Board to consider Transforming Systems Together nominees

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Community members nominated for Transforming Systems Together

The Ramsey County Board, on June 16, will consider nominees for the founding governance body of Transforming Systems Together (TST), the county’s shared decision-making initiative. Nine community members and alternates are recommended to join nine Ramsey County department leaders to study county policies, programs and budgets, and to make decisions on how to redesign services to be more responsive to community needs.

The slate of nominees was developed through a transparent process facilitated by TST’s Community Catalysts, an outside, independent group of community members. The Catalysts hosted two community forums to discuss TST and to help identify individuals who could potentially serve on the governance body.

Through additional community outreach, surveys, interviews and discussions, the Catalysts developed the proposed slate of nine members and alternates. The nominees were selected based on demonstrated community interest or leadership and real-life experiences from traditionally marginalized communities.

“Now more than ever, we need community members at the table helping us redesign and transform systems together to address racial and health equity and achieve our goals of well-being, opportunity and prosperity for all,” said Board Chair Toni Carter. “I want to thank the Catalysts for their work and look forward to the community members working with our systems leaders.”

“The time, work and careful thought the Catalysts have put into engaging the community and developing this slate of excellent candidates is powerful and deeply appreciated,” said County Manager Ryan O’Connor. “I want to recognize that Catalysts took on this work at no small risk to their own personal reputations and standing in the community and also recommit the county to shared decision-making to transform health, well-being, and justice systems to achieve better outcomes for all.”

“Working together to improve the livelihoods of all families creates meaningful communities because shared power is powerful,” said Community Catalyst Larene Randle Wade. In addition to Wade, the Catalysts are: Anika Bowie, Elizer Darris, Laura LaBlanc, Tonya Long, John Poupart and John Thompson.

The nine community members nominated for TST are:

  • Tierre Caldwell
  • Isabel Chanslor
  • John Day
  • Lisa Deputie
  • Faith Dietz
  • Damon Drake
  • Martín Hernández
  • Mohamed Liban
  • KaYing Yang

The following alternates have also been nominated:

  • Aleatha Austin-Thompson
  • Matthew Emerson
  • Thai Lor
  • Jennie Shining Star Marlowe
  • Bre Porter
  • Clara Ware

Read more about the community members and alternates.

The community members will be joined by systems leaders from Social Services, Workforce Solutions, the County Attorney and Sheriff’s offices, Public Health, Community Corrections, Deputy County Manager’s from the Safety and Justice and Health and Wellness Service Teams, and the Second District of the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

Following board action, the TST governance board will convene at a later date to establish a structure on how it will proceed in the next phase of work. A TST Director selected by both community and system members will be hired to elevate and integrate cross-systems efforts and manage an internal grant-making fund. In total, the Transforming Systems Together program and budget represents 3.0 FTEs, $2 million in 2020, and $3 million in 2021 that will be dedicated toward efforts that will rebuild and reshape how the county works with its community to build a stronger future.


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Media contact: Chris Burns, Communications Manager, Health and Wellness, 651-792-6030

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