Abdi Warsame: Unsolved crimes and jobs

  • Updated: December 28, 2013 - 6:00 PM

Among the most pressing issues facing Abdi Warsame, the council’s first Somali-American member, is a string of recent unsolved Somali killings. By some estimates, Warsame’s ward is about 40 percent East African residents.

 

UNSOLVED KILLINGS:

“Not a single person has been apprehended. Not a single person has been charged. So that’s a big problem for the community.”

 

YOUNG PEOPLE:

To address the issue over the long term, Warsame said the city needs to create more mentorship and athletic programs tailored to youth — as well as vocational programs for adults — to keep people out of trouble: Young East Africans “live in high-rises; they don’t have mentorship programs that are tailored to them,” he said.

 

MAIN PRIORITY, JOBS:

“If we can create enough jobs in the city and create enough opportunity, then people will feel safe, the city will be better, [people] will be hopeful about their lives.”

DIVERSITY:

Regarding public safety, he would like to see more officers of color as the Police Department replaces retiring cops. “That has to be done in a way where it reflects … the demographic change of the city.”

 

BIGGEST SURPRISE:

Letters come addressed to “honorable this and honorable that” and staffers at City Hall treat him like a very important person. “I understood it’s a very important public servant job, but the way people look at you — especially within my community — has been surprising.” But he doesn’t take it too seriously: “My feet are firmly on the ground.”

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