NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance

Debbie Evans

Occupation: Marketing Promotions Manager
Address: 3807 Zenith Ave. S. (55410)
Neighborhood of Residence: Linden Hills
Years in Neighborhood: 15 years
Years in Minneapolis: 15 years
Phone: 612-860-2526

  1. How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
    My service as a board member and former LHiNC board co-chair, founding member of Neighbors for Neighborhoods, planner and facilitator of neighborhood conferences with the mayor and council members and a NRP Management Review Team Neighborhood Representative has prepared me for serving on the Policy Board.

    As an alternate on the Policy Board, I have been an advocate for neighborhoods, marketing neighborhoods' needs to the Policy Board. I have strongly supported and worked intensively to secure a revenue stream for NRP. I approach my work with energy, enthusiasm, careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail and follow through.

    It is a neighborhood representative's responsibility to inform neighborhoods of concerns and opportunities regarding NRP and to encourage them to become involved. At the Policy Board, I have been a strong advocate for neighborhoods, supporting the mandate of the state statute that does not allow the City to take NRP funds for regular city services. I have supported the statute requiring that NRP funds must be used for neighborhood-identified priorities as presented in their neighborhood action plans.

  2. What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
    STRENGTHS: Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed. It's the only thing that ever has." This is the essence of NRP. In 1991 Minneapolis residents were given the opportunity to determine funding priorities for their neighborhoods. Through NRP, citizens have been able to make giant strides in improving their neighborhoods and building a sense of community. Through NRP, neighborhood organization's have had the ability to use tax dollars to leverage other funds. NRP projects have leveraged more than a HALF BILLION DOLLARS%C9$500,000,000.

    WEAKNESSES: The uncertainty of future funding for NRP has generated volunteer frustration, burnout and excessive turnover. Elected officials need to work with us, not use NRP as a funding source to balance their budget. The full potential of NRP will only be realized when elected officials view NRP and neighborhoods as their partners.

  3. How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
    I have been deeply involved in LHiNC and its NRP planning and implementation process since 1995. I have Co-chaired the LHiNC Board, the Natural Environment Committee, the Commercial Business/Commercial Property Committee and Chaired the Communications Committee and served on the Finance and Education/Environment Committees. I have been editor of the Linden Hills News since 1997. I have overseen the implementation of LHiNC's NRP projects, big and small, including the 44th St./PATH Project, and secured extensive matching funds for neighborhood NRP dollars. Through the planning and implementation process, I have worked extensively with Public Works, the MPRB, the Library Board and the MPS Board and have intimately experienced the challenges inherent in that process.

    I am presently serving as Protection Neighborhood's Representative on the NRP Management Review Team and as the Protection Neighborhood Alternate on the NRP Policy Board. I have also served on the Policy Board's Focus Minneapolis Working Group and Nominating Committee.

  4. How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
    Last year, when I was running for the position of neighborhood representative, I committed to communicating with neighborhoods regarding important issues coming before the Policy Board. Since then, I have met with many neighborhood organizations and worked with neighborhood staff, board members and neighborhood leaders, not only in the Protection Neighborhoods, but in many Revitalization and Redirection Neighborhoods as well. I would continue to inform neighborhoods of important NRP issues and be a resource for information and support for neighborhoods during their Phase I Plan Review process and their Phase II planning process. I would be readily available to neighborhood board members via phone, fax and e-mail, and attend as many neighborhood meetings as possible. I would host meetings/events to disseminate and/or exchange information. I would be your advocate on the Policy Board. As I have done this past year, I would facilitate neighborhood responses to elected officials on the very important decisions being made regarding the future of NRP.

  5. Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
    Sorry, there are several. I would work to:
    • 1) Ensure that NRP funds are directed by neighborhoods and that the needs of the neighborhoods are strongly advocated at the Policy Board level.
    • 2) ENSURE FULL FUNDING OF NRP. (It will take longer and we will need to be creative in developing revenue streams, but this must be done.)
    • 3) Improve and streamline neighborhood/agency relationships.
    • 4) Promote neighborhood awareness of opportunities to secure additional funds, e.g. grants, in-kind contributions, untapped neighborhood resources, sharing/pooling of resources across neighborhoods where sensible.
    • 5) Encourage neighborhoods to build on their Phase I accomplishments as they begin Phase II.

  6. Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
    There is a lot of work yet to do to support the needs of neighborhoods at the Policy Board level. I have a deep respect for neighborhood volunteers. I would be a strong and ever present advocate for neighborhoods and their investment of volunteer time and energy. As a Neighborhood Representative, I would be a constant reminder to the Policy Board that government is here to help meet the needs that residents cannot meet by themselves

  7. Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
    NRP Policy Board, Neighborhood Representative Alternate; NRP Management Review Team, Neighborhood Representative; Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC), Board Member & former Co-Chair; LHiNC Communication Committee, Chair; Linden Hills News, Editor; Neighbors For Neighborhoods, Member; Animal Humane Society, Foster Parent; Wigs Without Worry, Board Member

  8. Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
    Marketing Promotions Manager, HMT Marketing, Inc.
    All of the positions as noted in #7 above are unpaid.