When the mother to US-based Kenyan Boni Njenga sent him to the US in 2003 to keep him away from bad company, she did not know that her son’s ambitions would propel him to seek an elective post in America.
Njenga, now an American citizen has expressed interest in the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, District 5 (Bloomington, Richfield and Eden Prairie) Minnesota in the November 3 elections.
He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Njenga’s childhood was that of a troublesome kid who had to attend a different secondary school each year for four years.
After completing his O levels, his mother, a single mum of six sent him to the US to live with his brothers. This way, at least, she would keep her dear son away from bad company and crime.
“To save me from engaging in drug abuse and crime, she decided to send me to the United States of America to live with my brothers. I arrived in the US with a near-empty suitcase and $50 as pocket money,” he said as reported by Nation.
Having lived and worked in Hennepin County for nine years, Njenga has seen first-hand the challenges dogging residents of this region which is what inspired his decision to vie.
“We are facing challenges like the opioid crisis, homelessness, lack of public safety, racial disparities and tax levy increases with no accountability and transparency on spending,” he notes.
His campaign is anchored on five pillars; creating community wealth, closing achievement gaps, children protective services, safe and affordable housing and improving the quality of life for all residents.
Njenga adds that these challenges can only be solved through modern ways of governance and fresh ideas which he is all up to.
“I want to advocate for the rights of all residents. Today’s challenges require more than a single approach. They require fresh ideas, action and strong advocacy.”
With an annual budget of $2.5 billion for Hennepin County, he says that the performance record is “dismal” adding that marginalized communities have had to bear the brunt of lacking minority contractors.
In his administration, he has pledged to create community wealth which resonates with his past advocacy for minority communities in the county.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Njenga has been actively campaigning on social media.
“I reach out to voters through my Facebook page (Boni Njenga), my website (www.boninjenga.com) and Twitter account (@Boninjenga). It is not easy but the circumstances have forced us to keep social distancing,” he quips.
Given his professional background in policy and advocacy, he feels it is time to give back to the community by serving them.
“It will be quite an honour if residents of District 5 give me a chance to serve them and give back to the community that gave me a home and accepted me years ago.”