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Letter: The importance of diversity

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Mind my frustrations, everybody, but I moved to Willmar in 2004 when this city was experiencing a huge growth economically and socially, especially with the growing number of people coming to Willmar from different countries. This led to Willmar becoming an All-America City, new businesses opening up and Willmar becoming a better place to live.

These things happened because the Willmar community has accepted, welcomed and embraced its new Somali population and Latino communities and all this was due to Mayor Les Heitke's creative ways of promoting growth and development through diversity.

Mayor Heitke promoted avenues for interaction with speeches at local churches, going to the Latino and Somali businesses to initiate dialogue and ways in which our city can grow and develop through participation from all different ethnicities in the city, which in turn bridges that gap between the different groups.

All this hard work and sacrifice from both Heitke and the Willmar community has gone down the drain over the last couple of years, because there is nobody in the city taking the leadership role to just go out, talk and listen to the different voices we are lucky to have in this city.

Mayor Yanish is the focal point of the city and should be the one going out and coming up with creative ways of promoting diversity and pathways to interaction, which so far he has failed to do.

I say this because this mayor does not care about diversity, or maybe he just does not know what diversity means to a city -- the pathway to growth and development.

I would recommend the mayor just go out of his office and learn about the beautiful different faces that his city possesses, go to the local businesses and start up a dialogue or something that can educate all of us about each other and come up with programs or ideas that would convince somebody to move to the city of Willmar.

I am a proud Somali-American in the beautiful city of Willmar.

Anis Iman

Willmar

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