Endorsements

 
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 I’m excited to endorse my friend Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an experienced leader who has made a difference by purposefully reshaping the status quo, not just challenging it. Irene impressed me when we first met. When she was 17, she co-founded a youth leadership nonprofit which continues to bring qualified young workers to Minnesota — a few have been important players on my staff. Irene’s youth development lens will be valuable to the county’s approach to youth services and job training.

I’m excited to endorse my friend Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an experienced leader who has made a difference by purposefully reshaping the status quo, not just challenging it. Irene impressed me when we first met. When she was 17, she co-founded a youth leadership nonprofit which continues to bring qualified young workers to Minnesota — a few have been important players on my staff. Irene’s youth development lens will be valuable to the county’s approach to youth services and job training.

Ilhan Omar - MN Representative, District 60B

 Irene's leadership and vision will help shape a positive future for every resident in Hennepin County. Already she has created a nonprofit that has empowered young people to act, she has implemented a framework for corporate leadership development, and she has built powerful and impactful coalitions. Hennepin County needs these skills, this connection with the community and Irene’s irrepressible energy. She will be a valuable addition to the County Board.

Irene's leadership and vision will help shape a positive future for every resident in Hennepin County. Already she has created a nonprofit that has empowered young people to act, she has implemented a framework for corporate leadership development, and she has built powerful and impactful coalitions. Hennepin County needs these skills, this connection with the community and Irene’s irrepressible energy. She will be a valuable addition to the County Board.

Anne Mavity - St. Louis Park City Council Member, Ward 2

 Irene has a proven track record of creating programs and initiatives that are both people-centric and solution oriented. Her commitment to investing in this country’s future is something we both feel passionately about. From her experience in youth leadership and development, and her desire to invest in transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure, Irene will be a new and necessary addition to the Commission. I look forward to working with her.

Irene has a proven track record of creating programs and initiatives that are both people-centric and solution oriented. Her commitment to investing in this country’s future is something we both feel passionately about. From her experience in youth leadership and development, and her desire to invest in transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure, Irene will be a new and necessary addition to the Commission. I look forward to working with her.

Chris Meyer - Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board Commissioner, District 1

 I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a Freshman at the University of Minnesota, she began her journey to inspire and enrich the lives of young people. She co-founded a youth leadership nonprofit at the age of 17, received a Fellowship from the Bush Foundation, and was named 40 under 40 by a Twin Cities business publication; she has accomplished many things for someone her age. When I first met Irene, it was obvious that she has a bold and refreshing leadership style. Her dedication to bringing out everyone’s inner leader has provided her with a distinct and necessary skill set to achieve accountability and equity in government at the County level.

I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a Freshman at the University of Minnesota, she began her journey to inspire and enrich the lives of young people. She co-founded a youth leadership nonprofit at the age of 17, received a Fellowship from the Bush Foundation, and was named 40 under 40 by a Twin Cities business publication; she has accomplished many things for someone her age. When I first met Irene, it was obvious that she has a bold and refreshing leadership style. Her dedication to bringing out everyone’s inner leader has provided her with a distinct and necessary skill set to achieve accountability and equity in government at the County level.

Betsy Tate Anderson - former Hopkins School Board Director

 I’m proud to support Irene Fernando’s campaign for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a former Commissioner, I understand the essential responsibility and urgent need to find affordable housing, assist our homeless and highly-mobile populations, and ensure public transit solutions. Irene’s experience as a leader in the community, in business, and in academia prepare her well for Hennepin County government.

I’m proud to support Irene Fernando’s campaign for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a former Commissioner, I understand the essential responsibility and urgent need to find affordable housing, assist our homeless and highly-mobile populations, and ensure public transit solutions. Irene’s experience as a leader in the community, in business, and in academia prepare her well for Hennepin County government.

Gail Dorfman - former Hennepin County Commissioner

 I very quickly recognized the incredible energy Irene Fernando brings to the table, and I am enthusiastically endorsing her to be the next Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. In order to create a government that truly works for all of us, we need representation at every level to reflect the makeup of the cities, counties, and states we serve. I am energized this incredibly accomplished woman of color is choosing to enter the political arena. We need a voice that understands when we don’t explicitly focus on equity, economic and racial disparities increase. Irene will fight for all Hennepin County residents.

