In 2018, residents in Anoka County District 4 will elect a new county commissioner. District 4 includes Columbia Heights, Hilltop, and parts of Fridley and Spring Lake Park. You can read about the candidates below, or watch a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters here.
About: I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to two Twin Cities natives and raised on Army bases around the world. As a teenager I experienced homelessness. My mom, little sister and I were able to get back on to our feet, and thrive because of assistance we got from a county. I know the life changing value of services delivered by the county, and that’s why I’m running for County Commissioner.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Urban Studies, I started working for the office of Congressman Keith Ellison. While in Congressman Ellison’s office, I was involved in working with HUD on the sale of Parkview Villa in Columbia Heights to Aeon saving city money. I also collaborated with communities on issues such as freight rail safety in Fridley.
From Congressman Ellison’s office I worked as the Senior Policy Aide for Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang, who represented North Minneapolis. During my time with Blong, I focused on housing, public safety, small business growth and transportation. I am currently the Director of Public Policy for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber.
I live in Columbia Heights with my wife Stephanie and our 3-year-old daughter.
Important Issues: I see a great opportunity for Anoka County to commit to transit improvement for the residents of Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, and Spring Lake Park. I will be a clear voice for this much needed investment.Transit brings new development and has the power to change lives by giving community members greater access to education and job opportunities. The county needs to commit to safer roads built for everyone to use and enjoy.
In many ways the health of our community starts with people’s access to safe and affordable housing. I will be a voice for more housing and more affordable housing. For everyone from seniors to workers we have to have more homes and places for people to live. Today’s families will lead the fight for the planet’s future. We can do our part by preserving green spaces, increasing recycling and composting.
Goals is Elected: As County Commissioner I want to be a voice for my neighbors. We have a unique corner of the county down here in District 4 and the rest of the county may not share our priorities. Using my years of experience, I want to advocate for the things that make a difference our community.
I want to be an advocate for working families and for small businesses. Southern Anoka County is one of the in our region that working families can afford to buy homes close to jobs and our downtowns. It is also one of the best places to start a new business or grow a small business. We need someone to fight for investments like transit, parks and libraries, and we need someone to sell the opportunity of southern Anoka County—that’s what I want to do, and I have the experience to do it.
Senator Carolyn Laine
Rep. Mary KuneshPodein
John Larkin, Columbia Heights School Board President
Naty Severson, Columbia Heights School Board Member
Lorien Mueller, Columbia Heights School Board Member
Laura Palmer, Columbia Heights School Board Member
Connie Buesgens, Columbia Heights City Council Member
Betty Risdahl, Hilltop City Council Member
About: I’ve lived in my community for over 20 years. My first apartment out of high school was in Columbia Heights, I moved down the road to Fridley where I’ve lived with my family for 17 years and have two children attending Fridley Public Schools.
Being an Anoka County Commissioner has always been of interest to me because it is a place where you can get things done. My community has asked me to run for office for years because they have seen my ability to serve well. I’m saying yes today because I know I will be strong advocate for our needs.
I’ve received excellent training for this job with North Metro Mayors Association as the Community Relations Manager for the past three years. I have learned about city operations, policy creation and how to effectively work through legislation to get things done. Most importantly, I listen to the goals and challenges of our residents, businesses and nonprofits in Anoka County.
Where I have developed my expertise and who I am, is a collaborator and connector. I have been working with diverse leaders in civic, business and nonprofit sectors in Anoka County for the last decade, improving my own backyard.
Jobs – I’ve sat with numerous businesses who have shared the same problem with me – the inability to find skilled workers in the trades. As Commissioner, I will:
- Support the trades industries
- Advocate for our community and technical colleges
- Promote the numerous, good paying jobs in manufacturing Anoka County has to offer
Human Services/Public Safety – These issues have touched nearly everyone in Anoka County. They are complicated problems that will need long term advocacy for.
- Tackling the opioid crisis through policy, resources and awareness
- Promoting our mental health services and facilities (Mercy Hospital, Lee Carlson Center, Touchstone)
- Breaking the stigma of mental health issues through education
Community Development — When our community is strong, we all benefit. Community development to me, means:
- Safe and functioning roads, trails and sidewalks
- Up to code and 21st century ready public buildings and spaces
- Promoting open dialogue and engagement with diverse communities
Goals if Elected: My goals for Anoka County Commissioner is to work hard on the issues that are important to my community. I will be a responsible steward of tax payer dollars, ensure services are accessible and efficient, and help people in my community navigate through Anoka County’s complex systems and vast resources.
Teamsters Joint Council 32
Representative Connie Bernardy
Senator Jerry Newton
Former Senator Barb Goodwin
Senator Chris Eaton
Fridley Mayor Scott Lund
The entire Fridley City Council
Fridley School Board member Avonna Starck
Fridley School Board member Donna Prewedo
Fridley School Board member Chris Riddle
Lupus Research Foundation
nMotion Dance Center for Performing Arts
Kim Nybo State Farm Agency
Maria D State Farm Agency
SPRING LAKE PARK
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
CENTENNIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT