Our recently adopted strategic plan can be found here:

North End Neighbothood Organization 2018 Strategic Plan



North End Neighborhood  Organization (NENO) 

“Building Community Together” 

2018-2023 Strategic Plan

Approved by NENO’s Board of Directors August 6, 2018



The North End Neighborhood Organization (NENO) is committed to tackling community issues and promoting the highest quality of life for residents of the North End. The council’s office is located on Front Street and Albemarle near the heart of the North End community. NENO is part of the City of St. Paul’s district council system, created in 1975 to provide community engagement in the city planning process. The 17 St. Paul district councils serve as autonomous nonprofit agencies.

In addition to promoting community engagement, NENO works to maintain and amplify the North End’s connections to opportunities and resources. Its efforts include planning, advocacy, collaboration, and partnerships to promote the well-being of the community by sustaining its identity, efficacy, resilience, and continuity.

With this strategic plan, NENO’s Board of Directors is committed to governing the council with an equity framework, making the elimination of disparities based on race, income, age, gender, immigration status, and housing central to our work.

The North End community borders St. Paul’s capitol district and is close to downtown. Several commercial centers, including Midway, Har Mar Mall, Rosedale, and Roseville Center, are located within a few minutes’ drive. Nearby regional recreation areas include Como Park, with its recreational spaces, conservatory, amusement park, lake, and Minnesota’s only urban zoo, which is located on the western edge of the North End; Lake Phalen is to the east. The North End is also home to several beautiful parks, including Marydale and Lewis Park with their water features. Many churches in the North End provide important community focal points, as do a host of North End businesses situated along Rice Street and throughout the community. The amenities around the North End—including shopping, parks, libraries, entertainment venues, fitness centers, and public transit—are among the best in the city, although education, safety, employment, poverty levels, and the aging housing stock remain areas in need of improvement.

The North End has been one of St. Paul’s fastest growing communities, reaching nearly 23,500 residents in 2016. It is also one of St. Paul’s most diverse neighborhoods, having welcomed a diverse population of immigrants for more than a century. Many residents are from fourth- or fifth-generation German, Austrian, Polish, and Italian American families. Among the newest residents of the neighborhood are Karen immigrants. Karen newcomers began arriving from Burma in 2000 and have increased the size of their population to close to 6,000, making Minnesota home to more Karen than any other state.

The North End’s growing diversity is evident in its student population. In 2016, a third of North End residents were 18 years of age or younger. Members of North End households speak more than a dozen languages, including German, Russian, Spanish, French, Cambodian, Burmese, Vietnamese,  Somali, Hmong, Chinese, and Persian.

NENO’s previous strategic plan helped to successfully guide several significant North End accomplishments, including improving parks, transportation, and business opportunities and a continued commitment to prioritizing City of St. Paul and Ramsey County investments in the North End. Partnerships with neighboring areas are also underway.

In 2018, NENO embarked on developing a new strategic plan, beginning with engaging in internal and external conversations to gather community, Board, and staff input about what kind of community the North End is, what kind of community it wants to be, and what priorities it considers important.

These conversations were followed by strategy sessions to refine NENO’s mission, vision, core values, and high-level goals. The outcome of these strategy sessions was an overarching vision for the community based on four high-priority ideas: facilitating community equity and engagement; bringing more economic opportunity to the North End; promoting the North End as a welcoming community; and growing a more prosperous community. These ideas are integrated into the goals and objectives section.

This strategic plan is intended to ensure that NENO will remain focused on what interview and discussion group participants identified as the most important elements in advancing and maintaining the North End’s well-being: creating an equitable, connected, and welcoming community; maintaining a strong community voice; enhancing community amenities; working collaboratively and in partnerships to improve the community; and increasing government investments in the community. These factors are reflected in the goals and objectives developed for the Strategic Plan and will enhance the livability of the community for all residents, whatever their economic status, background, culture, or age.

