I’m proud of the work I’ve done for our Parks, but there is so much work left to do. Moving forward, these are the issues that we need to prioritize.
Park Programming That Meets the Diverse Needs of Minneapolis– Our city is very different than it was even just a few years ago. We have more elderly in our community and new, vibrant communities that enrich our city. I’ll continue to invest in new park programming that engage new communities and provide recreational opportunities for everyone in Minneapolis. I’m focusing on building a workforce reflective of our city, community gardens, free swimming lessons and culturally specific programming.
Environmental Sustainability– When I first started on the Park Board, recycling and sustainable practices were a novelty in parks and events. I’ve helped put together a plan to ensure all events in Minneapolis Parks will be required to recycle by 2014. Moving forward, I’ll push for even more energy efficiency improvements in our rec centers, buildings, and work to improve fleet efficiency
Keep Rec Centers Open– Over the next 2-3 years, the Park Board will be having serious conversations about the role of rec centers in our community. Growing up in our rec centers, I know how important they are to every neighborhood and I will fight to keep every rec center open.
Hold the Line on Privatization– More and more often, private businesses influence park activities. Some partnerships are effective, others chip away at the independence of the Park Board. I will continue to work to make sure that partnerships the Park Board enters into are always in your best interest.
Defend Against Aquatic Invasive Species– Several years ago, inaction allowed our chain of lakes to be overrun by milfoil. I hope to continue the work I’ve spearheaded to defend the lakes against zebra mussels and other aquatic invasives.
Increase Philanthropic Giving and Volunteerism– Since being on the Park Board, I’ve increased community service in our parks by nearly 20,000 hours and have established a framework for a Minneapolis Conservation Corps. I’ve also worked on partnerships with local businesses to help fundraise for youth programs in our parks. Moving forward, you’ll see more opportunities to volunteer for our parks and support them financially.