Following a close election with a wealth of well-qualified candidates, Hamline Midway Coalition is happy to welcome three new neighbors to the HMC Board of Directors. Congratulations to Harriet Mednick, Lindsay VanPatten and Scott Kruger who were each chosen by their neighbors to represent their interests on the HMC Board. They will each serve for one three-year term.
With eight candidates running for three open seats, each of the three neighborhood sub-districts saw competitive races and neighbors stepped up and came out to cast their votes in a big way.
Thanks to all who came out to one of the four voting opportunities and took an interest in the future of their neighborhood. The level of engagement around this election far exceeded what we have seen in past years and it is truly inspiring to see neighbors take an active interest in their community in this way.
Just because the election is over doesn’t mean it’s time to sit idly by. A whole host of new issues, challenges and opportunities will continue to present themselves as the neighborhood continues to develop and change in significant and exciting ways.
If you’re interested in getting more involved with your community, let us know and we’ll help you find the best way to put your energy to use. Only by working together can we ensure a prosperous future for all in Hamline Midway.
Please join us in welcoming these three new neighbors to the HMC Board:
A Hamline Midway resident for more than 20 years, this will be Harriet Mednick’s second round as a board member. She served for two terms in the early 1990s, and has been deeply involved in many aspects of the neighborhood since.
“I’m older now and I didn’t think there was any older people on the board now. As the population (of the neighborhood) was changing I thought there should be a voice,” Mednick said.
As a founding member of Hamline Midway Elders, Mednick has worked hard to ensure Hamline Midway seniors have access to housing and services they need to stay in the neighborhood.
In addition to advocating for the interests of Hamline Midway’s senior population, Mednick says she would also like to see the expansion of low-interest and forgivable home improvement loan programs like those offered through Community Neighborhood Housing Services.
Mednick brings a wealth of community and nonprofit experience to the board. She is also teaching several classes at the Hamline Midway Library this fall including one on Urban Spices and the occasionally surprising history, economics, and even politics sometimes associated with them. She will also lead a class on the medicinal benefits of chocolate and another on the history and evolution of Thanksgiving traditions.
Mednick will be representing sub-district A, which covers the section of the neighborhood from Transfer Rd. to Snelling Ave.
Lindsay VanPatten moved into her home in Hamline Midway in 2010 and her appreciation for the community that thrives here has continued to grow since. Sensing a breath of change and growth on the breeze in the neighborhood, she says she wants to play a positive role in the community during this important time.
“We have a lot of things going on. I feel like we’re on the brink of some really great and positive changes and I just wanted to be a part of that and help make sure our community is able to grow in a positive direction,” VanPatten says.
As Education and Administrative Assistant for the Capitol Region Watershed District, VanPatten brings unique expertise in environmental issues to the Board of Directors. She says she is particularly interested in finding ways to help maintain a healthy natural environment and fostering creative skills in the neighborhood.
“Environment and arts are some of the most important things for me, personally,” VanPatten says. “I think we have a lot of wonderful assets we should make sure are fostered and preserved.”
VanPatten says one of her favorite things about the Hamline Midway neighborhood is that neighbors are friendly and active when it comes to improving the community. “We have a lot of go-getters and innovators…who are really making their own path,” she says.
More recently, VanPatten says she has become aware of issues surrounding safety in the community and says she would like to become more involved in ways to continue making the neighborhood safer—something, she notes, can go hand-in-hand with other arts and environmental initiatives.
“Part of it is a safe community develops when it’s apparent that there are people who care for it around and there is investment in it,” she says.
VanPatten will represent sub-district B, which includes the portion of the neighborhood between Snelling Ave. and Hamline Ave.
Scott Kruger originally moved to Hamline Midway in February, 2012, due to the family-friendly appearance of the neighborhood. Him and his wife were attracted to the smiling neighbors they often saw out and about, strolling the sidewalks, and enjoying the community, during their initial visits, he says.
As an HMC Board Member, he is interested in improving on that sentiment and what is already here by listening to the concerns of his neighbors and finding ways that the community can address them.
Kruger is in his final year semester of law school at William Mitchell College of Law and has been working in a civil litigation law firm for more than year. He says through his studies he has gained valuable experience in zoning and land-use law that will be useful in addressing issues around development and zoning that often come before the board.
He is eager to find more ways for neighbors to connect with one another and to help usher in new businesses and developments that bring vitality and interest to the neighborhood.
“I’m interested in seeing more businesses that are locally-owned and friendly to the neighborhood,” Kruger says. “Burning Brothers just moved in and that’s awesome—things like that that draw people’s interest and bring people here or keep them here.”
Crime and safety is another issue Kruger says seems to be on a lot of people’s minds lately, and he hopes to be able to work with neighbors to begin addressing those concerns.
Kruger will represent sub-district C, which includes the area of the neighborhood between Hamline Ave. and Lexington Ave.