District 10 Como Community Council

D10 Como Park Elections

Board Member Application

The deadline to be included in the 2023 Election ballot is Sunday, April 2. After this date you may still fill out an application to be contacted for future elections or consideration for mid-term vacancy appointments if/when they occur.

Board seats up for election in 2023:

  • One representative each from the neighborhood’s FOUR sub-districts (map)
    • An additional Subdistrict 1 seat which has a term expiring in 2024 (filled by appointment in 2022)
  • Three representatives from the neighborhood at-large
  • One representative from the neighborhood at-large who is a renter
  • One representative from the neighborhood at-large who is a youth (age 16-24)
  • An At-Large Senior seat (62+ yrs old) which has a term expiring in 2024 (filled by appointment in 2022)

These positions serve two-year terms, through April 2025, unless otherwise noted. All of our board and committee meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted in advance on the website and in the weekly newsletter. We encourage you to come to our meetings and see how you like being part of our work and get to know us! 

The filing deadline to be included on the 2023 ballot is Sunday, April 2. The election results are announced at the April board meeting. If you have questions or would like to know more about being a board member you can reach out to our Executive Director at district10@district10comopark.org.

Request a Ballot (2023)

Who is eligible to vote: Residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old, representatives from businesses, non-profits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10 (map of D10’s four sub-districts). If you have questions, you can email info@district10comopark.org.

  • If you intend to vote online, we need your request by Monday, April 17 at 5 p.m.
  • If you needed a paper ballot mailed to you, we need your request by Sunday, April 2.
  • We will send out ballots beginning Monday, April 10.
  • We must receive your completed ballot at the District 10 office no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday April 18.

Board Job Description

ORGANIZATION: District 10 Como Community Council: The Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the involvement of residents and businesses in public decisions and plans by the City of Saint Paul and in promoting activities that make the community a great place to live and work. The Council is governed by a 17-member volunteer board of directors elected by community residents/business owners.

JOB TITLE: Board Member

REPORTS TO: District 10 Como Community Council Board Chair

HOURS: Minimum 5-10 hours per month (Elected 2-year terms) (day time and evening hours required)

PAY RANGE: No Compensation – Volunteer Position

POSITION PURPOSE: District 10 Board Members have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Support the organization’s mission and strategic plan, and work with community members to address issues in the neighborhood.
  • Attend monthly Board of Directors meetings (third Tuesday of the month).
  • Provide policy, financial, and legal oversight and help shape organizational planning to ensure that District 10 is run responsibly and according to regulations for 501(c)(3) organizations, and is successful in its efforts to achieve its mission.
  • Conduct outreach within the District and within a particular sub-district to encourage resident participation, broadly gather input from community members, and provide representation for diverse constituencies within the District in order to advise the City of issues that impact the quality of life in District 10.
  • Serve on at least one committee, ad-hoc committee, or task force at all times. Contribute to efforts to build community and maintain and improve the quality of life in District 10.
  • Participate in Council-sponsored events, including Sunday Series presentations, the Citywide Drop-Off at the State Fairgrounds, social events such as the Ice Cream Social, and other neighborhood activities.
  • Support the Council’s fundraising efforts, including helping to identify and approach other individual and business donors, and collaborate with staff and other board members on grant development, fundraising events, and solicitations.

Election Guide 2023

Introduction

Each year, the Como Community Council holds elections so community members can elect officers and directors to the District 10 board. The procedures for nominations, elections, candidate eligibility, and voter eligibility are governed by the Bylaws of the District 10 Como Community Council. Each year, roughly half the seats on the board up for election. All terms are two years. (Board members elected in 2023 officially take office on April 21, 2023, and serve until April 23, 2024.) The complete Bylaws can be found on our website at: https://district10comopark.org/bylaws/

Elections

Elections this year will take place by mail ballot or by voting online, as requested by the individual community member. Voters can return their ballots at any time after April 7, 2023. But ballots must be received at the District 10 office no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday April 18, 2023. Ballots received after that time will not be counted.

In the case of mail ballots, voters who do not think the Postal Service will deliver their ballot in time should personally return their ballot to the mailbox outside the District 10 office, 1224 Lexington Parkway. The mailbox is near the at the Historic Streetcar Station parking lot, off of Horton Ave. in Como Park.

Voters who choose a mail ballot should return all the color pieces of paper in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope.

Voting

Who can vote: All renters, homeowners, and other residents age 16 or older who live in District 10 are eligible to vote. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization located physically in District 10.

Election integrity: As part of the absentee voting process, each community member must affirm that they are eligible to vote. Ballots that are not accompanied by the statement affirming eligibility will not be counted. These statements will be used only to cross-reference a voter’s eligibility. To ensure the privacy of the ballot, statements will be separated from the actual ballot.

Who can vote for whom: All eligible community members are able to vote for officers and for At-Large positions (including At-Large Renter and Youth seats). For positions representing the four Sub-Districts, only community members who live in that Sub-District may vote. Sitting board members may vote for all positions on the ballot.