A Plan Built on Community Engagement

The engagement process included interviews with numerous people in the community, including several North End business owners; elected officials serving the North End; staff members from three philanthropic foundations; government representatives, including police and library, city, county, and state staff; NENO District Council Board members and staff; some members of NENO’s District Council teams and committees; selected North End nonprofit executives and staff; and three staff members from North End schools. Three discussion groups with 40 community members were also arranged by two North End nonprofits (In-Progress and MORE) and the Rice Street Library. This process, which included a total of 90 people, resulted in NENO’s commitment to dedicate the North End’s community resources to building its future as a desirable neighborhood for everyone.

Community members who took part in these conversations offered many ideas for improving the livability of the North End. The findings underscored the North End’s aspiration to become a community with an established and sustainable local economy. This priority, with the goals and strategies identified below, will guide NENO’s policy and budgetary decision making and its work for the next 5 years.

The process and timeline for the development of this Strategic Plan are outlined below.

Timeline for Development of Strategic Plan













to Plan

SP Kick-Off

NENO Board Meeting

Community Input Plan

Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee Meeting

Board Update

Community Input


Board Update

Community Input


Discussion Groups

Board Update


Interview & Discussion Group Findings, SWOT Analysis, Strategic Directions

Ad Hoc SP Committee Meeting

Board Update

Share/Refine Goals & Objectives

Draft/Refine Plan

Board Retreats

Board Update

Board Meeting

Board Update

Finalize Plan

Plan Approval

August 6, 2018

NENO’s Current State

The findings regarding NENO’s current state that were gathered through interviews, discussion groups, staff, and Board input are summarized in the following SWOT analysis.

North End Neighborhood Organization SWOT Analysis

Internal Factors

(inside organization)




  • Passionate, committed, capable Board, council staff, committees
  • Good partner
  • Location
  • Building ownership
  • Full support of city council members representing North End
  • North End is recognized as needing more city and county investments (‘the place that has gone without”)
  • Fiscally stable


  • Unsure about mission
  • Not enough diversity in leadership perspectives
  • Reactive
  • Distrust within community
  • Challenged staff capacity
  • Competing neighborhood agendas
  • Under-utilized community relationships
  • Limited budget for mailings
  • Council mentoring of new members

External Factors

(outside organization)


  • So much in the community could use investments
  • Demographic changes/cultural sensitivity
  • Fundraising
  • Take on relationship/trust building
  • Getting to know the community
  • Succession planning
  • Engaging children and families (community engagement)
  • Clear advocacy agenda
  • Improving visibility
  • Improved communication (translation, interpretation)
  • Increased focus on development, communications, and outreach (mailers in more areas)
  • Council recruitment (more diversity)
  • Additional staff (for grant writing, community organizing, IT, revitalization work)
  • Stronger community partnerships for greater impact
  • More relationship building/partnerships with North End nonprofits
  • Getting clear on priorities


  • Funding environment
  • Staff capacity if demands increase
  • Community polarization
  • CDBG Funding may be at risk
  • Being seen as an arm of the City Council—District Councils should focus on government broadly

Goals, Objectives, and Action Steps

The following 7 goals will guide the work of NENO over the next 5 years:

  • Continuing the NENO’s equity learning and work
  • Broadening organizational capacity (staffing, revenue)
  • Increasing community building (engagement, trust-building, leadership development, volunteer capacity)
  • Improving governance (council membership, decision-making)
  • Strengthening collaborations and partnerships to improve livability in the community
  • Increasing community investment (governmental and private)
  • Improving community-wide communication (sharing issues and information)

The specific objectives and action steps that will be taken to achieve each of these goals are defined below, as well as the measures by which success will be determined.

Equity and Inclusion

Goal 1: Continue the North End Neighborhood Organization’s equity learning and work by focusing on populations of our community that are under-recognized and/or underserved. Timeline: Ongoing

Objective 1.1: Continue participation in the District Councils’ Equitable Engagement planning.

Action Steps

1.1.A. Provide mentorship to new Board members.

1.1.B. Identify potential leaders and Board members from various communities with help from staff, Board members, partners, and volunteers.

