Dayton’s Bluff elections sees new and familiar faces

From left to right, the newly elected board members include Barry White, Holly Windingstad, Crystal Norcross, Rasheed Wade, Tamara York-Tallman, Kirstin Scanlan Madore, Yingya Vang and Micheal Boyd. Newly elected candidates not pictured include Elizabeth Matakis and Henry Garnica.

Michelle Kaye (left) and Shannon Ileah (right), Dayton’s Bluff residents and artists, each performedd two songs they have written and produce

Jesus Ramirez, a Dayton’s Bluff resident and artist, was the keynote speaker for the evening’s festivities.

“Let’s create a paradigm that changes the East Side,” said Jesus Ramirez, Dayton’s Bluff resident, artist and keynote speaker for the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council’s annual meeting on Oct. 27.

The meeting, which also included the results of the yearly board elections, was a gathering of Dayton’s Bluff residents to celebrate the neighborhood and share a community dinner. The annual meeting was held at the Historic Mounds Theatre.

Board elections were conducted to fill 10 seats which were up for election. One seat is for a one-year term, the other nine seats are two-year terms. 

Ramirez continued his speech by saying that by being present at the meeting, people were already making a change by showing support for their community.

The evening started off with a catered dinner from African Delights, a local catering business which serves Liberian food.

In addition to the community meal, two East Side singers, Shannon Ileah and Michelle Kaye, performed original songs. 

Ward 7 city council member Jane Prince also attended the meeting and told the crowd that she was excited to see what work the community council will do.

“I work for you; you are my bosses,” said Prince, adding that she will continue to advocate for East Side recreation centers, a common concern among the board candidates.

Shortly after the dinner, the winning candidates were announced. They will serve on the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council Board of Directors. 

The newly elected board members include:


Subdistrict A:

• Micheal Boyd has lived on the East Side since 2011. He is currently attending the National American University where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He also has an engineering degree in electronic technology. He coaches youth basketball at the Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Community Center and is a football coach for the Lower East Side Football Association. “I love being involved in the community because it helps me stay abreast of the problems we face as a community and it allows me to help people,” Boyd said.

• Yingya Vang recently graduated from St. Catherine’s University with a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. She is a member of the Racial Equity on Johnson and Ames organization. She decided to run for the position to provide more representation for the Hmong community, to have more people of color represent the East Side in a decision-making role, and because she feels that law enforcement does not make an effort to know the community better. 


Subdistrict B:

• Elizabeth Matakis has lived in Dayton’s Bluff for five years and has been serving on the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council board. She is also the current co-chair of the Neighborhood Development Committee and served on the St. Paul Capital Improvement Budget committee in 2011, 2013 and 2015. “I am passionate about our community, education reform, historic preservation, equitable decision making at all levels of government and advocating for social justice,” said Matakis.

• Tamara York-Tallman has lived on the East Side for several years and home schools her two sons, ages 11 and 4. “I’m really looking forward to spreading my knowledge to the East Side community,” said York-Tallman.

• Kirstin Scanlan Madore has lived on the East Side for 17 years, four of which have been in Dayton’s Bluff. She is a teacher at Community of Peace Academy and lives with her husband and three daughters. Madore said she would like to see Dayton’s Bluff be a model for other neighborhoods for welcoming immigrants and that her main concerns for the area include housing, walkability and crime. Her seat will last for one term.


Subdistrict C:

• Crystal Norcross is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Dakota and grew up in Dayton’s Bluff. She has two children and is a registered nurse. She said her main concern is finding ways to keep young people involved in the community. “Our youth should be proud of who they are and where they come from,” Norcross said.

• Rasheed Wade has lived on the East Side since 2000 and graduated from Johnson High School in 2012. He recently bought a home on the East Side and is in the second year of a four-year heat and frost insulator apprenticeship program with Local Union 34.Wade said his concerns include promoting homeownership for young people on the East Side and keeping the neighborhood safe. 


Subdistrict D 

• Barry White has lived in Dayton’s Bluff for 18 years and has been a member of the board in the past. He said he is looking forward to learning more about the community and to “voice his conscience on issues concerning the community.”

• Holly Windingstad has lived in Dayton’s Bluff since 2006. While raising her children on the East Side, she started the Messy Fingers and Toes art class for toddlers. She has been representing Subdistrict D for the past year. She said she would like to see continued improvements in transportation, neighborhood funding equality and increased dialogues with law enforcement encouraging neighborhood engagement. “We are a vibrant and energetic community to be celebrated as a destination spot for special businesses and events,” Windingstad said. 


At large: 

• Henry Garnica owns Centromex Supermercado, located at 816 East Seventh St., on the corner of East Seventh and Arcade streets. Garnica said he will keep working to build a strong business corridor along East Seventh Street and to keep the neighborhood safe for everyone. 


The new board members will begin their terms at the November board meeting.


Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto.

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