Below is the list of neighborhood residents who are on the 2023 ballot. These candidates submitted their names by the April 2 deadline. Community members are allowed to submit write-in candidates. Elections this year, all terms are two years unless otherwise noted:

  • At-Large (3 seats)
  • At-Large Renter (1 seat)
  • At-Large Youth (16-24 yrs old) (1 seat)
  • Sub-Districts 1-4 (1 seat each)
  • At-Large Senior (62+ yrs old) seat (term expiring in 2024 – filled by appointment in 2022)
  • One additional Sub-District 1 seat (term expiring in 2024 – filled by appointment in 2022)

All of the at-large seats (including youth, renter, and senior) will be on the ballot in a group and voters will select up to four candidates (for the four seats), the youth-eligible candidate with the most votes will fill the youth seat, the senior eligible candidate with the most votes will fill the senior seat, followed by the renter-eligible candidate with the most votes filling the renter seat, the two remaining candidates with the highest votes will fill the two At-Large seats.

If you have questions about voting or the elections, contact the District 10 office at 651-644-2889 or district10@district10comopark.org.

Candidate Statements

Candidates submit their own statements for the positions they are seeking. Candidates have the option of also submitting a statement from a supporter.

All these statements are reprinted below, with only minimal editing for clarity and consistency. Candidates are listed first by the office they are seeking, then in alphabetical order.

Candidate Statements will be added after the April 2 Application Deadline.

Position: At-Large, Renter, Youth (vote for up to 3)

There were no youth candidates that applied, but there is a space to write-in a youth.

Abby L Gold
Hoyt Ave – Sub-district 2

I moved to the Como Neighborhood in April 2020 from Moorhead, MN where I lived for almost 20 years. I work as Health and Nutrition Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota on the Saint Paul campus. I love that I can ride my bike to work and be there in 10 minutes. Many great things about Como exist, and my husband and I are really happy about the neighborhood, the park, close proximity to so many outdoor adventures, bike paths, and commerce on Larpenteur and Downtown Saint Paul. But, most of all it’s the people that are really great. I have a lot of experience serving on boards and have many ideas to contribute. I’m a good listener and love to formulate ideas with other people for making our little part of the world a better place.

Statement of support for Abby Gold, from Rita Amendola:

I had the pleasure of meeting Abby Gold 2 years ago at about the start of the covid 19 pandemic. We were able to sit outside and chat for a while. I’m told that I’m a good judge of character and I quickly knew that Abby is a terrific person.
So, we have become friends on social media and I find her to be one of the most delightful, intelligent, wise, open and fair minded people I’ve met. We also have something great in common. We come from neighboring towns in Boston, Massachusetts. We are both very strong people. Boston strong! And, we both have been here in the Midwest for a very long time. We both love our community very much. Como strong!
I think Abby would make a great contribution and be a great asset to the District 10 Como Park Board! The board would be so fortunate to have her! I look forward to the day when we can actually spend some time together.

Mark Machacek
Churchill St. – Sub-district 2

Hello! My wife, Laura, and I moved to the neighborhood last fall from Minneapolis to be closer to the school our kids go to and she teaches at, Great River School, in Subdistrict 4. We’re very excited to be a part of the beautiful Como neighborhood and I’m interested in getting more involved in our new community and helping out where I can. My background is in engineering, specifically water treatment, and I’m looking forward to being active in the Environment and Land Use committees.

Jeremy C Rappaport
Hamline Ave. – Sub-district 1 – Renter

My Name is Jeremy Rappaport, and I am a first-year renter in your neighborhood with a talent set that I hope to apply to helping our community reach our goals. I take a broad view of our community to include the animal and plant life that populates our neighborhood as well. I am a 34-year-old Restoration Ecologist married to a 33-year-old preschool teacher and we have a beagle named Gambit.
I have a passion for environmental justice, efficient city planning, gardening, water quality and ecological sustainability. I hope to lend my experience to help facilitate and promote rain gardens, wildlife corridors and native landscaping to our community. Additionally, I hope to be able to help the Como Park Stewards in their effort to combat the substantial buckthorn invasion that has overtaken much of Como Park.
I have a Master’s Degree in Restoration Ecology, that included courses on environmental justice, environmental regulations, ecosystem services and remediating blighted property. Prior to specializing in restoration ecology, I have a decade’s worth of experience as a wildlife biologist. I hope to put all of my knowledge and experience to work for you, to make this community a better place.

Ralph Williamson
Almond Ave. – Sub-district 1

I have lived in Saint Paul for most of my life. This includes the East Side, Como and Mac-Groveland areas. I have seen the good and bad of what this city has to offer and would like to be part of the change to increase the good and find ways to correct the bad. I believe as a community if we come together and develop solutions for change we can make a difference. As I see it there is a lot of finger pointing going on which does not bring about cohesiveness. I am currently a Manager with HealthPartners and would like to share my leadership qualities to drive change. Thank you.

Position: Sub-District 1 (vote for 1)

Sub-District 1 is the part of our neighborhood west of Hamline, bounded roughly by Hoyt on the north and the BNSF tracks south of Jessamine on the south.

Alex McLane
Sheldon St.

