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Meet the Kenyans that threw their hats in the US election ring
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|Meet the Kenyans that threw their hats in the US election ring by Kenyans247(1): Thu 05, November, 2020 03:46pm|
Away from the cut-throat contest between US President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden, three Kenyan-born Americans contested for smaller elective seats in the elections.
They all lost but their participation alone showed how the population of Kenyans and their involvement in the affairs of the world’s most powerful nation have been increasing over the years.
It is worth noting that to date, the only African American to be elected as President of the US is Barack Obama who traces his roots to Kenya. Official estimates put the number of Kenyans in the US at 130,000.
The figure is, however, disputed, with some claiming there are at least 300,000 Kenyan immigrants in the country.
Many have become naturalised American citizens and are in well-paying jobs or run successful enterprises while others are students.
It is therefore natural that there was a chance Kenyan born American citizens would contest in Tuesday’s elections.
In Minnesota, Henry Momanyi contested for a seat in the Brooklyn Park City Council but he lost to incumbent Susan Pha.
Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in Minnesota. Mr Momanyi wanted to be a representative for the West District as an independent candidate.
During the nominations in August, Mr Momanyi, a community organiser and nonprofit executive, barely made it to the elections as he squeaked past Yelena Kurdyumova by just three votes.
Mr Momanyi had campaigned on a platform of improving housing, public safety and education.
Still in Minnesota, Janet Kitui, who moved to the US in 1988, vied for a council seat in the City of Edina.
During her campaigns, Ms Kitui said her top priority was affordable housing. She also wanted to use her voice to help ensure that the city’s development plans included single housing units.
“Now is the time for us to engage in meaningful system changes. We have to commit to adding affordable housing, sustainable growth and improved racial equity in our city,” she says on her website.
“Improving racial equity can’t wait. Now is the time for action! Increasing availability of affordable housing and providing high quality education go hand-in-hand to improve racial equity and social justice,” she says.
In the same city, Kenya-born entrepreneur and community organiser Ukasha Dakane also vied for a seat in the city council.
He was among seven candidates who had been cleared for the seat, 11 of them of African descent.
Mr Dakane moved to the US seven years ago to be with his wife, with whom he has two daughters.
In Edina, Mr Dakane currently runs a nonprofit organisation that helps immigrants like him to get employment.
In 2018, he received the Leadership Community Award from the Edina Community Foundation for his project which educates youth on how to become community leaders and peace ambassadors.
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