The St. Anthony Park Community Council would like to recognize a few of our standout community leaders out of many nominations received from our community and thank the members of our community who give so much time and energy to impact issues that affect us all. Thank you to those who submitted nominations for 2017, be sure to share more stories of community leadership that we can recognize throughout the year! Email for more ways to share.
Each year St. Paul’s 17 District Councils recognize outstanding neighbors and partners from across Saint Paul at the annual Neighborhood Honor Roll event. SAPCC recognizes additional  community partners in our Community Spotlight.


2017 Neighborhood Honor Roll

*Award dinner on Friday, January 26, 2018 from 5:30pm-7:30pm, University of St. Thomas Woulfe Hall

Janet Lawson – Janet has brought art and culture to the neighborhood by developing our Shakespeare in the Park summer theater program for youth. The program started as a simple summer activity for a few teens and has blossomed into a major neighborhood cultural program for dozens of young people, many who have not tried theater before, performing four outdoor performances enjoyed by hundreds of audience members. Starting its fifth season under Janet’s leadership, SSAP offers two workshops each summer – Scenes and Speeches for younger teens and a full Shakespeare play for older teens, prepared in only two weeks! The program is blessed with the professional guidance of Guthrie-trained actor and director Sam Bardwell and a committee of dedicated neighborhood residents recruited by Janet to handle the planning and publicity. Janet has been passionate, focused and diligent in developing this wonderful program. Janet has pulled together the community to make this unique opportunity available to all. She is an artist, a fundraiser, an organizer, a web site builder, a communicator, a good neighbor and friend. With a vision of growing the program as a beloved fixture of the neighborhood, we’re lucky to have Janet bringing Shakespeare into St. Anthony Park.

Shadaria Brown – Shadaria is a star, full of light and energy providing work experience and stability for youth experiencing homelessness. As the woodworking coordinator at Elpis Enterprises based in St. Anthony Park, she works with dozens of youth to turn reclaimed wood into new products including planters, bird feeders, and nesting boxes. She leads her team members to host workshops for youth to build their own birdhouses through park programs, schools, and other outreach events. Elpis prepares youth interns for career readiness by assembling kits, learning entrepreneurial skills, and leading workshops with more than 1200 youth each year to build with their own hands. Shadaria provided invaluable insight supporting community canvassing as both a neighbor and as an employee in a local business as the community council identifies priorities to support our community in our long-term planning efforts.

Anton Jerve – Anton has gone above and beyond in modeling best practices for City staff to support the work of District Councils. He has been a supportive partner in the City through his role as a senior planner with the Department of Planning and Economic Development where he intersects with the St. Anthony Park Community Council on a wide range of projects. He provided valuable feedback as the St. Anthony Park Community Council worked to create our Developer Guidelines, so that our recommendations would be effective, influential, and reflect the intent of our vision. Anton played a key role in helping secure a new 2.6 acre public green space as part of the redevelopment of the Weyerhaeuser lumber yard, and supporting the community working group in advancing its vision through early morning design sessions with the private developers and late evening committee meetings. Anton advocates for community voices, is responsive in navigating City procedures, and consistently brings constructive and valuable perspectives to collaborative work. Thank you for your partnership and going beyond your duties to support this powerful work shaping our communities.


2017 SAPCC Community Spotlight

Mary Wiley – As former President of the Residents Council at Seal Hi-Rise, Mary provides leadership to improving the quality of life, activities, and building community among the residents at Seal. Mary has advocated for the many diverse voices among the 144 public housing units at Seal, with all one bedroom units, working to build a sense of community among residents who often experience isolation, including partnering with interpreters, nurses and care assistants, social workers, and community partners, and hosting events like bingo and community meals. Highlighting the experiences that many residents living with disabilities face in every day tasks, Mary has helped make mobility, accessibility, and safety a priority for the SAPCC Transportation Committee, which secured a new sidewalk ramp at the intersection of Seal St. where many residents used to have to navigate heavy traffic on Territorial to reach the nearest sidewalk ramp on the next corner down. After sharing challenges that residents face in getting food, Mary played a strong role in the creation of the SAPCC Food Equity program, which delivers produce from our volunteer-run community garden directly to the residents at Seal, and was instrumental as the point person in securing weekly stops from the Wilder Mobile Market to serve the residents at Seal Hi Rise.

Melissa Williams – A resident of South St. Anthony Park since 2003, Melissa is passionate about building relationships and improving equity in our community. Supported by her family, Melissa has invested countless hours engaging and providing stewardship of her neighborhood and supporting the St. Anthony Park Community Council. A member of the Board of Directors and the SAPCC Equity Committee, Melissa has gone above and beyond the typical duties to elevate the work of the Council. She took incredible leadership in the community engagement process of the Council’s 10-year planning, speaking with hundreds of community members at events, canvassing residents, commuters, and community partners, to make sure that a wide range of voices representing our community were heard and incorporated into the vision and goals of our 10-year plan. She has provided immense support to Council staff, as well as other Board and committee members. She contributes her professional writing skills to SAPCC projects, helping to write and review drafts from grant requests to our planning documents and equity framework. Melissa is an immense assett to the SAPCC.

Lydia Place – Lydia Place has been an invaluable community partner in St. Anthony Park. With leadership from Pastor Scott Simmons, he has combined ministry with community service as an SAPCC Board member and Equity Committee co-chair. Lydia Place holds a worship service at Seal Hi Rise where it has helped SAPCC strengthen its relationship with Seal residents and external partners, leading to improvements in transportation and building its food equity program. This year was the second year-end celebration that Seal Hi Rise opened to community members through Lydia Place, where this year they celebrated the expansion of the food equity program which distributes produce from the St. Anthony Park Community Garden to Seal tower residents 1-2 times per week through an innovative community partnership. Lydia Place has improved SAPCC’s collaboration with Luther Seminary bringing numerous students into leadership at committee meetings and other volunteer efforts.


Previously recognized community leaders:


2016: Workhorse Coffee Bar, Les Everett, Regular Russelle

2015: Betty Wheeler, Daniel Sarasti

2014: Transition Town-All St. Anthony Park, Stephen Mastey, Mary Beck, Rich Nelson

2013: Sue Conner and Sherm Eagles, Deanna Seppanan, Julie Glowka and Cindy Thrasher

2012: Kristal Leebrick, Scott Hamilton, Alice Duggan

2011: Tom Bielenberg and Hans Weyandt, Michael Russelle, Tim Faacks and Tom Spreigl

2010: Nancy Dilts, Roger Purdy, Cindy Thrasher

2009: Alice Hausman, Renee Hanson, Tim Wulling

2008: Matt Hass, Ray Bryan, Mary Hamel

2004: Kathy Magnuson, Sheila Richter, Bob Straughn

2003: Julie Himmelstrup, Terry Gockman, Elizabeth Clark

2001: Martha Russel, Bob Munson, Mark Hanson, Wayne Barstad

2000: Andy Boss, Chuck McCann, Steve Wellington

Other years’ records are unclear, please share any knowledge to!