toward the first phase of the project.

The current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes $200,000 for business impact mitigation tactics.

Earlier this year, city staff met with business owners to discuss specific tactics including “open for business” signage as well as complimentary valet services for the downtown area.

But considering the COVID-19 outbreak, the city considered different ways to allocate the funds.

“At this point we have used the funds to waive sidewalk patio fees, pay for some additional signage, and pay for overtime to expedite Panoway Construction,” said Dahl. “We have not officially waived liquor licenses fees as of yet, but we have allowed delayed payment. The Council is still considering it and if we do, that will take up the lion’s share of the $200,000.”

“It’s the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with,” said Huml. “I'm trying to be a strong and positive leader but some days I wake up and am gripped with fear. Both COVID and construction are completely out of my control and yet both have affected my ability to run my business. My goal is to provide a safe environment for my staff and guests and offer an opportunity to dine out.”

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

-------------------

RELATED CONTENT: $10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Not In Failed Senate Bonding Bill

RELATED CONTENT: Despite COVID-19 Expenses, State Bonding Bill Moving Forward, Wayzata's $10M Ask Still On Table

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

RELATED CONTENT: City of Wayzata Introduces Lake Effect Construction Manager Stahl Construction

RELATED CONTENT: Business Feedback On Lake Street Development Discussed

RELATED CONTENT: Gov. Walz Recommends $10M for Wayzata Lake Effect

Thursday, July 30, 2020

2020 James J. Hill Days & Beach Bash Cancelled Due To COVID Concerns

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that the 2020 James J. Hill Days has been cancelled.


The Chamber said that due to Covid-19 related guidelines and concerns for the health of the community, the James J. Hill Days Steering Committee, the Wayzata Area Chamber Board of Directors, and the organizers of the Wayzata Beach Bash have made the decision to cancel the 2020 James J. Hill Days and Wayzata Beach Bash.

The next James J. Hill Days will be September 10-12, 2021.




School Districts Will Determine Fall Instruction, Wayzata To Announce Initial Plan Around Aug. 5

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.


Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.




There are basically three options: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.


According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.


According to a statement released by Wayzata Public Schools on Tuesday, the school district will share an initial school reopening plan around August 5. 


Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson in a recent interview with Wayzata.com. “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy Running For Mayor

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy officially filed for candidacy for Mayor of Wayzata Tuesday.

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy

McCarthy officially filed a affidavit of candidacy on Tuesday, the first day of the filing period.


This comes less than a week after Mayor Ken Willcox announced he will not seek re-election.


McCarthy was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018.

Meanwhile, fellow City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash filed to run again for their city council seats.

City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash

Filing for the mayor and the two council member seats began on July 28. That window closes on August 11.

Below is a list of city council election results since 2000.

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State/City of Wayzata

(* = winner)

2000

Mayor

*Barry Petit 1,194 (votes)
Sue Bangert 1,129

City Council (two seats)

*Robert (Bob) Ambrose 1,372
*Robyn Cook 1,190
Lynn Gruber 1,020

2002

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Humphrey 1,028
*Sue Bangert 1022
Barry Birkholz 763
Gayle Wilson 677

2004

Mayor

*Andrew Humphrey 1,989 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Ken Willcox 1,244
*John Berns 1,211
Jim Gooley 933

2006

City Council (two seats)

*Sue Bangert 1,126
*Jack Amdal 758
Tom Tanner 695
Doug Hudson 539

2008

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,803 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin 1,210
*Mary Bader 1,196
Tom Tanner 948

2010

City Council (two seats)

*Tom Tanner 898
*Jack Amdal 861
Jim Wilson 749

2012

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,842 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin (re elected) 1261
*Bridget Anderson 1079
Alex Plechash 1076


2014

City Council (two seats)

*Steven Tyacke 865
*Johanna McCarthy 799
Alex Plechash 789
Jack Amdal 730


2016

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 2,226 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Dan Koch 1,718 (unopposed)
*Alex Plechash 1,715 (unopposed)

2018

City Council (two seats)

*Johanna McCarthy ,1337
*Jeff Buchanan 1,028
Cathy Iverson 956
Barry Petit 821

Monday, July 27, 2020

Back To School: What Will It Look Like For Wayzata School District?



No doubt, the biggest question on the minds of Minnesota parents is whether public schools will open back up in the fall.

The state should be releasing guidelines soon. Those guidelines will need to be followed by the school.

There are three options: 1.) Students return to class fulltime, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson. “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”

Kim Anderson and family live in Wayzata

This past spring parents needed to quickly switch gears as their students adapted to distance learning.