1.1.C. Recruit more community members to join Board committees.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • District representatives on city commissions and committees will include members of our varied communities.
  • NENO’s Board and/or committees will have a representative from each under-recognized and/or underserved community and be reflective of North End neighborhoods.
  • NENO’s Board and committee members will receive active and clearly defined training.

Objective 1.2: Track the information needed to understand North End disparities, evaluate the impacts of the North End’s equity work, and address disparities.

Action Steps

1.2.A. Track information on the disparities faced by economically disadvantaged, racial, ethnic, and other North End populations and share this information with NENO’s Board, committees, and community.

1.2.B. Assess impact of North End’s public budgets, programs, and projects on equity within the community and report how budget expenditures, levels of service, and infrastructure conditions vary by area within the district.

1.2.C. Where disparities in service delivery and community development programs are found, advocate for changed policies and priorities.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • An annual review of equity and disparity issues and progress will be conducted.
  • An annual summary of Board and committee programming and budgets will reflect equity and disparities work.

Objective 1.3: Provide training to increase North End leaders’ knowledge and improve their decision making regarding equity.

Action Steps

1.3.A. Provide training to NENO’s Board and committees that focuses on understanding economic disadvantages, diversity, inclusion, and implicit and explicit bias; individual, institutional, and structural racism; and equity issues and their impact on community development, housing, and other services. 

1.3.B. Educate NENO’s Board and committees about institutionalized racism, intercultural competency, and the legal requirements and regulations of the Civil Rights Act.

1.3.C. Expand community-based leadership training programs to build community organizing capacity and the capacity for people to engage in shared governance, focusing on under-resourced and underserved communities.

1.3.D. Ensure that NENO Board members and staff attend the Train-the-Trainers Equity Program with other District Councils.

1.3.E. Strengthen collaboration between NENO, equity advocates, and the community to more fully integrate equity into decision-making.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • All Board members will participate in 3 hours of training on equity annually.
  • Collaborations established between NENO and equity advocates.

Objective 1.4: Use a racial equity framework in decision making.

Action Steps

1.4.A. Use decision-making frameworks that explicitly address issues of economic disadvantages and racial equity; implicit and explicit bias; and individual, institutional, and structural racism.

1.4.B. Consider racial and economic equity when advocating for or changing policies, programs, and practices that continue inequities and when developing new policies and programs.

1.4.C. Host community dialogues on race, ethnicity, culture, economic disparities, and the importance of equity.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • NENO’s Racial equity framework will be defined and implemented.
  • Every decision and policy will be considered using a racial equity framework.

Objective 1.5: Hire staff and contract with businesses using an equity framework.

Action Steps

1.5.A. Show measurable progress in hiring people of color and indigenous (POCI) staff members and contracting with POCI businesses.

1.5.B. Evaluate how public information, application requirements, and fees impact access of diverse communities to community resources and business opportunities.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Hiring and contracting metrics/benchmarks will be documented and reviewed.
  • An annual review of hires and contractors will be conducted.
  • The number of POCI contractors will increase 5% annually.

Organizational Capacity

Goal 2: Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of NENO’s operations and maximize opportunities to be transparent, to remain financially sustainable, to effectively inform residents, and to meaningfully engage the community. Timeline: 2 years

Objective 2.1: Complete the rollout of the updated NENO website to create a more user-friendly, accessible, and interactive online information resource for the community.

Action Step

2.1.A. Continue looking for opportunities to improve the website through quarterly reviews.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Content will be current and relevant.
  • Website analytics will be used to understand users interests and needs.

Objective 2.2: Increase staff capacity. 

Action Steps

2.2.A. Assess staffing needs and develop a long-term capacity-building plan (including community engagement and outreach, grant writing, fundraising).

2.2.B. Acquire funding to support staffing needs.

2.2.C. Train staff and Board in the use of a reliable project management platform such as Trello and implement a clear plan for when to use it.

How We Will Know It Worked

    • Half-time staff member will be hired and three years of funding secured.
    • Two interns will be maintained annually.

Objective 2.3: Maintain and expand NENO’s sources of revenue.

Action Steps

2.3.A. Continue to pursue current government grants and contracts.

