Xp Lee Wins Brooklyn Park Special Election for East District Seat
Voters in Brooklyn Park’s East District elected Xp Lee in a special city council election on Tuesday.
Results show Lee with 803 votes and LaDawn Severin finishing in second place with 596 votes. Benjamin Osemenam finished with 186 and Abraham Bah with 178.
“I just feel so much gratitude. I’m really proud of the result and really looking forward to getting to work for the residents of Brooklyn Park,” said Lee in an interview with CCX News.
A resident of Brooklyn Park for 17 years, Lee credited a “grassroots scrappy campaign” for his election victory. He will fill the seat vacated by Lisa Jacobson, who won election last fall to become Brooklyn Park mayor. Lee will serve the remainder of Jacobson’s term, which runs through the end of 2024.
Lee currently serves on the Brooklyn Park Planning Commission, a volunteer role he will step down from to serve on the council. In his professional life, Lee is employed by the Minnesota Department of Health as a lead COVID community coordinator.
Public safety a top issue
Among his top priorities, Lee mentioned public safety, which he says came up frequently when he met with residents. Lee says he wants to increase partnerships like the one the city has with the nonprofit Minnesota Acts Now.
“I support our continued partnership with Minnesota Acts Now. They’ve been a really great partner to help us deter and just be a really visible presence at some of our locations that have had a lot of high activity,” said Lee.
Seen in bright orange shirts, Minnesota Acts Now is a group of paid volunteers who provide a presence at areas of higher crime. The group continues to maintain a presence at 63rd and Zane Avenues, which police say has helped deter criminal activity. Lee says he has helped volunteer with the group.
A focus on development
Other issues that Lee wants to focus on is continued land development, particularly in the northwest part of the city.
“One thing that I championed during the campaign that I will definitely look into is helping to just position Brooklyn Park’s economy as something to really be celebrated,” said Lee. “There’s a lot of development on [Highway] 610, we’re going to be developing into the northwest corner. But how do we pull that together in a theme or a strategic way to capitalize on our small businesses, and the richness of our diversity.”
He also says the Highway 252 freeway conversion and property taxes are other top concerns he heard from residents.
Lee is expected to be sworn in on Feb 22.