October 24, 2016 09:57 AM
(( ABC 6 News )) -- A group named “Engaged Local Citizens” sponsored a special political forum at the Stem Academy in Rochester Sunday afternoon. The event invited candidates for the Minnesota Legislature, Rochester School Board, Olmsted County Commission, and Rochester City Council.
While the event was open to all of the public, the audience was mostly members of Rochester and Olmsted’s Somali community. A translator was provided, translating each candidate’s 10 minute speech. The goals were to ensure that all voters get the opportunity to make the best decisions that represents their values when they head to the polls next month.
While many local and national political candidates often use media forms such as television, print, and large rallies, these often don’t reach voters who may deal with a language barrier.
“They’re not using a Somali interpreter or using the Somali language representative that is really going out and meeting the community,” explains Co-Fonder of “Engaged Local Citizens”, Ahmed Aden.
Overall, 17 candidates were slated to address the crowd of over 100 people in the STEM academy auditorium. These included established representatives like Senator Carla Nelson, City Council President Randy Staver…and candidates in the running including John Wayne Austinson and Rich Wright.
Updated: October 24, 2016 09:57 AM
Created: October 24, 2016 12:15 AM
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