Voters in the Tuesday, Aug. 11, Primary Election will narrow the field of candidates for Brooklyn Park City Council.

Brooklyn Park has three voting districts for its council: east, west, and central. One seat in each of these districts is up for election in the Nov. 3 General Election.

Three candidates filed for election in each district. In the primary election, the two candidate with the most votes will advance to be on the ballot in the General Election,

Incumbents Susan Pha in the west district and Lisa Jacobson in the east are running for re-election, while current Councilmember Mark Mata did not file for re-election in the central district.

Absentee voting has already opened for the Aug. 11 election and all eligible voters in the county can vote early by absentee either in-person or by mail. For more information, go to hennepin.us/residents/elections/absentee-voting, email hc.vote@hennepin.us or call 612-348-5151, or visit sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.

Each candidate that filed was asked to provide a photo, biographical information, and answer two questions.

Answers were edited for length and clarity.

Central District

Name: Christian Eriksen

Address: 4501 78th Ave N,

Age: 44

Family: Married (Deborah, 3 kids)

Education: BA, International Relations, University of Minnesota. MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, Bethel University

Occupation: Graduate Medical Education Coordinator

Years lived in city: 1976-2000, 2013-Present

Community involvement: Human Rights Commission (two years as chair), Fire Department Strategic Planning Taskforce member.

Contact information: eriksenforbrooklynpark@gmail.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

I want to bring a leadership style of openness, approachability and inclusivity to this seat in the Central District.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

1. Police Community Relations. 2. Increased engagement of all residents in civic life 3. Attractive park and civic amenities available to all residents 4. Increase Fire Department sustainability. 5. Thoughtful redevelopment of commercial areas south of 85th.

Name: Boyd Morson

Address: 10701 Perry Drive N.

Age: 56

Family: Husband 35 years, father of 3

Education: Associates Degree, Boston University

Occupation: Disabled

Years lived in city: 20 years

Community involvement: Former VC-BP-Human Rights Commission, Former VP State of MN League of Human Rights, 2020 Voice Magazine Community Nominee, 2020 Legend Award,

Contact information: morson4bpcitycouncil.com, morson4bp@yahoo.com, 763.355.0865

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

I am seeking to serve the residents in the central district in a more meaningful way. To bring a deserving, relevant, necessary, and needed diverse perspective and voice of the lost generations of ordinary people to city hall. It will be a distinct honor and privilege to represent this demographically mixed, ethnically diverse, culturally enriched, mosaic people. I will be able to apply my life knowledge gained from serving in the US Navy and serving communities in of Detroit. I believe the same will be most useful in a part-time position that needs a full-time effort and commitment — I have the time.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

The top issues I consider to need addressing are as follows; (1) COVID-19 (2) reform policing ensuring safety for all (3) developing an achievable and obtainable pathway forward for economic vibrancy and sustainability (4) engaging our diverse community (5) infrastructure (6) business growth and development (7) becoming a destination city for others (8) homelessness (9) creating 9-5 foot traffic completed with establishing shopping, dining, entertainment (10) implementing documented community engagement outcomes (10) partnering with established youth after school and out-of-school programs (11) rent (12) small business development, (13) massaging old business relationships (14) creating jobs and opportunities.

Name: Walter O. Nyabere

Address: 8650 Tessman Circle North

Age: 42

Family: Married to Aungeleca Nyabere, we have 4 children, and a family dog Zander.

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing

Occupation: Nurse practitioner at Assured Health Clinic

Years lived in city: 12

Community involvement: Mwanyagetinge (Kenyans in diaspora), former Police Multicultural Advisory Committee member

Contact information: 763-600-3540 or email walternyabere@gmail.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

I am a resident of Brooklyn Park and I am willing and able to represent the concerns of the district that I live in without reservation, or bias. I also know that the city is not perfect and thus seeking to work together with its residents to provide a comfortable, secure and loving neighborhoods.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

1. Equal economic and business opportunities for all residents of Brooklyn Park; A city with a system in place that allow for equal opportunities to all its residents.

2. Police and community engagement: I envision a city where its residents and the police, justice system have mutual trust. A city that criminalizes racial profiling not only in the police force, but also the office of the prosecutor and the judges and the office of Public Safety.

