Neighborhoods create platform of shared values ahead of election

The Kingfield, Lyndale, Bryant and Central neighborhoods have spent time meeting together, doorknocking to get out the vote and talking to residents about issues of importance to them in the current election. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association reports that although 85 percent of the neighborhood votes in presidential elections, more than half of those voters do not participate in municipal elections.

The four neighborhoods recently adopted a “community values statement” to highlight shared values ahead of the election. After weeks of doorknocking, neighbors said they found a huge diversity of concerns, but all of the issues have roots in racial and economic disparities. The neighborhoods border both sides of Interstate 35W, and the freeway “literally and figuratively” created a barrier that contributed to racial inequity, the neighborhoods said.

“It is our hope that all candidates vying for our community’s votes will make concrete commitments to supporting our platform, and work with our communities to close these racial and economic gaps once elected,” reads the statement.

The following values are included in the platform:

Acknowledge systemic racial and economic disparities in areas like lending, policing, education and employment opportunities.

Access to safe, affordable, long-term housing is a basic human right. The neighborhoods therefore support increasing the housing supply, working to halt displacement, increasing pathways to homeownership, helping older adults stay in their homes and increasing the affordable rental stock.

Everyone should have the freedom to be safe from violence, harassment and crime.

“Safety means different things to different people,” reads the statement. “For some in our community, there is a fear of violence from the police who are sworn to protect us. For others, it means the safety of being in a sanctuary city. For some it is protecting what is ours, our personal property and a sense of safety when walking on the streets or riding our bikes on the road. And still for others, it means safety from gang, drug or sexual violence. We support responsible community driven efforts to increase safety, as well as efforts to increase accountability for those sworn to protect us.”

Neighborhoods seeing new infrastructure, housing and commercial developments should have a voice in determining the types of collective benefits from the development. Neighbors should have a strong voice with regard to the impact of development.

Access to affordable, healthy food and common household necessities make our neighborhoods more inclusive and accessible. New sources of fresh, healthy food come at a premium price, and the area may lose its only large home goods retailer.

A successful community invests in its people, not just its infrastructure.

The neighborhoods co-hosted a forum focused on racial and economic disparities Oct. 12.