Minneapolis, MN— Local activist and recent law school graduate, AJ Awed, will announce his candidacy for Ward 6 Minneapolis City Council in the August 11th Special Election on Thursday, April 16th via his website at aj4us.com, and on social media at www.facebook.com/AjAwedforWard6/.
As a former street kid turned Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner, AJ has a unique perspective on how to make our community safer and is committed to addressing the root causes of crime and addiction—economic marginalization and a lack of public health resources.
AJ Awed practices mediation in Hennepin County Housing Court and Harassment Court and serves on the Board of Directors of Community Mediation and Restorative Services (CMRS).
AJ Awed was born in Somalia, the youngest of 12, and immigrated to the United States when he was five years old. He was raised in public housing and as a young teenager he had problems assimilating into society, which resulted in run-ins with law enforcement and eventually to him dropping out of high school. After the crash of the global economy in 2008, he lost his job and decided to dramatically change his life.
In 2010 with the support of his family and community, he enrolled at Normandale Community College and successfully graduated with his Associate’s Degree. From there he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts and become the first Somali-American commencement speaker at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and then on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
With his law degree he decided to give back to his community which has given so much to him. Today, he is a Fellow at the American Arbitration Association and serves on the Board of Directors of Community Mediation and Restorative Services (CMRS). Through these organizations he mediates in Hennepin County Housing Court and Harassment Court, where he works against predatory landlords to prevent tenants from having their tenant’s rights broken or being unduly evicted.
Previously, he served as the Vice President of the Somali – American Bar Association where he led efforts within schools to combat the abuse and discrimination of teaching assistants and the students themselves.
He is running to continue this work and serve the community of Ward 6. With his work in court and past in public housing, he understands the need for tenant’s rights, rent control, and protecting our public housing. As a former street kid turned Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner, he understands that to make our community safer we must address the root causes of crime and addiction – economic marginalization and a lack of public health resources. As a resident of Ward 6 he has seen first-hand the impact of gentrification and failure of government to protect our small businesses. That is why he is running as a Democratic Socialist with the firm belief that working families in Ward 6 are ready for meaningful change and honest leadership.
He is a proud husband to his wife Salma – and father to Leyth, with one more child on the way!