I believe we can create a world that celebrates diversity and nurtures rather than exploits.
My beloved grandmother was a Japanese immigrant who instilled the values of independence, devotion to family, and tenacity. I saw firsthand the sorrows of being separated from loved ones by oceans, and deeply admired my grandmother's dignity in the face of discrimination and her insistence on not assimilating to cultural practices she did not believe in. I also grew up in a social worker's house where conversations with my dad about our duties to care for the marginalized and to think critically about systems of oppression were the dinner table talk. He was also a strong supporter of his union -- he didn't make enough for us to take vacations but we did have good health care and parental time off and that made all the difference. When Covid-19 hit I begged my dad to do his work remotely, but he told me that his clients were people abandoned by society -- many of them live month to month between homelessness and shelter -- and he would never stop showing up for them, even if it means catching a deadly virus. These are my role models.
I translate progressive ideas into PRACTICAL ACTION.
I have studied peace and conflict resolution, worked for the Islamic Center for Peace, and lived in South Africa to learn about the truth and reconciliation commission. In law school I focused on environmental and Federal Indian law, and clerked for Justice Brian Boatright (CO Supreme Court) when he was a district court judge. Ultimately I was disenchanted with the way the American legal system often creates more problems than it solves and moved to Minneapolis for a PhD in comparative literature and cultural studies from the UMN where I examined the relationship between the atomic bombing of Hiroshima alongside the internment of Japanese Americans, and taught students how to think critically about white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism. Since becoming a mother I have dedicated myself to supporting my local community and gained a wide variety of experiences crucial for understanding the complex dynamics of city leadership: I opened a bookstore in Cincinnati and founded a neighborhood business association; led a volunteer support group for Planned Parenthood and was named volunteer of the year for the SW Ohio region. I also helped launch the transformation of an unused railway in Cincinnati into a nearly completed mixed use trail (wassonway.org). After moving back to Minneapolis in 2016, I pursued trainings in restorative justice, a concept I became familiar with in law school during studies of indigenous systems of conflict resolution. I have also served as a board member for the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood (LHENA) for almost 4 years with the last 18 months as board president.
I will work to transform oppressive paradigms that create winners and losers with a combination of pragmatic and creative problem-solving, through collaboration and consensus-building, and by staying close to the communities I serve.
Alicia's Ward 10 Service to the Community
Sexual Violence Bystander Training
Renewed Partnership w/Jefferson Community School
Pedestrian Safety Advocacy (editorial here)
Collaboration w/Adjacent Neighborhoods and Area Business Association
Restorative Facilitation Leadership Training
Youth Mentorship Grant Program