Listen Growing ethnic diversity reflected in newly elected Minneapolis City Council
Nov. 8, 2013 Brandt Williams reports
Minneapolis voters have elected the first Mexican-American and the first Hmong-American to serve on the City Council.
Alondra Cano is the unofficial winner in the 9th Ward, representing south Minneapolis and the Phillips neighborhood. Blong Yang has won in the 5th Ward, the seat representing north Minneapolis.
Cano, 32, was born in Minnesota and raised in Mexico. She will be the first Mexican-American to serve on the Minneapolis City Council.
A Minneapolis Public Schools employee, Cano hopes her election will inspire more Latinos and people of color to get involved in city government and that the growing ethnic diversity on the council will help the city.
“I think it’s really going to help our city lead with racial equity in mind,” Cano said. “My entire life, I’ve worked on efforts to make sure the diverse communities of Minneapolis and Minnesota were engaged, empowered and served by the various institutions that govern us.”
She added, “I’m humbled. I’m excited. I’m ready to serve.”
Yang said he was relieved the election was over.
“My goodness, the suspense was killing me,” said. “But I’m just relieved that it’s done and that we got a majority of the votes, and we just want to move on.”
Yang said it was about time the council got more diverse but “I don’t think diversity will mean much if we don’t get stuff done. So we need to get stuff done.”
Election officials finished vote counting in the City Council races Friday under the city’s ranked-choice voting system.
Officials also said Linea Palmisano has won the southwest Minneapolis ward 13 seat currently held by Betsy Hodges, who was declared the city’s mayor elect in unofficial results last night.
In the 6th Ward, Abdi Warsame defeated incumbent Robert Lilligren on Tuesday to become the first person of Somali descent to hold municipal office in the United States.
On election night, these candidates were declared unofficial winners, based on first-round results:
City Council Ward 1: Kevin Reich
City Council Ward 2: Cam Gordon
City Council Ward 3: Jacob Frey
City Council Ward 4: Barbara Johnson
City Council Ward 6: Abdi Warsame
City Council Ward 7: Lisa Goodman
City Council Ward 8: Elizabeth Glidden
City Council Ward 10: Lisa Bender
City Council Ward 11: John Quincy
City Council Ward 12: Andrew Johnson
Park and Recreation Board District 1: Liz Wielinski
Park and Recreation Board District 3: Scott Vreeland
Park and Recreation Board District 4: Anita Tabb
Park and Recreation Board District 5: Steffanie Musich
MPR News reporter Brandt Williams contributed to this story.
Editor’s Note: Alondra Cano was born in Minnesota and works for Minneapolis Public Schools. An earlier version of this post said she was born in Mexico and worked currently for an immigration advocacy group.