My name is Angelina and I recently joined the streets.mn board. I am a resident of the Northside – Near North/Old Highland neighborhood. I grew up most of my life here in North Minneapolis and I am a North High School Alumni. Go Polars! In 2015 my family was proud to make our home here.
For the past 10+ years I lived just across the river in Northeast Minneapolis and when it came time to purchase a home, initially we were looking to stay there. However, I personally felt this calling to return back “home”. I wanted to return to a place where I could raise my son and there would be no question if he or “we” as people of color belonged. Like anyone when looking for a home, we look to find a place where we can fully BE and express ourselves. That is how I felt returning to North. In the past year and a half since I have been back home I have had the opportunity for grow in my engagement in community building with my neighbors – such as being elected as Vice President of the Old Highland Neighborhood Association, starting Old Highland Peace Garden, I was even a Delegate to our City Council ward convention for the first time.
Despite what is communicated in the news about North Minneapolis, good things are happening here. Good things have always been happening here and I am hoping to contribute to streets.mn in a way that helps shed light on this. I really appreciate how welcoming our neighbors have been since we moved back, and working on the garden has helped me feel a greater connection to the community around me. Don’t take this as undermining the ongoing issues we have such as a higher rates of gun violence, unemployment, etc – as a citizen of North, I recognize the ongoing work that still needs to be done.
My goal of writing for streets.mn is to help change the narrative of what is being portrayed about the Northside. I want to highlight stories about the work being done here – that has always been going on. I want to feature stories in a day in the life of my neighbors, and that feature the livability of North. We are more than gangs and gun violence. Like an individual person, we are a complex and diverse community, just like the rest of Minneapolis. We work hard, we are people who care and actively strive to create a safe place for ourselves and families, and we show each other love – NoMi Love.