Boyd Morson prepares for city council election….takes aim at the city of Brooklyn Park

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If elected, I will be the most visible face, most credible voice, most careful listener, and most accountable city official as we together confront the challenges, create opportunities and embrace diversity. I will become a real voice of hope for all of our residents, including the most vulnerable, socially and economically challenged in the city of Brooklyn Park. I will develop youth outreach initiatives that will foster hope, promote leadership and engage our youth within the community. I will work to restore pride, respect and admiration for our city by reclaiming, reshaping and reinvesting in our city community and neighborhoods”, said Boyd Morson, a candidate for Brooklyn Park’s Central District City Council.

City of Brooklyn Park Reacts to Boyd Morson’s “Misinformed Statements”
by Staff, The Liberian Journal

Speaking recently at a program marking the establishment of the African Advocacy Group in Minnesota, Morson said he is gravely concerned that the crime rate in the city is growing while the leadership of City Hall looks on, saying his candidacy represents “a new thinking, out of the box thinking, and not the traditional way of looking at the same old problems”.

Morson, a veteran of the US Navy, expressed disappointment with officials of the city for playing politics with the interests of the minority community, especially Liberians.

He revealed that city leaders are in the business of saying one thing and voting another way, while misleading the public into believing that they are engaged in activities aimed at serving interests of all residents.

“Brooklyn Park infrastructure deserves immediate attention. We need to engage our diverse community”, Morson told Willamette Saydee of The Liberia Journal, in an exclusive interview conducted after the event.

“Brooklyn Park has not kept apace with changes in the last 15 years”.

Morson, the first minority candidate to survive a city council primary, will compete against Mike Trepanier, Central District incumbent Councilman, on November 4, 2008.

In the primary, Mike Trepanier received 631 votes, representing 63 percent of the result, while Boyd Morson garnered 250 votes or 25 percent of ballots cast in a three-way contest. The race also featured Billy Bishop, who came distant third, attracting 126 votes or 13 percent of support.

Morson’s website describes him as”: Brooklyn Park Human Relations commissioner; U.S. Navy “Honorman” veteran; businessman, entrepreneur; master-at-arms, state of Michigan Headstart Council; city of Detroit Neighborhood Services Dept.: chairman of Policy Council, chairman of Policy and Procedure Committee, chairman of Budget Committee, grant writer, program developer, event promoter; Adopt-A-Cop, American Legion, Lions International, NAACP; married, three children and a pet”.

Morson, 43, has launched a populist campaign, carefully built around a strategy to challenge the status quo in Brooklyn Park, questioning what he see as a massive failure of the leadership of the city to address issues that are at the core of the rapidly growing needs and interests of a diverse immigrant community.

In recent months, Morson has successfully managed to win the admiration of a good number of Liberians, participating in their events and contributing to their projects, as well as making a case for a rethink of the relationship between the city and the Liberian community in Minnesota.

“We have a disconnect from our leadership”, Morson said, adding “when the last time you’ve seen or heard from them [city officials or their representatives] with the exception of election year?”

Morson also insisted that leaders of the City of Brooklyn Park have failed to come clean with regards to a $50,000 McKnight Foundation grant, implying that their actions amounted to a slap in the face of the immigrant community.

“The City of Brooklyn Park failed to communicate information about the grant to the immigrant community. If they receive money, they need to communicate that information to the community…it was intended for. The immigrant and minority communities do not know that they [City of Brooklyn Park] have this money”, Morson told The Liberian Journal.

“We need to make sure information are disseminated and received throughout the city”.

In a related development, Morson has accused the city of removing his campaign signs, as part of a scheme to undermine his chances of wining the elections.

“They removed my signs…and other people signs are still there…the City of Brooklyn Park is doing this”, he charged.

The Liberian Journal has, however, received reactions to Boyd Morson’s statements from three sources—The City of Brooklyn Park, the McKnight Foundation, and the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, OLM.

An excerpt of Brooklyn Park’s rebuttal questioned Morson’s understanding of the intents and purposes of the grant. Detailed of statements, reactions and rebuttals from the three sources will be published tomorrow.

Editor’s Note: TLJ is still processing reactions received from Brooklyn Park, the McKnight Foundation, and OLM. Please bear with us. All will be published tommorrow.