Candidate Essay: Leon Staples Jr.

District III Candidate: Leon Staples Jr.

Boozhoo relatives! I hope you are all doing well. My name is Leon Staples Jr, my parents are Deb and Leon. My grandparents on my mom’s side are Robert (Punkin) Pemberton and Wanda Lee, my Grandparents on my dad’s side were Leroy and Edna Staples. For about the first 12 years of my life I grew up in Mission then moved various places including Cass Lake (east end) for a few years then onto Allens Bay then in between these 3 places until I was about 17. I lived a good life growing up, for the most part we were poor but made the most of what we had. Currently I am back in the Mission area with my significant other Mariah Reyes. We moved back to the Mission Area about 2 years ago with our 3 children Leon, Carter, and Sophia.

There are many issues that hold us back from our full potential as people and our reservation as a whole. Whether it be the drug epidemic, the lack of Culture and Language teachers, homelessness, lack of youth activities and programs, lack of healthy promotion (Native Americans have the lowest life expectancy of any other nationality), financial education, elder care, competitive wages, Fair policies for our casinos, we could go on about different issues we face every day. I say we come together and fix them together because they can not be done alone.

A new era of growth, care, and unity beckons. Our Reservation stands at a pivotal crossroads, one where the choices we make today will shape the world we leave for future generations. As your candidate, I am committed to leading us down a path of prosperity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

At the core of my campaign is a deep investment in the rich tapestry of our Reservation language and culture. By supporting local artists, cultural events, and language reclamation programs, we aim to celebrate and nurture our diverse heritage. This investment isn’t just about preserving the past, it’s about building a shared identity that propels us forward.

Our elders are the pillars of wisdom and experience in our society. It’s time we give back to those who have given us so much. Enhanced elder care initiatives will ensure that our seniors live their golden years with dignity and joy. Concurrently, by investing in education and development programs for our youth, we’re securing a bright future for our next generation of leaders.

The backbone of any thriving community is its workforce. My campaign focuses on creating more job opportunities, competitive pay, fostering entrepreneurship, and providing training programs that equip our workforce with the skills needed in today’s dynamic job market. By doing so, we’re not only boosting our economy but also ensuring that every member of our Reservation has a chance to succeed.

The challenges of drug abuse and homelessness in our community cannot be overlooked. Comprehensive strategies involving healthcare professionals, support groups, and rehabilitation programs will be implemented to tackle these issues head-on. Our goal is to offer a helping hand, not just a quick fix, creating long-term solutions for those struggling.

A healthy community is a happy community. Initiatives promoting regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, and mental health awareness are vital. Accessible community sports facilities, local farmers’ markets, and mental health workshops are just the beginning of our journey towards a healthier lifestyle for all.

True change happens when everyone’s voice is heard. My campaign encourages active community engagement through regular town hall meetings, media, and feedback channels. By working together, we can address local issues more effectively and build a community that truly reflects our collective aspirations.

Our environment is our most precious asset. We are dedicated to implementing sustainable practices, from reducing waste to promoting renewable energy sources. Protecting our natural surroundings ensures a cleaner, greener future for our children and the generations to come.

This campaign is about more than just one person or a set of policies. It’s about us, our community, and our shared future. Together, let’s build a stronger, healthier, and more united community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

In closing I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this article. Let us come together so we can all be a part of the good to come for Leech Lake and be proud to be a Leech Laker! Aho!


Leon Staples Jr