My name is Caitlin Magistad and I’m the newest member of the MCCD Policy Team! Before MCCD, I spent two years on the Public Policy & Advocacy team at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, working with the statewide Homes For All coalition and the Minneapolis coalition Make Homes Happen. As MCCD’s newest Policy Advisor, I will be working on local and regional policy, beginning with a focus on Saint Paul and the East Metro area. As a lifelong St. Paul resident, I’m so excited for the opportunity to make my hometown even better by ensuring everyone who lives in St. Paul has a safe, affordable, and dignified place to call home.
My interest in advocacy and affordable homes is rooted direct service experience in multiple affordable housing programs in the Twin Cities, including emergency shelter and supportive housing. A desire to change systems and resources available for affordable housing led me to complete a Master’s in Social Work at the University of Minnesota. During my MSW, I had the opportunity to complete a public policy internship that focused on advocacy at the state legislature to increase resources for Minnesota’s Homeless Youth Act. After my MSW, I worked as a supportive housing case manager at the Wilder Foundation, and also had the opportunity to coordinate staff and resident participation in Homes for all and Homeless Day on the Hill. I’m passionate about increasing community engagement and involvement in public policy, particularly for people who are most impacted by an issue. To increase my advocacy and community engagement skills, I also completed a Master's in Advocacy and Political Leadership from Metropolitan State University in 2017.
I’m excited to join the team at MCCD because I’ve seen their powerful leadership on multiple coalitions, in particular focusing on local resources and policy as state and federal funding continue to be unpredictable. Regardless of funding streams, MCCD and its members and partners know that there are urgent, unmet housing needs throughout the metro and that our voices can be powerful in working towards equitable community development throughout the region. In my first few months, I’m looking forward to meeting MCCD members and community partners to learn more about their ideas to improve housing opportunities and access in St. Paul! While the need is great, this is an exciting time for affordable housing advocates in the Twin Cities, as we see communities and cities increasing their local leadership and accountability for our affordable housing challenges and solutions.