by Dennis Dalman
Barika Davis, a candidate for one of two Sartell City Council seats, moved to Sartell from St. Cloud a year ago and liked what she saw and experienced.
“I feel so welcome here because there is a sense of inclusivity,” she said in an interview. “And as a council member I would like to share that same sense of belonging and caring in a wider way.”
Davis is a teacher/family advocate for Reach-Up Head Start and works with low-income families to strengthen education as one of the ways to help bridge the poverty gap.
She was also just re-elected as a board member of Stride Academy, a charter elementary school in St. Cloud that serves almost 300 students.
Davis is working on her master’s degree in early-childhood education at St. Cloud State University.
Sartell, she said, has worked hard to diversity its economic portfolio, attracting a wide variety of businesses. If elected to the council, she would like to help bring about more businesses to the area. One way to do that is to emphasize far and wide that Sartell has the lowest tax rate among all the cities in the greater St. Cloud area, she noted.
She also said she cares passionately about equitable opportunities for all and would like to help expand those in the city in a spirit of inclusivity. For example, she said, there needs to be more apartment buildings for low-income residents. That should not be a concept filled with fear or stereotypes, she said, because Sartell has strict housing policies.
“Sartell,” said Davis, “should be a city where everyone’s voice is heard and where everyone is respected.”
Davis offered another reason why she should be elected.
“There are no women on the council right now, so it would be a good time for a woman on it and a good time for a minority member,” she said. “I’m excited to be part of this community, and I would like to give back by serving on the council.”
Davis said her vision of an ideal city is one in which all people work together in mutual understanding and respect to enhance quality of life for all of the residents.
She intends to campaign by knocking on doors, visiting churches and other places where people gather so she can meet as many Sartell residents as possible face-to-face.
Davis has three children – 3-year-old twins Nava and Naomi; and daughter Nahara, 9.
Davis is one of four people who has filed for the two open seats on the city council. The deadline for filing was June 5. The others who have filed are Timothy W. Elness, Jeff Kolb and Brady Andel.