District 12’s annual election will be held Oct. 29

Residents of St. Anthony Park age 16 and older can vote for the District 12 Board of Directors on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Voting will take place at Speedy Market, 2310 Como Ave., and Hampden Park Co-op, 928 Raymond Ave., from 4 to 8 p.m.

There are eight openings on the board, five in the south part of the neighborhood and three in the north.

Meet the candidates

North St. Anthony Park

Mimi Jennings

“I’ve lived here since 1974. A public school advocate, I was secretary for a [St. Paul Public Schools] district school community partnership, taught French at Central High School, chaired our department and our multicultural committee for eight years each, earned Fulbright Exchange and NEH Africa travel grants, taught numerous St. Anthony Park students, mentored beginning teachers and raised two daughters.

“St. Anthony Park has been an ideal place for my husband, Len, and me to share a home. Currently I work with the district council’s Energy Resilience Group—confronting climate change while building community—as school liaison. Joining the council would permit me to continue and expand this vital work.”

Wanjiru Mugo

“I am impressed with St. Paul’s system of community governance through the district councils and I would like to participate more meaningfully in my community by serving on the St. Anthony Park Community Council. The works of Grace Lee Boggs have greatly influenced my re-imagining the neighborhood as a ‘beloved community’ and my desire to work for its well being.

“I am particularly interested in engaging the participation of immigrants in our neighborhood and moving toward zero waste. To the position I will bring creativity, energy and cooperation.”

Michael Russelle

“We have grown to love this community since moving here with our small family 30 years ago. I served on the council and Environment Committee in the 1990s and currently volunteer on the Environment Committee, the Energy Resilience Group and action groups focused on improving housing options, developing community-supported solar electricity and increasing local food production.

“It’s not that I like meetings, but I do like to get things done. My main priority is to help us mitigate and adapt to global climate change. I would be happy to serve on the full council.”

South St. Anthony Park

Kevin Caufield

“I have lived in the neighborhood for over five years and want to get more involved with what’s happening to the neighborhood, instead of just sitting back and watching. I bring a knowledge of the St. Paul area after living here for over 30 years.

“I am a very fair and honest person, and I get along with others. I feel my strength for this board is that I know many people in this area, and I feel I could bring people together.”

Brad Engelmann

“The neighborhood has made a positive impression on me. This is an opportunity to be connected to the community. Areas of importance to me are community involvement, civic activities, our neighborhood schools and community education, transportation infrastructure, and parks and green spaces.

“I believe I can have a positive impact on our local governing process. I studied accounting at Gustavus [Adolphus College] and public affairs at the University of Minnesota. I have worked at the U as an accountant since 2003.”

Christina Morrison

“I am a senior planner with Metro Transit, and have lived in the south St. Anthony neighborhood for seven years. As a former St. Paul city planner, I have had the opportunity to work closely with businesses and neighbors on many aspects of Central Corridor design and construction. I bring knowledge of local bicycle and pedestrian issues, transit-oriented development, parking management and regional transportation policy. I am passionate about creating inclusive, meaningful participation and hope to be able to serve my neighborhood and city. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, making jewelry and drinking lots of tea.”

JoAnne Makela “A council member since 2009, I have learned much about my neighborhood through serving. I live in south St. Anthony Park and know first-hand the impact of the new light rail on residents as well as businesses. This impact inspired my recent master’s thesis on art and commerce in St. Anthony Park. “I am energized by the possibilities transit-oriented development will bring to this area. Working together with residents, business and city government, I have experience in providing a voice for neighborhood concerns as well as championing neighborhood endeavors. As an arts and community-involvement advocate, I have high expectations for the future of this vibrant area.”

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