2.3.B. Acquire a 3-year grant to support new initiatives.

2.3.C. Pursue new grants to diversify NENO’s funding sources.

How We Will Know It Worked

    • Revenue will grow by 20% each year.

Objective 2.4: Continue to be a wise steward of financial resources.

Action Steps

2.4.A. Maintain adequate reserves to ease the impact of economic fluctuations.

2.4.B. Ensure that community members know where NENO revenue comes from and how it is spent.

How We Will Know It Worked

    • An outside accountant will be retained.
    • The Secretary of State accepts NENO’s 990 (the federal form filed annually by tax exempt organizations).
    • A high-level annual budget will be posted on the website and reviewed at NENO’s Annual Meeting.

Community Building

Goal 3: Create new programs that engage people of all ages, cultures, family configurations, educational backgrounds, and trades and professions. Timeline: 3 years

Objective 3.1: Strengthen community identity and sense of belonging.

Action Steps

3.1.A. Build relationships with the community that encourage collaboration, communication, trust, and understanding.

3.1.B. Provide residents with a venue to openly discuss issues of concern.

3.1.C. Improve services available to underserved or vulnerable residents.

3.1.D. Develop, coordinate, and promote programs that engage youth.

3.1.E. Help build trust with refugee communities.

3.1.F. Use Creative Placemaking strategies (paying close attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define the North End and support its ongoing development) to facilitate broad-based community ownership.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • One active Youth Committee will be established and advertised on NENO’s website.
  • Upstairs infrastructure at NENO’s office will be designed for community use.
  • NENO’s upstairs space and yards are used by more groups/organizations for community events.
  • Two community social events per year will be held at NENO properties.
  • Feedback regarding all community events and activities will be solicited.

Objective 3.2: Promote outreach and involvement of new residents.

Action Steps

3.2.A. Explore and develop leadership opportunities to increase new residents’ engagement in the community.

3.2.B. Expand translation and interpretation services to increase the understanding of frequently used community materials.

3.2.C. Increase residents’ opportunities to actively engage in decisions that affect their neighborhood.

3.2.D. Develop and distribute a new resident handbook.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • New resident information packet will be created and distributed.
  • New resident information packet will be available on NENO’s website.
  • Postcards will be sent to new residents.

Objective 3.3: Work to improve rental conditions for tenants, support high-quality rental properties, and improve properties that need it.

Action Step

3.3.A. Build partnerships with tenants’ rights organizations to educate renters and landlords.

3.3.B. Provide links to information about tenants’ rights on NENO’s website.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Two renters’ rights workshops will be offered annually.
  • Language-specific information regarding renters’ rights will be available to North End community.
  • A list of North End landlords will be compiled and made available.
  • One rental property owners’ (safe landlords) workshop will be offered annually.

Objective 3.4: Facilitate the development of a neighborhood where residents can safely walk to essential amenities and services.

Action Steps

3.4.A. Continue working with the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County to improve walkability and to slow traffic in our community.

3.4.B. Advocate for the development of a comprehensive crosswalk policy and implement safety improvements at existing marked and unmarked crosswalks and implement at highest priority locations.

3.4.C. Consider traffic calming and other safety techniques where appropriate.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Current walkability score will be obtained and made public.
  • Goal for improving walkability score will be set.

Objective 3.5: Enhance the beauty of our community.

Action Steps

3.5.A. Maintain and educate the community about North End’s cleanup program.

3.5.B. Advocate for recycling.

3.5.C. Develop North End housing and zoning objectives.

3.5.D. Work to add more public trash and recycling containers throughout the community.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • At least 10 more trash and recycling bins will be placed in the commercial corridor on Rice Street over the next 5 years.
  • Neighborhoods will be engaged in community gardens.
  • All NENO events will be environmentally conscious with zero waste.
  • North End’s Large Area Plan will be finalized and updated.

Objective 3.6: Assess the condition of and preserve community green spaces, parks, and schools.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Conditions of these community spaces will be assessed for quality.
  • Green spaces will be well maintained.
  • Funding for improvements will be advocated for as needed.

