East Side city council races shaping up to be busy

Courtesy of the City of St. Paul Both seats for East Side St. Paul City Council wards 6 and 7 are up for election this year. Ward 6 will have a guaranteed new face following former council member Dan Bostrom’s resignation and retirement. In Ward 7, incumbent council member Jane Prince and community organizer Mary Anne Quiroz have announced their intentions to run.

The turn of the New Year kicked off a number of city council campaigns on the East Side. This year the neighborhood will see elections for both of its St. Paul City Council seats, in wards 6 and 7.

The Ward 6 seat race guarantees a new face on the council. Dan Bostrom, the former longtime Ward 6 representative, announced at the Dec. 12 city council meeting that he would be retiring at the end of 2018, a year before his term expired. 

The city council announced Jan. 17 it would vote on a resolution to appoint Kassim Busuri to the open Ward 6 seat during it’s Jan. 23 meeting. Applicants for the open seat were not allowed to be running for it in this fall’s election.

As of press time, there were four candidates who’d announed they were running for the Ward 6 seat in this fall’s city election — Alexander Bourne, Tony Her, Terri Thao and Nelsie Yang.

According to his campaign website, Bourne is “a 23-year Eastsider [who] is socially-minded [and] civically engaged, despite being raised by a single mother in a broken home while simultaneously struggling to cope with multiple forms of mental illnesses, behavioral issues and learning disabilities in St. Paul Public Schools.”

In a statement from his campaign kick-off, Her said he is a longtime community member, having lived on the East Side for more than 20 years. He works as an educational assistant for St. Paul Public Schools at Harding and Gordon Park high schools. Outside of work, he has served on the Payne-Phalen Community Council board, serves as school board director for the Community School of Excellence and is a Hmong cultural advisor, among other leadership roles. 

Thao is a former St. Paul Planning Commission member and has served as board chair for a number of local nonprofits including Neighborhood House, Asian Economic Development Association, and the East Side Neighborhood Development Company. On her campaign website, she describes herself as a second-generation Hmong American woman who grew up in the Frogtown neighborhood. 

Yang is a community organizer, having previously volunteered for Ward 1 council member Dai Thao’s mayoral campaign in 2017. She’s also an organizer at TakeAction Minnesota, where she runs two campaigns: getting East Siders involved in the $15 Now movement to raise the minimum wage, and working on criminal justice reform. 


Ward 7

In Ward 7, two candidates have announced they are running for the seat — incumbent Jane Prince and community organizer Mary Anne Quiroz. 

Prince will finish her first term on the council at the end of the year. Before serving on the council, she was an aide to former Ward 4 council member Jay Benanav. Prince lives in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.

Quiroz is co-founder of the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, as well as Kapulli Yaocenoxtli, an Azteca dance group. She lives in the Battle Creek neighborhood with her husband and four children. 



–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com

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