NRP Policy Board Candidates at a Glance

Jeffrey L. Strand

Occupation: Public Records Supervisor
Address: 5100 Thomas Ave. N. (55430)
Neighborhood of Residence: Shingle Creek
Years in Neighborhood: 15 years
Years in Minneapolis: 26 years
Phone: 612-588-4817

  1. How have your life experiences prepared you to be a neighborhood representative?
    A decade-plus volunteerism as neighborhood activist and board member provided opportunities to formulate and articulate neighborhood goals. I have interacted with diverse groups and creatively solved problems.

    Ten-year service on CLIC, a committee of 33 appointed from all city wards, has for me reinforced the importance of listening to all views. Prior Policy Board service convinced me that Neighborhood representatives must work together to be effective. Willingness to compromise without sacrificing key principles is required for mutual success. I will show up for meetings to voice concerns and ask tough questions.

    I am fortunate in my career to have collaborated with excellent colleagues and officials to serve the taxpayers of Hennepin County. I have served diverse clients and participated in a range of projects from restoration and redevelopment of contaminated tax-forfeit lands to moving special legislation for sale of lands bordering public waters to developing a finance mechanism for persons from interest-averse cultures to facilitating a model for community-based adult home foster care.

  2. What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the NRP?
    Neighborhood-based planning by Minneapolis' citizens through NRP is invaluable. Shingle Creek neighborhood residents and local government working together achieved huge successes: Humboldt Greenway; regional pond reclamation; visioning for Humboldt Industrial Park; saving Shingle Creek Elementary; 8:1 leveraging of funds in the revolving home loan program. This is NRP's strength in action.

    NRP's weakness is the failure of municipal organizations and officials to embrace the "bottom-up- and grass-roots" planning arising from the program and to better integrate it into municipal processes. I look forward to results of research underway to study past NRP citizen involvement. We must find creative methods to infuse new energy into the longtime participants and to engage new Americans in the NRP to counteract social disorganization in our city.

  3. How have you participated in your neighborhood organization and its NRP process?
    I was among the founders who worked under the leadership of Craig Cooper to form the Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association (SCNA) in 1992. I have been elected to serve on the SCNA board of directors 1992-2004 and elected by the board to serve as association president since 1997.

    Through SCNA and its collaborations with other neighborhoods in Camden and the City I participated in the following projects and organization:
    • Camden Alliance of Neighborhoods (CAN!)
    • Community Board of Directors for CommonBond Communities' Shingle Creek Commons 75-unit senior housing facility
    • Humboldt Industrial Park planning, visioning and greening process
    • Neighbors for Neighborhoods, working with Debbie Evans and others
    • Penn Lowry Lyndale Implementation Council
    • Humboldt Greenway Citizen Advisory Committee
    • Mississippi Corridor Neighborhoods Coalition
    • ad hoc task force against closing Shingle Creek Elementary

    I represented the neighborhood's interests at public meetings and at the City Council, the Park Board, the School Board, and a committee of the Minnesota Legislature. Neighborhood activism is good citizenship—like voting, paying one's taxes, tending to one's home, and caring about community stewardship.

  4. How do you plan to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods you would represent if elected?
    I pledge to remain accessible to constituents about their concerns and issues. I commit to work with other neighborhood representatives to solicit information from neighborhood organizations citywide.

    I pledge to build on relationships with other like-minded neighborhood activists in solidarity with "Neighbors for Neighborhoods" who fought to preserve the NRP when policy-makers debated long-term structural and funding issues around formation of CPED and Focus Minneapolis.

    Last Year I stated Policy Board meetings rarely attract members of the public, perhaps because the meeting time and location is not conducive for public attendance. President Olson has offered to make Park Board facilities available for meetings. I was among those who suggested that neighborhood organizations and citizens could be better informed in advance of Policy Board meetings by web site publishing the agenda and by web site publishing the meeting minutes in a timely manner.

    Last year I suggested "As the technology and funding permits, the Policy Board meetings may be televised on MTN or web cast to reach a wider audience." In 2004, a prominent city official on the Policy Board suggested this issue be studied for cost.

    I support using "NRP Link" as an excellent method to disseminate program and Policy Board information to all neighborhood residents.

  5. Name one thing you would like to work on if elected.
    In 2002, I pushed for updating and making changes to the Policy Board bylaws. It appears those changes will FINALLY be adopted this year. I am disappointed that for legal reasons the neighborhood seats could not be increased from 4 to 5 to equal the community interests. I served on the bylaws committee and support the September 2004 final draft recommendations.

    If elected for 2005, I will work hard to ensure that NRP continues to receive appropriate and adequate funding and support for the 2005-2009 period. Adoption of the Lane Amendment secured the city's continued financial commitment to the program, but at a price. I intend to articulate to city officials that they need to support and engage the NRP as the city evaluates and considers reforms for its citizen participation processes.

    Policy Board neighborhood representatives must continue to be vigilant as officials or special interests seek to carve out funding from Reserve Funds versus funding priorities derived from specific neighborhood action plans.

  6. Why are you running for a neighborhood representative seat on the Policy Board?
    I am running for the Policy Board in order to make a difference. If elected to serve on the Policy Board, I will devote the time and energy to attend the board briefings and regular meetings. I will work with elected officials, community interest and neighborhood representatives to achieve constructive compromise in areas of NRP governance keeping in mind the best interest of our city and its residents.

    The Policy Board lacks a committee structure. From time-to-time this results in matters being debated at length without prior dialogue and achieving no constructive outcome. I think the Policy Board should consider if its regular meetings could be more efficient if it utilizes its existing authority to establish standing committees, or restructure the Implementation Committee or Management Review Team.

    The NRP needs to lead the way as citizen participation in Minneapolis is improved or redesigned. It is shameful for city officials to undertake a review of citizen participation without having constructively engaged the NRP Policy Board in dialogue. The Policy Board brings together leaders from the local jurisdictions serving the citizens as well as representatives of neighborhood, foundation and other communities of interest—it must lead the way in this process.

    I practice a balanced approach to family, work life and community service. While I'm not able or willing to attend a meeting every weeknight, I promise to serve diligently if elected and to attend Policy Board meetings to represent the interests of my fellow Protection neighborhood constituents to the best of my abilities.

  7. Please list any community-based organizations with which you are currently involved.
    • Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association, Board Chair
    • Shingle Creek Commons Senior Housing Facility Community Board
    • Camden Alliance of Neighborhoods (CAN!)
    • Neighbors for Neighborhoods

  8. Please list all current paid and unpaid affiliations.
    • Employer: Hennepin County Taxpayer Services Department

      • Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association
      • Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee
      • Minneapolis Water Works' Citizen Advisory Committee
      • Public Works Storm Water Utility Citizens Advisory Committee
      • Senate District 58 DFL Party, Director
      • Served on Mayor's Advisory Committee on Police Chief Selection
      • Minneapolis-Moline Collectors, Inc, club member
      • Hart-Parr Oliver Collector's Association, club member #10007821
      • Northland Case Collectors Organization, club member
      • State Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings, SD, member
      • Minnesota's Machinery Museum, Hanley Falls, MN, member
      • Minnesota Public Radio, member
      • Minnesota Historical Society, household member
      • Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, donor