NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance
George D. Jelatis
Occupation: Information Security Architect
Address: 3015 E. Minnehaha Pkwy. (55417)
Neighborhood of Residence: Keewaydin
Years in Neighborhood: 22 years
Years in Minneapolis: 31 years
- How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
My participation in our neighborhood association has taught me the importance of respect and patience in dealing with community issues. My career as an information systems developer, researcher and consultant has taught me to listen well and to value collaboration. Living most of my life in cities here and abroad, and visiting cities all over the world, has given me a deep appreciation of the vital role cities play in human commerce, culture and civilization. I have followed NRP issues closely, especially governance and funding, at both city and state levels and have done my best to influence the outcomes.
- What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
NRP's greatest strength is that it has mobilized and involved city residents in shaping and improving Minneapolis, by giving them local decision making power and the funding to make local investments that improve the quality of life in the city.
NRP has also, through volunteer effort and "leveraged" funding, provided impressive results for the relatively small amount of money it has spent.
NRP's greatest weaknesses are the uncertainty of its long-term funding, and that it has not documented and communicated its successes as effectively as it could have.
- How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
My neighborhood volunteer activities began in 1994 when I helped draft the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) NRP participation agreement. As a member of the NRP Steering Committee I helped develop NENA's NRP First Step, Full Plan and budget. I have served as a Board member since 1996 and have been elected Board Chair every year since 1997.
- How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
I plan to continue my participation in NENA, which is comprised of 4 Revitalization neighborhoods, and to continue my participation in city-wide neighborhood meetings and activities. I will also make a point of speaking with as many of the board members and staff representing the 37 Revitalization neighborhoods as I can during my Policy Board tenure.
- Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
I would most like to help ensure continuation of neighborhood organization based community improvement projects. This will likely require the development of new funding sources and methods, to complement the current revenue sources. My goals would include working with the City of Minneapolis and the State Legislature to ensure a basic, foundation level of public support for NRP, as well as working with NRP and the neighborhood associations to identify new sources of funding for neighborhood programs.
- Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
Nine years of neighborhood and NRP volunteer activity have given me a deep understanding of the needs and sentiments of the residents of Minneapolis neighborhoods. This volunteer work has convinced me that attractive, successful cities depend upon citizen participation, and that NRP is an effective way of empowering residents and involving them in improving their city. I believe I can help the Policy Board to focus on the issues that challenge both neighborhoods and the city, and to reach consensus with the City Council and the Legislature on resolutions to those issues.
- Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (unpaid volunteer, Board Chair)
- Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
- Guidant Corporation (employee, Information Security Architect)
- University of St. Thomas (paid, seminar lecturer)
- Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (unpaid volunteer, Board Chair)
- several professional associations (unpaid)