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: 1 year
Years in Minneapolis: 4 years
- How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
My involvement with the NRP, and background in urban development and policy, have prepared me to be a neighborhood representative on the Policy Board.
For instance, I have been a renter in Minneapolis for over four years. During that time I have been active in my neighborhood, worked as a neighborhood staff person, served on my neighborhood board of directors, and most recently, served as an alternate to the NRP Policy Board.
Additionally, I hold a Masters Degree in Urban Policy Analysis and currently work with a range of housing issues as an analyst with HUD. I believe these skills, including the experience of having worked with communities across the country on community development issues, have prepared me to be a neighborhood representative.
- What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
- One strength of the NRP is the resources it provides to neighborhoods, which allow residents to be more engaged, democratic, and political. Rather than on fundraising to sustain their organizations, citizens can focus their efforts on planning, organizing, and implementing projects.
- Neighborhood work with the NRP entails working with other neighborhoods and government agencies - a process that can be both frustrating and rewarding. The negotiation, frustration, and common work of the NRP helps to shape the way neighborhoods and local government agencies work. It also raises the credibility of neighborhood-level work within Minneapolis.
- Another strength of NRP is that it helps to build a sense of identity in our neighborhoods. The process of working with NRP projects builds a set of common experiences in neighborhoods. These experiences help create a neighborhood identity - a connection to the place where you live and your neighbors.
- The NRP still does not draw upon all of our citizen resources in Minneapolis. Many groups remain underrepresented in NRP and we need to do a better job of attracting them, and letting them share in the benefits of involvement.
- Some NRP projects are defined by neighborhood boundaries when the issues impact areas larger than a single neighborhood. I think the NRP should continue to encourage communities to plan, combine resources, and implement projects across their neighborhood's boundaries when issues impact areas larger than a single neighborhood.
- How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
I have tried to remain continuously involved in my neighborhood organization and the NRP in several ways. For instance, last year I began to attend Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) meetings in my new neighborhood. This past August I was appointed to SSCO's Board of Directors. Previously, I was involved with Citizens for a Loring Park Community (CLPC) as a Board Member and I was 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 several ways. I am always available to neighborhoods by email and the phone. Additionally, I would enjoy having the opportunity to provide occasional updates on the NRP at neighborhood meetings, as opportunities arise.
This year, if there is interest, I would like to explore the possibility of establishing an NRP email discussion list with neighborhoods.
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
I want to continue to promote the involvement of underrepresented groups in the NRP. I think there is much more to be gained from broader participation in the NRP.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
I am interested in working on community development efforts 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 Policy Board because I will bring a new and fresh approach to 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 Organization
- Stevens Square Center for the Arts
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- American Planning Association
- Civic Alliance to Rebuild Lower Manhattan