Objective 3.7: Maintain the North End as a safe community.

Action Steps

3.7.A. Support programs that encourage neighbors to get to know each other.

3.7.B. Address crime by enhancing community awareness of public safety systems and partnering with crime prevention programs.

3.7.C. Provide information and education to all residents about actions that can be taken to keep themselves and their families safe.

3.7.D. Increase awareness of residents by providing information that enhances their knowledge of how public safety agencies serve the community.

3.7.E. Promote neighborhood and building design that focuses on issues of public safety.

3.7.F. Promote and support partnerships for neighborhood and school safety (e.g., for traffic calming).

3.7.G. Support “Ambassador” and “Group Violence and Prevention” programs that emphasize community members joining with law enforcement and social service providers to create safer communities.

3.7.H. Create a program to assist residents with safety improvements.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • A Safe Community Program will be created.
  • North End residents will actively participate in this program and related activities.

Board Governance

Goal 4: Govern NENO in a transparent, efficient, accountable, and responsive manner on behalf of North End residents. Timeline: 2 years

Objective 4.1: Continue to conduct business in an open and inclusive fashion.

Action Steps

4.1.A. Deliver services in an efficient and practical manner.

4.1.B. Actively pursue the aspirations, goals, and expectations of North End residents.

4.1.C. Encourage residents to serve on NENO’s Board of directors and committees and in other volunteer capacities.

4.1.D. Create an Engagement Committee.

4.1.E. Create a Youth Committee.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Attendance of underrepresented groups will increase.
  • Committee and task force structures will be created with recruitment plans embedded in their agendas.
  • Board membership will reflect the demographics of the neighborhood.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Goal 5: Use NENO’s influence to support community partners’ actions, projects, and initiatives that improve the North End’s livability and prosperity. Timeline: 2 year

Objective 5.1: Lend NENO’s support where appropriate to assist with the success of community projects.

Action Steps

5.1.A. Strengthen partnerships with the Community School of Excellence and other schools, Open Cities, Keystone Community Services, North End Early Childhood Coalition, St. Bernard’s Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions, the Rice Street Recreation Center, the McDonough Center, the Hmong American Partnership, the Karen Organization of Minnesota, Health Partners and others.

5.1.B. Create a coalition of nonprofit organizations to strengthen the North End.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • A North End Coalition will be created within the next 2 years.
  • Staff from coalition organizations will join a NENO Board committee and/or attend a NENO Board or Board committee meeting quarterly.

Objective 5.2: Deepen community support, partnerships, and sponsorship of events to build community cohesiveness.

Action Step

5.2.A. Develop and support fun community events, collaborating with other partners such as the McDonough Center to encourage healthy living and cultural opportunities.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Three partner events will be hosted by NENO quarterly.
  • NENO’s Board will help the North End Booster Club increase its scholarship fund.

Community Investment

Goal 6: Partner with the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County to build a strong and resilient North End business economy. Timeline: 5 years

Objective 6.1: Create infrastructure and policies that support job creation.

Action Steps

6.1.A. Visit at least 25 businesses annually to get feedback and to find out how NENO can help them succeed.

6.1.B. Partner with city and county to help North End businesses succeed.

6.1.C. Attract new businesses and job creation opportunities to the North End.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • City and county will make investments in the North End community.
  • A survey of Rice Street businesses will be executed.
  • Board members and/or staff will visit 25 businesses annually.

Objectives 6.2: Strengthen commercial and retail areas throughout the neighborhood.

Action Steps

6.2.A. Make the North End a vibrant destination for city and regional visitors.

6.2.B. Strengthen neighborhood business districts.

6.2.C. Explore numerous public and private funding sources to help the

community compete financially.

6.2.D. Maintain our participation in the North End Business Association (NEBA). 

How We Will Know It Worked

  • NENO’s website will include a North End Business Spotlight feature.
  • North End’s commercial and retail businesses will be aware of funds that they can access for improvements.
  • NENO will advocate for North End’s commercial district with the City of St. Paul.

Objective 6.3: Build upon the North End’s status as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city by strengthening connections with its ethnic and cultural businesses.

