Why I’m Running

Simply put, I love our community and its extraordinary parks.

I am running because I want to advance the Park Board’s mission to permanently preserve, protect, maintain, improve and enhance Minneapolis’ natural resources, parkland and recreational opportunities for current and future generations.

As your commissioner representing Southwest Minneapolis, I will listen first, respond always, and dedicate myself to communicating regularly with residents. I am committed to helping the Park Board become a more collaborative, strategic and visionary body that puts the current and future residents of Minneapolis first.

Our parks are the hallmark of our city. I will work, every day, to deliver a system of parks and trails that is well maintained, active, safe, environmentally responsible and healthy for all.

My Priorities

Environment

The pandemic has shown us how essential our parks — and time in nature — are to our mental and physical health. As one of the top three park systems in the country, the MPRB must play a leading role in urban climate resiliency. With a greater commitment to expanding the tree canopy, stormwater management, increasing native landscaping and reducing the park system’s carbon footprint, we must lead the metro area into a more sustainable future.

To meet the needs of our growing city, Minneapolis needs more green space. The City of Minneapolis seeks to increase its population significantly over the next 18 years. With this increased density, we will see more pavement, taller residential buildings and less naturally occurring green space. To both attract and accommodate more families, our system of parks must grow through strategic land acquisition.

Equity

I believe in the healing power of parks. The Park Board can lead efforts to eliminate racial and economic disparities in Minneapolis through the intentional distribution of exceptional parks and recreation programs across the city. While representing the needs of the 6th district of Southwest Minneapolis, I will also dedicate myself to ensuring equitable access to clean, safe, well maintained parks and programs in every Minneapolis neighborhood.

Empowering communities to imagine the future of their parks is at the core of my engagement philosophy. I will listen intentionally to community voices, support local neighborhood hiring, and advocate for high quality training for program staff to build successful recreation programs. I support the use of data and analysis to gauge progress on equity, with equal attention paid to investments, engagement as well as outcomes.

Youth

Every child deserves safe outdoor spaces to run, explore, climb, plant, learn, play, connect and thrive. We need to work harder to get kids outdoors and off screens, moving their bodies and building life skills. The Park Board is positioned to make this happen. Kids engaged in organized sports, adventure programs, nature-based education and other supervised outdoor activities are more likely to flourish.

As the mom of two kids – now in their 20s – I understand how important great programming and social communities outside of school can be for a child’s healthy development. Youth without age-appropriate opportunities are often tempted into activities that are harmful to themselves and others. That’s why I advocated for a permanent increase in recreation funding in this Star Tribune editorial.

I will work to improve and support Park Board programming for kids and families – including career readiness programs – and activate the city’s 49 recreation centers as community hubs. Collaboration with schools, non-profit organizations and others serving youth are critically important to me.

My Commitment to You

  • I will evaluate every decision based on its relevance to the Park Board’s mission.
  • I will seek input and listen well. This is your park system and should reflect your needs and hopes. I fully understand the need to balance competing interests and am committed to hearing all perspectives.
  • I will put the residents of Minneapolis first.
  • I will hear and respect the Park Board’s professional staff and support the superintendent’s success, while also challenging the status quo.
  • I will build collaborative relationships with my fellow commissioners to advance the mission and serve you with honesty and a commitment to excellence.
  • I will aggressively advocate for a greater share of state funding to maintain and operate the city’s regional parks—Chain of Lakes, Minnehaha Parkway, Theodore Wirth and others—which are enjoyed by people throughout the region and state.
  • I will forge mutually beneficial partnerships with state, local, and nonprofit agencies so that we can effectively meet the needs of those we all serve.

I want to hear from you!

How can our city’s parks and recreation programs help create a stronger sense of community, improve your health, and connect you and your family to the outdoors?