To the editor:

It seems these days like the business of community leadership is a zero-sum game.

For one person to “win” another has to “lose.” More and more, we divide into teams and root for one side to win and the other side to lose. Candidates for office want us to know that they will “fight” for our team.

While that competitive model may be effective in getting people elected, I have found in my years in local government that the elected officials who can collaborate – especially with those who have different perspectives – are the most effective. Now, more than ever, we need leaders who build community.

Julie Greene is one of those people. She has a record of working to bring people together. She helped lead the effort to pass the 2017 Operating Levy Referendum, bringing people together to support critical funding for our schools. She has also been an essential part of the organizing the TEDx Edina conference, a community-building event that brings people together to share big ideas. And, just this past year, she was the driving force behind the Edina Mural Project, an entry in the Edina Community Foundation’s Bold New Idea Event (if you want a window into the passion Julie brings to building community, take a couple of minutes and watch the video of Julie’s entry at edinacommunityfoundation.org/bold-new-idea-contest).

These are just three examples of Julie’s commitment to building community but they represent an approach to leadership that builds on what we have in common. Now more than ever before, our schools need community builders. That’s why one of my votes for the Edina School Board will go to Julie Greene. I hope one of yours will, too.

Kevin Staunton

Edina City Council Member

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