Biography

Education Advocacy experience:

Minneapolis NAACP Branch Education Advocacy Committee in 1998-1999.

Minneapolis Parents Union Board of Directors 1998-2001.

NAACP MN-Dakota Conference Education Advocacy Committee (chaired by Evelyn Eubanks) 2003.

 

      School Board candidate in every election cycle since 1999, first advanced to the general election ballot in 2002, and again in 2006, 2008, and 2012. First endorsed by the Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America, and the New Progressive Alliance in 2012.

 

Age: 59, married, and parent of MPS (South High) graduate

 

Education: Associate in Arts, Practical Nursing Diploma (Minneapolis Communtiy and Technical College), Legal Nurse Consultant certification (on-line course).

 

University courses in French (2nd year), German and Spanish. Swedish at the American Swedish interstitute for 2 years, and independent study only in Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Russian.

 

Occupation: Licensed Practical Nurse.

Also worked in 2009-2010 as a substitute Educational Associate, Special Ed Department in Edina Public Schools, and as a trained volunteer, ESL (English as a Second Language) Tutor and Classroom Assistant, Minneapolis Public Schools, Adult Basic Education program. I took continuing education courses for ESL teachers, classroom assistants and tutors through the Minnesota Literacy Council.

 

Freelance news (with a point of view) writer with articles published in Pulse of the Twin Cities, Spokesman Recorder, and unpaid contributions to labor and socialist Journals / newspapers during the late 1990s to early 2000's. Since then, I have published articles on my own web sites and blogs, and on the Minneapolis Issues Forum and the Free Speech section of the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

 

Legal reseach and writing:

 

         On-the-job training as a paralegal for my wife in the 1990s, when she had a law practice, and through an online course for Legal Nurse Consultant certification in 2005, which included units on elements of a lawsuit, evidence, and doing legal research and case analysis.

         

        Self-represented (pro se) Plantiff in the NAACP Educational Adequacy lawsuit in 1999 against the state of Minnesota, alleging failure to ensure that all Minneapolis Public School Students get an adequate education. The NAACP lawyers withdrew as my representative because I opposed their settlement goal, a school choice plan. The lawsuit did not address systemic discrimination within the Minneapolis School District, such as overexposure of students to inexperienced teachers and watered-down curriculum, which had the greatest adverse impact on Native American and African-American students. 

 

       Pro se Petitioner in two lawsuits related to public funding for construction of the new Vikings stadium:

 

      A petition for a writ of mandamus filed in Hennepin District Court, alleging that the Ctiy Council of Minneapolis violated the City Charter in approving a section of the 2012 Stadium law that authorized local option sales taxes in Minneapolis. The District Court lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that I should have sued the legislature for violating the MN constitution. I satisfied 2 of 3 requirements for my petition to be granted, that I am citizen with an interests in upholding the law (in this case a city charter provision), and that the City Council did violate the charter. The judge opined that the stadium legislation pre-empted the City Charter in the state's interests, and cited a MN Supreme Court ruling that interpreted a provision of the Minnesota Constitution, Section 1, artcle X in the current version, to forbid the imposition of a local tax to pay for bonds not issued by the local unit of government or expenditures not of peculiar benefit to the local jursidiction.  

 

 

     A petition for a writ of prohibition filed in the Supreme Court of Minnesota against the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, alleging that the law which authorized the issuance of appropriation bonds violated multiple provisions of the Minnesota constitution, including a section, as interpreted by the MN Supreme Court, to forbid the imposition of a local tax to pay for bonds issued by another sovereign and for expeditures not peculiarly in the interest of the local juristisdiction. The Supreme Court lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that the issue was a "tax matter" over which the Supreme Court does not have original juristidiction, and that the lawsuit should have been filed in district court against the legislature. I worked on these lawsuits for an average of at least 20 hours per week during a 9 month period, and raised money to reimburse myself for most of my out-of-pocket costs, but nothing for the time I put into it, nor for lost income resulting from working fewer hours at my day job to meet the demands of litigation.