Hennepin County Board, District 2
‘Improve the lives of families’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2018
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS — “Communities should be at the center of decisions,” says Irene Fernando, candidate for the open District 2 seat on the Hennepin County Board. West to east, District 2 stretches from Plymouth and Medicine Lake to Golden Valley, northeast Minneapolis and St. Anthony.
Fernando is endorsed by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO and DFL Party. She also has been endorsed by AFSCME Council 5, Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.
“There are many ways we can improve the lives of families,” Fernando says. “Who are we employing? Who are we working with when we’re building something? What businesses are getting opportunities? What are we writing into those contracts?”
Fernando grew up in a union family. Her mom and two sisters both are union nurses. Other family members work as union teachers and members of construction unions.
“I have a deep commitment that we ought to be leading and serving from the perspective of those who are closest to implementing the work and those who are receiving services,” she says.
“We owe a lot of our progress as a county to the work of union members and union advocates,” Fernando says. “I’m interested in ensuring that voice remains a prominent voice in our communities and that we continue that progress.”
“Since the county was formed, we’ve never elected one person of color” as a county commissioner, Fernando notes. “The community’s voice is absent from the decision-making tables and we deserve to be at the decision-making tables.”
At the University of Minnesota, Fernando earned a BS in Business and then a Master of Education degree in Youth Development Leadership. Her primary professional experience has been working with a youth leadership organization. She has lived for 12 years in Harrison Neighborhood in Minneapolis.