My name is Hanna Valento and I was sworn in as a Forest Lake City Councilmember in January 2021. I will serve on City Council for four years - until 2025.
As a quick overview about me, I lived in Hugo for over twenty years and bought my first house in Forest Lake in 2020. I graduated from Forest Lake Senior High, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and went on to graduate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2019.
During law school, I was the floating Law Clerk at the Ramsey County Courthouse. I clerked for over twenty-seven judges, teaching me how to work hard and fast for a variety of strong personalities.
Currently, I am the first-ever Revisor of Statutes for the Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. I draft statutes for the Band by communicating with elected officials, Band employees, and Band members. During that process, I research federal, state, and tribal law to ensure legal compliance. I also ensure all laws are up-to-date and organized appropriately.
I love my job and the work that I do because I am able to use my legal background to create a meaningful impact.
Forest Lake Priorities
Growth of the city and opportunities – creating a strong and resilient economy.
The business climate in Forest Lake has been a slow growth. There are vacant lots, land for sale, and buildings that need tenants and Forest Lake has the potential to host a variety of businesses.
I would ensure that the we connect the budget to a City vision, staying responsible so as our future constituents of Forest Lake have a beautiful place to call home.
When constituents email or call the City Council they should receive a timely response.
The City Council should create a space that welcomes new voices and encourage involvement from the younger generations.
Currently, if you sign up, the City Council sends a weekly email that will give notice of a proposed ordinance, but there isn't a way for a constituent to comment concerns on that specific proposal. A comment period and direct way to email the City Council regarding that proposal should be attached with the notice.
All in all, I want to create ways for the community to be more involved.
The Environment and Infrastructure
A sustainable environment and infrastructure for future generations to come.
Regarding housing, I would ensure the growth and development for housing especially, while keeping in mind the health of our lake and environment.
Regarding transportation, I would like to see roads improved, more sidewalks to encourage walking, and proper crosswalks with alerts. We need to communicate with our state legislators to promote transportation efforts in Forest Lake and make those transportation efforts safe and practical.
In the Press
"In January, the 26-year-old legislative assistant and lawyer will become the youngest person, and certainly the youngest woman, to be sworn into the council. Valento will also now be one of four women representing the five-seat council, alongside Mayor Mara Bain, and Councilwomen Kathy Bystrom and Kelly Monson."
Thank you, Forest Lake!
Thank you to everyone who showed their support and helped me along the way! I am honored to serve our community!