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Bringing More Voices to the Table: One Woman’s Story

Lyndale Neighborhood Association

The Lyndale Neighborhood Association is a vehicle for community members to shape their neighborhood. Their vision is to engage the diverse Lyndale community to build a safe, vibrant, and sustainable neighborhood.

Lyndale community member Adriana Lara and her family were staples of the Lyndale Campers’ twice-a-year camping adventures. Having attended a number of the neighborhood’s community events, Adriana eventually joined the Latina cohort of the Women’s Leadership Program and participated in the Lyndale Neighborhood Association’s election canvassing work in 2013.

Adriana’s input and participation was critical to educating Lyndale residents on the impact that wage increases have on the community.

She canvassed more than any other volunteer that year and was part of a team of dedicated canvassers that came together after the election to talk about what they had heard from the neighborhood. Adriana brought up the conditions and concerns of Lyndale renters, bringing a valuable perspective to the conversation about residents that other canvasser hadn’t heard. Her input moved the group and the neighborhood to consider supporting legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage and help make Lyndale more livable.

Adriana continued to meet as part of the low-wage work group and contributed to plans for encouraging the neighborhood to take on the initiative. She conducted outreach at the neighborhood’s La Posada event, canvassed to increase turnout for a big community meeting, and helped organize the program for that meeting. Adriana’s input and participation was critical to educating Lyndale residents on the impact that wage increases have on the community.

Adriana also attended the Women’s Economic Security Summit that January. The summit was hosted by the Speaker of the House and the Women’s Coalition for Economic Security, and centered on a package of bills aimed at supporting the role of women in the economy. Adriana shared a story about her economic struggles and asked the panel how they would support her. The presentation elevated Adriana’s voice and changed the conversation. During the Annual Meeting in June of last year, Adriana was elected as a board member for the Lyndale Neighborhood Association. She is the first native Spanish speaker to serve on the board in recent memory and has continued to be involved in helping to make Lyndale a safe, vibrant, and sustainable community.

Topic: Region & Communities

January 2017