“We probably were thriving at it three days in total and the rest of the time, simply surviving it,” said Kim Anderson, Wayzata resident and mother of three students in the Wayzata School District.
Anderson said she, her husband and kids were committed to sticking with the online program.

Anderson family e-learning chart

“When things were starting to go off the rails, we stopped and took a break, went outside, rode bikes, got some fresh air,” said Anderson.  “I knew in the back of my mind that we were in it for the long haul and I wasn't willing to fight and get frustrated over getting it done when I knew how hard this was on them and us.”

Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“We learned a lot from our distance learning last year and believe we will be even better capable to continue distance learning if needed this year,” said Chace Anderson. “As for in-person learning, we have been working throughout the summer with our staff to make sure we will have the safest environment for learning given the circumstances. A team of 40 staff from across the district are in the midst of planning for each of the scenarios that may be directed by the state and will be sharing more information with families and staff in early August.”

"Parents in the district have been reaching out to me, to other school board members, to principals and to the superintendent, in a variety of combinations, to articulate their hopes and concerns for the upcoming school year,” said Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer. “These parent communications have been invaluable in bringing to light nuanced issues and offering novel solutions and I really appreciate that they've connected with me. I've kept a log of them as well as passed them all on to Dr. Anderson and his team who are building out the plans for every possible learning scenario.”

Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer 

“As a working parent of two young grade-schoolers, I've heard from many parents who are in my family's exact same situation who offered very different ideas of what the district should do,” said Falconer. “But all of the communications I've received shared the same urgency and concern for their kids' physical and emotional health, academic progress and access to the teachers and paraprofessionals that their kids rely on for their Wayzata education." 

“I believe a hybrid is probably the best, most reasonable and realistic approach,” said Kim Anderson. 

 “I believe in the risks and seriousness of COVID-19, so the idea of continuing to send my kids into an environment where they could catch it, bring it home and/or infect family members weighs on my mind and heart.  But I balance that against their emotional, mental, and physical well-being and believe that some (if not all) in-person learning will be better for them, than staying at home.”

Wayzata Public Schools recently completed a survey that showed most parents prefer to have their children in school. The survey said that parents want this to be done in a safe manner.

“The challenge is how to accomplish that, which is what we are working on,” said Chace Anderson. “Our mission is to teach each and every student as safely as possible considering this global pandemic. “

Kim Anderson worries about her children getting sick and about the safety of teachers, friends and extended family members. But she acknowledges there is a balance between physical and mental health.

“I go back to the data, the general likelihood of mild symptoms in most people, especially children and weigh that against the overall emotional, physical and mental well-being of them being back at school,” said Kim Anderson.

Another survey found that most of the schools’ staff are comfortable with returning. 

“We are experiencing something that we have never experienced before, that alone is enough to create concern,” said Chace Anderson. “We have dedicated professionals who believe in what they do, believe in their students and believe in our community and will be there with them every step of the way however learning may look in the fall.”

“I just want to thank all the teachers and staff of Wayzata Schools for all they did during the very difficult distance learning period of last school year,” said Kim Anderson.  “And what they are continuing to do to evaluate the right, smartest and safest options for moving foward in the coming school year, in light of the ongoing pandemic.  There was always updated and sufficient communication from the district, our teachers and staff at Gleason Lake were incredible.”

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Four Compete For Third Congressional District Seat

 

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips is up for re-election in Minnesota Congressional District 3.

Wayzata is located in Congressional District 3.

                   

Phillips will be challenged in the August 11 primary by fellow Democrat Cole Young.

Both Phillips and Young did not respond to questions from Wayzata.com

Meanwhile, Republicans Leslie Davis and Kendall Qualls will square off in the primary.

Below are the answers to questions posed to Davis and Qualls. The candidates’ responses are listed in alphabetical order by the candidate’s last name.

Leslie Davis


 Why run?

What would the Founders have done if the Brits told them to stay home AND CLOSE THE SCHOOLS?

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I am a parent, army veteran, salesman, lobbyist, NRA gun certified, money expert, and founder/president/owner 
of the Veteran Certified Earth Protector Licensing Corporation for 36 years. www.EarthProtector.org

Tell me about your family.

4 children - attorney, gemologist, teacher, bum.
12 grandchildren - all smart and doing well.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Safety, Health, Babies, Money, Jobs, Energy, Drug War.


What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I am experienced in money, politics, pollution, and economic subjects.


How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

They don't understand the hoax part of Covid and are acting irrationally by allowing and supporting the creation of more debt money.


How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

While George Floyd's character is of ill repute, Congress is OUTRAGED at his murder and thinking about what to do. 


Kendall Qualls



Why run?

Residents of the Third District deserve courageous leaders who are focused, disciplined, and honest; who will take a stand when times are hard.

