AK Hassan, an elected member of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, will run in the special election to fill the City Council seat formerly held by Abdi Warsame.

Hassan was elected to the Park Board in 2017. On Tuesday, Hassan, 29, said he was ready for a role representing the Sixth Ward, which covers neighborhoods including Cedar-Riverside, Seward, Ventura Village and Elliot Park.

"There's going to be tough days ahead of us, and I'm ready to serve," he said. "I think I have the right plans, I have the right ideas."

A refugee from Somalia, Hassan came to Minneapolis in 2008. He lives in Ventura Village and works as a community organizer. He previously served as a chair of the DFL Somali Caucus and member of the Ventura Village neighborhood association.

As a council member, Hassan said he would focus on supporting small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, helping those that are shuttered "get back on their feet again."

He said he would fight opioid and alcohol abuse among youth in the ward by focusing on violence intervention and other programs. He would wants to work with Mayor Jacob Frey to move forward on Africa Village, a proposed public market and housing project in Cedar-Riverside.

Warsame resigned from the City Council last week to become director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.

The period to file for candidacy for the Sixth Ward seat runs from May 19 to June 2. The special election will be held Aug. 11.

Miguel Otárola