Liberian-born Wynfred Russell to Contest for Mayor of Brooklyn Park

Wynfred Russell, a renowned community leader, and advocate who currently serves on the City Council, representing the West District, is one of the seven contestants vying for the vacant Brooklyn Park mayor position.

Twenty-five religious leaders have endorsed a Liberian-born American politician mayoral bid for Brooklyn Park, the sixth-largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota.

Wynfred Russell, a renowned community leader, and advocate who currently serves on the City Council, representing the West District, is one of the seven contestants vying for the vacant Brooklyn Park mayor position. The position became vacant after the election of the City’s former Mayor Jeff Lunde to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners.

In a press statement, the religious leaders described  Russell as the best person who has the experience, track record of service, and collaborative mindset to move Brooklyn Park forward among the seven contestants.

“Seven candidates are running in the race. All are good people, but Russell has a sophisticated understanding of the principles that Brooklyn Park strives toward,” the religious leaders’ statement added.

They furthered that Russell, as a public health practitioner who worked on H1N1, Ebola, Polio and now coordinates a statewide COVID-19 response “is the only candidate in the race for mayor of Brooklyn Park who, we believe, has the experience, and is better prepared to provide effective leadership for the city, especially at this time.”

“Like any other election, many of the things we valued are on the ballot. Hence, we will cast a vote for the community we know we can be, with a mayor who honors service and will support policies that diversify our tax base, lift small and micro businesses, and support affordable housing, as we all seek the welfare of all residents. Our faith compels us to vote for the candidate who will think of and speak not just for some of us, but all of us including the powerless. For us, the choice is clear; that candidate is Wynfred Russell,” the religious leaders noted.

Before being elected to the City Council, he served the City of Brooklyn Park for four years as Planning Commissioner; three years on the community advisory council of the Metropolitan Council; two years on the Hennepin County Library Board; and one year on the Stable Neighborhood Action Plan.

In recognition of his outstanding service, he was given Minnesota prestigious Human Rights Award, which extolled him for his service to the State. With extensive knowledge of public health, wellness, and infectious disease prevention policy, Wynfred was one of many Liberian-Americans who heeded former US President Barack Obama’s call to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

He served as Program Operations Manager and Ebola Response Manager, respectively, leading an Ebola Response Team from Minnesota to southeast Liberia. Currently, he also runs an organization named ACER – to continue working on his vision of improving disadvantaged and under-resourced people’s lives, and now coordinates a statewide COVID-19 response as well as sitting on the National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) to support state and local health departments.

Recent census place Liberians among the largest segments of the local population of Brooklyn Park and with a wide network of support in the upper reaches of the local and statewide political echelons, Russell is on pace to make a breakthrough.

It is estimated that 40,000 Liberians reside within the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, with an overwhelming majority from the town of Brooklyn Park.

His network of support includes several powerful players within and beyond the arena of Minnesota politics, including the Liberian-born Mayor of Helena, Montana, Wilmot Collins who made a recent stop-over at a campaign event.

Meanwhile, the religious leaders added that the upcoming Brooklyn Park comes during an unusually challenging and changing time; one that requires a result and integrity-driven leader with vision, conviction, and focus. As such, they are endorsing Russell based on his valuable track records of service to the city.

“Resultantly, we are making this endorsement as individual faith leaders and people of faith, and not on behalf of our individual and collective congregations. Without a doubt, we are battling a global pandemic, struggling economy, and racial reckoning. At this moment, Wynfred is the right choice to lead the City of Brooklyn Park, the sixth-largest city in the State with 56% people of color,” they added.

They furthered that when  Russell becomes mayor, he will only be commended for the things he does right.

“We will hold him accountable for the things he does wrong. And above all, we will pray fervently for his success. If Mayor Russell succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Wynfred Russell and his family, and may God bless the people of Brooklyn Park,” they added.

Signatures of some of the religious leaders.


  1. So sad this brilliant son of Liberia is being snatched away from his patronym.
    You have a place in Liberia that no one can occupy, Russell, for you are unique. I wish you luck in your endeavors!

  2. Defender,
    Although Wynfred Russell was born in Liberia, Russell is not being “snatched away” from Liberia by anyone or by anything. For Russell, the sky is the limit. In the same sense, Russell’s willingness to run for a mayoral position proves how good a country the US is. For sure, the US is not a perfect country. But without a thin layer of doubt, the US is a country of various types of opportunities.

