Samantha (Samantha) Sencer-Mura (D-63a)

State Repersentative Samantha Sencer-Mura

Samantha (Samantha) Sencer-Mura (D-63a)
Email - Web Site

Capitol: 651.296.0173
FAX: 651.296.1326
District: 612.239.1398
Repersentative
Room 417 State Office Building 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155-1232
PO Box 7431
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Committee Assignments

Committee Assignments

Bio

Hello, my name is Samantha Sencer-Mura. I am an educator, a working mom, a local community leader, a fourth-generation Japanese American, and I am running to be the next State Representative for District 63A in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up in Minneapolis and now I am raising my 6-month old child here, with my partner Lance. My mother is a Pediatric Oncologist at Children's Hospital and has devoted her life to saving young people's lives. My father is an author and Asian American activist, and has been vital in building community for writers of color in the Twin Cities. From them, I learned the importance of service and responsibility to a collective that is greater than any one individual. I attended Minneapolis public schools from K-12, including South High School. Most neighbors will know that South is a school that is distinctive for having no windows. But when I think of my time as a student in Minneapolis public schools, I often say that I attended schools that also did not have mirrors. The curriculum, the teaching staff, the policies, the practices of the schools I attended all did not provide mirrors for students of color like myself to see ourselves reflected, and as a result our city and state have terrible gaps in educational outcomes. These experiences led me to my work, fighting for educational justice for students of color, by working as an educator and giving back to the community that raised me. Since 2017, I have been Executive Director at educational non-profit, 826 MSP. During my time there, our organization has served thousands of Twin Cities students through free in-school and out-of-school writing, publishing and leadership programs. We have built safe and brave educational spaces for youth in our district, including a writing center in the Seward neighborhood and one at my alma mater at South High School. The students I work with have lives that are bigger than the classroom. They are affected by policies and we can only do so much within the classroom walls. My passion for wanting to better serve students has led me to build my advocacy and leadership skills through programs, such as the prestigious Wilder Foundation Community Equity Program, which brings together Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to advance their knowledge and skills to build community power and solidarity at the Capitol. The uprising in the summer of 2020 changed me. I attended the protests and worked with my neighbors in Corcoran to keep each other safe. I saw the possibilities in reimagining public safety starting at the neighborhood unit, and I learned that unless we are vigilant about unearthing our racial biases we can easily replicate the systems we are trying to change. I struggled as a leader of a community organization. As I boarded up the windows on our youth writing center in Seward in the midst of the uprising, I decided to overlay the boards with our students' writing. Wooden boards that showed fear were transformed into messages of hope and power. Our students' words reminded me that we already have the brilliance we need in our community to move us forward, we just need to nurture it. In spring 2021, I learned of the shootings of six Asian American women in Atlanta. This hate crime and the subsequent media reaction were a stark reminder of the violence of invisibility, and the need for representation in institutions of power. My family has had long and historical experience with racial prejudice. On my father's side of my family, my Japanese American grandparents were interned during World War II along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. This government policy, rooted in racism and fear, drastically altered their lives and their families' ability to live out the American dream they had emigrated to this country for. This history teaches me that our government can make horrific policy choices when fear takes over, and that the American dream has always only been accessible to certain groups in our country. I have seen our communities' cries from the protests go unheard in our policies. Communities' needs have gone unmet, creating less safety, and less social cohesion. The voices of people of color have been erased in imagining what our city can be and who can lead us there. At the same time, I've also seen young people writing for us a better future. I've seen community members pushing themselves outside their comfort zone to try on new methods of public safety. I've seen us choose politics of collective care when it would be easier to choose politics of individualized fear. In 2020, South Minneapolis became the epicenter of a fight for racial justice. In 2022, we can continue fighting. I am running because in this new moment of repair and change - I will be a brave voice with you to get the best for our community.

Election / Personal Info

First Elected: 2022    Next Election: 2024
Counties Representing
Hennepin