Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Don Samuels Looks Forward To Continued Progress In NoMi...
Following his swearing-in yesterday, Council Member Don Samuels made some videotaped remarks, vowing to continue the progress North Minneapolis has been making in the last few years, with a focus on the well-being of children in terms of their education and safety.
Inside his small office--very plain except for the display of numerous action figures which Don either designed or accumulated during his time as a toy designer-- Samuels displayed some souvenirs of his last time in office, including bullets which came from...
...a single shooting incident, displayed in a glass right next to a brick from the demolition of the notorious Big Stop store. Somewhere in the office there is also a brick from the former Uncle Bill's store, a.ka. Uncle Lennie's.
Fortunately, shootings and crime-ridden "inconvenience stores" are becoming increasingly rare in North Minneapolis as revitalization rolls inexorably forward.
Above, State Representative Bobby Jo Champion congratulates Samuels.
A framed Star Tribune article on the wall harkens back to the time when Don Samuels went on a fast to draw attention to the crime problem in North Minneapolis, and the need for public officials to do something. The fast was sparked by an incident in which a toddler was shot and injured. Ironically, the 19-month-old girl who was the catalyst for Don to go on this fast is actually the niece of Kenya McKnight, who ran against Samuels in the last election...producing an abysmal vote total.
The picture is an interesting composite of characters. Please note Mayor Rybak during his first term without a gray hair on his head. Also pictured is Chief Dolan, who was then Inspector Dolan of the Fourth Precinct. The female on the left is Sharon Lubinski, who is now Assistant Chief, but was recently appointed U.S. Marshall for the District of Minnesota.
Above, Samuels displays the rope which held up his tent during his July of 2003 fasting vigil in the Jordan Neighborhood.
Above, Don Samuels with his daughter, Saina. (Pronounced "Zay-nah")
Don posing with his family after the swearing-in. The young woman on the left is Asante Samuels, who is in that "too cool to be seen with my parents" phase. (No matter how good her parents are at fighting crime!) Word is Asante is going to have some instructional cooking videos up on YouTube in the near future, which will feature both Asante and her father. I've had some pastries baked by Asante and she is an excellent cook.
Congratulations, again, Don and we're looking forward to you fulfilling your promise to work EVEN HARDER in the next four years to keep making our neighborhood better.