Hodan Hassan is not running for re-election

Hodan Hassan


Hodan Hassan was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2018, and she’s been re-elected ever since. She and Rep. Aisha Gomez have introduced a bill in this session of the Legislature to spend $10 million on construction of the Neighborhood Development Center on Lake Street to support low-income entrepreneurs starting new businesses. Hassan has decided not to seek re-election.
At least three candidates have come forward to seek the DFL endorsement for her seat: Bill Emory, Londel French and Ira Jourdain.
We asked the candidates the following three questions:

1. Why should we support your candidacy for House seat 62B?

Bill Emory: I am ready to lead on our community’s most pressing challenges. My work helping to open new emergency shelters and planning for new transit has taught me the complexities involved in caring for our unhoused neighbors and expanding our transit system in a manner that is safe, equitable and comfortable.

Londel French: I worked for 19 years as an educator at Minneapolis Public Schools, served as a Parks Commissioner, and I’m a union organizer. I have spent my life working to uplift youth through public education and public parks, and to change structures of power to improve lives as an organizer.

Bill Emory

Ira Jourdain: Proven track record on the MPS school board with results for student success, such as providing media center specialists in every Minneapolis public school site to address literacy, housing partnerships to keep MPS families in their home, and environmental work like moving from commercial pesticides to organic best practices, to name a few examples.

2. What legislation would you introduce on your first day as a legislator?

Bill Emory: 1. Providing full state operating funds for qualifying emergency shelters.
2. Allocating funds to shut down, clean up, and repurpose the Smith Foundry site.
3. Securing financial and technical assistance funds for small businesses impacted by civil unrest.
4. Raise the minimum wage for state workers and contractors to $20 an hour.

Londel French

Londel French: I’ve called South Minneapolis home for over two decades. I know our community and our needs. I know Minneapolis Public Schools need a champion at the Legislature. I know that encampment evictions are failing all our neighbors, unsheltered and sheltered alike – and that our Legislature should be stepping up to mandate a “Housing First” approach. I know our kids shouldn’t be growing up blocks away from corporate polluters.

Ira Jourdain: Minnesota Anti-Garnishment Bank Account Bill. Would allow Minnesota to join a handful of states that do not allow bank garnishments except for exemptions such as back taxes, student loans, unpaid child support, etc. Bank garnishments leave people to the predatory practices of check cashing establishments, etc., while needing to pay rent, groceries, and other bills.

Ira Jourdain

3. What has been your most significant accomplishment?

Bill Emory: While I’m proud of my work helping to win elections for bold progressive leaders like Ilhan Omar, Irene Fernando and Mary Moriarty, I am most proud of my work on Hennepin county’s 2019 Supportive Housing Strategy, allocating $100 million over 10 years to create 1,200 units of deeply affordable, service-rich housing.

Londel French: When I served on the Park Board, I eliminated fees on programs and activities because no kid should be turned away from our parks because they can’t pay. As an educator, I worked to make sure every student and family felt welcome and had a place in our schools, so they were ready to learn.

Ira Jourdain: Besides being a dad incorporating my seven Ojibwe Grandfather Teachings of Humility, Bravery, Honesty, Wisdom, Truth, Respect and Love as a member of the Red Lake Band of Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) not only in my personal/professional life but to my public service on the Minneapolis school board in shaping long-lasting, positive change for all students, their families and staff.

DFL endorsement at either the 62nd District convention on April 14 or in the Democratic primary (if there is no endorsement) is tantamount to election since 90% of the voters in 62B vote DFL.

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