Third District residents deserve leaders who won’t say one thing then throw those promises out the window when they get to Washington.

We face tough problems today, problems I can address in a meaningful way because of my personal and professional experiences.

In doing so, we’ll build bridges that will make America better, stronger and more united than ever before.

 

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I’m a leader with both military and corporate experience that is outside the world of politics.

 After college, I went on active duty as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army, including time in the DMZ in Korea. 

For 27 years, I led global teams in the healthcare industry with Fortune 100 companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche Labs and Medtronic. 

For the past 15 years, I’ve worked to transform stagnant or declining business units in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries by introducing transformative strategies. Most recently, I worked for an innovative health-care startup that helps cancer patients tackle their disease.

Because of my military and corporate experience, I know how to create a vision and move people toward a goal that is larger than each individual and that transcends racial, economic and gender differences.

Tell me about your family.

Sheila and I met in high school, and I’ve been committed to her ever since. We attended college together and got married in 1986 after Sheila graduated. We have five children and a Black Lab named Largo.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Ensure safe and secure communities.

Reopen, revitalize, secure, and strengthen our economy.

Improve healthcare protection and lower healthcare costs.

Ensure America’s safety through a peace through strength foreign policy that avoids nation-building entanglements. 

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I didn’t have a life of privilege. I grew up in poverty, and success came the old-fashioned way: I had to earn it.

Unlike my opponent, who campaigned as a moderate but has voted nearly 100 percent of the time with the far left progressive wing of his party, I will be a strong, pragmatic and independent voice for our communities.

I have over 25 years of healthcare experience that I will use as we manage, and emerge from, a global pandemic.

I’ll put aside partisan game playing and focus on the issues that matter.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the need for Congress to address the economic recovery of our nation, and the long term fiscal impacts caused by increased deficit spending.  My background includes significant work restoring the health of struggling business units by introducing transformative strategies that change their culture, mindset and financial bottom line. Congress is in dire need of similar leadership, and I won’t be afraid to fight for the fiscal discipline our country needs.   

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

George Floyd’s tragic death illuminated the need for change in police strategy, training, and monitoring. That is why I have introduced a comprehensive proposal for police reform, retraining and support. At the same time, it is imperative that we give police officers the support and training they need. Calls to “defund” police departments from many in my opponent’s party are reckless and put the most vulnerable in our society, including seniors and the disabled at risk.

The majority of police officers risk their lives on a daily basis to protect and serve the community. As the child of a single mother during the turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Harlem, I know what it feels like to go to bed with violence and destruction outside my apartment window. The one thing I needed, like all children, was safety and security. Police officers are there to provide the safety and security for those who cannot defend themselves, and their property, from harm.

Anything else you would like to add?

Over the course of my life, I’ve been called many things–ghetto kid, trailer trash, veteran, businessman, husband, father–but I never dreamed I’d be called candidate for U.S. Congress. 

America is an exceptional place full of exceptional people with opportunity for all. I’m living proof of it. This country has provided me with a foundation of commitment, compassion and courage, as well as the leadership skills I’ll take to Congress to put to work for you.

To learn more about me or connect with our campaign, visit kendallforcongress.com, or call 612-512-1155. I would be honored to earn your vote in the August 11 Primary Election, and November 3 General Election.





Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wayzata Mayor Willcox Will Not Seek Re-Election

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox has announced he will not seek re-election this fall.

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox

Willcox stated that after 12 years as Mayor it was time for new leadership and fresh ideas.

Willcox was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2004. He was elected Mayor in 2008 and was subsequently re-elected for two additional 4-year terms.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Wayzata PD Warns Of Mailbox Thefts


The Wayzata Police Department has taken several reports of thefts from mailboxes. 



The residential mailboxes were located in the eastern portion of the city with a majority along Bushaway Road and Central Avenue South. 

According to police, several of the mailboxes were locked and were forced open. 

The police department states that this is a crime that can additionally facilitate identity theft, credit and check fraud, and other forgery and fraud type crimes. 

This is a metro area issue and is not exclusive to Wayzata. 

Police recommend that you do not put outgoing mail in your mailbox. 

Collect any incoming mail as soon as practical after it is delivered. 

As always, watch out for your neighbors and call 911 to report any suspicious activity

Monday, July 20, 2020

Six Compete For Hennepin County Commissioner District 6 Seat

Jan Callison is not seeking reelection to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners serving the 6th District. The city of Wayzata is within the 6th District.


Hennepin County Board of Commissioners District 6 Map

Callison was elected to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Callison served as Chair of the County Board from 2015-2019. She currently Chairs the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.

