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Lynette Dumalag: Following Her Immigrant Parents' Directive to "do good here"

Article by Claudia Kittock

I met Lynette Dumalag when I began serving on the Task Force to End Street Homelessness. I was immediately impressed with her breadth of knowledge about all things concerning homelessness, her youth, and her obvious expertise in commercial real estate. We have served on this committee together for 5 years, and through those years have gotten to know each other, and my initial impressions were not only correct, but my admiration for her has grown. She is a human dynamo and one Minneapolis is so lucky to have on ‘our side’. 

Lynette DumalagLynette is the child of immigrants who came here from the Philippines, looking for a better life. She was taught to ‘do good here’ and to help others and was strong imbued with a sense of duty. From middle school on, Lynette volunteered, and early in her career in commercial real estate, was invited to Aeon to share a meal. Sitting down to share a meal is a wonderful way to meet people on an equal basis. She was hooked!

Lynette is now the chair of Aeon’s board and serves on many other boards, always working to help people who need a hand up, making sure that she ‘does good here’.

Here are her answers to my questions:

How did you get the position as Chair of Aeon's board?

I had been volunteering with the organization for a few years. First as a committee member on their Young Professionals committee where we held events, did fundraising and volunteered at certain properties. I was then asked to join the board a few years later and have been on the board for 8 years. I recently rolled off as Chair and will be involved on the board for one more year.

What do you do in that position?

The board follows governance model called the Carver Model. We get to create policies and executive limitations for the organization so that the CEO has permission/freedom to do the work that needs to get done. We also get to hear about external/market forces and policy changes that impact the work that the organization does.

What are you doing that is working?

We as a board and as an organization have been able to respond to the growing need to preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing, or “NOAH”. This has been a focus for those in the affordable housing space and we’ve been invited and asked by communities to come in and help.

What do you want the policy makers to know about the work you do?  How can they help?  How can all of us help?

A lot of work goes into development, acquisition, and management of affordable housing. Obviously access to capital is always going to be an issue, but even policies at the local level can greatly impact the work that Aeon and others do. I’d invite policy makers and others that are interested to learn more about how housing is created and how to support those that might need additional services so that they are successful at keeping their housing. 

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).


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