NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance
Occupation: Program Analyst - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Address: 1830 Stevens Ave. S. #34 (55403)
Neighborhood of Residence: Stevens Square
Years in Neighborhood: Less than 1 year
Years in Minneapolis: 3 years
- How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
I have worked hard to commit my skills and energy to citizen-based community improvement work. This has included many life / work experiences, such as:
- Several experiences with the NRP from multiple perspectives: as an active resident, neighborhood staff person, and as a member of my Neighborhood Board.
- Work in local community and economic development areas, both within Minneapolis neighborhoods and outside of Minnesota.
- AmeriCorps service in Redirection Neighborhoods.
- An interest and experience in community development policy issues.
- What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
- Provides residents with many opportunities to be engaged, democratic, and political in their communities. The NRP provides numerous opportunities for residents to be involved in their community, shape large decisions, and implement important projects. This type of work entails working with other neighbors and government agencies - a process that can be both frustrating and rewarding. This negotiation, frustration, and common work of the NRP makes our communities more engaged, democratic, and politically savvy.
- Provides significant resources for citizen work. Undoubtedly many important projects are undertaken, and successful, due to the resources of the NRP. Additionally, these resources let residents devote more of their time to the important work of planning and implementing projects in their neighborhoods, rather than to fundraising efforts to sustain their organizations.
- Helps to build a sense of identity in our neighborhoods. The process of working with the NRP builds common experiences in neighborhoods. These experiences help create a neighborhood identity - a connection to the place where you live and with your neighbors. Additionally, the NRP has helped to raise the credibility of neighborhood-level work within Minneapolis.
- The NRP does not draw upon all of our citizen resources. Much success has come from residents working together with the NRP. However the NRP needs to do a much better job of drawing upon all of the citizen resources in neighborhoods. Many groups remain underrepresented in the NRP and we need to do a better job of attracting them, and letting them share in the benefits of involvement.
- Some projects are defined by neighborhood boundaries when issues impact an area larger that a single neighborhood. Some NRP planning and projects put fences up at their City/NRP-defined neighborhood boundaries. Issues often impact areas larger than a single neighborhood. I think we should continue to encourage communities to plan together, combine resources, and implement projects across their boundaries when appropriate.
- How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
I have been involved with my neighborhood organization and the NRP in several ways. When I moved back to Minneapolis this summer, I began to attend neighborhood meetings in my current neighborhood- Stevens Square (SSCO). I am also involved with SSCO's Housing and Community Development Committee and I plan to support efforts to finalize and implement SSCO's Phase II Plan.
Previously, I was involved with Citizens for A Loring Park Community as a Board Member. I was also the staff person with the CARAG neighborhood. At CARAG, I supported NRP First Step implementation efforts and aided in the development of CARAG's Full Action Plan and Neighborhood Master Plan.
- How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
I will maintain relationships with the neighborhoods in several ways. These include attending neighborhood meetings and holding community forums when critical issues arise. I will make myself available by phone and email.
I will also establish an email discussion list with each Redirection Neighborhood Board and Staff. This list will be used to create a forum between Redirection Neighborhoods and myself, sharing ideas and experiences on Policy Board issues..
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
There are two areas that I would like to work on if elected. First, I want to continue to promote the involvement of groups that remain less represented in the NRP. I think there is much more to be gained from broader participation in the NRP. Secondly, I want to work on understanding the long-term impact of the McKinsey report and its recommendations on the NRP. I want to make sure the NRP, and neighborhoods, have a legitimate and integral role in shaping citywide development.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
I am interested in working on community development efforts in new ways in Minneapolis. My experiences have been committed to citizen-driven efforts and the NRP is one of the most exciting programs I have participated in. I am running for the Policy Board because I will bring a new and fresh approach to the Board with energy to try and understand how to make the NRP work better.
- Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
Stevens Square Community Organiation
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
Paid: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Unpaid: American Planning Association, Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York