Minneapolis Park Board
Londel French: Member of the union family
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, August 21, 2021
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
MINNEAPOLIS— “I’d love my union family to help me continue the things I’m doing to help people for the next four years,” says Londel French.
French is running for re-election for a second term as an At Large member of the Minneapolis Park Board. He has been endorsed by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Running four years ago, French offered his nearly 20 years of experience working with Minneapolis youth in the park system and the school system.
For nearly 20 years, he worked in special education for the Minneapolis Public Schools and was a member of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals Local 59 and a former longtime union steward.
French currently works for the statewide teachers union, Education Minnesota, as a racial equity organizing specialist.
Serving on the Park Board, French has been a strong advocate focusing on recreational programs and jobs programs.
He helped win more protections for the front desk staff at the park system’s 50 recreation centers — “Code 8” employees — who gained safe and sick time and a guaranteed number of work hours each week. “That was a good labor win,” he says.
These workers, he notes, are “the first person kids talk to when they come in our buildings. They’re very important.”
“I was a Code 8,” he adds. “It was financially worthless and emotionally priceless.”
This summer, French championed opening the North Commons pool and swim programs for free.
French sees the park system as a way the city can engage its youth in positive, skill-building activities. “We need more programming,” he says. In particular, he thinks the parks should focus on the 18-25 year old age group — “we forget about these guys.”
Londel French: Longtime union member
(Minneapolis Labor Review, October 27, 2017)