Six candidates are seeking to fill Callison’s seat on the Hennepin County Board. Voters will choose two of these candidates during the August 11 primary. The two highest performing candidates will square off in November's general election.

Wayzata.com caught up with the candidates asking each of them a series of questions.


Below you’ll see the candidates’ answers. The candidates and their answers are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.


Brad Aho

Why run?

I love Hennepin County, the people, businesses and natural beauty that we are blessed to have.  I am passionate about local government and the benefits to our residents and businesses that it can provide.  To keep Hennepin County a premier community we must maintain the services that help keep things running smoothly, without overburdening the people who are paying for those services.  District 6 is the largest contributor of revenue to the county and we must see a return on that investment.  There is always a fine balance between taxes and fees and the services provided.  It requires thoughtful, experienced leadership to accomplish this balance, and I have that experience.

We need strong leadership especially in times of turmoil and challenges.  The recent events of COVID-19 and the racial unrest and rioting highlight that we need to make changes while maintaining peace and security for our residents and businesses.  The County provides many essential services for its residents and businesses with a $2.5 billion annual budget and over 9,100 employees it is paramount that we have experienced leaders that understand the governance model of the County and know how to work with everyone to achieve the solutions and outcomes that will keep our County the best place to live, raise a family, start and run a business in.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?
Serving as a City Councilmember for 16 years in Eden Prairie has given me experience and understanding of how local government functions and what each level of government is responsible for.  This is very important to be an effective leader at the county level.  I have developed many strong relationships with other city leaders and state and federal officials as well.

I have important experience in many areas of government, but especially in the transportation sector where I am chair of SW Transit the bus service for three cities.  I have chaired the I-494 Corridor Commission with its Commuter Services staff for many years.  I also chaired the Flying Cloud Airport Joint Airport Zoning Board.  I also serve on the MnDOT Policy Advisory Commission for the I-494 Improvements being planned.  All of this work has prepared me well to serve the needs of the county to improve and maintain our infrastructure while also improving mobility for all.

My Electrical Engineering degree and small business experience provide me with a very practical problem solving mindset to find solutions to issues by first listening to all sides and then working with stakeholders to implement the best solutions in a cost effective manner.

On a more personal note, I was given two weeks to live on the first day of a health visit to Mayo Clinic six years ago.  After being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I then went through a trial treatment process including a stem cell transplant and am cancer free to this day.  That event has strengthened my resolve, focus and passion to only work in things that I believe strongly in, and helping local government is one of those things.

Tell me about your family. What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

I have lived in Hennepin County since moving to Minnesota, from Michigan in 1976.  I was married here, and Bev and I raised our three, now adult children here.  We have two beautiful young granddaughters and a grandson on the way.

The priorities that I see are: public safety, transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, workforce, affordable housing and environment and sustainability to name a few of the top issues.  One of the primary roles of government is to provide safety and security and that has recently been very strained given the current events.  If we want everyone to feel safe regardless of race or other designation it is critical to find solutions to the challenges we are all facing.  We also have to be very mindful of the cost of everything we do and balance that with the needs and effectiveness to avoid driving residents and businesses out of our county.

Please visit my website at www.ahoforcommissioner.com for more details on each of these issues and my thoughts.

What differentiates yourself from your opponents?

I am the only candidate with strong local government administrative experience, serving for 16 years as a city councilmember and 4 years as acting mayor.  I am the only engineer and small business owner, which gives me a unique perspective and mindset to solving problems cost effectively.  My life experiences growing up in Detroit and moving to Minnesota as a high school senior, raising a family and being a second generation American of Finnish descent all combine to make me who I am today.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of county commissioner in your mind?

It teaches us that we have to be prepared for anything and must always be developing and refining plans to ensure that we have the best crisis intervention plans in place.  It also highlights the need to have proper funding and reserves to handle economic downturns without destroying the organization and services that are necessary to provide.  I have great experience with this in Eden Prairie where we are a AAA Bond Rated city that is well funded without having funds that grow indiscriminately.  We have done all of this while keeping our tax rate in the lower quartile of like cities in the Twin Cities.  We have also made extensive security and business continuance plans for SW Transit.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of county commissioner in your mind?

It highlights the fact that strong leadership is necessary to prevent needless deaths like George Floyd’s, and that we must work to reform and train law enforcement personnel, but certainly not defund them.  The lack of leadership led to his death and also allowed the ensuing riots and violence that destroyed our community.  As a commissioner, I will work to find and implement permanent solutions and not just talk about what could be done.

Anything else you would like to add?