I very quickly recognized the incredible energy Irene Fernando brings to the table, and I am enthusiastically endorsing her to be the next Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. In order to create a government that truly works for all of us, we need representation at every level to reflect the makeup of the cities, counties, and states we serve. I am energized this incredibly accomplished woman of color is choosing to enter the political arena. We need a voice that understands when we don’t explicitly focus on equity, economic and racial disparities increase. Irene will fight for all Hennepin County residents.

Patricia Torres Ray - MN Senator, District 63

 I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Like me, Irene values relationships as the key to collaboration and getting work done. She leads with conviction by understanding the people she serves. She has done this successfully in both the nonprofit world and corporate world, and I think her skills will translate well to public service. I look forward to partnering with Irene to ensure the County’s priorities meet the needs of Golden Valley residents.

I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Like me, Irene values relationships as the key to collaboration and getting work done. She leads with conviction by understanding the people she serves. She has done this successfully in both the nonprofit world and corporate world, and I think her skills will translate well to public service. I look forward to partnering with Irene to ensure the County’s priorities meet the needs of Golden Valley residents.

Gillian Rosenquist - Golden Valley City Council Member

 I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an experienced and energetic leader who brings forward a much needed vision to serve the community by focusing on racial equity and creating a more accessible government. Irene will work to increase transparency in decision-making and strengthen the County’s ability to connect to our every-day residents and immigrant families. I am excited to partner with Irene to make a big difference in the lives of the people of our city.

I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an experienced and energetic leader who brings forward a much needed vision to serve the community by focusing on racial equity and creating a more accessible government. Irene will work to increase transparency in decision-making and strengthen the County’s ability to connect to our every-day residents and immigrant families. I am excited to partner with Irene to make a big difference in the lives of the people of our city.

Alondra Cano - Minneapolis City Council Member Ward 9

 

 The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, announced their endorsement of Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation is the umbrella organization of Minneapolis area local unions and includes 175 affiliated unions. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Minneapolis RLF's mission is to organize in the community for social and economic justice for all working people. An official statement from the organization reads, “together, in this critical election year, we will build a broad coalition of candidates, activists, and rank-and-file members who will carry forward the work of building a local economy that works for working families. We look forward to supporting Irene Fernando as a labor-endorsed candidate.”

The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, announced their endorsement of Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation is the umbrella organization of Minneapolis area local unions and includes 175 affiliated unions. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Minneapolis RLF's mission is to organize in the community for social and economic justice for all working people. An official statement from the organization reads, “together, in this critical election year, we will build a broad coalition of candidates, activists, and rank-and-file members who will carry forward the work of building a local economy that works for working families. We look forward to supporting Irene Fernando as a labor-endorsed candidate.”

The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

 I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene has an amazing energy which she easily spreads to those around her. I’m excited about the future Irene envisions where kids grow up wanting to be a County Commissioner. I share her vision to make the County government more visible and accessible, and I look forward to working with Irene to increase equity and improve the lives of Minnesota residents.

I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene has an amazing energy which she easily spreads to those around her. I’m excited about the future Irene envisions where kids grow up wanting to be a County Commissioner. I share her vision to make the County government more visible and accessible, and I look forward to working with Irene to increase equity and improve the lives of Minnesota residents.

Mary Kunesh-Podein - MN Representative, District 41B

 I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene has spent her whole life inspiring and engaging young people to action. Her community-focused leadership style is refreshing and much needed in the present and future of DFL politics.

I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene has spent her whole life inspiring and engaging young people to action. Her community-focused leadership style is refreshing and much needed in the present and future of DFL politics.

Larry Fonnest - Golden Valley City Council Member

 I’m delighted to endorse Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. She and I share the same values when it comes to advocating for inclusion, equity, transparency, and accountability in government. Irene is uniquely positioned, based on her broad range of experiences across sectors, to bring solutions to the Hennepin County Board that center on both people and results.

I’m delighted to endorse Irene Fernando to be Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. She and I share the same values when it comes to advocating for inclusion, equity, transparency, and accountability in government. Irene is uniquely positioned, based on her broad range of experiences across sectors, to bring solutions to the Hennepin County Board that center on both people and results.

