I currently serve as Secretary on the SECIA Executive Committee, where I assist with written communications, website, and meeting minutes. I was inspired to join the SECIA board in 2016 when a board member I knew from Fairshare farm told me about the opportunity and encouraged me to run. Helping my community on a local level seemed like one of the best things I could do after a tumultuous election season that left us in a mire of uncertainty.
After serving on the board for two years, I graduated with my doctorate in Biomedical Engineering in 2018 and briefly left the board to travel abroad and pursue work. After rejoining SECIA and finding work in the area, I have been more committed than ever to help make the Como neighborhood the best it can be. Whether or not I’m elected, I intend to be active within the organization and help us reimagine SECIA within the city’s Neighborhoods 2020 plan and navigate this era of continuous challenges.
My main interest in serving on the Board is the possibility of working on outreach programs, such as entertainment and educational opportunities, for the youth in the neighborhood. I’ve been a teacher at the Loft Writing Center in Downtown Minneapolis for the past 20 years, with residencies at Marcy Open School and Parnassus Academy, and I feel it’s important to create a dynamic setting for kids to grow up in. It’s difficult to plan such opportunities during a pandemic, but two summers ago, I wrote grants for and helped organize a half-dozen events in Van Cleve Park for families, including a hands-on family Science Night, a bald eagle visit from the Raptor Center, a puppet show, and several writing classes led by Loft teachers—I feel that with some ingenuity, we can come up with some wonderful programming even if conventions like social distancing and mask wearing are still required next summer.
I am a past board chair and board member of Southeast Seniors, a service organization that helps seniors in Southeast Minneapolis live safely in their homes a little longer than they might without assistance, and I am still active in that organization. I think SECIA and Southeast Seniors would both benefit from some overlap in their governing structures. They share a lot in their purposes. So I would like to perform that function. I have lived in Southeast Como continuously since 1977, first as a tenant and then as a homeowner and landlord ( I own a duplex) and I relish living here. Como has always had a large number of renters, mostly students. I was one. I think it will be a better neighborhood for everyone if it retains a substantial population of permanent residents. Their numbers are diminishing. As for areas of expertise, I was a lawyer until I retired. A large part of my career was as a prosecutor of white collar crime, business and consumer frauds and environmental crimes.