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Walz, Flanagan Announce Appointments to Advisory Councils Focused on Improving Lives of Children

11/13/2019 3:52:27 PM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Today, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced appointments to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council and the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care.

These appointments are supported by Executive Order 19-34 , re-launching the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and placing children at the center of government, and state statute (section 124D.141). The Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council and the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care will make recommendations to support community engagement and work of carrying out Executive Order 19-34 across state government and the Children’s Cabinet.

“Minnesota should be the best place in the country for each and every child to grow up,” said Governor Walz. “When we focus on improving equity and outcomes for our littlest Minnesotans, we lift up all of us. I am grateful for the service of these leaders – representing youth, teachers and schools, researchers, counties and tribes, and leaders of many walks of life.”

“Too often, race, zip code, and income determine the trajectory of our kids’ lives,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “This council – made up of parents, advocates, teachers, school districts, county and tribal administrators, leaders and voices from the private and public sector, communities of color, and Greater Minnesota – will help our charge to place children at the center of government and commit to prioritizing equitable outcomes so that all Minnesotans can reach their full potential.”

Extensive outreach and conversation went in to the appointment process for these positions over the last three months, with nearly 200 people applying to serve.

“I am very encouraged by the Governor and Lt. Governor’s commitment to children and youth in Minnesota, and I am honored to be a part of the Children’s Cabinet so we can make transformative change in the lives of children,” said Bharti Wahi, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota and appointee to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council. “No child’s opportunity to actualize their fullest potential should be determined by their geography, economic status or race. I am ready to dig in to the work.”

“I look forward to collaborating with and advising to the Children’s Cabinet on strategies to improve the lives of Minnesota youth – especially lifting up the perspective of tribes and prioritizing Native youth to ensure all children have an opportunity to succeed,” said Leroy Staples Fairbanks, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Council District III Representative and appointee to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council.

“My entire work and personal life has centered around children. Starting my professional life as a student teacher in Head Start, later as a kindergarten and ECFE teacher, leading to teaching in an early childhood program at the college level provided me with a strong base of understanding as to what children need to support their healthy development and experience learning success,” said Lynn Haglin, Vice President and KIDS PLUS Director at the Northland Foundation and appointee to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council. “My hope is that I can bring voices from Greater Minnesota to the conversations that will take place within the Council to truly help make our state united around all of our children.”

For the first time, young leaders will be included on the advisory body informing the work of the Children’s Cabinet.

“I am excited to see the insights and opinions of others on what they can change or improve the lives of kids and young people like me,” said Jazzy Eubanks, a high school student at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts and appointee to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council.

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the following appointments.

Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council
Supported by the Office of the Minnesota Governor
Executive Order 19-34 (Enabling Tenure: August 7, 2019 – April 2, 2023)

Hufsa Ahmed – Saint Paul, MN
Youth Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Toni Carter – Saint Paul, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Kelvin Currington – Brooklyn Center, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Jazzy Eubanks – Brooklyn Park, MN
Youth Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Fanny Fernandez – White Bear Lake, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Megan Gunnar Dahlberg – Roseville, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Lynn Haglin – Duluth, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Kelly Holstine – Saint Paul, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Keenan Jones – Maple Grove, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Nicole Kern – Sartell, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Patina Parks – Minneapolis, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Rebecca Shlafer – Minnetonka, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Andrea Singh – Apple Valley, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Leroy Staples Fairbanks – Cass Lake, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Bharti Wahi – Minneapolis, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care
Supported by the Office of the Minnesota Governor
Minnesota Statute 124D.141 and Public Law 110-134

Laurie Coleman – Erskine, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Barb Fabre – Ogema, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Anna Gruber – Staples, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Daniel Gumnit – Lauderdale, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Dianne Haulcy – Saint Paul, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Michelle Keleny – Roseville, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Jennifer Mueller – Monticello, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Aaron Sojourner – Minneapolis, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

Jodi Wambeke – Sunburg, MN
Member
Effective: November 18, 2019
Term Expires: January 2, 2023
Vacant

In addition to the nine appointments made by the Governor, four members of the Minnesota Legislature, two from the House of Representatives and two from the Senate, sit on the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care, along with the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health and the State Head Start Director, appointed by the Minnesota Department of Education.

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