Scott Dibble - MN Senator, District 61

 Erica Mauter, Stonewall DFL Caucus chair stated, "Irene Fernando brings impressive leadership experience. She thinks about the county as both a policy-maker and an employer and demonstrated a keen understanding of how different constituents apply different frames to issues. We’re confident that Irene is well-informed of the unique ways our diverse LGBTQ+ community is impacted across many issues facing Hennepin County, and will creatively navigate diverse spaces to build the coalitions necessary to advance policy.”

Erica Mauter, Stonewall DFL Caucus chair stated, "Irene Fernando brings impressive leadership experience. She thinks about the county as both a policy-maker and an employer and demonstrated a keen understanding of how different constituents apply different frames to issues. We’re confident that Irene is well-informed of the unique ways our diverse LGBTQ+ community is impacted across many issues facing Hennepin County, and will creatively navigate diverse spaces to build the coalitions necessary to advance policy.”

 

Stonewall DFL Community Caucus

 I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Through her organizing approach, rooted in empathy and access, Irene is building a powerful coalition to govern with. She is bringing new voices and energy into our party—we need leaders like Irene for a truly equitable future.

I’m excited to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Through her organizing approach, rooted in empathy and access, Irene is building a powerful coalition to govern with. She is bringing new voices and energy into our party—we need leaders like Irene for a truly equitable future.

Raymond Dehn, MN Representative, District 59B

 

 Irene Fernando will be a welcome new voice to the Hennepin County Board! Her experience in both non-profit and corporate sectors prepares her well for a county that is large, complex, and diverse. She is thoughtful, strategic, and highly skilled and will bring a fresh new perspective to this important policy role. One that affects the lives of over a million people. I am personally excited about her candidacy as Hennepin County Commissioner and the possibility of her representing me on the County Board.

Irene Fernando will be a welcome new voice to the Hennepin County Board! Her experience in both non-profit and corporate sectors prepares her well for a county that is large, complex, and diverse. She is thoughtful, strategic, and highly skilled and will bring a fresh new perspective to this important policy role. One that affects the lives of over a million people. I am personally excited about her candidacy as Hennepin County Commissioner and the possibility of her representing me on the County Board.

Sandy Vargas - Former Hennepin County Administrator

 I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene’s vast experience engaging and organizing at the grassroots level makes her uniquely a powerful advocate for local issues at all levels of government. I also strongly share her dedication to improving growth and equity throughout Golden Valley and Hennepin County and I look forward to working with her to ensure the continued success of Hennepin County and all its residents.

I am proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene’s vast experience engaging and organizing at the grassroots level makes her uniquely a powerful advocate for local issues at all levels of government. I also strongly share her dedication to improving growth and equity throughout Golden Valley and Hennepin County and I look forward to working with her to ensure the continued success of Hennepin County and all its residents.

Shep Harris -  Incumbent Mayor, Golden Valley

 "I am happy to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. County government represents an imperative middle ground between city and state. Irene is someone who will ensure that this vital position continues to be productive and responsive to the needs of all residents."

"I am happy to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. County government represents an imperative middle ground between city and state. Irene is someone who will ensure that this vital position continues to be productive and responsive to the needs of all residents."

Mike Freiberg - MN Representative, District 45B

 AFSCME Council 5 is proud to endorse Irene Fernando as our candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As an advocate for fairness in government, Irene shares AFSCME's values. She fights for equal opportunity and shares our belief that all working families deserve to be respected and represented fully by their government officials. Irene's emphasis on public health and human services shows her commitment to county residents. Her emphasis on diversity makes her a voice for all.

AFSCME Council 5 is proud to endorse Irene Fernando as our candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As an advocate for fairness in government, Irene shares AFSCME's values. She fights for equal opportunity and shares our belief that all working families deserve to be respected and represented fully by their government officials. Irene's emphasis on public health and human services shows her commitment to county residents. Her emphasis on diversity makes her a voice for all.

American federation of state, county and municipal employees

 “Hennepin County needs Irene Fernando. This community has seen Irene in action as a community leader, a non-profit founder, and a changer maker. Now, we need to see her as our next County Commissioner for District 2. Irene’s interest in affordable development, quality education, and equal representation is welcomed by myself and others in Minnesota’s government, and this county is ready for her to get started.”

