Farheen Hakeem deserves much more support than Peter McLaughlin. Peter supported the Stadium Tax, and should have considered his constituents more. Minneapolis libraries and public schools are having difficulty maintaining financial stability. Yet we build a sports stadium for a billionaire?
Farheen has the endorsement of the Green Party and support by many within the independent voter movement. She received 15% of the vote for mayor in the 2004 primary, and 40% in this year's County Commissioner primary. She will not allow the DFL Machine to dominate our city indefinitely, and deserves support for doing something about it.
What else does she stand for than against the imposed stadium tax?
Wind energy was an issue I championed during my 2005 campaign for Minneapolis Mayor. I am pleased to report that since then, the County board has decided to explore the options of bring renewable energy to Hennepin County. With my expertise, and commitment wind energy will become a reality in our community.
Wind energy will not only lessen our burden on nuclear and coal energy, but it will save the county money. Right now, Hennepin County spends $7 million on electricity. Wind Energy is approximately half the cost as nuclear and coal, resulting in a savings of $2-3 million dollars.
As Commissioner I will advocate renovating our county buildings with energy-efficient technology — a short-term expense with long-term savings.
Hennepin County needs strong and healthy families, regardless of their socio-economics, race, religion, sexual orientation, or citizenship. As County Commissioner I will insist that we examine the ways in which our government programs fail to keep children safe, and work to transform the root causes of that failure.
The racial disparity in child protection is shocking. For example, many children who are taken away from their homes are people of color. In addition, county services are not friendly to families of color, and families very quickly get lost in the system.
According to a March 29th issue of the Spokesmen-Recorder, there are 267,000 children in Hennepin County, where 69% are Caucasian and 14% are African American. Yet, of the children that are served in Hennepin County Child Protection, 29% are Caucasian, and 44% are African American. In addition, with newly arrivals and immigrants in Hennepin County, there is a lack of translated materials and cultural competency within Child Protection services. We also need to increase recruitment of more people of color to be guardiem ad litems. This will not only increase the cultural competency of county services, but also decrease the number of cases in which families are unnecessarily separated after case workers misinterpret traditions outside of their own culture as being inappropriate or harmful to children.
As a former math teacher and a current youth coordinator, I’m very passionate about the education of all our children. Hennepin County schools must be well funded and well staffed. This will not only improve the quality of education to our students, but provide more jobs to the community.
One of my teaching positions was with Hennepin County court-ordered youth. The system is broken for our young people and we need to make more strides in preventing these children in entering the criminal justice system. We need give them the tools that they need so that they can build a future for themselves that does not included the revolving door of a corrections facility.
As county commissioner, I will implement proactive steps to get our children away from juvenile detention and on their way to being active members of society. Those steps include offering opportunities in supplemental education to our youth and an increase in before-school, after-school and during-school programming.