NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance

Cam Gordon

Occupation: Teacher
Address: 914 Franklin Terrace (55406)
Neighborhood of Residence: Seward
Years in Neighborhood: 12 years
Years in Minneapolis: 45 years
Phone: 612-296-0579

  1. How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
    As Seward Neighborhood Group co-chair (1999 and 20002) and board member since 1995, I gained a deeper understanding of neighborhood issues and learned many shills needed to represent people effectively. As chair of the committee that managed Seward's NRP, I gained first hand knowledge of NRP.

    My past involvement as board member for the Minneapolis Center for Neighborhoods and other groups have helped me learn more about the challenges that face our city and neighborhoods.

    Through my participation in many grassroots efforts to improve our community I believe that I have proven my commitment to our community and worked hard to make this a better place.

  2. What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
    NRP has had positive impacts on housing and commercial development, as well as on parks, schools, youth programming, support for our elders, arts and cultural efforts and other community initiatives. NRP's strengths lie in its ability to bring communities together to address common concerns and reach for common goals. To do this NRP reaches beyond just the City government - into the neighborhoods and out across jurisdictions. For the first time in some cases, various agencies and jurisdictions throughout the city have had to listen, include, coordinate with and cooperate with neighborhoods, - as well as with each other - to implement improvements.

    NRP's weakness is that it cannot always include all the people and sometimes it has asked more of neighborhoods than they have had the capacity to deliver. We must ensure that communities have the support they need. Improved oversight, education and resources will all help neighborhoods make more informed decisions and manage funds more accountably within an open and democratic process.

  3. How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
    I have served on the board of my Neighborhood Association and as its co-chair for two years. I was also involved in virtually all aspects of our Phase I NRP process. I served on our first NRP committee and helped draft our Participation Agreement. I was chair our Social Environment Committee and served on the Steering Committee that drafted our action plan and for five years I served as chair of our Implementation Oversight Committee.

  4. How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
    I would attend meetings periodically in neighborhoods and provide regular written reports to Neighborhood Association Boards. I would also convene regular meetings for interested individuals and create an email forum to share ideas and keep people informed. In general I would also work to maintain open and effective lines of communication and welcome phone calls, letters and emails and respond to them in a timely manner. Additionally I would work to insure that the Policy Board as a whole would make communication with neighborhoods top priority.

  5. Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
    I think that it is vitally important that we work to preserve NRP and its funding through this second phase. Additionally, and in part to do this, we must also be willing to examine how it functions as part of our City's overall planning process. As we work to adjust to possible changes at the City level I am convinced that we must work to keep the NRP program independent, neighborhood centered and driven, as well as a partnership between neighborhoods, the City and all the other jurisdictions that are currently at the table.

  6. Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
    I care deeply about our city and its neighborhoods and am convinced that NRP offers an enormous opportunity to improve both. I believe that I have the skills, values, time and energy needed to be an effective representative and I want to apply these to the continued and improved success of NRP.

  7. Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
    The Seward Neighborhood Group (member and volunteer)

  8. Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
    River's Edge Children's House (the child care, music education business I co-own)
    Mayor's Ethics Task Force (volunteer citizen representative)
    Green Party of Minnesota (I am an unpaid party official)