Andrea with her husband Craig and sons Justin and Jared.
Meet Andrea West
Family and Upbringing
Born and raised in Minneapolis, I moved “across the river” to St. Paul after graduating from high school. I’ve been inspired by my two grandmothers – one a doctor and dedicated volunteer with the League of Women Voters and the other a farmer’s wife who worked at the local hospital cafeteria - to work in service of others and for the greater good.
I attended Lakewood Community (now Century) College, and then Hamline University, where I received a BA in Sociology. I’ve worked in social services for 30 years and have been a non-profit manager for more than 25 years. Most of my non-profit jobs have been with agencies that are considered social enterprises or businesses with a specific social purpose.
I married my husband Craig soon after I graduated from college. My interest in emergency services/first responder issues comes from my experience as the spouse of a law enforcement officer. We are proud to have two sons who graduated from White Bear Lake Area Schools. Go Bears!
Engagement in our Community
Ramsey County Mental Health Advisory Committee: While working at an agency focused on serving people with serious mental illness (SMI), I participated in the Ramsey County Mental Health Advisory Committee from 2010 to 2014. As a committee member, I learned more about the provision of mental health services in Ramsey County and I was able to share my knowledge of the needs of people with SMI to help inform and improve service provision, including at the (then) new Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health that was built.
White Bear Area Neighborhood Concerned Citizens Group: I became involved with the White Bear Lake Area Neighborhood Concerned Citizen’s Group in 2019 after our community was made aware that a local manufacturer, Water Gremlin, had been releasing toxic chemicals into the air for more than 15 years and our home was in the “area of concern”. I attended community meetings provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) where I listened to the concerns of my neighbors and voiced my own concerns. I advocated directly to legislators for improvements in laws, including an increase in accountability, monitoring, and consequences for businesses that mishandle dangerous chemicals. I also provided written testimony for hearings at the Minnesota House of Representatives, wrote a letter to the editor, and gave feedback to MPCA on permit language. As part of the community, I believe businesses have a responsibility to act in a manner that is safe for their employees and the people who live in the area surrounding the business.
White Bear Lake Housing Task Force: I participated in the White Bear Lake Housing Task Force after noticing little turnover in housing stock and increasing housing costs, keeping many people from being able to live in the area. The Task Force found the city needs more housing, especially workforce housing, housing for young families, and housing for seniors. For more information on the Task Force: www.whitebearlake.org/communitydevelopment/page/housing-task-force-recommendations-report
White Bear Lake Planning Commission: I have served on the White Bear Lake Planning Commission since 2021. I was interested in learning more about how the city determines land use and zoning, makes decisions, and plans for the future. I have challenged developers to consider accessibility in their design as well as how they could meet the housing needs as defined by the Housing Task Force.
Ramsey County Library Board: I joined the Ramsey County Library Board to bring my perspective as a non-profit manager serving individuals with physical, mental health, and cognitive disabilities to the board. I believe public libraries play a critical role in promoting literacy, providing opportunities to learn, sharing public internet access, and offering various classes and activities in a safe space to all people in the community.
Budget management/public accountability: I have experience with creating, proposing, monitoring, and following budgets as a long-time non-profit manager. As a Board Member of the Ramsey County Library, I am responsible for approving and monitoring the budget. In each of these roles, I need to control costs while also making sure services continue to run smoothly. I take the responsibility of managing public funds seriously in these roles and will continue doing so on the City Council.
Planning for the future: I pay attention to the changing needs in the community as a non-profit manager by gathering data and listening to community members, responding with suggestions, and advocating for change as needs are identified. I will bring this same perspective and action orientation to the City Council.
Civility: I have training and experience using respect and courtesy while working with people who are experiencing significant life and personal stressors. I have found that remaining calm and respectful encourages calm communication, even when there is disagreement. I will bring this civility to the City Council.
Prepared & paid for by the Andrea West for WBL City Council Committee 4055 White Bear Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110