    Russell is in the thick of it. The pool of mayoral candidates (Russell’s competitors) have all kinds of talents. But regardless of what his competitors have or what they bring to this race, we hope and pray that by His grace, Russell will be victorious on election day. We wish him well.

  3. Grand Frere,

    Russell has already been snatched away, what are you saying?
    Can a non-US citizen vie for the position of a mayor? No!
    He has been coming up with an ambition, he’s been looking out for a space to explode; show the goodness within him in a society or a country. Unfortunately, such environment has NEVER been provided in his birth country. Should he sit and look on while Liberians continue to make stupid decisions by voting a grade 9 dropout? No!

    I read a beautifully versed article from Russell sometimes last year on this blog. After reading him, I imagined his potential and ambition.
    There are many Russells out there, willing to come back home to transform Mama Liberia. All they need is the right environment with the right leadership, not the kakistocracy and kleptocracy we continue to see in Liberia.

    I cannot be lectured on the USA being a country of many opportunities. I know that there is no nation on planet earth comparable to the USA. Only in the USA a country ass can easily become a resourceful citizen with international recognition. Only in the USA a bush boy or girl can excel to positions of governance or management. Only in the USA merits are publicly recognized and compensated. Only in the USA you can ambition to aim for the moon and surely get there.
    I have never heard about or seen a country like the USA. In other European countries, you must be exceptionally endowed and blessed to excel.

    I am deeply hurt to see many resourceful Liberians turned their backs on Mama Liberia. I pray and hope for Liberians to give us (ANC) their suffrage in 2023.
    We will convince our people to accept foreigners to practice law in Liberia, buy land in Liberia, allow dual citizenship in any but governance levels. In a nutshell, we need a NEW Constitution for Liberia. The current constitution is obsolete, in many ways. I did not make provisions for war and postwar periods.

    Have a nice weekend, Grand Frere!

  4. Defender,
    Enjoy your weekend in Abidjan. Go to Youpugun and buy some fresh bush meat for your family. Stroll around the Plateau market area and visit a hamburger restaurant that I used to take my younger brothers to.

    As matters relate to W. Russell of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, I think you’re making a mistake, Mon petit frere. Just a few weeks ago, you related to me and the readers of this paper about a young Grand Gedeh native who returned home from the diaspora in order to improve the quality of lives of our people. But while the Grand Gedeh native did his utmost best to improve lives, you said he lost his life prematurely, probably due to witchcraft/wizardry. In fact, on several occasions, I have taken your advice at heart on this particular issue.

    Given what has happened to the Grand Gedeh native, why should Russell abandon his mayoral ambition? Does Russell have the talisman or juju that’s able to repose the wickedness of the jeolous and wicked people back home?

    Lastly Mon Petit Frere, please allow me to use the word “if” and not “when”. After all, using the word “if” is being hypothetical.
    If Alexander Benedict Cummings becomes president, there’ll always be all sorts of issues in Liberia! Please note well. Alexander Benedict Cummings may have the best of intentions, but he’s no where near perfection. Would you agree? Therefore, you have to be careful according to how you sell your buddy to the Liberian people. For example, during his presidency, if Cummings is unable to hire or create 100,000 jobs in just 100 days, there’s going to be hell to pay for, not from me.

    Hang in there.

  5. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    Unfortunately for this young man, from the country of his place of birth, there are only two elected political institutions available for the local citizens to elect their officials to. And not surprisingly their elected officials have the chance of serving for long term. And the two elected political institutions, the legislature and the Executive are both corrupt, dragging the highest Court of the land which is an appointed political/legal position down with them in a corruption pact.
    Unfortunately for you young man, the mayor positions around the country are by political appointments. And so you are OUT !
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

  6. Hahaha…
    James Davis is wrong. Liberia is not a God forsaken land. As wicked as Nineveh was, God did not forsake Nineveh.

    God does not like evil. God punishes all evildoers. God says, “vengeance is mine and I will repay”. God does not tell falsehoods. The wicked people of Liberia will be punished.

    Since every Liberian is not nefarious, God will not forsake the strip of land that we call Liberia.

