A historic night in Folwell


November 13 was a historic night in the Folwell neighborhood for many reasons. If you were able to make the Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) meeting, you could attest to the powerful shift of energy in the Folwell Park gym as over 100 community members came to participate in the FNA annual meeting (in comparison to 12 from last year). This number is important as it speaks to the hunger that Folwell residents have to be connected to each other and a desire to be active in this process.

Though the annual meeting officially started at 6:30 p.m., dozens of folks came early to meet and visit with the 14 FNA board applicants (16 applied, but two were unable to make the meeting), hang out with each other, and enjoy the buffet of snacks provided by local Folwell volunteers.

If you are new to this story, Folwell has experienced a significant shift in our leadership and board these past few months. The official FNA serves the community members of Folwell and is run by a board of 11 volunteers. Ten of those seats were open this November, creating an almost complete turnover of power and leadership. [The Folwell Neighborhood is one of seven neighborhoods in the Camden Community; check the map on page 8 to see which neighborhood you live in.]

It was incredible to witness 16 quality candidates apply to want to serve their community in this way. Folwell residents were blessed with a hard decision of electing only 10, a beautiful struggle to have for sure. With the help of the League of Women Voters, the community voted and made their voices heard. In context, Neighborhood and Community Relations shared a study this past spring at their 20/20 events and revealed that our neighborhood had a significant gap of representation with people of color, renters and young people. It is exciting to share that FNA completely flipped that gap and now is led by a board that has full representation.

It was a powerful night to be a part of. The new FNA board is excited to build upon the work of the previous board and those who have served Folwell over the last 20 years. With such a major transition, there is a lot the new board will have to address and they will.

Currently the FNA does not have an office, but there is an active website, Folwell.org. Also on the website is a link to join the email list to stay updated on what is going on. If you have questions or concerns, we also have a phone number to call, 612-643-1686. If you are active on social media, make sure to “Like” Folwell Neighborhood Minneapolis to stay plugged in, or join the Folwell Neighborhood Nextdoor site.

In the midst of the transition, the new board is working on reducing the gaps of communication and systems that support the work being done in Folwell. The promising meeting on November 13 was not an isolated event, but a connected community that is eager to grow. If you live in the Folwell neighborhood, we are excited to get to know you, and hope you will join in the work to build a stronger, connected community.