Erin Pavlica's Response

So here is my concern for my neighbourhood, after living here for 18 years. Progress can be beautiful and devastating all at once. I love not having prostitutes share my bus stop corner anymore but it has been sad to see so many businesses, that I could WALK to, leave Midway (& Union Park since most of the retail is technically in their district). We are sorely lacking basic businesses that we all frequent outside of our 'hood. Bread bakery, family-friend pub, and an ice cream parlor to name a few! Rest in Peace Borders Books.

I am excited for the stadium yet skeptical. My boys are MN United season ticket holders, yet I want the stadium owners, developers, and the city to be held accountable for the future development. I see storefronts that have remained empty for years. I see monthly rental costs unattainable for the average small business. I worry that the artist rendering was to lure people in and give them a false sense of hope when nothing is set in stone besides the stadium itself. The last thing I want to see is Snelling and University become corporatized. I want Saint Small to stay just that, but with more focus on sustainability. Be it alternative transportation, green space, walkability, and less person-on-person crime. We have beautiful diversity in Midway, I don't want that to change. 

Crime is everywhere. I have lived in Suburbia and a bigger city than this (7 states and 2 other countries) is out there. But community activism is the absolute way to reduce crime. Sure, we need a solid relationship with our police force, but we also need community members to be involved with our youth, who might not otherwise have opportunities or outlets. 

Recently I saw a house listed in Midway for $324,000! I had sticker shock. While I am excited my property value is going up, I worry about low-income families, like mine, who can barely afford the maintenance costs of their properties. I also worry about my neighbours, who rent, having rents that aren't affordable anymore. We have had a few houses turn over, through foreclosure, to out-of-state companies. One near me is owned by a company based in Atlanta. This is zero investment in the vitality of this community, in my opinion. 

Change happens when people show up. And so many people keep showing up here. Social media has connected us for the better, but it also gives way to more arm chair activism. Just talking about it won't change anything. You have to show up! I am a doer and connector, so this is something I am passionate about.