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Interning at All Parks – Lao’s story

Lao Yang is a Family Social Science major at the University of Minnesota. She’s spent the fall semester enrolled in HECUA’s Inequality in America program, a 16 credit, semester-long course dedicated to exploring the roots of inequality in America and evaluating potential solutions. Each student in the program spends 20 hours a week as an intern at a local nonprofit organization. Lao’s internship placement site was with All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC). She was kind enough to share this description of APAC’s work below.

Hello everyone! My name is Lao Yang. This fall semester, I’ve had the opportunity to intern with All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) as a community organizer. APAC is a Minnesota statewide nonprofit tenant union for manufactured (mobile) home parks residents. My role as a community organizer is mainly focused on the Rush Line Corridor transit. I create flyers, spreadsheets, and pick up phone calls.

All Parks Alliance for Change has been working with the manufactured home parks since 1980. APAC is helping manufactured home parks residents know their rights as residents and form associations within their park or community to fight for justice. During my first couple months with APAC I have learned so much about the issues that are going on in the community, as well as the objectives that APAC, along with the residents, are working towards.

This year APAC decided to expand their advocacy. APAC wants to provide a better and healthier environment for the manufactured home community. APAC is currently working with public transit to create a transit line for the parks along the Rush Line Corridor, which is known for its lack of transportation (it’s a transportation desert).

What is the Rush Line Corridor?

The Rush Line Corridor is a transitway extending 80 miles from Hinckley to downtown Saint Paul. Currently APAC is working with all park residents along the Rush Line. This consists of 27 total parks with 2,779 households, and approximately 7,500 residents. Important decisions are still being made regarding the particular route and which transit alternatives to use. Options include light rail transit, rapid bus transit, and diesel multiple unit train.

We (APAC) would like to have the opinions of park residents within the parks along the Rush Line Corridor reflected in this huge project, so we designed a resident survey. I worked closely with Dave and a co-worker, Jono, on the Rush Line Corridor random sample survey. The survey consists of four categories: Background, Access to Personal Vehicle, Current Public Transit Use, and Future Public Transit Use. We just finished the survey and sent it out last week.

The next project that I’ll focus on is the Before You Sign handbook project. The Before You Sign handbook project is mainly to help park residents know what kind of questions to ask the park owner or the manager before signing a contract. It also provides legal rights and policy of manufactured home parks. I am excited to dive deeper into this project and update information that needs to be added to the handbook.

If you would like donate to help APAC complete this project and other services with the manufactured home parks, please click the links below to either donate through Give to the Max or the APAC website.

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