Running for City Council

Dear family, friends, and neighbors,

I am excited to announce that this year I will be running for City Council in Columbia Heights. 2018 is a pivotal year and I am a firm believer that the best way one can be involved in our world is to get involved on a local level.

When my family and I purchased our first house in Heights, I fell in love with the small-town feel of my city and the diverse, welcoming community I saw represented in my neighborhood. This, this place was home. The city where I will raise my daughter, and some day when she’s grown she’ll think back and proudly say, “Columbia Heights? That’s my hometown.”

I’ve spent my few years here in Columbia Heights getting involved in my community through various volunteer opportunities. When I found out my block wasn’t a part of Neighborhood Watch, I quickly found out how to become a Block Captain and organized a National Night Out event for the neighbors surrounding me. I’ve spent the past year involved in helping to create a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called HeightsNEXT – a group that focuses on promoting sustainability and community in Columbia Heights. Most recently I’ve joined the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee as a volunteer where we focus on representing the diverse city that is Columbia Heights and acting in an advisory capacity to both police and the greater community. I started an online Facebook group called the “Columbia Heights Peaceful Community Group” where I believe all residents of our city deserve an equal opportunity to voice their opinions and network with one another in a respectful setting.

Yet still, for me, this isn’t enough. There are even more issues I’d like to focus on in Heights, and I believe the best way I can advocate and work for those issues is by serving Columbia Heights as a City Councilmember.

There are 15 city parks in Columbia Heights – a city only 3.5 square miles, yet most of these parks are under-utilized or outdated. Only two of our city parks have indoor bathrooms, only 4 parks have basketball courts, and even a basic amenity like grills are not yet installed in every park. An opportunity exists where we can utilize these parks to bring our community together! These 15 parks scattered throughout this small city impact every neighborhood. Making basic improvements and updating amenities to our parks will encourage our communities to come together. As a mother of a young child, I desire a comfortable space for my child to play, where the equipment Is age appropriate for both younger and older children. Where I can sit at a picnic table and interact with other parents in my community, a park where my child can make friends with someone that might live next door or right down the street.

It isn’t uncommon to hear that Columbia Heights feels like a small-town. We are a city of not-quite 20,000 people and compared to Minneapolis’ 400,000+ residents, it makes sense. The opportunity to not only encourage this small-town feeling but to invest in it is something I can’t let pass by. As a councilmember I want to work towards engaging our community, encouraging neighbors to get to know one another face-to-face, and facilitating community events that allow our diverse demographics to unite so we can retain that small-town, hometown feel.

The list of issues I want to address as a councilmember is extensive, including creating more community places for our teenagers to gather, establishing a “Junior City Council” for teenagers to familiarize themselves with our local politcal process. I want to work to better walkability and pedestrian paths in Heights, ensuring safe spaces for all pedestrians. I look forward to supporting and encouraging volunteerism within our city, and always advocating ensuring Columbia Heights is a safe and welcoming place to call home. My friends and family often describe me as a hard-working and passionate person, and as a councilmember, I can ensure that I am committed to this city because I love this city, because I’m invested in this city. Columbia Heights is my home and I would be honored to serve as a City Councilmember.

Thank you,

Nelle Bing



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