3. Education: We need to have equal representation in school boards, appointment of principles and education board. We as a community that embraces diversity with full knowledge of our different culture. We therefore need a school system that is more inclusive and cultural sensitive.

East District

Name: Lisa Jacobson

Address: PO Box 43462

Age: 54

Family: Married, mother of 2, step-mother of 5

Education: University of St. Thomas, communications/justice sStudies

Occupation: Director of development and communications

Years lived in city: 32

Community involvement: City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem, BP Rotary, Lions, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Crime Prevention Association Board, Brooklyn Avenues Advisory Committee

Contact information: 763-234-0315, lisajacobsonforbp@gmail.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

I am seeking re-election to the Brooklyn Park City Council because I love this community! I have been committed for 32 years. I don’t just talk about things – I get them done. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I have never been one to sit around and complain. I don’t come to the table with an agenda or ulterior motive. I have been a public servant, working alongside diverse individuals and families. I have also celebrated with members of this community at festivals and community meetings. Council service is a privilege that I take seriously. It takes someone with my leadership to continue to lead Brooklyn Park. The last four years has been one filled with hard decisions, including the pandemic we are in, and I have worked to represent you each and every day.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

The times we find ourselves in as a community brings a series of issues and opportunities. We are facing important decisions in the areas of community relations and engagement, spending and development projects moving forward during a pandemic as well as a time of civil unrest. Police and fire, housing, transportation, and resident safety are most important to me.

Name: Oduwa Aganmwonyi

Address: 2308 84th Ave. N.

Age: 55

Family: Family of 5

Education: BA Psychology

Occupation: Mental Health Practitioner

Years lived in city: 12

Community Involvement: Brooklyn Park Multicultural Advisory Committee, Twin Cities United, CAPI USA Board, former member of Brooklyn Park Community Long Range Improvement Commission, several Osseo School District committees, Hennepin County Mental Health Advisory Board.

Contact information: 763-528-8303, oduwaforbrooklynpark@gmail.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

As an immigrant, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given including being allowed to seek a public office, which is due to the effort and sacrifices of my people before me. As a result, I have a sense of duty to serve. Secondly, I love Brooklyn Park and I care so deeply about the well-being of the people and community.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

Upon speaking with a lot of people, I would submit that the top issues are:

1. Safety: Due to the increase in crime rate as reported by the 2019 Brooklyn Park residential survey.

2. Infrastructure: Not only that I am committed to the completion of Highway 252 into a freeway and the light rail system. I am equally committed to provide modern transportation options (bike, walk, ride, drive). Also, I will support quality, affordable, and well-maintained housing for all ages and income level.

3. Strong and inclusive economic environment that supports businesses and empowers people to thrive.

Name: Benjamin Osemenam

Address: 2200 Pearson Parkway

Family: daughter

Education: BSC Civil Engineering, MBA program, MSc Infrastructure Engineering

Occupation: Engineer

Years lived in city: 32 years

Community Involvement: President of the Association of Nigerian Engineers in Minnesota, Parish Advisory Board, St. Olaf Catholic Church, Trustee at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Brooklyn Center. Caring and Sharing Hands

Contact Information:(763) 286-2403 or benjaminosemenamforcitycouncil@gmail.com

Why are seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council:

I envision a new Brooklyn Park centered on love with diversity and gender equality in all aspects of city governance. A city where housing issues are addressed through innovative 4D programs, proper implementation of the current NOAH Preservation and Mixed Income Policy. Where small businesses are recognized as the backbone of development and are fully supported through tax incentives and other aids. A City where property taxes are reduced and kept at a manageable level, especially for retired aging residents on fixed income. Where revenue is generated through creative and innovative methods. A city where the police force lives in the city, and knows and engages the community. A city with a standing public-private emergency and pandemic response team, to mention but a few.

What do you consider the top issues the city should address:

These are my visions for a new BP. These changes and restructuring are urgently needed and these are why I’m running to initiate the changes.

-Total restructure of the city of BP to reflect the community they serve. This the Police Department, implement hire BP, and “Good Samaritan” Policing and community engagement.

-Housing.

-Property tax reduction and innovative revenue generation.

