Who’s who in politics, community action

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Are they related or unrelated? And to what? Perhaps only history and memoirs will tell, but for sure, there’s a rash of people leaving or changing jobs on the North Minneapolis scene. There was State Senator Linda Higgins’ announcement that she would not seek another term after the present term expires, and the current jockeying for her spot and that of State Representative Bobby Joe Champion, who plans to run for the Senate instead of the House again.

And then, in the last few days to weeks: County Commissioner Mark Stenglein’s aide Kari Dziedzic became the new State Senator replacing Larry Pogemiller who left to head the State Department of Higher Education. Stenglein himself will be taking a new post as head of the Downtown Council, replacing Sam Grabarski on June 1.

Higgins has announced she will run for the commissioner post, as has Tonia Johnson.

Catalyst Community Partners shed its experimental staff and returned to officing on Lake Calhoun.

Wesley Walker of Northway Community Trust, is leaving after seven years, open to new challenges anywhere but not likely North Minneapolis, he said.

The new principal for the new North High School has been named and an assistant principal is moving to Edison High School.

Kim Ellison has been appointed to the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education (story link on MyNorthNews.com)

The East Gateway Partnership has announced they will cease operations on Feb. 29, saying their financial model is not sustainable. In a letter posted on North Talk (on Facebook) they lauded staff person Becky Boland,’s “tool kit” approach to helping businesses learn safety tactics, and her collaborative efforts. Part 1 crime on West Broadway is down by 36 percent since EGP’s formation in October 2009.

Lance Knuckles, laid off from Emerge Community Development a while back, landed at the City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Department as a Neighborhood Support Specialist.  

Neeraj Mehta, most recently a program officer at Nexus Community Partners, will take over the deceased Kris Nelson’s post at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs in mid-March, as director of community-based research.

Kenya McKnight is no longer at NEON, Northside Economic Opportunity Network. Her Facebook page lists the Metropolitan Council and notes that she is at Metro State University.