My purpose, passion and focus are to make Hennepin County the premier place to live, work, raise a family, own a business, and retire.  I look forward to hearing all residents’ concerns, needs and ideas and will work diligently to represent the 6th District and all of Hennepin County.  Please join us in our campaign to make Hennepin County the best community.  I ask for your support and vote on August 11 in the primary, and also in the general election on November 3!

Dario Anselmo

Why run?

I have a passion for public service, and my 30+ year career as an entrepreneur, business owner, civic leader and elected official has given me the necessary experience and a track record of accomplishments to be able to lead on day one, and successfully serve as your next county commissioner.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I started my first business, a tech company at the age of 21 in Edina, and after growing and selling it I bought the Fine Line Music Café in downtown Minneapolis, which I ran for 20 years.  I have been in the commercial real estate business for 28 years.

For 25 years I have worked to support mental health services, serving on the board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and the Minnesota Mental Health Association.

I started the Warehouse District Business Assn (to deal with business and then safety issues, Served on Mpls Downtown Council (Civic group), and no am on the Mpls Chamber of Commerce board.

As a state representative for Edina I worked on infrastructure investment and expanding Interstate 494, increasing K-12 education funding, reducing teen smoking, passed legislation to reduce teen suicides, water quality and environment issues, and lowered taxes for seniors, small businesses, and working families.

Tell me about your family.

I was born in Duluth where father served as a District Court Judge, he also lived with bi-polar disorder for most of his life.  After my parents divorced my mother remarried, she was active in the Wayzata and Lake community as a non-profit leader, realtor, and mother to a blended family of 6 kids. 

I was raised in Orono where I graduated from in 1980.   My wife, Jeanne, and I have three children and have lived in Edina for 20 years where our kids attend Edina’s public schools.  We lived in Minneapolis for 7 years prior to that.  I have been a resident of Hennepin County for nearly 50 years.
  

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

Mental Health: Individual mental health – and the mental health of our community as a whole – is a very important and personal issue to me. Making sure that Hennepin County’s mental health system can provide stability for those who need it is critical. More of our neighbors are experiencing mental health challenges than ever before, and I will work to strengthen our current systems.

Public Safety: Making sure that Hennepin County residents are safe and have equal access to our justice system is the most important job of a Hennepin County commissioner. As a county commissioner I will support the sheriff’s office and make sure that our jails and courts have the resources they need to do their work effectively.

Property Taxes: In recent years we have seen county property tax levy increases in Hennepin County of around 5% per year. Those kinds of tax increases are not sustainable and can have a significant impact on working families, small business owners and fixed-income seniors. We need to keep a close eye on the budgeting process and make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

Environment: Whether it’s for swimming, fishing, hiking or any other activity, enjoying and preserving our lakes, rivers, and open spaces is a part of the DNA that makes us Minnesotans. I have been a leader on environmental issues and will continue to protect these precious resources


What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I have lived in Hennepin County and the west metro longer than them.
I have a long time record of leadership in Business, Non-Profit, and Elected Public service
I listen, connect, and engage in being a practical problem solver.


How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

COVID-19 has added costs to the County medical system, Hennepin Healthcare that the taxpayers subsidize when it looses money, $100 Million dollars to date.  Depending on what sort of reimbursement is possible from the State and Federal level there will be a huge impact on the budget, and hence for (property) tax payers in the suburbs.  As a former State Representative with relationships both in St. Paul and Washington D.C. with elected officials.  I will work hard to make sure we get what’s owed to the County on this as well as other mandates so our taxes don’t continue to go up at unsustainable levels!

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

I was moved deeply by what I saw on the video and attended a few of the solidarity events because of what happened.  The larger reaction occurred for many reasons I believe.  Both people looking to show their anger at what happened in plain sight, as well as the economic frustration with where they are at in life now (and have been for generations).  There was also a lack of coordinated leadership I feel that made a bad situation even whose.  I have worked hard to make early education a priority and job creation to lessen the disparities that still exist in our society.  The County really plays a safety net role in this space.  I want Hennepin County to be a bridge to better life for people.  Everyone deserves that opportunity.

Anything else you would like to add?

As a person who has run a business in downtown Minneapolis for 25 years I understand the effects of high taxes, which I will keep a close eye on.  I also know first had the outcomes of not having enough public safety and will fight just as hard to make sure people are safe via the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Deputies Assn endorsed me because of my prior commitments to public safety. 


I would love to have your support, and vote in the August 11th Primary.  To learn more about our campaign please go to:   DarioAnselmoMN.com

Carmella Doby


Why run?

I am running to replace hurting people with hopeful people! To unite our community and extend humanity and self-thinking within our district! This will ensure my children and all children in our district are given unobstructed, valuable, optimistic opportunities and futures! 




How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?


