Suzie Nakasian was elected to the Northfield City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2o14, representing Northfield’s East Side Neighborhoods. She is focused on expanding Northfield’s economic base, improving the community’s connections to the State and region, and seeing that local government delivers high-quality basic services while living within its means.
Suzie is well known and appreciated for her availability to constituents, her genuine receptivity to all views, and her demonstrated fidelity to community-derived plans and goals over special interests. Suzie brings to her work a welcome mix of big picture vision and a demonstrated ability to get things done.
Suzie serves on the Joint Powers Board of the Rice and Steele County 911 Call Center and the regional governing board of the Mill Towns Trail Board, which she also Chairs. Her previous experience in City government includes four years as the City Council’s representative to the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and participation as an appointed member of the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), and Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals.
In addition to her leadership in local government, Suzie is well known for engaging the community in addressing pressing problems and accomplishing community-derived goals. For example, she mobilized a a broad-based community coalition now known as the Northfield Grass Roots Transit Initiative which, in a period of just three months, surveyed local transit needs and launched effective transit solutions including the founding of the Northfield Metro Express bus, launch of a community ride share data base, and a redesign of the City’s local transit bus service with innovations that resulting in a 10- fold increase in annual ridership.
Alarmed by the threat posed by Climate Change, Suzie coordinated Northfield’s participation in the Minnesota Energy Challenge, a statewide energy conversation competition in which Northfield placed third in a field of 884 City “teams.” She was also the principal organizer of the Northfield Climate Summit – a community conversation in which more than 800 local residents participated, and which sparked ongoing local climate related initiatives including the founding of Northfield’s Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL).
Suzie advocated successfully for the City’s adoption of its now award winning “smart growth” land use practices, and she is a steadfast supporter of the City’s “Complete Streets” approach to creating a safe and continuous road network for all manner of vehicular and pedestrian travel. Also related to Trails, Suzie is an unstoppable champion of Northfield’s potential to become the “northernmost base camp” for the Southern Minnesota Assn of Regional Trail (SMART) network. (Read more here)
Suzie is perhaps most widely known for mobilizing and leading a regional coalition of cities, counties, employers and colleges that was successful in persuading the Minnesota Department of Transportation to amend the State’s Rail Plan to include Northfield’s long overlooked rail corridor as a Phase One (next in line) passenger rail corridor, opening the way for restored inter-city regional passenger rail connecting the south Central Minnesota communities to the Twin Cities on existing rail line through Northfield. (Read more at mnrail.org)
Prior to moving to Northfield with her young family in 2013, Suzie worked for more than 10 years in the design and direction of public national constituent engagement and fundraising for U. S. Senatorial and Presidential campaigns and non-profit organizations including the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation.
Suzie enjoys applying her personal and professional skills to the benefit of her community, region and State, and she particularly enjoys hearing from constituents.
Contact Suzie via email firstname.lastname@example.org.