Action Step

6.3.A. Promote the North End as a go-to destination to experience and support cultural and ethnic businesses.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • An annual event to promote the diversity of the North End community will be planned and executed.

Objective 6.4: Retain a high-quality housing market in the North End to strengthen its value and property tax base, contribute to an exceptional quality of life, and ensure decent housing for residents at all income levels.

Action Steps

6.4.A. Target under-resourced communities and help them benefit from first-time homebuyers programs.

6.4.B. Continue to invest in the maintenance and rehabilitation of neighborhood infrastructure and facilities.

6.4.C. Partner with developers to create high-quality housing for moderate- and low-income residents.

6.4.D. Continue to support homeowner and neighborhood associations and address their issues and concerns.

6.4.E. Ensure that the North End’s zoning is aligned with that of the entire City of St. Paul.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • A housing survey will be completed.
  • Homebuying and rental successes will be tracked throughout the community.

Objective 6.5: Obtain STAR Dollars for North End.

Action Step

6.5.A. Encourage businesses to complete neighborhood STAR applications.

6.5.B. Target diverse businesses that can benefit from STAR funds and assist

them in completing STAR applications.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • At least 4 North End businesses will complete STAR applications over the next 5 years.
  • Continue to fund small businesses throughout the North End in addition to businesses that are supported by the North End Development Team.

Community-wide Communication

Goal 7: Increase NENO’s visibility within the North End community. Timeline: 2 years

Objective 7.1: Develop and implement a community-wide communications plan.

Action Steps

7.1.A. Survey Hmong and Karen communities to find out the best ways to provide information (e.g., word-of-mouth, flyers at cultural markets, social media).

7.1.B. Include outreach through diverse and preferred media sources to Hmong, Karen, and other communities to encourage volunteer sign-up and engagement and keep community members aware of North End activities and issues.

7.1.C. Update postings on the message Boards.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • A survey regarding residents’ preferred media for communication about the North End community will be created and distributed.
  • A communications checklist will be implemented.
  • A consultant will be hired to assist with internal communications.

Objective 7.2: Conduct regular facilitated resident feedback sessions about community services and priorities.

Action Step

7.2.A. Host Placemaking Community Meetings, such as movie nights in outdoor spaces.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • A  thirdparty vendor will be hired to implement Placemaking Community Meetings.
  • A feedback survey will be developed and handed out at North End events.
  • Two pop-up events will be held in the community annually.

Objective 7.3: Ensure that critical community information, such as plans, budgets, ordinances, and expenditures, are available on NENO’s website and communicate with residents about meetings and community issues using a variety of media.

Action Steps

7.3.A. Implement a stronger social media strategy.

7.3.B. Expand outreach to community leaders.

7.3.C. Improve community attendance at Board meetings.

How We Will Know It Worked

  • Essential community information will be posted on NENO’s website.
  • Comments about essential community information will be posted on NENO’s Facebook page.

A Vision for the Future

Based on the growing excitement among North End residents, business owners, and community organizations about their community, the North End Neighborhood Organization’s goal for the future is clear: to promote the North End as an influential and engaged neighborhood. NENO is committed to being welcoming to residents of all walks of life and sees the North End as a place where individuals, families, and businesses have opportunities to prosper and contribute to a vibrant and distinctive community.

Community aspirations include improving transportation options, public safety, and the housing stock; providing better and more recreation facilities; and continuing community redevelopment and revitalization efforts.

According to new and long-term residents alike, people feel good about living in the North End. Respondents agreed that its ethnic and cultural diversity is the leading factor in what makes the North End distinctive, followed closely by its need for greater economic development and access to government services. Other characteristics that make the neighborhood special that were noted by respondents included its family-friendliness, affordability, good schools, and rich history.

When asked what needs improvement in the community, respondents said that safety issues top the list, including street maintenance, transit options, and walkability. Other desired improvements included more restaurants, bakeries, small businesses, youth entertainment, personal development options, and a neighborhood center.

