NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | North Minneapolis Hmong thank Mayor Rybak, welcome new Hmong outreach officer


North Minneapolis Hmong Meet Mayor Rybak, Hmong Officer

On February 11, 90 North Minneapolis Hmong packed Farview Park to welcome the new Hmong outreach officer, Kou Vang.  They also thanked Mayor Rybak and Councilmember Samuels for their help in making the Hmong outreach officer possible.

Minneapolis Hmong outreach office Kou Vang talks with Hmong residents

North Minneapolis Hmong families campaigned  for three years for a day Hmong officer in the 4th precinct. They  organized several large meetings with councilmembers Samuels, Hofstedt, and Johnson,  made their case to Chief Dolan, and collected 1000 postcards for a Hmong officer and dropped them in Mayor Rybak’s lap.

The campaign started when an apartment building occupied by recently arrived Hmong refugee families was being taken over by a local gang.  The families spoke very little English, and had trouble communicating the problems at their building to English speaking police.  These familes and other North Minneapolis Hmong decided that having a Hmong speaking officer would help get important information to the police, build communication between the police and  Hmong families, and help protect the refugee families.

Mayor Rybak asks Henry High Asian club members to raise their hand if they are going to college

Mayor Rybak was treated to Hmong eggrolls and purple sticky rice  provided by the Henry High Asian club.  As the eggrolls were being served, Officer Vang went table to table meeting the Hmong families.  After the meeting, councilmember Samuels played pool with the Hmong youth.

Dishing out Henry High Asian club’s Hmong eggrolls and purple sticky rice

Officer Vang is reaching out to the Hmong community in North Minneapolis, visiting schools, parks, businesses and families.  Officer Vang will will help build connections between the Hmong community and the Minneapolis Police, and get important information on safety out to the Hmong community.  Listening to and engaging the Hmong community will help make north Minneapolis more safe for all residents.  

Joua Chang likes her purple sticky rice 

Councilmember Don Samuels Shows off his pool skills

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