How long have you lived in St. Paul? I grew up here in St. Paul, and just recently moved back after an extended period of living on the East Coast.
How long have you lived in the Summit-University neighborhood? I spent the first 19 years of my life growing up in the Summit-University neighborhood, and moved back this summer.
How have you been involved in community service in the past? In high school, I was an active volunteer at the Dorothy Day Center and with Habitat for Humanity, and I ran a student-led community service group at my school. Since graduating from college, I have worked in affordable housing, was a community organizer, and am currently a high-school teacher.
Please tell us why you are running for the SUPC Board: I grew up in the Summit-University neighborhood, and despite living away from the area for an extended period of time, I was incredibly excited to move back to my old neighborhood. It's been amazing to see how the area has changed, particularly with the influx of new small-businesses, but also how it has been able to keep its unique character and community. I love this neighborhood, and I want it to be a place where businesses reflect the diversity of the area, a place where everyone can feel safe and at home, a place where housing can be affordable to all, and a place where neighbors work together to make it a better place. I am running because I am excited to be an active member of our neighborhood, and because I want to make sure that the needs of the community are continually addressed through civic engagement. It is this desire to be part of community-led initiatives that leads me to run for the Summit-University Planning Council.
Please tell us a little bit about how you would contribute to the SUPC board: A neighborhood is as strong as its people. While I hope to bring experience and history to the board, I know how important it is to hear as many voices as possible. As a community organizer, I spent hours listening the interests and concerns of different individuals, and worked to bring the needs of the community to those in power. I care deeply about the availability of quality, affordable housing, locally owned businesses and safe streets, and I believe government has the ability to help, not hinder, the positive development of a community. I would work to make these passions as much a reality as possible. But in order to do that, there needs to be collaboration, and I believe I would help foster that spirit of working together between neighborhood, business and government. Most importantly though, I would act as a representative of our neighborhood. In order for a community to thrive, the interests of its people need to be heard, and I believe as a board member, I would help to elevate the voices of our community members, so that decisions that affect us aren't made without us.