Newsletter Articles

August 14, 2020: School Time

Many Edina families have spent the past weeks anxiously awaiting reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Steph and I have been right there with them. We have two daughters in Edina schools and one headed off to college. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended all of our careful plans and all of the back-to-school traditions we hold dear. This year, it will further upend education in unprecedented ways. 

 

That said, I  continue to be impressed by the collaborative leadership of our School Board, administrators, and public health officials in making a difficult decision that I believe does a good job of hearing the concerns of parents, students and staff. They are making decisions based on the best available data (which I applaud). They are working tirelessly to ensure our children will receive the best education possible despite the unique challenges we face. While this will continue to be a trying school year for our family, we have focused on making sure our daughters are included in the family decision-making process.  We’ve even talked about getting custom masks to promote following the rules for safety purposes. We are using this experience to talk more, to listen more, and to pull together, just as Edina is doing. I am so proud to be a part of this community that cares so much and is working so tirelessly for our children's future. Please join me this week in thanking our School Board, school leaders and, most importantly, teachers and school staff, for all that they do. They make Edina great.

July 31, 2020: Labels

The office of City Council itself is complex, but the reason I am running is fairly simple. I believe in community. More specifically, I believe in the community of Edina. My belief in community is why my family and I have been engaged in the Edina community in countless ways. From my daughters and their various activities through the Edina Public School system to my wife and her leadership in Edina Give and Go and the city's COVID Relief fund, to my co-leadership on the Edina Race and Equity Task Force and many other initiatives. 

These efforts led me to realize that not only do I think my experience as a business leader at Cargill, combined with my extensive community work, gives me the background necessary to pragmatically guide our city. But it also made me realize the importance of having some new voices at the decision making table. 

This is why I am running on a platform that is all about listening to all voices, understanding the future of our economy and how to make it work for everyone, and utilizing trends and data to make the best decisions for everyone. This is how we maintain the Edina we all love which ensuring we evolve successfully and pragmatically into the future. 

I welcome you to join me in my efforts to win a seat at the table. 

Sincerely, 

James

July 24, 2020: Why I Am Running For Office

Have you ever thought about why we apply labels to each other, why we try to fit everyone into a box?  I think it simply makes us feel more comfortable. You can label me many things including tall, African American and most meaningful to me personally, a family man. I am frequently asked what political box am I in?  Am I Republican or Democrat?  Bipartisan? Though it’s all the rage, it is just another less meaningful label. I encourage you to find more meaningful labels to apply not just to me but to all people. When you think about who to support this November, you can try to put me in a box as a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent or many other things, but I encourage you to find more meaningful labels.  Label me as the candidate who cares about what matters to you and our community.