    Hahaha. Hahaha
    Grab my Jack Daniel? No, grab your bottle of ice cold water.

  7. Grand Frere,

    I hope you also enjoyed the weekend.
    There is no contradiction between you and I concerning your return, the return of my Grand Gedeh brother and that of Russell. We need all our valuable human resources back in the country. How can we get them to come back to the country?
    The first step is to vote the right person to head the executive branch of government. I know the weight and influence of the right person for the presidential system we have in Liberia. With an ideal person at the executive, the justice system will be cleansed. The ensuing benefit will be creation of more jobs with lawmakers will be pushed to the wall to do the right thing.

    I will repeat, do NOT come to Weah’s Liberia. They will kill or belittle you for stupidity. They hate resourceful people. My friend, like many other Liberians, have died because he could think, talk and behave like normal human being. Once you present yourself as such in their midst, you become Enemy Number 1. Remember the 4 auditors?

    It is regrettable to have you out. It is equally regrettable to have Russell vying to become mayor in the USA at the detriment of Liberia. I would have loved to see him become mayor of Monrovia or Buchanan or Gbarnga or Voinjama or Harper, etc. I too, would love to vie to become an elected superintendent of Nimba with developmental job description in a truly decentralized system.

    Liberia is losing the best of its children to other countries because of the foolish decisions we make. Our children do not know Liberia and may never even have any love or mind of going back to Liberia as they are schooled in different systems. Hney, your children may never set foot in Liberia if you are not given the opportunity to serve the country where they can come to pay you a visit and then begin to develop love for their father’s patronym.
    I hope our people will understand in 2023 that leadership is synonymous to the highest exhibition of intellectualism. They must therefore stop voting people whose brains have NEVER been exposed to intense and critical thinking or analysis.

    Given the current underdevelopment of Liberia, do you think a real Liberian leader would have had the time to go
    – Playing ludu in the ghetto with his partisan?
    – Playing football in the streets with children that should have been in school?
    – Going to the studio to make music?
    – Hanging out in night clubs in neighboring Ghana with the state underwriting such costs?
    – Going swimming on the beach while mobilizing precious human and capital resources?
    – Etc.??????????????

    The guy (Weah) in there does NOT even know how to get people to work, how to create wealth, how to manage it, how to plan for tomorrow, how to negotiate what the country needs, etc.

    Leave my friend James Davis alone. He has the right to mock our God forsaken country. We (Liberia) are the most wretched people in the sub region, yet we declared ourselves a nation in 1847.
    Why get angry with James Davis if this God forsaken country still has its citizens defecation in rivers and streams in the heart of Monrovia in the 21st century? And the bulk of its citizenry still drinking from brooks or wells?
    Why get angry with my buddy James Davis if these people can continue to vote people who raped, killed and destroyed our lives? And such people continue to nag their victims in the hemicycles of our Republic.
    Why get angry with my comrade if for saying just what Liberia is? A country endowed with immeasurable wealth but exploited to serve other peoples and not its own children, and our rulership takes pleasure in selling-off our minerals to dodgy economic operators.

    There are issues in Liberia. Alexander B. Cummings will undoubtedly be confronted with issues. He will provide more than 500,000 decent jobs in the first 3 years of his leadership. Do not be afraid of the number 100,000 jobs in the first 100 days of his leadership. It is no magic. I (country boy Petarus Dolo) can provide such number of jobs in Liberia if you make me the CIC of the AFL. It takes common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is not always common for people who did not go to school.
    Alexander B. Cummings will increase salaries, not reduce them. Our civil servants live on chicken feeds with no plan retirement schemes while a handful of Liberians get paid exorbitantly. There will be an equal distribution of wealth in all 16 counties of Liberia.
    The southeastern region should attract more Liberians than Nimba. Under Cummings, we will generate substantial revenue from that region and provide many jobs to the people of those counties.

    We will truly make Ganta a central trading hub with modern infrastructure. Lofa will continue to feed Liberia even better using mechanized farming. Our beautiful and lush lands in Bong will create enormous economic values.

    Let’s help ourselves, Liberians, by intelligently ostracizing warlords, kakistocrats and kleptocrats from our governance apparatuses. Liberia is not yet doomed; we have the chance to make a u-turn in 2023.


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