In December 2019, the Logan Park Neighborhood Association board completed a strategic plan, with the assistance of Asakura Robinson Urban Planning Firm. The strategic plan outlined our current and future opportunities, and included detailed recommendations.
Current opportunities: Make improvements to the structure of the organization
and develop processes supportive of that structure. Based on conversations with the board, four key focus areas for the organization have clear support. The organization should consider developing an internal structure of subcommittees that supports the focus areas. By structuring this way, different people with different skill-sets can contribute to the overall effectiveness of the Board. Collaboration between focus areas must also be undertaken. The four areas (and subcommittees) are as follows:
Development Liaisons This subcommittee would speak for the community with relationship to development issues, and coordinate with the community and developers to create consensus around development issues, utilizing the neighborhood’s small area plan as a basis for decision making and achieving the community’s goals.
Placemaking This subcommittee would plan, create and execute placemaking, art and other physical projects. Wherever possible, this team would seek to coordinate placemaking projects, both temporary and permanent, with redevelopment or infrastructure projects or others as they arise. The group should be prepared to ask developers and others to leverage funds to encourage projects that build the community’s character and provide quality of life benefits to residents.
Advocacy and Policy In the same way that the development liaison group is focused on communications between the community and developers, the advocacy and policy group would focus on communications between the community and the city. For example, if the DL committee learns from community outreach that a specific use
is desirable or not for the community, the AP committee would focus on advocacy for that use to be removed from the community’s zoning. The AP committee would also be responsible for staffing and contributing to City/ County projects such as Broadway Avenue redesign or Quincy Street redesign, and for building coalitions and relationships with adjacent neighborhoods. This committee should also work to incorporate consistent feedback from the community into the organization’s mission, vision and values.
Community Outreach This subcommittee would work to build relationships between the organization and the community and to facilitate connections between neighbors. Development of events, communications, such as the newsletter or emails would fall under this subcommittee’s portfolio. This subcommittee could also be a focal point for administrative and governance issues, including recruitment of new board or committee members
Recommendation One: Bring the organization’s perspective to discussions with the
community. When a development is proposed, use the DL subcommittee to develop an LPNA response prior to discussion with the broader community. The community’s small area plan should be the basis for a response. Once this is developed, present the proposed response to the community along with the rationale for that response. Work with the community to build consensus, editing the response based on community feedback. Utilize that feedback in future responses. Meet with developers to convey the response from the community and work to ensure it is incorporated into development projects.
Recommendation Two: Speak with a unified voice.
In utilizing this process, do not allow disagreements in the Board to become public disagreements. Work to ensure that everyone on the Board understands why decisions have been made and that everyone feels heard in decision making.
Once those decisions have been made, speak with a unified voice.
Recommendation Three: Communicate what you are doing.
Continue to communicate about the mission, vision, and functions of the organization in positive terms. Develop a media strategy and clear messaging on key issues, as well as designating certain members of the Board to make public comments on items of interest. Be clear on your achievements and report these back to the community in public
meetings. One of the greatest opportunities for recruiting future board members is demonstrating how effective the organization is at achieving community goals
Future Opportunities: Expand what the organization is doing and meet the City’s
equity and inclusion goals. As the framework for place based organizations shifts within the City of Minneapolis, the organization can begin steps towards diversity and inclusion goals. This will likely lead the organization to broaden its activities as new funding or
opportunities emerge. It is important to note that the accomplishment of these goals should be pursued not just because of changing City goals, but because Logan Park is a diverse, welcoming neighborhood and representation should reflect the community.
Recommendation 4: Proactively address board development.
The Board will need to diversify significantly to address the City’s equity and inclusion goals, and to better serve the neighborhood itself. Set a goal of achieving racial, gender and tenure equity by 202X. The 2010 demographics of the community are as follows:
• 66.3% White, 19% Latinx, 10% Black and African-American, .3% Asian, 5% Other/More than One
• 28% Owner, 72% Renter
Conduct a survey of current board members to ascertain your current composition and prepare a plan to reach your goals. Consider conducting a full neighborhood survey to gauge perceptions of the community organization that can be cross-referenced to race/ethnicity, gender, and renter/owner status, and ask about community preference for your organizational priorities. Listen actively and be prepared to apologize for historic actions that may have disincentivized participation from minority groups. Consider changes to the organizational mission, vision and values based on a diverse
feedback. Reach out proactively to minority institutions in the community, including the Holland Hi rise and the Asamblea Apostolica de la Fe in Christo Jesus. Consider asking each board member to recruit 2 to 4 additional members from the community to serve on committees. Related to this effort may be an enhanced effort through the Community Outreach Subcommittee to welcome new community members to the neighborhood. Every new resident is a potential board member or neighborhood volunteer.
Recommendation 5: Proactively address subareas of the neighborhood that are
experiencing change. When multiple developments are slated for a single street or small area of the neighborhood it is important to consider
their collective impacts, both negative and positive. Therefore, If multiple developments are likely forthcoming, consider initiating a planning process to assess the community’s desires with regards to infrastructure, parking, open space, public
art and other public realm issues, Use the DL Subcommittee to work with developers to leverage improvements for greater impact.
Recommendation 6: Work with other neighborhoods.
Explore the merger of the neighborhood organization with other near nordeast neighborhood organizations with a goal of combining budgets and leveraging professional full time staff for planning, economic development, community organizing
and other community needs.