4 vie in ward 12


The four residents vying for the Ward 12 City Council seat being vacated by Andrew Johnson shared their views during a candidate forum on March 8, 2023 at Nokomis recreational center. Candidates include Aurin Chowdhury, Jerome Evans, Nancy Ford, and Luther Ranheim.
View the entire forum online via the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association or Longfellow Community Council Facebook pages.
Chowdhury is a first-generation Bengali-American, daughter of working-class immigrants, organizer, and renter. She grew up near Sibley Park and graduated from Minneapolis Public Schools.
Chowdhury has worked as a policy aide for two elected officials. Her first was with Senator Kari Dziedzic and she is current working for Ward 9 City Council member Jason Chavez. In her time at Minneapolis City Hall as an aide, she has helped developed policies to combat wage theft, expand affordable housing for students, and deliver funding for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2018, Evans has represented Ward 12 on the Public Health Advisory Committee for the City of Minneapolis (PHAC). He formerly served on the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association Board, and helped organize residents during the Uprising following the death of George Floyd to protect businesses and homes from damage.
Evans lives with his husband in Nokomis, and has resided there for 10 years. He grew up in Georgia and earned his law degree from the University of Georgia.

The owner of Repair Lair on East Lake Street, Ford has lived in Ward 12 for 18 years. She currently resides near 46th and Hiawatha with her boyfriend and two dogs. It took her 15 years, but she earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota. She has a degree in civil engineering. She has worked at a variety of different jobs over the years.
She walks many miles throughout the neighborhood every week.

Ranheim grew up near Lake Nokomis, and has lived in Ward 12 for 22 years with his wife, Michelle. He is currently in Howe neighborhood. He graduated from South High School. His first job was manning the front desk at the Nokomis Rec Center.
He earned his degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. His work life began in the nonprofit sector, focusing on the performing arts. After moving back to Minneapolis in the 1990s, he worked in financial services in the private sector, before returning to a nonprofit. Over the years, he has worked with MacPhail Center for Music, Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Alzheimer’s Association. He appreciates arts of all sorts, including music and theater.

Several years ago, Ford approached Longfellow Seward Healthy Seniors about a partnership. She offered to supply $5,000 to pay for shoveling at the homes of local seniors. The group was not able to organize the effort at that time, but a couple of years later, the Longfellow Community Council approached her and asked if she was still willing to fund it. She was.
In 2017, Ranheim organized a philanthropic response following the fire at a mosque. That grew into a larger dialogue with the community about how to address rising hate crimes, he said.
After the murder of George Floyd, Evans helped with the emergency network in Nokomis neighborhood. Together, the community stayed awake for three days and three nights to protect local homes and businesses. The only building that caught fire during that time was the Speedway.
Chowdhury was part of a group that talked to businesses along Lake Street and asked how the city could spend American Rescue dollars to benefit them. “We brought forward the stories of small businesses,” she recalled. It resulted in $700,000 for business and technical assistance.


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