Name: Lindsay Powell
What years have you lived in Lawrenceville? 2020 to present
Why did you move to Lawrenceville? I’ve always lived in the East End (Bloomfield/Friendship/Lawrenceville) because I love being in an environment where I can get to know my neighbors. I love environments where people are friendly and inviting, and I’ve always felt that way about Lawrenceville. I also appreciate the access to public transportation and resources. As someone who doesn’t have a car, I based all my housing choices on how I easily I can get around to the grocery store, doctors, green spaces etc.
Current Job Title (if employed): Director of Workforce Strategies, InnovatePGH
Why do you want to be on the LU Board? What would you like to work on within the neighborhood? There are so many exciting things happening in the city and I would like to continue to help make sure that these things are equitable and accessible. In particular, I would like to focus on expanding the work being done to keep older residents in their homes, work to make more homes permanently affordable, attracting/supporting more MWBE businesses on Butler and Penn Ave, more placemaking and beautification projects, and more ways to have safe alternative transportation modes.
Please list Volunteer, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: Board Member of NeighborWorks SWPA, Urban Redevelopment Authority, YWCA where I volunteer at events, help with programming creation and guide the organization into financial health.
What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why? One of my first weeks officially moving to Lawrenceville, a few neighbors were enjoying their backyards in the summer evening. All of our fences are low (under 5 ft) so you can see when other folks were out. Immediately the neighbors introduced themselves, and started telling me about the history of the block and who has since moved where. I immediately felt welcomed and it’s been like that ever since. While some folks have moved on to other parts of the city, they’ll roll past the block and say hello. When new folks move in, I feel a duty to give them the same welcoming experience and I feel like that’s special to this area and I would love to be apart of the work to continue to keep that magic here.
One of LU’s core values is equity and the organization will be undergoing anti-oppression trainings in summer 2022, which new Board members will participate in. What’s one idea you have for how LU should live out its commitment to equity? Calling out specifically racial equity is especially important if we want to be clear on how we want to focus our equity. Especially in our opportunity rich neighborhood, I think it is imperative that we use a racial equity lens when creating programming, working with neighbors and advocating for policies to better the community. This looks like integrating this lens into all the work that LU does rather than leaving it for separate DEI initiatives.
How are you involved in the Lawrenceville community? I think I am pretty involved as a good neighbor; I sign up every year to be a Snow Angel and also just do all of my mobility-challenged neighbor’s walks when it snows and dig out their cars. I also patron the farmer’s market all season and a lot of the small businesses that make up the fabric of our community. I’ll sometimes pick up trash on my walks with my dog and am always looking out for the safety of my neighbors. I attend LU community events and convenings when I can and love enjoying our local parks (and dog run)!
What would you bring to the LU Board (e.g. experience, skills, perspective, network, etc.)? From my own personal experience with displacement and gentrification, to my professional work in the economic development space, I believe that I will be able to bring a unique perspective to the Board. With my experience working in the policy and advocacy space, I have learned a lot of tools and created connections with others in this space that could be helpful to the organization. Working for and with non profit boards throughout the city, I think I have a lot of experience, energy and ideas to bring to our community!
What is one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? I can speak a little bit of Bahasa Malaysia!