Darrell Foster files candidacy for First Ward City Council position

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | 8:30 p.m. CST; updated 2:01 p.m. CST, Friday, January 14, 2011

COLUMBIA — Darrell Foster filed as a candidate for the First Ward’s open City Council position Tuesday afternoon. He is a member of the First Ward Ambassadors and an 18-year-resident of Columbia.

Foster, 60, said in a phone interview that the goal of his campaign is to increase transparency in the First Ward.

He said he wants to “get the best minds together — Republican, Democrat, red, black and white, from the far left to the far right” in the hopes of meeting somewhere in the middle and coming up with solutions for problems facing the First Ward.

The only group he does not wish to include in the discussion are business people because they are “already represented by the Chamber of Commerce.”

Foster listed the main problems of the First Ward as crime, unemployment, poverty, polarization and discrimination.

“Education is the key to everything,” Foster said. If elected, he said he would focus on development programs for youth in partnership with the First Ward Ambassadors.

Foster earned a master's in Public Affairs from Indiana University in 1982 and a teaching certificate from Indiana University South Bend in 1986.

Foster said he hopes to make his daughter, Rashida Bantu-Foster, campaign treasurer. He will also be aided in his campaign by members of the First Ward Ambassadors.

In 2008, City Manager Bill Watkins removed Foster from the Police Chief Search Advisory Committee because of his felony background.

According to a previous Missourian article, Foster said that his experiences gave him a different perspective that could have been useful in the search for a new police chief.

Nia Imani, president of the Fun City Youth Academy, said she signed Foster’s petition for candidacy because "any American who has paid their dues should have the right to run."

Imani said she wants to know more about all of the candidates before deciding who she thinks should be the next council member for the First Ward.

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