Minneapolis Park Board
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, August 21, 2021
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS— “We’ve had a really hard couple of years,” says Jono Cowgill. “From my vantage point, the constant has been the people in the park system doing the people’s work.”
Cowgill is running for a second term to represent District 4 on the Minneapolis Park Board. He has the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
District 4 includes parts of downtown and several neighborhoods including Elliot Park, Whittier, Wedge, Stevens Square, Kenwood, Bryn Mawr, Cedar-Isles-Dean, and East Calhoun.
Currently serving as president of the Park Board, Cowgill says his focus has been to make Minneapolis parks “more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.”
Cowgill also says park staff are a priority, including increasing the number of park keepers and children’s program staff. He wants to see the park system creating more full-time positions and moving away from contractors.
In collaboration with fellow Park Board member Londel French, Cowgill led in moving the park system to partner with the school system to provide wrap-around services as part of the community schools initiative. “It’s something I’m proud we started,” Cowgill says. “It’s one of the great pieces of design of our park system and school system that there are parks adjacent to schools.”
Raised in a union household, Cowgill himself grew up in the Minneapolis parks and schools. “I was in Rec Plus as a kid. I played park basketball,” he says.
Running four years ago, Cowgill said, “we need to focus on working families and the workers who are there every day in our parks.”
Now, Cowgill wants to say, “thank you… The folks showing up every day make our public spaces and our city function… They create community.”
Jono Cowgill: Focus on working families
(Minneapolis Labor Review, October 27, 2017)