I’ve lived in the Como Park area since the Fall of 2020. District 10 is a beautiful and active neighborhood with engaged community members. D10 Subdistrict 1 is situated between two of Saint Paul’s most popular tourist attractions in the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. As community members, we all have the opportunity to work together and showcase what makes the Como Park Area an international destination.
I joined this community board to promote new bike and board infrastructure at community nodes in the Como Park Area. I will support community members and volunteers in their effort to establish year-round board and bike infrastructure at these community nodes in District 10. Also, as a member of the Environmental Committee, I will support neighbors in lawn-to-legume conversion for improved water quality in Capital Region Watershed District. As well as support community members and volunteers who seek to reduce storm-water runoff pollution by establishing pollinator-friendly boulevard rain gardens. FYI: icy sidewalks pose a threat to pedestrians and their dogs. If you need help managing sidewalk traction during the winter months, please reach out to this board for assistance with icy sidewalk mitigation strategies.

Position: Sub-District 2 (vote for 1)

Sub-District 2 is the part of our neighborhood roughly between Hamline on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Victoria on the east, and the BNSF tracks south of Jessamine on the south.

Dan Edgerton
Como Blvd.

I’ve been a resident of the Como neighborhood since 1988 and have raised three kids here. It’s been a terrific neighborhood to raise a family, and I’d like to build on that to create a neighborhood that is open and welcoming to all. I’m a water resources engineer, and I previously spent nine years on the Saint Paul Planning Commission, including several as Chair of the Zoning Committee. I’m currently finishing my first two-year term on the District 10 Board. I feel like my first year was largely spent figuring out who we are as a district, how we operate, and what my role could be. It took the second year to really start to get comfortable and to understand what we might be able to accomplish as a community council. I’m now ready to take on more of a leadership role and help guide the direction of District 10.
As a Nisei, the son of a Japanese immigrant, I’d really like to see the Como neighborhood open up to a more diverse mix of people. The key to this is affordable housing, and I’d like to move District 10 toward a more active role in encouraging more affordable housing, particularly home ownership, that allows a wider range of folks to have access to our wonderful neighborhood and its many amenities.
I’ve been a member of the District 10 Environment Committee, and I believe we’ve done a good job of being advocates for Lake Como and the ecological resources of Como Park. I’d like us to work to provide more opportunities for underprivileged youths to learn about and enjoy the natural resources of the park. Lastly, I’d like to try to improve the District’s outreach program. It’s really important that we hear from our neighbors what they would like to see to make this neighborhood even better. This particularly means reaching out to those who have not traditionally had their voices heard.

Position: Sub-District 3 (vote for 1)

Sub-District 3 is the part of our neighborhood roughly between Victoria on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Dale on the east, and the BNSF tracks south of Jessamine on the south.

Lizzy Cantley
Idaho Ave.

I am a St. Paul native, grew up on the East Side Payne-Phalen neighborhood and moved to Como in 2018. I first got to know the Como Community Council through participation in their Anti-Racism Work Group. This then led me to phone bank for the Keep Saint Paul Home campaign for rent stabilization. This is all connected to my true passion: education. With a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, Curriculum and Instruction from University of WI-Milwaukee I have experienced a variety of positions: elementary teaching assistant, lead teacher in a childcare center, kindergarten teaching and first grade teaching. Currently, I am a stay-at-home parent with my two boys (ages 3 and 5) and provide childcare for a neighbor’s two boys (ages 2 and 5). I enjoy connecting neighbor families together and would love to see Como Community Council support programs and organizations that build strong, inclusive communities for all children and their families to thrive. I am a quiet observer and thoughtful listener, and look forward to bringing these qualities to the council in order to build authentic connections.

Statement of support for Lizzy Cantley, from Jenne Nelson:

I highly recommend Lizzy Cantley for the role of District 10 Como Community Council Board Member. I first met Lizzy when she participated in the Como Community Council Anti-Racism Work Group, as a person who cares about advancing racial equity in our neighborhood. I have since gotten to know her better as a neighbor, and I know she would be an asset to our community council. She is thoughtful, listens closely, and asks insightful questions. She cultivates intentional community with her neighbors, and she is invested in this neighborhood. She is someone people know they can count on, and she follows through on her commitments. She cares deeply about education and education equity, and would bring that passion and perspective to our board. I am thrilled she is running, and I look forward to serving with her.
-Jenne Nelson, D10 Board Member

Position: Sub-District 4 (vote for 1)

Sub-District 4 is the part of our neighborhood roughly between Snelling on the west, Dale on the east, and between the two sets of BNSF tracks (near Jessamine on the north and between Front Ave. and Energy Park Drive on the south).

Benjamin J. Kowalsky-Grahek
Como Place

I’m running for a seat to represent subdistrict 4 because I care about our mission and vision as a Community Council and seeing it fulfilled. I want an equitable, inclusive neighborhood where everyone who wants to live here gets their chance and has safe, affordable housing to fit their needs. I also believe in solving the food desert, improving public transit through our neighborhood and making sure the neighborhood is accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities.
I’ve been on the board since Fall of 2020. I won re-election in 2021 and then was elected to Vice-Chair the same year. Through that time, we’ve worked to make our board more accessible, more involved and more impactful.