“Hennepin County needs Irene Fernando. This community has seen Irene in action as a community leader, a non-profit founder, and a changer maker. Now, we need to see her as our next County Commissioner for District 2. Irene’s interest in affordable development, quality education, and equal representation is welcomed by myself and others in Minnesota’s government, and this county is ready for her to get started.”


Jeff Hayden - MN Senator, District 62

 
 We trust Irene to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment throughout Hennepin County government. Irene will partner with LGBTQ+ community on a whole range of important issues, including ensuring that County social services implement better programs and policies to meet the needs of queer and trans youth. Vote for Irene Fernando by November 6th!

We trust Irene to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment throughout Hennepin County government. Irene will partner with LGBTQ+ community on a whole range of important issues, including ensuring that County social services implement better programs and policies to meet the needs of queer and trans youth. Vote for Irene Fernando by November 6th!

 

OUTFROnt Minnesota

 "Irene will work to ensure Hennepin County is a partner with our public schools so that families are supported and our students are ready to learn when they come to school. Irene has earned our support because of her progressive priorities. She's a strong supporter of public education and an advocate for worker's rights. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Local 59 endorses Irene and encourages you to vote for her by November 6th!"  

"Irene will work to ensure Hennepin County is a partner with our public schools so that families are supported and our students are ready to learn when they come to school. Irene has earned our support because of her progressive priorities. She's a strong supporter of public education and an advocate for worker's rights. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Local 59 endorses Irene and encourages you to vote for her by November 6th!"  

Minneapolis Federation of Teachers

 At Women Winning we know that electing women isn’t just good for women, it’s good for everyone. Irene Fernando is a leader who builds people up and works to ensure that community is at the center of conversations and decisions, and we are proud to endorse her for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Her experience building coalitions and consensus will be a valuable asset on the County Board.

At Women Winning we know that electing women isn’t just good for women, it’s good for everyone. Irene Fernando is a leader who builds people up and works to ensure that community is at the center of conversations and decisions, and we are proud to endorse her for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Her experience building coalitions and consensus will be a valuable asset on the County Board.

 

Women Winning

   “I’m voting for Irene Fernando! Irene’s life experiences prepare her to be a strong County Commissioner. She has held influential roles in organizations of all sizes, which equips her to advance the important work of Hennepin County. Irene is smart and pragmatic and will drive results. She will bring energy, perspective, and expertise to the board. I hope you will join me in voting for Irene.”

“I’m voting for Irene Fernando! Irene’s life experiences prepare her to be a strong County Commissioner. She has held influential roles in organizations of all sizes, which equips her to advance the important work of Hennepin County. Irene is smart and pragmatic and will drive results. She will bring energy, perspective, and expertise to the board. I hope you will join me in voting for Irene.”

Linda Higgins - Hennepin County Commissioner, District 2

 We are proud to support Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is a leader who prioritizes the rights of workers; her background and experience proves this. It is clear that, when elected, Irene will continue to fight with for workers at the county level, and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters is excited and ready to stand with her in this effort. - Adam Duininck, Director of Government Affairs

We are proud to support Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is a leader who prioritizes the rights of workers; her background and experience proves this. It is clear that, when elected, Irene will continue to fight with for workers at the county level, and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters is excited and ready to stand with her in this effort. - Adam Duininck, Director of Government Affairs

North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters

 “Collaboration breeds innovation. Minneapolis schools encourage students to embrace collaboration with their peers, their parents, and their teachers. Now, as a member of the Minneapolis School Board, I want to see collaboration within our government. This election cycle, Hennepin County has a candidate who understands the importance of collaboration; a candidate who has made a point to reach out to others; a candidate who will work  with  school boards to create change that benefits both students and parents. That is why I am voting for Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2.”

“Collaboration breeds innovation. Minneapolis schools encourage students to embrace collaboration with their peers, their parents, and their teachers. Now, as a member of the Minneapolis School Board, I want to see collaboration within our government. This election cycle, Hennepin County has a candidate who understands the importance of collaboration; a candidate who has made a point to reach out to others; a candidate who will work with school boards to create change that benefits both students and parents. That is why I am voting for Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2.”