Interview and discussion group participants also expressed a community aspiration to offer residents and visitors a robust cultural experience, a strong and resilient local economy, and greater opportunities for youth. These findings correspond well with NENO’s vision of a thriving, culturally rich, safe, welcoming, and prosperous community.

Implementation Strategy

Implementation is key to a successful strategic plan. NENO’s staff and Board of directors will play a pivotal role in delivering the vision not only by continuing to ensure that high-quality core services are provided but also by reaching for more aspirational goals focused on the livability and desirability of the North End community. A Strategic Plan Oversight Committee will be charged with managing the implementation of the plan to ensure that NENO’s actions help make this vision a reality.

The Strategic Plan Oversight Committee will be chaired by the vice chair of the Board with support from the executive director. NENO staff, Board members, and volunteers who represent NENO initiatives associated with the goals and objectives will be assigned or volunteer to support the various goals of the plan.

Twice annually, the Board of Directors will meet to review progress on the implementation of the individual objectives in the strategic plan. A written update will be provided to Board members by the Strategic Plan Oversight Committee, and the Committee will present an annual update at a Board of Directors meeting. The timing of the review will align with budget preparation activities to ensure that high-priority actions for each year will be adequately funded. Revisions to the strategic plan will be considered by the Board each year, and any proposed revisions will be included in an update plan for Board consideration.

As indicated in the following diagram, each goal will be led by designated NENO Board or staff members or committees.

Definition of Terms

Community: A group of two or more mutually connected people having a common characteristic and collective purpose that requires collective action. A community has four basic characteristics: members, a mutual structure, a collective purpose, and a boundary.

Community engagement: The process by which NENO will build ongoing, permanent relationships with North End residents for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the neighborhood’s benefit.

Community identity: Reflecting an area’s unique history, natural features, culture(s) and sources of community pride

Community well-being: A community’s ability to meet and maintain its identity, efficacy, resilience, and continuity.

Compris: French word for “inclusive” 

Continuity: Unbroken and consistent existence or operation over a period of time.

Efficacy: The ability to produce a desired or intended result.

Eigenkapital: German word for “equity” 

Equitable community engagement: A process of participation that ensures that all voices are heard, with a focus on the inclusion of disenfranchised and marginalized communities. The District Councils of the City of St. Paul have defined equitable engagement as: (1) more accurately reflecting the communities they serve, (2) reviewing and adopting policies and practices that intentionally create space for residents who currently are under-represented, and (3) pursuing systemic work that reflects the needs and priorities of residents who have been under-represented historically.

Equity: The quality of being fair and impartial; in this context, ensuring that community participation reflects the racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic experiences and needs of those most impacted by inequities and decisions.

Huānyíng: Chinese word for “welcoming” 

Inclusion: identifying and removing barriers to participation in planning and decision-making for all groups within the community, including those with limited economic, political, and social resources.

Inclusivo: Spanish word for “inclusive” 

Kar sahkar: Cambodian word for “collaboration”

Neighborhood: A geographic area, especially one viewed as a community, within a district, town, or city.

Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Samardhi shi hkwngya: Burmese word for “integrity” 

Soo dhaweynta: Somali word for “welcoming” 

Vaj tse: Hmong word for “home”  

 Vận động: Vietnamese word for “advocacy”

Приветственный: Russian word for “welcoming”

شامل: Persian word for “inclusive”


Ad Hoc SP Committee: The committee met twice during the strategic planning process to provide oversight for the development of community outreach materials, analysis of community feedback, and refinement of the SWOT analysis and strategic directions. The committee was charged with ensuring that this plan will be implementable and reflect NENO’s mission, neighborhood aspirations, and partner organizations’ priorities. 

Yer Chang, Coordinator, Community Recreation Specialist, Rice Street Recreation Center

Shannon Eckman, NENO Board member

Feven Gereziher, North End resident

Karin Groening, NENO Board member

Betti Ingman, NENO Board Vice Chair and Land Use/Housing Committee Chair

Patrick McGuire, NENO Board Secretary, Saint Paul Public Schools teacher

Zach Pierson, Library Associate, Rice Street Library

Kris Sorenson, Director, In Progress

NENO Board Perspective: NENO’s Board and staff reviewed the Ad Hoc SP Committees’ SWOT analysis and strategic directions, refined their language, developed a vision statement, refined NENO’s mission, and identified actions already underway that align with the vision. They also identified current gaps between actions and available resources and developed goals and objectives to ensure the envisioned outcomes.

