Letter from the FRNNG President Willie Bridges

Hello FRN,

Willie Bridges

Willie Bridges, FRNNG President

I came across a letter that I had sent to Scott Benson, past city council member, a number of years ago, in 2001. In it, I was talking about the importance of our community having control of what we would like our community to look and be like. FRN, fast-forward to today, and we are still having a similar conversation with the City on its new 2020 plan.

The conversation will be about some of the same issues, including who should control what…our communities themselves or our city council? When I look back on our neighborhood over the years, I think we’ve done a good job on improving our FRN community. Of course, there is still more good work that we can accomplish together, such as using our loan program to fix up housing The business community here can continue to evolve and prosper, with our retail and service pockets, such as at 47th and Cedar, and 48th and Chicago, as well as our other small businesses in the neighborhood. Our McRae Park building could benefit from some improvements, such as maybe air conditioning.

Of the years that I’ve enjoyed being our FRN community president, I think what I’ve enjoyed the most has been the opportunity to meet and get to know a lot of you, the people in our communities. I really tried to look out for the good of the whole, while knowing that I’m not going to be able to please everyone.

We’ve talked about community-related issues such as bike and vehicle lanes co-existing, having a new coffee shop enter the area, the need for low-income housing options, about the potential block development where our Walgreens is now located and parking in the business area. These are all ongoing issues that still need to be addressed.

FRN, you have been and are a great community of people. You’ve undoubtedly given thousands of hours of your time as volunteers to our community and in many capacities through the FRN committees: Business, Communications, Community & Safety, Education, Greening, Housing, and Parks. You’ve also volunteered on the board of FRN and as neighborhood representatives. Thank you for your contributions. I would also like to thank our one FRN staff member, Stearline Rucker, for all the hard work she has done for our neighborhood.

FRN, thank you for allowing me to be president of FRN these last four years. Though I’m not running again for office, I will continue being involved and proactive in and for our neighborhoods.

I wish whoever comes after me the very best. I also ask that whoever is elected to the position remember that he or she needs to always regard the good of the whole community, as well as representing and being the voice of our community, to the larger group of our City of Minneapolis and city council.

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