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,
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.
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
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, 7001 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
More information on OLM can be found on their website.