I live with my two teenagers, their father, and a Shihtzu named Stella in St. Paul. We have happily been renting our home for 6 years. I work primarily in the Twin Cities region. Home has always been important to me - thinking about it, longing for it, and helping individuals and families build it. Before I was eighteen years old, I had lived in a dozen+ homes in various cities throughout the US. I learned first-hand how disruptive moving often is on a child, even when it’s within the same city, but especially when it’s cross-country. During my formative years, I lived in Mississippi with my mom where I witnessed blatant racial discrimination - from attending a mostly segregated parochial school to hearing stories from my mom about her childhood growing up in rural Mississippi to seeing Ku Klux Klan members "marketing" on street corners. As a child, I was horrified and confused by all of it. It's a feeling that has stayed with me decades later. My educational background is architecture and urban planning. While studying urban planning, I became interested in patterns of neighborhood segregation and how to create more integrated, inclusive neighborhoods. It is absolutely possible to create opportunities for more inclusive and racially diverse neighborhoods. There needs to be more education and outreach to the general public about why it’s important to create more affordable housing in ALL areas. And, to offer opportunities for grassroots involvement. I have been a Realtor for almost 20 years, and believe everyone in my industry should be vocal enthusiasts for the creation of more housing, especially the missing middle housing. In most instances, the real estate industry continues to advocate for private property rights, at the expense of real people’s lives. This is why Nichole, Meghan, and myself joined together to create a TC YIMBY chapter early in 2023.
Home matters. It matters just like healthcare matters. It matters like clean water matters. It matters like healthy food. Housing is a basic human need that is critically necessary in creating successful outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
Housing is where everything begins for all of us. I want to live in a community where everyone has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing regardless of their income level. We are in a housing tragedy and I believe the solution is for all of us to advocate for more housing, especially in the lower price points, and in all areas and neighborhoods.