My Vision for Falcon Heights

I am running for city council because I want to foster a safer and welcoming community for all residents.

 
 

My Story

Yakasah with his wife, Esha and their cat (Mufasah) and dog (Kaira).

Yakasah with his wife, Esha and their cat (Mufasah) and dog (Kaira).

I was born in Liberia and immigrated to the US as a refugee at the age of six. I attended primary and secondary schools in the Minneapolis school district and graduated from St. Francis high school. My commitment to public service developed in these formative years where I organized national night-outs and other community events and served as student council president.

I attended Hamline University where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in Political Science and History. Like many college students from working-class backgrounds, I paid for my education through student loans and work. In addition to balancing my academic and extracurricular responsibilities, I also worked two jobs during the academic year and spent the summer months working part-time. In my Senior year of college, I became the first student in Hamline’s history to receive the Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award.

My wife (who I met at Hamline) and I both graduated from Hamline in 2014. We got married fall of 2015 and moved to Falcon Heights fall of 2017 where we live with our cat (Mufasah) and dog (Kaira), in the Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative (CTC). We decided to move to CTC following my acceptance into the Political Science Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota. We were drawn to CTC because of its proximity to the University campus and the affordable livability and comforts of Falcon Heights. As I transition from a student to a doctoral candidate in my program at the university, I am excited and look forward to serving the residents of Falcon Heights on City Council.

 

My Values

HARD Work

As a first-generation immigrant from one of the 20th centuries’ most devastating war zones, I understand the value of hard-work. Like many residents of Falcon heights, nothing was given to me. Instead, I had to set goals for myself and develop practical steps to achieve them. This required countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve employed this grit, which I’ve obtained from my immigrant and working-class background to propel me forward and overcome countless barriers in my personal and professional life. As your council member, you can count on me to draw on this value to tackle the challenges facing Falcon Heights.  

Respect

In these times of incivility and political polarization, I believe that the only way to reestablish a sense of normalcy in our political discourse is by respecting one another; that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, to be passionate without disparaging, and to speak up without silencing others. My experience working on various issue campaigns and initiatives with diverse interlocutors provides me with a deep sensitivity to what it feels like to be on both the winning and losing end of an issue. In victory and defeat, I’ve always exhibited a high level of respect for adversary and ally alike. You can count on me to continue to practice the highest degree of respect as your council member.

 

COMMITMENT to community

As a member and product of many communities, I am keenly aware that no individual’s success is owed solely to themselves. This is especially true for me and any successes of mine. The love, care, and support that I’ve received throughout my life by my network of personal and professional advocates has sustained me throughout the years and has instilled in me the confidence required to be my best self. Thus, I understand and deeply internalize the value of fostering a safe and welcoming community environment for all. It goes without saying that strong and positive communities produce strong and positive members who in turn contribute to the betterment of the larger society. This commitment to community is one of the principal reasons why I am running to win your support to serve on the Falcon Heights City Council.

Practicality

Although I value my optimistic and aspirational nature, I do not solely think and or operate according to lofty, impractical beliefs. The most successful campaigns are those that lie along the intersection between aspiration and practicality. My experience as a team leader in myriad roles has allowed me to cultivate the ability to think in terms of big picture, while also keeping sight of what is both materially and ideologically feasible. This approach has produced great success in my personal and professional life. I look forward to employing it in service of the city of Falcon Heights.

 

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