When I first moved to Corcoran eight years ago, my husband and I were on the verge of starting our family and were looking for a great place to raise our children. We had both lived in Minneapolis for a number of years already, but Corcoran was different. Our neighbors immediately welcomed us and made us feel at home. Two of our neighbors were board members at CNO and introduced us to the work that CNO does to improve our neighborhood. As we settled in and our family grew, I decided to get involved in CNO to see how I could contribute to that work.
I quickly learned about the broad reach and variety of topics that CNO covered, from operating our Midtown Farmers Market, to starting community gardens, to influencing new building in our community, to offering programs to help residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes. All of these make our community a great place to live. Over the last five years, we have continued that work (and gotten better!).
We have also changed the way we reach out to residents, because we want to ensure that our work represents all of our neighbors and their wants and desires for this neighborhood. Through these efforts, we have expanded our efforts to support the needs of renters; particularly in some of our larger apartment buildings where landlords are not providing dignified living conditions for tenants. We helped tenants to organize in their buildings, understand their rights as renters, and supported them. In turn, these renters have taken on the injustices they face in their homes. I am so proud of how our neighbors have become leaders in this work, starting in our neighborhood, and now working in a city-wide coalition to give voice to an issue that was previously under the radar.
All of this work and resident-driven leadership makes our neighborhood one of the best places to live in Minneapolis. That is why I continue to volunteer and donate as a CNO Sustainer. I thank all of our neighbors who have volunteered their time to any of the many efforts underway in the community. I also thank all of you that have donated to CNO. This year we have raised $2,256 for Give to the Max with a matching grant from the board of $1,000, totaling $3,256. But it’s not too late to donate for us to reach our goal of $5,000! Help us reach our goal with any amount that works for your budget. It goes a long way to paying our staff and supporting all of these efforts. Your time and your funds are what keep this work going, and keep improving our neighborhood.