Many people look at my past as a tragedy, I however chose to take each crisis as a lesson and have dedicated myself to being a life-long learner. As a child I learned to adapt rapidly.  I was taught manners, morals, and humanity from a young age.  I know how to think for myself and have good discernment because of my lack of guidance.  I gained my peace-making skills from my childhood dysfunction. Since finances were low, I became a hard worker as a child as well!  My first job was at 8, my sisters and I got shovels and went door to door asking to work!  I do not give up easily! Because survival was the theme of my younger years, I have been trained to take the punches and keep standing!  As a young mom, and down syndrome parent, I experienced unfamiliar territory and learned how to take a completely different approach!  My real-world experience is unmatched due to my past misfortunes and triumphs!


Tell me about your family.

I am apart of a large biracial, diverse, unusual family so I will do my best to some us up.  My mother is white and is from Saint louis and my father is a black man from Mississippi. I have 5 sisters and 1 brother.  My nieces and nephews vary in color and cultural background.  WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE!  My older sister is a lesbian and has been with her wife for almost 10 years.  Even so my brother attended a catholic high school to combine his spirituality with education. My daughter ava is 6 and my daughter Milly is 4 and is a child with a genetic disability called down syndrome.  We also have several lifelong family friends who have come to be family over the years.
By implementing policies to advance the physical, mental, financial, and spiritual health of all community members.  As commissioner I will break down barriers to success and defeat the stereotypes that cripple our community and delay district advancement!

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

My top priority for improving district 6 is transforming county programs such as MFIP, housing assistance, childcare assistance, Medicare, and medical assistance to lead to ultimate independence and stability.  By gauging county programs success on productivity of clients, rather than exhaustion of the budget.  Another top priority for our district is terminating racism.  We can no longer avoid stereotypes and cultural miseducation it is destroying all of us and our community.  It continuously uproots our lives and reminds us we still have a lot of changes to make! Though there is no handbook on ending discrimination and systematic racism we can all do our part to stop the escalation and put an everlasting end to the separation. Covid is also a big priority of mine with cases rising and protective measures lessening the county will need to implement stricter guidelines and enforce them to maintain the safety of all community members especially our most vulnerable!

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?


There are many obvious differences between me and the other candidates.  I am the youngest, I have the smallest financial backing and schooling, and my family and background is uncommon for politicians.  But I believe my survival in life stands alone in this group.  That my hard knock life experience has given me unmatched leadership, dedication, and righteousness.  I am not running for money or esteem, and the absence of political allies and advisors generates my honesty and authenticity. I have knowledge on the unaddressed challenges effecting community members not only from my schooling, but from experiencing the rise and fall of life.


How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

Now more than ever it is important that the county commissioners use their elected positions to protect vulnerable community members.  By ensuring all community businesses and members are following guidelines to stop the spread of the disease.  In the last month, the guidelines have become blurred to the public.  The board can implement better protection against this pandemic and take a more aggressive approach on stopping the spread of covid.  Though some people are at lower risk of dying there is not a vaccine yet, so we are all still at risk of contracting covid! I believe we are more fortunate than past recessions because our economic downturn is caused by a global pandemic rather than a lack of jobs or market crash.  We will recover economically but we cannot replace the human lives lost when this covid concludes.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

George Floyd did not choose to die to make the world a better place, he did not ask Derek Chauvin to turn him into a martyr!  The large masses of angry people both violent and peaceful are the product of ignoring and minimizing the deep roots racism has in our country and community.  Because of George Floyd’s murder myself and millions of others have decided to run for positions of power that have continued to be a privilege given to a select few, many with bias intentions.  The recent events compelled me to take my real-life experience with diverse cultures and lives and use this perspective to map out a new future that eliminates the disability that is racism!  The county board needs to support actions taken against racism and ending social inequality and support and impose them within our community!

Anything else you would like to add?


I am not running to win a competition or add a job to my resume.  I am seeking your vote to create authentic, perpetual chance.  I know that things can always get better because I have overcome immense challenges. Through my trials and tribulations, I have maintained my humanity, optimism, and smile.  I have learned to empathize and not to judge a book by its cover because I insist these things when meeting someone.  I am willing to help anyone in need on any given day and expect nothing in return. This is how I have always been, and this will help me bring an open minded, groundbreaking perspective to the board!

Chris Latondresse




Why run?

I’m running for Hennepin County Commissioner because we need good government now more than ever, and that path to a better government starts with us. With a $2.5 billion annual budget that touches the lives of 1 in 5 Minnesotans who call Hennepin County home, we need to elect leadership that believes in the power of government to improve people’s lives at scale and a proven track record of getting that done. 

