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2022 Board Candidates

Learn more about the candidates below before casting your vote!

At-Large Residential Representative Candidates

There are two At-Large Residential Representative seats open this year. You may vote for up to two candidates.

Cody Swede

At-large residential representative candidate

Click on the dropdowns below to learn more about Cody!

Tell us about yourself

I’m a husband, father, and community advocate who is passionate about keeping Mac-Groveland the best neighborhood in the Twin Cities. Walking the sidewalks of Mac-Groveland feels like a small town, and I always find myself stopping to chat with neighbors and local business owners. To a person, they love the cozy feeling, relative safety, good schools, and variety of places to shop and eat that can be found here. I want to be a part of maintaining that close-knit feeling as well as helping plan for the future of the neighborhood in areas like zoning, rent control, transportation, and safety.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

The rent control measure and its chilling effect on new home construction both in Macalester-Groveland and the wider St. Paul community was a wake-up call. I want a diverse range of people to be able to afford to live here. And I mean diverse in every sense of the word — race, age, background, and nearly any other factor. Without adequate new home/apartment/condo/townhome inventory the cost of rent and property taxes will only continue to skyrocket as the years go on. I felt I had to do something about it. I also consider it my civic duty to protect and maintain a place that I love living in so much.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I am passionate about zoning, housing, and land use and bring a deep well of knowledge on these issues. I also enjoy meeting new people and working with the community, and would be thrilled to work booths at public events as well as field feedback from the community.

COLIN FESSER

At-large residential representative candidate

Click on the dropdowns below to learn more about Colin!

Tell us about yourself

My family and I have lived in this part of St. Paul for about 15 years, and have enjoyed living here in Macalester-Groveland since 2016. I graduated from the U of M once upon a time, and later earned a Masters in archaeology. When I’m not attending meetings of the MGCC or in my role as a stay-at-home parent to my two wonderful children, I like to explore Mac-Groveland by foot and bike, visit the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood, and get my hands dirty in our boulevard native perennial garden.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Director?

I began attending meetings of the Union Park land use committee when my first child was born. Developments at Selby and Snelling were beginning and I decided I wanted to do what I could to make my child’s future home as safe, vibrant, and resilient as it could be. When we moved to Mac-Groveland several years later, joining MGCC was an obvious choice for me to continue making my children’s future a little bit better. I want them to have safe streets to cross on foot and bike down, places they can walk to when they want a library book or a candy bar, and a strong network of involved neighbors, friends, and family where they live. Most of all, I want their city to be tackling the existential threat of climate change with every tool we’ve got.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I’ve spent the last decade talking with people at all levels of local and state government about the needs of our neighborhoods in this corner of St. Paul, first at Union Park and then at MGCC. I was part of the working group that addressed traffic and safety issues at the Whole Foods development, where I learned some of the minutiae of how our city manages traffic flows and pedestrian safety. In my term as an At-Large Residential Representative for MGCC, I’ve worked to balance the desires and concerns of neighbors with the planning documents of the city and the advice of leading experts in zoning, housing, traffic, parking, and more. And as a physically disabled member of the board and committees, I’ve made a concerted effort to center accessibility and equity in every statement and vote I contribute.

DAVE PASIUK

at-large residential representative candidate

Click on the dropdowns below to learn more about Dave!

Tell us about yourself

I am a long-time resident of Macalester-Groveland. My wife and I walk, bike and ride transit as much as possible and we love so many neighborhood destinations. We have worked on our house for over four decades to make it as energy efficient and climate resilient as possible. I hope you enjoy our boulevard rain garden and lots of front yard native plants. I have held numerous management roles in my career and regard myself as an inveterate planner– always looking ahead to what is possible.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

I am currently an At-Large Residential Representative and have been active on Macalester-Groveland Community Council committees long enough to watch my hair thin and turn gray. I bring much institutional memory but my vision is forward looking. I work for a thriving neighborhood that contributes to the well-being of all Macalester-Groveland residents. There is so much more we can do in Macalester-Groveland and Saint Paul to address the climate emergency and social justice. We can employ our amazing Macalester-Groveland capacity to move forward together.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I have been a chairperson of the MGCC Transportation Committee, active on the Housing and Land Use Committee and have served in numerous city committees (including Capital Improvement and Metro Transit’s community advisory committee for the A-Line). I have a good working relationship with our City Council members and other City officials. I firmly believe that the future of Macalester-Groveland is integral to the future of the entire City and am excited about our work on the equitable scorecard, transportation plans to improve safety and bike/walk/transit mobility and important ongoing work of density, equity and sustainability. Help me continue this work by electing me to a seat on the MGCC Board.

Karah Lodge

At-Large Residential Representative Candidate

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Tell us about yourself

I have been a Mac-Groveland resident since 2017, first renting and now owning a home in the neighborhood. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and work in amateur athletics and state government. My free time is spent coaching soccer, youth mentoring, exploring the local restaurant scene, and attempting to trick myself into becoming a runner. I quickly fell in love with the vibrance of this neighborhood and I’m eager for the opportunity to help others do the same.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

I am seeking a board position because I want to support and invest in the community that actively and effectively made this city my home instead of just a place to live. With my professional background and a passion for community engagement, I’m confident I can help the neighborhood continue to thrive and contribute to the success of its initiatives.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

My professional background includes event administration, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, non-profit management, and government agency within the sport industry. My skills are both logistical and interpersonal. I can bring event management, digital communication, and public/private stakeholder balance to the table.

