NEWSBRIEF: Payne-Phalen community elects new board members

The Payne-Phalen Community Council held its annual meeting on April 23, electing new board members and discussing goals and upcoming projects.

This year 10 candidates ran for six open board seats. Those elected include Athena Hollins, returning board member and former board president; Chris Schweitzer, returning board member; Seanna Thompson, returning board member, Ikram Ali, a new board member and one of the owners of Karibu; John Thompson, anew board member, long-time East Sider, activist and friend of Philando Castile; and Janes Atchinson, a new board member and an East Side teacher. 

This past year, the organization hired its permanent executive director, Jack Byers, and has been working to try to connect more with Payne-Phalen residents, especially as it works on updating the Payne-Phalen district plan, which hasn’t been updated since the 1970s. The district plan serves as a document to guide development in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, especially on topics like transportation, business development, recreation and other topics. 

As the council works on the plan, residents are asked to think about what they’d like to community to look like in the next 20 years for themselves, their children and for other future Payne-Phalen residents. 

Payne-Phalen Community Council meetings are held on fourth Tuesday of every month, at 6:30 p.m. at the Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. Go to to find out more about the district plan and how to get involved. The council office can also be reached at 651-774-5234.

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