NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance
Alicia R. Phillips
Address: 2410 10th Ave. S. (55404)
Neighborhood of Residence: Phillips
Years in Neighborhood: 1.5 years
Years in Minneapolis: 10 years
- How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
My family has a long history of neighborhood engagement and it has been a part of my life since childhood. While attending Macalester in the late 80s, I worked on a lot of community projects through my internships and jobs, including organizing St. Paul's first earned income tax credit campaign and organizational consulting for a community newspaper. That work led me to launch Next Innovations, a leadership-development and alliance-building training program for people in their 20s. I worked as the nonprofit's executive director for seven years, leaving in 1999 to teach in public schools.
- What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
The NRP's greatest strength is its ability to involve citizen participation in the public planning process. This capacity for building citizen ownership of the communities is crucial in the development of strong neighborhoods and a healthy city.
The organization is a phenomenal model, but in order to be more successful, it must expand and focus its capacity to involve all of the diverse segments of the communities it works with, specifically renters, people of color and low-income people. The organization also needs to better develop infrastructures and leadership that will support ongoing citizen engagement.
- How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
I have lived in the Phillips neighborhood for 18 months and have put my emphasis on building one-to-one relationships with my neighbors and now the Block Club. As of yet, I have not participated in my neighborhood NRP process. When I do something I like to engage fully and during my 20's I spent my time working wholeheartedly working at the nonprofit.
- How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
I would make myself accessible by attending neighborhood meetings in different neighborhoods, by email, phone, and an electronic update newsletter. At these neighborhood meetings I would both gather input and provide information from the board meetings. As a citizen board member, my role is to be accountable to the community and see to it that NRP has a strategic focus and is accountable to the outcomes it establishes.
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
I would work on building a better understanding with State leaders and representatives about the importance of NRP and the necessity of having it an integrated part of any community development strategy. In addition, I would like to work on attracting a more diverse group of participants, engaging those usually left out of the process and yet most affected by the workings of the program.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
We are at a juncture. NRP needs the type of leadership that can organize people, understand regulations and policies, understand budgetary processes, and build relationships with community organizations and citizens. This is the time for NRP to fully realize its potential from the ideals upon which it was started. There is an incredible amount of resources within NRP and connected to NRP - ideas, talent and potential-I can work with all of the stakeholders and work with others to move NRP boldly forward.
- Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
- West Side Community Health Services
- Jordan Area Community Council
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
- Mason Jay Blacher and Associates
- West Side Community Health Services
- Temple Israel
- Phillips Neighborhood Block Club for 10th and 11th Avenue
- Various impromptu volunteer activities and projects.