-Tax incentives and aids to small businesses, the backbone of future.

West District

Name: Yelena Kurdyumova

Address: 7212 72nd Lane N

Family: Husband, 3 daughters

Education: Linguistic University, Master’s in English/Russian Language Teaching; 2-year postgraduate, Master’s in English-Russian consecutive, simultaneous interpreting, translation, literary editing.

Occupation: Business owner of International Interpreting, Translation & PR Services, LLC, Runglobalmedia.com, Runglobalmedia channel; freelance writer, photojournalist stringer.

Years lived in city: 11

Community involvement: American Translators Association

Contact information: Vote4YelenaKurdyumova.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

After personal meetings with several thousands of my constituents during the last seven years, and discussion of their concerns with Brooklyn Park problems, I still want to:

- Stop growth of property taxes for homeowners and small businesses and put this burden on big companies.

- Attract new businesses to the city.

- Create new jobs for city residents.

- Clean parks of trash and drug traffic, improve lighting and install restrooms in all parks.

- Improve quality of school education through optimization of student/teacher ratio, school environment, technical equipment.

- Reduce crime in Brooklyn Park. Stop constant flow of renters with bad criminal background (open violent crime cases) into Brooklyn Park. Enact new City Rule, obligating landlords to do criminal background checks of their prospective renters and submit to the City the results along with lease agreements. Control enforcement of this rule.

- Improve control of enforcement of city rules by appropriate city departments.

What do you consider the top issues which city council should address?

- Eliminate potential causes leading to racial and national conflicts.

- Restore the confidence of residents in the police.

- Reserve funds in city budget for adaptation of residents and small businesses to life and work in conditions of COVID-19 pandemic.

Name: Susan Pha

Address: 8301 Sumter Ave. N.

Age: 43

Family: Married to Nicolas 25 years, 2 sons and 2 daughters

Education: None Listed

Occupation: Author, director of sales and marketing

Years lived in city: 13 years

Community involvement: Brooklyn Park City Council, Council Liaison to the Community Long-range Improvement Commission, Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission, and Brooklyns Youth Council.

Contact information: votesusanpha.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

Like thousands of my neighbors, Brooklyn Park is home and I want to continue to contribute in making our City an even greater place to live. I’m seeking re-election to the Brooklyn Park City Council to further build on the important and progressive work that we have done these last four years.

-We’ve created over 1000 new jobs in our city with livable wages. Let’s create more jobs.

-We are building a stronger local economy, supporting small businesses, and bringing in quality housing and commercial developments into our City. Let’s do more.

-I want to continue to reduce our resident’s tax burden by continuing to grow our tax base. We can do that with quality developments that offer highest value and best use of land.

-We’ve successfully attained millions of dollars in state and federal funds for transportation and infrastructure investments in our city. I want to ensure that those infrastructure projects go through and we receive additional funds for future investments in our city.

There’s so much more but unfortunately can’t all be listed here.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

Public safety, housing, youth programs, our local economy, business and commercial development, streets, parks, and city infrastructure.

Name: Henry N. Momanyi

Address: 8832 Northbrook Circle N.

Age: 51 years

Family: Married with three Kids.

Education: M.COM and MBA in accounting and business statistics

Occupation: Business analyst

Years lived in city: 5 years

Community involvement: 17 years experience in outreach and early intervention with people of color, immigrants, refugees and LGBT.

Contact information: 763-439-0083 or Henmom505@yahoo.com

Why are you seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City Council?

I am seeking election to the Brooklyn Park City council because, I am a resident of Brooklyn Park and I strongly feel indebted to contribute to the growth and expansion of the city in every capacity. My background is in accounting and business statistics with a variety of professional certification in health, leadership and community engagement. I have experience in non-profit industry for more than 17 years in leadership dealing with people of color, immigrants, refugees and LGBT.

What do you consider the top issues that the city council should address?

As resident of Brooklyn Park for the last five years, I strongly feel that the following are the major issues to be addressed:

1. Housing – access to equal housing and community based employment opportunities

2. Economic development and infrastructure disparity

3. Educational disparity and youth empowerment

4. Civic engagement and inclusivity

5. Public safety

Copyright © 2020 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

Load comments