2018-19 Board of Directors

SE Quadrant (1)

Thaw Tu Hso

Betti Ingman (Vice Chair)

Hwa Jeong Kim

Alison Warford

SW Quadrant (2)

James Berka

Karin Groening (Secretary)

Steven Struhar

Henrik Weber

NW Quadrant (3)

Richard Holst (Chair)

Patrick McGuire

Ethan Osten

Katheryn Schneider (Treasurer)

NE Quadrant (4)

Matt Sletten


Suyapa Miranda

Business/Institution Seats

Tammie Johnson

Special thanks to participants in the interviews and discussion groups! Contributions to this plan were made by more than 90 people, including North End residents, NENO Board members and staff, elected officials, business leaders, funders, government and nonprofit staff, Strategic Planning Session attendees, and others who commented via email.


Beth Bowman, Executive Director, Weavers Guild

Amy Brendmoen, Councilmember, City of Saint Paul

Anne DeJoy, Director of Commercial Development, East Side Neighborhood Development Company

Mark Doneux, District Administrator, Capital Regional Watershed

Dan Edgerton, Senior Associate, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Kathleen Lohmar Exel, Director, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Kristin Guild, Deputy Director, City of Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development

Sarah Hernandez, Program Officer, Regional Communities, McKnight Foundation

Amy Heurta, Director of Business Performance and Financial Analysis, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Julianne Hinchcliffe, Clinical Social Worker, Wellstone Elementary School

Johnny Howard, Community Engagement Officer, City of Saint Paul Police

Matthew Ides, Director of Economic and Community Development, Hmong American Partnership

Margaret Jones, Fellow, 8 80 Vitality, City of St Paul

Kirsten Libby, Principal Attorney/Government Affairs, Libby Law Offices

Joe Lux, Transportation Planner, Ramsey County Public Works

Julie Maidment, Senior Commander, City of Saint Paul Police

Mike McCollor, Principal, Washington Technology Magnet School

Mary McKeown, Executive Director, Keystone Community Services

Joe Mendyka, Community Engagement Coordinator, Office of the City Council, City of St Paul

Ann Mulholland, Vice President of Community Impact, The Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations

Peter Musty, Principal Planner, Capitol Area Planning Board

Gretchen Nicholls, Program Officer, Twin Cities LISC

Theresa Nix, Principal Consultant, Theresa Nix Consulting

Jason Peterson, Executive Director, NeighborWorks Home Partners

Zach Pierson, Community Outreach, City of Saint Paul

Dennis Prchal, Rice Street Business Owner

Chuck Repke, Executive Director, North End Neighborhood Development Corporation

Janice Rettman, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, District 3

Jim Roth, Executive Director, President, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Consortium Community Developers

Cathy Rucci, Executive Director, MORE

Susan Schmidt, Minnesota State Director, Trust for Public Land

Kristine Sorenson, Executive Director, In Progress

Craig Sweet, Program Coordinator, Saint Paul Public Schools

Dai Thao, Councilmember, City of Saint Paul

Andre Walker, Human Services Coordinator, McDonough Homes

Jai Winston, Program Director, Community and National Initiatives, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Julia Wolfe, Planner, Healthy Aging St Paul–Ramsey County Public Health

Mark Voerding, Assistant to Ramsey County Commissioner Janice Rettman

Nate Zwonitzer, Water Resource Project Manager, Watershed District

NENO Staff

Kerry Antrim, Executive Director

Consultants: Karen Gray and Nora Hall, Ph.D., GrayHall LLP


North End Neighborhood Organization (NENO)

Kerry Antrim, Executive Director

171 Front Avenue          

St. Paul, MN 55117

Web: https://nenostpaul.org

Phone: 651-488-4485