St. Cloud City Council | At- Large Seat

St. Cloud City Council | AT-LARGE SEAT 2020

Key Issues

As a husband and father of six children in St. Cloud, I have made this community my home for the last 19 years. I see this as a growing community in more than just population and economy. We are developing in strength, resilience, diversity and culture, and arts and education. With growth comes challenges and opportunities, and as your city representative, I am prepared, competent, and qualified to meet these challenges and opportunities with optimism and action.

Eradicate or substantially reduce homelessness

I believe that I am the right person who can make eradicating homelessness a priority at the City Council, because, unlike the current members of the Council, I have seen what homelessness looks like. As a young refugee, I have seen and witnessed people who fled wars, lost all they had, and overnight became homeless. The concept of homelessness to me, in the wealthiest nation in the world, is an issue that is hard for me to accept, and thus it is personal to me. When I speak to family and friends in Africa, they have a hard time believing that homelessness exists in the United States, so it is only right for us to refuse the normalization of homelessness by doing the right thing about it. Eradicating or substantially reducing homelessness also encompasses my desire to fight for affordable housing for all.

 

Make Saint Cloud united by refusing to accept hate and racism

I believe that our divisions’ leading cause or source is rooted in misunderstanding, misinformation, and lack of open dialogue between our neighbors and communities. The goal of uniting Saint Cloud is attainable. I believe that I am the right person to spearhead the process of uniting us because I am honest, reliable, and dislike groupthink. I mention groupthink because many times, we silence voices with diverging opinions through groupthink, leading to louder voices to carry the day, perpetuating one-sided solutions, while ignoring unpopular solutions from the silenced groups. The process of uniting our city should include true diversity at city hall, committees, and all other governing bodies and making city hall welcoming to all communities. It is way passed the time to invite people to dance; it is time to ask people to dance.

Transparency and accountability

The city budget must be transparent and accountable to the voters. Our priorities need to be clear for all to see, including significant participation by our residents. Funding is a sticky issue that is dear to me. What we fund says a lot about us. For example, funding public safety is paramount, but we must do it consistently with our priorities. As cases of police brutality increases, legitimate questions about defunding police are raised. It is time to change the way we conceptualized public safety. Instead of pumping more money into militarized police departments, perhaps, we should redirect our funds to where it will be most useful for our residents. As a person of color, I know why people do not want to fund police. So, it will be a clear task for me to have the conversation about police brutality and the need to make sure our scares funds go towards fostering relationships that benefit our communities at large.