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St. Paul’s first Hmong city council member resigns to take new role

St. Paul city council member Dai Thao is giving up his position on the city council to take a new job in Florida, The Star Tribune reports.

Thao became St. Paul’s first council member of Hmong descent after the elections in 2013. He currently represents the city’s First Ward, which covers the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods, as well as parts of the Union Park, North End and Snelling-Hamline neighborhoods.

Thao announced his departure in a news release Thursday, ABC 5 reports. He is moving to Florida to serve as executive director of Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE).

“It has truly been an honor of a lifetime to serve and work for the resilient and hard-working residents of Ward 1,” Thao said in a statement, according to The Star Tribune. “I believe all the progress, results, and achievements we have accomplished in Ward 1 were through our faith and belief in each other, that our diversity is our strength, and that united we can win the issues.”

Thao told The Star Tribune he sees helping to develop Allianz Field as one of his major accomplishments. He also listed the passage of ordinances governing earned sick and safe time, minimum wage and paid parental leave as accomplishments.

“It has been my honor to serve with Council Member Thao for the past decade,” Council President Amy Brendmoen said in a statement, according to The Star Tribune. “He is a friend and a true ally to all of us that champion progress and equity.”

Thao will vacate his position by August 1, ABC 5 reports. City officials will release details about the appointment process and call for applications soon.

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