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As Vice-Chair of the Hopkins School Board, I’ve led our district through the COVID-19 crisis, remotely educating and feeding 6,000 students in a $100 million per year public institution—while balancing our budget to keep our district strong for years to come.  I also served in the Obama Administration on the President’s team at USAID, bringing diverse stakeholders together—from the private sector to faith-based and civil society groups—to fight hunger and strengthen global food security. 
Tell me about your family.

My wife Ashley and I are raising our two young boys Walter (4) and Hugo (1) in Hopkins, where I grew up, my parents still live, and I have lived for most of my life. Ashley serves a nurse practitioner at Hennepin Healthcare in the coordinated care clinic. I’ll never forget the day in early February she sent me a text saying she had just attended a packed briefing on COVID-19 and said they were preparing for the worst. As Vice-Chair of the school board I knew our district had to do the same. So I called my Superintendent and our district took action; we started preparing immediately. 

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we all rely on good government, especially in times of crisis. The unlawful killing of George Floyd unmasks the reality that we have not yet fully delivered on the American promise of equal justice for all. 
These themes will define the work of the Hennepin County board for years to come. 
As your next Commissioner, I will prioritize stabilizing the county budget and reimagining government on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic through smart upstream investments in affordable housing, healthcare, and transportation.
I will take bold action to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, starting with breaking down silos between our human services and public safety lines of business, increasing collaboration, and reallocating resources where necessary.
Finally, I will provide leadership on climate change and protecting our natural resources, from Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha Falls—and everywhere in between.

What differentiates yourself from your opponents?

As Vice-Chair of the Hopkins School Board I’m the only candidate with experience and skills that come from executive leadership in local government. With COVID-19 that has meant rapidly shifting core business functions in a $100 million institution to meet rising community needs at a time of decreased budget revenues. There’s no manual for that. As your next Commissioner, I’m prepared to hit the ground running on day one, navigating large, complex systems, and aligning those systems with our shared values. 
Anything else you would like to add?

Proud to have the endorsement of many leaders and organizations across our community, including: the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the Minnesota DFL Party, Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Met Council Member (and former Hopkins Mayor) Molly Cummings, State Legislators Laurie Pryor and Cheryl Youakim, and City Council Members Brian Hunke (Hopkins), Kissy Coakley (Minnetonka) and Brian Kirk (Minnetonka).


Cheri Sudit

Why run?

The answer is easy. I am running for Hennepin County Commissioner because I love my community! I grew up in Edina and have lived in Minnetonka for the last 35 years with my family. I have deep roots in my community, and there is no place I would rather live. I have worked as an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for 30 years, representing every department throughout Hennepin County and the hospital. I believe our next Commissioner must have extensive knowledge and background in Hennepin County government in order to understand the numerous challenges facing our community today.


How has my background/experience prepared me for the position?

I have committed my entire career to public service. I have worked as an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for 30 years. As an employment lawyer, I have represented, trained, and advised every department throughout Hennepin County and the hospital in civil legal matters. The position of Hennepin County Commissioner is complex and varied. This year the Hennepin County Board approved a $2.5 billion budget. My experience and knowledge of Hennepin County, combined with the relationships I have formed over my extensive career, make me uniquely qualified for this position.

I believe I can make a difference on the Hennepin County Board and in my community. As a litigator, I will be a strong advocate for my community. I have a common-sense approach to government and believe in listening to all sides. I believe that tax dollars should be spent wisely. I also have the temperament to work with the other commissioners to get things accomplished.


Family

I grew up in Edina with my parents and sister, Dr. Pamela Harris (who has consistently been named Top Doctor by Mpls./St. Paul Magazine). I have been married for 38 years to my husband, Michael (another consistent Top Doctor/Dentist by Mpls./St. Paul Magazine). Michael owns a dental practice in Minnetonka. We have two children. My son is an orthodontist in Linden Hills, and my daughter works for a large tech company. I have four grandchildren who mean the world to me.

Priorities Facing District 6.

Safety
Budget
Economic recovery
Environment & Natural Resources
Infrastructure
Access to Affordable Healthcare & Housing         

What differentiates me from my opponents?

My extensive background working for Hennepin County for 30 years, combined with the relationships that I have built over the years, set me apart from the other candidates. David Hough, Hennepin County Administrator, is a former colleague of mine at the Hennepin County Attorneys Office. I have also worked extensively with most department administrators, directors, and managers. With a budget of $2.5 billion, this position is too important for on the job training.

How has COVID-19 and the economic downturn impacted the role?