Jenny Arneson - Minneapolis School Board

 “Irene Fernando will make our voices heard as our next County Commissioner. Her work as a grassroots organizer and business founder gives her perspective that Hennepin County government needs. She believes in the power of the individual; she believes in the rights of workers; and she believes that everyone deserves the same opportunities to succeed. It is for these reasons that Irene Fernando has earned my vote and my confidence. “

“Irene Fernando will make our voices heard as our next County Commissioner. Her work as a grassroots organizer and business founder gives her perspective that Hennepin County government needs. She believes in the power of the individual; she believes in the rights of workers; and she believes that everyone deserves the same opportunities to succeed. It is for these reasons that Irene Fernando has earned my vote and my confidence. “

Ryan Winkler - MN State Representative for District 46A


 It is with great excitement that I endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. She will advocate for viewpoints that often go unheard on the County level, and I look forward to working with her to strengthen the Northside. Irene’s insight and care will undoubtedly build a more inclusive and progressive Hennepin County.

It is with great excitement that I endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. She will advocate for viewpoints that often go unheard on the County level, and I look forward to working with her to strengthen the Northside. Irene’s insight and care will undoubtedly build a more inclusive and progressive Hennepin County.

Fue Lee - MN Representative, District 59A

 For 60 years, Minnesota Building Trades has been advocating for the rights of workers and the development of construction trade unions while backing the elected officials who support this effort. It is for this reason that we are proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an individual who prioritizes infrastructure growth and economic development, while also prioritizing advocating for workers from the perspective of workers. She speaks for the everyday residents of Hennepin County and her voice will undoubtedly prove a positive addition to the Hennepin County Board.

For 60 years, Minnesota Building Trades has been advocating for the rights of workers and the development of construction trade unions while backing the elected officials who support this effort. It is for this reason that we are proud to endorse Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. Irene is an individual who prioritizes infrastructure growth and economic development, while also prioritizing advocating for workers from the perspective of workers. She speaks for the everyday residents of Hennepin County and her voice will undoubtedly prove a positive addition to the Hennepin County Board.

Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council

 “I am excited to support Irene Fernando, the DFL endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. It has been wonderful seeing how she engages in community and I know she is committed to working with all layers of government to improve people's lives. It is this dedication, combined with her success as a leader and visionary, that makes Irene uniquely suited to make a difference on the County level.”

“I am excited to support Irene Fernando, the DFL endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. It has been wonderful seeing how she engages in community and I know she is committed to working with all layers of government to improve people's lives. It is this dedication, combined with her success as a leader and visionary, that makes Irene uniquely suited to make a difference on the County level.”

Bobby Joe Champion - MN Senator District 59

 “I am excited to cast my vote for Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a former candidate for this position, I stressed the importance of local government serving  everyone . Like myself, Irene Fernando values this ideal. From the beginning, her campaign prioritized representation and pushed for the streamlining of county services in order to make them more responsive to all Minnesotans. Irene Fernando is not just talk; she has skills and experience to make this change happen. With her supporting us, we can guarantee a positive future for Hennepin County.”

“I am excited to cast my vote for Irene Fernando for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2. As a former candidate for this position, I stressed the importance of local government serving everyone. Like myself, Irene Fernando values this ideal. From the beginning, her campaign prioritized representation and pushed for the streamlining of county services in order to make them more responsive to all Minnesotans. Irene Fernando is not just talk; she has skills and experience to make this change happen. With her supporting us, we can guarantee a positive future for Hennepin County.”

Iyob Waldsmayate - U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs & former District 2 candidate

 “I am excited to work with Irene on a number of issues that are critically important to our community: environmental stewardship, affordable housing, expanded access to public transit, and more. She is knowledgeable and well-prepared to lead at the County level and she's bringing a whole new generation of passionate and engaged people to the decision-making table with her. I hope you'll vote for Irene Fernando by November 6th!”

“I am excited to work with Irene on a number of issues that are critically important to our community: environmental stewardship, affordable housing, expanded access to public transit, and more. She is knowledgeable and well-prepared to lead at the County level and she's bringing a whole new generation of passionate and engaged people to the decision-making table with her. I hope you'll vote for Irene Fernando by November 6th!”

Frank Hornstein (DFL) 61A - Minnesota House of Representatives