Yonathan Sumamo tackles social disorder across Alberta
Job Title: Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services
When Yonathan Sumamo talks about his parents helping make Edmonton a better place, he means it. The founders of Langano Skies, Sumamo’s parents were able to grow their kitchen into one of Edmonton’s most beloved dinner spots.
“My sense of duty comes from them,” Sumamo says. “They felt like Edmonton really didn’t have a good reputation for good Ethiopian or African food, but instead of just complaining about it, they said ‘let’s do something about it.’”
That instinct to value action over analysis would later lead Sumamo to answer the call when offered to join the Office of the Deputy Premier.
“[Then-Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Services Mike Ellis] told me that he was looking to tackle some of the social disorder happening across the province.
“And again, instead of just criticizing and complaining about the current state of public safety, there was an opportunity to be at that decision-making table to affect some positive change and get to work.”
As part of the Office of the Deputy Premier, Sumamo worked with police departments to make Alberta the first province to mandate the use of body cameras.
Sumamo also channels his action-oriented approach into Edmonton’s arts scene, serving as a board member for both the Edmonton International Film Festival and the Art Gallery of Alberta.
“I was just tired of people complaining about Edmonton arts scene, so I decided to get involved and help out as much as I can.”