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Liberians in Minnesota to vote in OLM elections this weekend


Thursday, May 16, 2019
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The 13 candidates running for 6 board seats on the Organization of Liberians in Minnesotae

Thirteen candidates are vying to fill six open board seats on the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota in elections that will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019. Photo: Courtesy OLM Elections Commission

Liberians will go to the polls on Sunday, May 19 from 7am to 7pm to fill six board positions in the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota. There are 13 candidates vying for the positions, among them four incumbents that are seeking reelection. OLM board chair Abraham Bah is among those on the ballot on Sunday.

Th thirteen candidates include a record six women. Should just four of them prevail at the polls on Sunday, it will be the first time the OLM board will have women as the majority.

OLM is managed by a nine-board member which oversees the executive team that is led by the executive director. The current executive director is Nathalie Gray. The nine-member board currently has two women.

Social media, especially Facebook, has been abuzz with prominent personalities announcing their preferred candidates. Among those publicly announcing their choices on Facebook was community organizer Denise Butler who in a Mother’s Day eve post said “Great to see 13 candidates are running. It shows folks want a change, and aren’t just talking, but acting on it,” before she went on to announce her endorsements. Boyd Morson who unsuccessfully ran for Brooklyn park mayor last year also took to Facebook to announce his endorsement, as did Decontee Kofa, a staffer for Congressman Dean Philips. Kofa was a prominent face in the successful Philips campaign that wrestled control of the longtime Republican seat for the Democrats. The mercurial Abdullah Kiatamba has also been out in the community campaigning for his preferred candidate.

As the final stretch of the campaign approached this week, the OLM Elections Commission chair, Kamaty Diahn,

Kamaty Diahn, OLM Elections Commission Chair. Photo: Submitted

sought to remind Liberians that OLM is a membership organization and thus elections are open to members only.

“You have to be up to date on your dues to OLM to be able to vote and will need to present a financial clearance form from OLM,” Diahn said in a telephone interview with Mshale.

Candidate Debate

In advance of the Sunday election, there will be a candidate debate on Friday, May 17 at the Brooklyn Center City Hall. Elections chair Diahn said all 13 candidates have confirmed their participation.

The candidates vying for the six board seats are:

Abraham B. Bah*

Edwina T. Willie

Abraham S. Turay

Catherine Kantu

Mohammed Dukuly*

Minerva Grant

Clarence Tweh

Kartumu King

Erasmus Williams*

Princess Yanforh

Burleigh Holder

Adrianne Gould

Sizi Goyah*

Debate Date and Venue: Friday, May 17 @ 7pm @ Brooklyn Center City hall, 6301 Shingle Creek Pkwy

Brooklyn Center, MN 55430

Election Date & Venue: Sunday, May 19 @ Liberian Community Center, 7001В  78th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 7am to 7pm

To vote you will need:

1.) Financial Clearance from OLM which verifies your membership is current

2.) Valid Minnesota ID

*Denotes incumbent.

More information on OLM can be found on their website.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president ofВ  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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