Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Jon Olson said he will not seek re-election this year after his fourth term expires.
Olson said he made the decision in part to improve diversity on the Park Board. His Second District in north Minneapolis has the largest population of people of color. "We don't have people of color on the board," he said.
Residents have praised Olson for keeping lines of communication open. But others have said it's about time for a person of color to represent the North Side.
Kale Severson, grant coordinator at Neighborhood Hub and youth counselor for St. Joe's Home for Children, is running for the seat. But Olson said he's going to support longtime coach Mike Tate, who will switch from running for an at-large seat to run for the Second District position.
"He's had kids' backs for 40 years," Olson said of Tate. "It's time to get his and get him elected."
Olson noted improvements of the North Commons, Farview, Webber, and North Mississippi parks, and Phillips Community Center as some of his biggest accomplishments on the Park Board.
"For 16 years people had faith in me to represent them and fight for them, and I'm grateful for that," he said.