Q: Is it true that you named your daughter after the lake?

A: It’s true! I tell her when she complains that she’s lucky her name’s not ‘Of The Isles’ or ‘Mka Ska’ because those are name-worthy lakes too.

Q: Which Minneapolis park is your favorite?

A: That would be like choosing a favorite child! (don’t get any ideas, Harriet) But seriously, some of my faves are Fuller, Loring, Powderhorn, Bryant Square but really all of them.

Q: Where do you stand on the issue of unhoused people camping in the parks?

A: Elected to the Park Board or not, I will continue to add my voice to the call for dramatic changes in the way we support people experiencing homelessness. And if elected I will fight to ensure that care of the houseless population in this city is not a political hot potato, landing in the hands of the group least equipped to handle it: the Park Board. The Minneapolis Park Board is designed to oversee parkland and recreation programs; it fundamentally lacks the training and bandwidth to support these terribly complex situations. The true cause of this crisis is the failure of city, county, and state departments that are tasked with doing the hard work of helping houseless people. I believe in something called “the Commons;” the idea that publicly held systems, lands, and values are GOOD. I believe in public health care and public housing, two things that would work wonders to improve the lives of the unhoused. It is frustrating to have to even talk about this during a campaign that should be celebrating public parks.

Q: What do you see as the proper relationship between the Board and the Superintendent and Staff?

A: In any organization a wayward governing board can create turmoil resulting in squandered staff time and even misspent funds. The role of the Board is to develop policies and govern the use of parks. The Superintendent is the executive with responsibility for the leadership and direction of the staff. The staff are the managers, subject matter experts and dedicated workers who carry out the day-to-day work of the Park Board. The Board should always work through the Superintendent. If elected Commissioner, I will respect this structure and work within it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the best approach to public safety in our city? 

Whether or not I am elected to the Park Board, I will remain steadfast in my commitment to the civil rights of all Minneapolis citizens. The Park Board voted in June 2020 to limit its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, which does some good as a sort of sanction of the MPD. In addition to its own sworn officers, the Park Board employs Park Patrol Agents. These are non-sworn, unarmed staff that have a presence in the parks to promote safety and in some cases, enforce laws, rules and the like. I need to learn more about how the Park Patrol Agent program works in practice but this seems like a really good idea that supports a broader vision for addressing public safety.