Meet Gail & Dameun: New TLC Board Members

Meet Gail & Dameun: New TLC Board Members

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By Jennifer Harmening Thiede, Communications & Member Engagement Manager

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This summer, Transit for Livable Communities welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors. We are excited about the insights and enthusiasm Gail Dorfman and Dameun Strange bring to our board and look forward to working closely with them both in this capacity.

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I’m excited to join the TLC Board! As an elected official, there was rarely an issue that arose that wasn’t in one way or another connected to creating comprehensive transportation options. Building healthy communities is about fostering connections—creating opportunities for all people to live, work, and play in communities that offer affordable, safe, and healthy choices for daily living. Promoting transit, biking, and walking is an essential element to building those community connections. TLC gets that and has positively impacted legislative policies and land-use planning throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota. I look forward to helping TLC continue to spread that message.

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Gail Dorfman is the new Executive Director of St. Stephen’s Human Services. She is stepping into this role after serving for 23 years in local elected office as a St. Louis Park City Council Member and Mayor and as a Hennepin County Commissioner, representing both Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. Gail’s focus throughout her years in government was to build healthy communities. For her, that meant focusing on housing, transportation, and public health reform. She led efforts to end homelessness, promote livable communities and affordable and mixed-use housing development, to build bike trails, expand transit, adopt complete streets and active living policies, and to promote public health initiatives, such as the Hennepin County smoking ban and access to school-based mental health care. Gail is particularly proud of her multi-year leadership of the Midtown Greenway Partnership that created the best bike/ped corridor in America. She is very pleased to continue this work as a member of the TLC Board. Gail holds a BA in Political Science from Ohio State and MA in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

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I am truly excited to join the TLC Board, as thoughtful transit planning is truly a part of building healthy, sustainable communities. I am particularly interested in transit-oriented development and design for communities—and ensuring that these processes are more equitable and engaging community members as a truly valuable resource at every level.

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Dameun Strange is a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow working with the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Team. He also is an artist, activist, and organizer. Dameun has worked locally for such organizations as ACORN, MN UNITED, and Grassroots Solutions to organize around voting rights, arts advocacy, LGBTQ rights, and dismantling racism. Before joining our board, he briefly worked with Transit for Livable Communities on the Move MN campaign. Dameun is the cofounder and artistic director of the community classical-music education program, Hopewell Music Cooperative North, and currently serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Selby Avenue Action Coalition, and Alternative Motion Project. You’ll also find him playing his keytar in a couple of performing groups around town. In 2013, Dameun was named a MinnPost/Pollen “under the radar” community leader to know. In 2014, he was appointed to the City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR Board. As an artist, Dameun is driven to create, to innovate, to build something meaningful and that gives people pause. As an organizer, he is driven to bring people together, to find commonalities between communities, to build bridges—to find the soul of the community and illuminate it, building on assets for a strong future. Although a Minnesota transplant, Dameun is a proud Saint Paulite who lives in the vibrant and beautiful Frogtown neighborhood. He received bachelor’s degrees in music and English from Macalester College.

Keep an eye on our events calendar for opportunities to connect with TLC board members and staff in person at our upcoming events this fall.

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