Rep. Neva Walker to forgo seat in 2008

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In a letter to constituents, Rep. Neva Walker announced that she will not pursue reelection to the Minnesota House in 2008 for seat 61B. Walker has represented the south Minneapolis district since 2000, a district that includes the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood.

“I have decided not to seek reelection for a fifth term,” Walker said in a letter sent to constituents late last week, which can be viewed at MNPublius.com. “I realize that I am sending this notice out at a late date and do apologize for that. I know that this will come as a surprise and disappointment to many of you. This decision hasn’t been an easy one for me.”

While Walker didn’t give any specifics about her decision to leave office, she says she will continue her work in social justice. “Regardless of where my journey will lead me, I will always be committed to this work, seeking to educate people on the importance of social justice and why it is so crucial that we all be engaged and involved.”

Indeed, Walker worked on many progressive causes related to social justice. She held multiple events to engage the communities of color in her district to break down barriers to the political process, and she played a key role in the ethics complaint against former Rep. Arlen Lindner, whose statements regarding race, homosexuality and the Holocaust brought much negative attention to the Capitol.

She was awarded the Hanson Henningson Award by the Minnesota AIDS Project, which recognizes legislative leadership in the fight to stop HIV, for her work in securing HIV prevention funds to provide life-saving information to Minnesota’s growing and diverse African immigrant communities. She also worked for years to pass comprehensive sexual health education measures for the schools.

Those are just a few of the progressive causes that Walker represented in the Minnesota House.

“I believe that our district is an island of righteousness and the conscience of where we should be headed as a state,” she wrote. “The core values of social justice and the importance of equal rights have been things that I refuse to compromise on because of the people and support in our district.”

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