Grid One Residential Representative Candidate

There are two grid 1 Residential Representative seats open this year.

ANDREA Perzichilli 

Grid one residential representative candidate

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Tell us about yourself

My name is Andrea Perzichilli and I’ve lived in Mac-Groveland for 11 years with my husband Marco and my three children Enzo (12), Salvatore (9), and Leonardo (6). We love spending our time outdoors during all seasons – biking and walking in the summer and skating and skiing in the winter. I work as a Government Relations Director at a small local firm. In my limited free time I enjoy gardening, crossword puzzles, bonfires, and trivia nights.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

I’m seeking a board seat because I love our neighborhood and I want to be part of the process to help it grow and thrive for our future generations.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I am currently the Director of Government Relations at Redmond Associates where I represent my clients’ interests at the city and state levels. I represent clients in the areas of health care, arts, insurance, retail, telecom, construction, environment, and energy.

Much of my work is centered on bringing together diverse groups and viewpoints into a coalition. Then I work within the coalition to facilitate robust and thoughtful debate. These conversations help to inform messaging that is tailored, inclusive and effective. Additionally, I’ve served as finance chair on a non-profit board and volunteer at my children’s school.

Grid Three Residential Representative Candidates

THERE ARE TWO Grid 3 RESIDENTIAL REPRESENTATIVE SEATS OPEN THIS YEAR.

Athena M Adkins

Grid three residential representative candidate

Click on the dropdowns below to learn more about Athena!

Tell us about yourself

H! I live near grand and Snelling and have been here since 2012. I own a consulting company that works with foundations and nonprofits around leadership, equity, and storytelling. My husband and I have raised two boys in this neighborhood–with one in college in Pittsburgh and one in high school. We love our neighborhood and our neighbors and I am a huge advocate for building community—something that has been almost impossible during COVID. If elected, I hope to be a better representative to my neighborhood during this tenure than has been possible the past 2+ years. I love the direction MGCC is heading and have been heartened by the thorough conversations the organization has had around participation, representation, and process so that more neighbors feel welcomed and understand how to have a voice into their neighborhood and city.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I have a willingness to serve, a background in nonprofit org development, and experience developing equity practices, coaching, and developing narratives

Grid Five Residential Representatives

There are two grid 5 residential representative seats open this year. You may vote for up to two candidates.

Gene johnson

Grid five residential representative candidate

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Tell us about yourself

I am finishing a three-year term representing Grid 5 and currently serve as Board Secretary. I retired from a career in real estate property management and now drive for Uber and Lyft to keep myself busy and out in the world meeting interesting people. My wife, Linda, and I purchased a townhome in Wilder Park about six years ago. Before that, we had a single-family home in south Minneapolis.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

Citizen participation in local government is necessary for the survival of democracy. I felt that MGCC was an excellent place to learn about St Paul’s politics and be involved at the grassroots level. I am a member of the Housing and Land Use and Transportation Committees and occasionally attend other committee meetings to see what they’re up to. Most of the discussions and debates have given me a better understanding of St Paul and its residents and are conducted civilly and respectfully. The MGCC serves as an advisory body to the City Council and allows developers to present their projects to the neighborhood. This allows residents to ask questions or try out their arguments in a public forum to be better prepared to give them to decision-making bodies like the BZA (Board of Zoning Appeals) or the City Council.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I have enjoyed serving as Secretary of the Board. The advent of Zoom and the availability of recordings allow more residents to participate or observe meetings at their convenience. It has also made the job of the Secretary much easier in that it is not necessary to try and summarize residents’ thoughts and ideas. Rather the minutes can refer to where they appear in the recording so that listeners can hear them first-hand without the distortion that summaries often create. This provides for succinct minutes that meet the requirements of the Democratic Rules of Order, the version of Robert’s Rules that the MGCC follows.

Patty hartmann

grid five residential representative candidate

Click on the dropdowns below to learn more about Patty!

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in a small, rural town in Scott County, but for most of my life St. Paul has been my home. I attended Hamline University as an undergraduate and William Mitchell for law school. I was attracted to Mac-Grove partly because it was known as one of the safest neighborhoods in St. Paul.

I have lived here in Mac-Grove for more than 35 years. So many neighbors are warm and generous. For many years I had a Jack Russell terrier whose need for exercise got me out walking and meeting neighbors more than I do now. I believe that the vibrancy of any community is a function of its ability to foster communication and collaboration among its residents. Now that the covid restrictions have been lifted, I look forward to meeting more of my neighbors. If anyone has any issues, questions, or ideas to share, please feel free to reach out to me.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors?

My small town, rural background has given me an appreciation for the value of knowing your neighbors. Each one of us is a resource who can help improve the quality of our individual lives, as well as the community as a whole. Building relationships with our neighbors is a win-win on so many levels.

What skills/experiences can you contribute to MGCC?

I have been self-employed as an attorney for several decades. This professional experience has given me insight into the complexities of human nature, governmental institutions, as well as the challenges and value of small businesses.