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Our Staff

Brandon Long, Executive Director

Brandon moved to the Highland neighborhood with his wife in 2012 to begin his Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at St. Kate’s. He began work at the Minnesota Autism Center as an occupational therapist in 2015. Brandon served as an elected At-Large board member of the Highland District Council on their engagement committee and helped found the neighborhood non-profit Sustain Ward 3. He is obsessed with his two Cavapoos Obi-Wan and Kylo Ren.




Abdulrahman Wako "Wako", Community Engagement

Wako is a resident right here in The Union Park Neighborhood. He has moved from Lansing Michigan to Saint Paul Minnesota with his family in 2006 and has since made Saint Paul his home. Wako is a community organizer at heart. His idea of a vibrant community is a relationally connected community. He enjoys talking with concerned neighbors about issues that affect them directly and working with these individuals to come together and organize for a better community. 

Most recently, Wako campaigned in the Midterms and has learned that in order for each individual's voice to be heard, the community needs to first organize and then engage. In his free time, Wako likes to perform spoken poetry, take a walk at the nearest park or read a good book with his favorite feline, Haneef.

Sarah Golemon-Mercer, Intern

Welcome to our 2019 Summer intern! Sarah Golemon-Mercer is an undergraduate student at St. Olaf College, class of 2020. She is majoring in Religious studies with a concentration in Environmental Studies. She is very passionate about community organizing and advocating for environmental sustainability. In her free time, she loves making food, listening to music, and reading. Sarah enjoys hiking, bikeriding, and spending as much time outside as possible!! She is very excited to spend her first Minnesota Summer with UPDC.