Grid 2 Ballot

Susan Duffy – Grid 2

What is your connection to the Highland Park neighborhood? I moved to highland 15 years ago and have raised my 3 children here. I grew up in a nearby neighborhood, but came to Highland frequently for family fun, like swimming in the Highland Park Pool all summer long. I attended high school in Highland Park, and as an adult I strongly gravitated toward its green space and the way neighbors are able to have eyes on the community. When I moved here to raise my children, I was truly surprised and amazed at how safe it felt. I felt completely at home and welcomed by my neighbors, with a level of peace and security in my neighborhood and in my community I had never felt before. It eventually inspired me to join the Board of the Highland District Council and give back to this place that has given my family such a welcoming, safe and beautiful place to live.
What makes the Highland District Council mission meaningful to you? My neighbor’s father built their home back when Highland was being developed in the 1930s. At the time he was concerned that they were moving too far out of town! I love that Highland Park still retains that wonderful small town feel in the big city, that I always felt when I was growing up. The Highland Park I experienced in my childhood and in high school was a beautiful oasis within St. Paul, sharing its great resources, and drawing my family, among a diverse cross section of the City, to Highland Park. As a resident, I truly value my experience working for and with this vital community within the larger community. I love to engage with and help foster the collaborative, inclusive, friendly, respectful atmosphere of the district and the District Council.
What do you see as the greatest opportunities for our community? As a mother, it is important to show and lead by example when there are opportunities to volunteer locally. The changes and policies that are created today will impact our children’s futures. We have an opportunity to share the value of community involvement. We are helping the next generation feel valued, stay engaged, and to safeguard this wonderful community we share, passing on its resources for future generations. As a neighbor, I find great joy in helping neighbors develop community conversations, and helping to mediate conflict through such neighborly conversation. As a businesswoman, I have successfully envisioned and carried out a business platform for decades. We have a great opportunity as well as a responsibility to help educate and promote sustainability within our community. I envision a future for Highland Park, one which protects our indispensable green space, our environment and our economic sustainability as well. As a person who has struggled with a life altering disability, I also want us to take every opportunity for our community members to show their unique and varied abilities, to feel included, to have occasion to contribute, and to shine.
What do you see as the primary challenges for our community? With the current downswing in our economy we are going to encounter some of our biggest and possibly harshest challenges. How do we promote growth while balancing the needs of the existing community in this time of crisis. A majority of our neighbors will face never-before-imagined health and financial woes. In addition, during this unprecedented scale of global pandemic, are we willing to reflect on our past, look outside the box, and rethink some choices that have already been made? Are our leaders willing to let go of certain ideologies in this time so that we can adequately address the phases and requirements of this and future pandemics? What innovative ideas and realities do we need to revisit, such as light industry, so that we can be sustainable in the long term?
What strengths would you bring to the Highland District Council? Growing up in Saint Paul public schools in special education, spending years among a diverse group of peers, gave me insight into classmates that had very different upbringings from my own. I frequently encounter people who apply only theories or data-driven principles to community planning and management. But I know from personal experience that when you live it, when you are immersed in the diversity of experiences, voices and ideas of your community, you learn to listen and to really hear what people are saying. I will speak up for those that are trying to be heard, and will apply the skills I have learned as a businesswoman, bringing my passion for all of Highland to my work on behalf of its District Council.


Tim Morehead – Grid 2 

What is your connection to the Highland Park neighborhood? I have lived in Highland Park of over 23 years, which included raising my family. I frequent many of the businesses/agencies in Highland Park which adds to my connection and enjoyment of the neighborhood. My involvement in the community through volunteering and attending events has enhanced my interaction with my neighbors to build better relationships.
What makes the Highland District Council mission meaningful to you? The key parts of the mission statement are to engage and connect with our neighbors. It has been proven many times that as we connect and build relationships. We make the neighborhood stronger because we find we have more in common. The fact that the mission statement defines neighbors as anyone who: lives, works, learns and plays in Highland Park is very inclusive with the goal of making Highland Park a better community.
What do you see as the greatest opportunities for our community? We have a vibrant and engaged community that works for the betterment of that community. We have a great mix of assets in our community: education, parks, a mix of cultures, small businesses, recreational options, varied styles of housing, close access the arts, nature and many more, which provides a very well rounded experience for almost anyone in Highland. Our greatest opportunity is that we keep this rich balance of assets and improve on them.
What do you see as the primary challenges for our community? I see the challenges as the exact opposites of the opportunities that I have already detailed. As a community, if we stop being engaged and working with our neighbors the community will suffer and deteriorate. Should all the assets that we have start changing and being affected by negative impacts or the assets get too out of balance, then Highland Park will suffer and deteriorate.
What strengths would you bring to the Highland District Council? I have served on the Highland District Council as a Grid 2 representative for one year and also served on the Highland District Council Community Engagement Committee for a year prior to my Grid 2 representation. Previously I also had served as the secretary of the Phalen Park District Council when I lived on the East Side of Saint Paul. Having lived in Saint Paul all my life, volunteering for many community organizations: soccer clubs, playground recreational community organizations, coaching, refereeing, church organizations and school boards, plus by my work experience in several industries in and out of Saint Paul gives me a well rounded understanding of Saint Paul and Highland.