The Hennepin County Board (made up of the 7 Commissioners elected from each district throughout Hennepin County) is responsible for overseeing the approximately 8,000 Hennepin County workforce. Overnight, the workforce has transitioned from predominantly working in a county office to working from home. Commissioners have many challenges to face with a remote workforce. Addressing the health issues of employees, their children, and parents is of paramount concern. Understanding, compassion, and creativity are needed now more than ever to face these unique issues.

The community impact of COVID-19 and the economic downturn facing our community can only be described as devastating. That is why, now more than ever, we need experienced leadership to tackle these significant issues facing our community.


How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

Current events and civil unrest have shaken our community and have underscored the injustice faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Hennepin County’s Mission Statement reads, “We envision a future where residents are healthy and successful and where our communities are safe and vibrant. We will strive to meet and exceed expectations by engaging people and communities in developing innovative solutions to challenges. We will be a diverse, learning organization. We will partner with others to enhance the quality of life in Hennepin County and the region.” I support this mission and believe it will inspire the county to recover, improve, and drive progress in our communities to reach equity. The work of Hennepin County has always been to help the residents in need. Clearly, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.

Anything else you would like to add?


Local government is often asked to provide solutions to society’s most difficult issues. The Hennepin County Board has a budget of $2.5 billion and oversees Hennepin County’s 1.5 million residents. This is an important position that requires experienced and knowledgeable leadership. This is a non-partisan position. When elected, I will aggressively work on behalf of my community.

Kimberly Wilburn


Why run?

I originally decided to run for county commissioner because I know that we can do a better job at serving the traditionally underserved and marginalized and because we don’t have enough voices and faces like mine at the table and because for too long I’ve watched politicians make promises and forget them, forget me and their constituents once the election is over.  I considered dropping out of the race when I did not get the DFL endorsement and then a few weeks ago, I witnessed a murder. I witnessed not just a murder, but an officer, sworn to uphold the law, kneel on another man’s neck as though his life had no meaning, secure in the knowledge that he would face no consequences. I could not step aside for the sake of party loyalty in the face of such a horrific act. Injustices like this are one reason we need more voices and faces like mine at the table.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I believe that a person learns how to be a county commissioner by being a county commissioner.  That being said - I’m a veterinarian with a background in Immunobiology.  I’m also a mother, a wife, a community organizer, an activist, and a community member.  I bring a scientist’s perspective and a belief in data driven solutions.  I also have an understanding of systemic racism that comes not only from training and study but also from living as a black woman in the United States.  As a non-traditional candidate, I will not have an expectation of or a desire to continue the status quo.

Tell me about your family.

I’m married with two adult children. We are a multiracial family and I have a large extended family.  I have family members that belong to marginalized groups (aside from race/ethnicity) but I do not wish to invade their privacy by making that public knowledge.

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

Economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic including support for small business owners and residents.  Addressing the climate crises which in District 6 will include (but not be limited to) continuation of light rail and other public transportation options and creation of jobs through investment in wind and solar energy and building and retrofitting housing for energy efficiency.  Addressing the homeless and housing crises by working with cities, the Metropolitan Council, and non-government agencies to provide housing options for people in all stages of life. Reforming the criminal justice system to eliminate racial disparities in use of force, arrests, incarceration, sentencing, and parole.

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

Besides everything I already said?  Well, there are six of us so some things only apply to some of us.  As far as I know, I’m the only scientist running.  My scientific background as well as my work as a community organizer and activist give me a unique perspective that has not been seen previously in District 6.  I am not a career politician and I’m not interested in advancing my political career. I'm interested in serving District 6 and Hennepin County residents.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downturn impacted the role of state senator county commissioner in your mind?

The role of the commissioners hasn’t changed but economic and health impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak on residents will have to be addressed.  An examination of the county’s emergency preparedness with regards to healthcare and county operations will also be necessary. In addition, the effect of Covid-19 on people of color will have to be considered as the county develops its plan to address racism as a public health crisis.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of state senator county commissioner in your mind?

The issues highlighted by George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent public response are issues on which many of us have been calling for action for years.  The current public awareness may make it “safer” to take action on some of these issues.  I argue that they are issues that should have been tackled long ago,

Anything else you would like to add?

I have conversations throughout the years about electability.  Invariably the person to whom I’m talking, usually a white male, will tell me why white male candidates are electable.  There isn’t time to delve into the myth of electability but I will ask the question.  Why do some people believe that white people are capable of governing people of all races and ethnicities but don’t believe the same is true for people of color?  I know there are some that would prefer that race not be mentioned but the fact is race is an issue whether it is mentioned or not.  I submit that I am better equipped to handle the issues we are facing because of my understanding of institutional racism and the role it plays in those issues.  My goal is to improve the quality of life for all residents of District 6 by seeing that they have access to necessary resources and services.