Ward 8 Update Newsletters November 30, 2015

8th Ward News from Minneapolis Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward8

November 30, 2015

CONTACT INFORMATION

Elizabeth Glidden
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2208
elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov

 

OFFICE HOURS

Every Monday morning, 9-11:00 a.m.
Sabathani Community Center 
310 E 38th Street, 1st floor hallway nearest to the parking lot

Call for an appointment or just
drop by!

 

 

City of Lakes

Community Mourns Jamar Clark:

Protests Ongoing

On Sunday November 15, a young Black man, Jamar Clark, was shot by a Minneapolis police officer.  He died as a result of these injuries.  Protests and demonstrations have been ongoing since this time, for fifteen straight days in front of the 4th Police Precinct and in other locations, with community members asking for justice for Jamar Clark.

On the evening of November 23, 2015, at a protest for racial justice, three people with their faces covered shot and injured five protesters; the shooters were reported to have used racial slurs prior to opening fire.  Indiscriminate violence, which could have resulted in a person’s death, was perpetrated in the name of hatred and bigotry. Minneapolis police have arrested three men for these heinous crimes and are working with the FBI and the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, which will make charging decisions.

Black lives matter. And our need to speak out against white supremacy and white privilege, bias and hatred, has never been greater. This is where we can stand in solidarity - silence on this subject is statement in itself.

We can speak out in our conversations with each other. We can speak out with our stand on issues and causes. We can unite around our need for collective change and attention to the violence perpetrated by systems that promote racial inequity.

As a policy maker, elected by city residents to lead in our city, I view my role as making changes and improvements to the status quo, not accepting it. Racial equity guides my actions in creating transformative public policy change. Policy and budget decisions are where I can act to reverse white privilege: by fighting for paid sick leave, implementing policy to prevent wage theft, pushing for real criminal justice reform, ensuring that our budgets invest in our communities and reflect our values. I hope others join our rallying cry for change all the way from the federal government, to the State of Minnesota, and to our own City of Minneapolis.

Below is a statement issued by all 13 members of the Minneapolis City Council on November 24, 2015:

We are very concerned that last night, five community members were shot in our city. We have zero tolerance for this type of violent action and are relieved to hear that arrests have already been made related to this shooting. This follows nine days of demonstrations outside the Fourth Precinct in response to the death of Jamar Clark, a young African-American man who died after being shot by a Minneapolis police officer. We mourn the loss of his life and extend our deep condolences to his family.

We understand that many of our residents, especially those who identify with the Black Lives Matter movement, see the recent events in Minneapolis as part of a nationwide discussion on police accountability and its impact on the African-American community. We acknowledge this is an important national dialogue and we are here to listen to our Minneapolis residents and take action to address these concerns. We also thank Mayor Hodges for responding so swiftly to community calls for an independent, federal investigation.

In light of events occurring across the country, we know that one of the City’s first priorities is ensuring the public safety of all. This priority guides the decision-making by Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Harteau and we thank them for their efforts in this challenging time to protect all people in our city, including those involved in the peaceful demonstrations.

The right to peacefully gather is an essential expression of our constitutional right to free speech. We fully support lawful protests that do not cause injury to anyone or damage to our neighborhoods. We thank the vast majority of those who have assembled for their commitment to ensuring peace and safety. We thank and support those of our officers who have been working to ensure that our community is safe for everyone.

As a City Council, we come from diverse backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives to our work which reflects the various views of the communities we each represent. We are united in addressing the racial inequities that hold back our city. We support thorough and transparent state and federal investigations of this case. We agree on the need to examine our policing and criminal justice system, as part of our larger goal to close the racial equity gaps in Minneapolis.

We are committed to making Minneapolis a city that is strong, safe, and prosperous for all residents.


Working Families: Earned Safe and Sick Leave and Wage Theft

wf

As of Friday November 20, the Council appointed 15 members and 4 alternates to the Workplace Regulations Partnership, a group charged with developing policy recommendations related to earned sick and safe time. The group includes: 

  • Representatives of employees, specifically low-wage employees. 
  • Representatives of organized labor.
  • Representatives of employers, including large and small employers and immigrant-owned businesses. 
  • Representatives of business groups and associations. 

You can see the full list of appointed members here.

The Workplace Regulations Partnership will, in addition to other tasks, conduct focus groups and additional community engagement activities with workers and business groups.  The Workplace Regulations Partnership will deliver its recommendations to the Minneapolis City Council by the end of February, 2016.

Wage Theft

While wage theft, one of the original three prongs of the working families agenda, has not received as much media attention in recent months, this is an issue I remain committed to addressing along with several of my council colleagues.  Interested groups representing affected workers continue to provide information on wage theft to the Minneapolis City Council, highlighting the prevalence of wage theft (failure to pay wages) as it affects many low wage workers.  Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) recently published a report on wage theft, including a survey of the experiences of over 170 workers, which you can review here.   Addressing wage theft at the city level could include, as two examples, strengthening our partnership with the State agency that investigates and enforces wage and hour laws and ensuring that any wage related city laws (such as earned sick leave) have strong enforcement mechanisms.


City 2016 Budget Process

budget

Over past several months the City Council Budget committee has been conducting meetings with departments on Mayor Hodges’ 2016 Proposed Budget.  A schedule of the weekend budget hearings is available at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79schedule. You can also watch any of the budget hearings online at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79

Mayor Hodges’ budget increases the tax levy 3.4% (2.7% for “city” services, and the remaining increase to fund the city’s Park and Recreation Board and other independent boards).  This increase is lower than that of most cities in Minnesota this year, where the average property tax increase is 5.2%.

Council Members will have an opportunity to make motions to amend the budget during “Budget Mark-up” meetings on December 4 at 1 pm and December 7 at 1 pm. [check meeting times].  You can view the meeting calendar for the Budget Subcommittee at www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings

The City Council will adopt the City budget on Wednesday, December 9, after a public hearing that begins at 6:05 pm (a previous public hearing in November also provided opportunity for public comment on the budget).

City Budget public hearing
6:05 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9
Room 317, City Hall

The Mayor’s 2016 proposed budget includes these new items:

  • Funding the affordable housing trust fund (AHTF) at $8.5 million; additional affordable housing funding in the Mayor’s budget includes items outside of the AFTF, such as $1 million for housing for larger families.  Total funding in the Mayor’s budget for affordable housing (not including tax credit and other financing tools) is $13 million.  Note:  It is anticipated that the City Council will review a motion to increase the funding in the AHTF to $10 million for 2016; Council Member Glidden is a strong supporter of increasing funding to the AHTF;
  • Funding of $200,000 for staff to implement and enforce ordinances relating to the Working Families Agenda - specifically earned sick and safe leave and wage theft prevention measures.  In addition, the Mayor’s budget provides funding to study the regional impacts of an increase to the minimum wage;
  • Funding for public safety including non-sworn staff to analyze police body camera requests, two forensic scientists and two crime analysts; adding a new police recruit class to respond to ongoing high-retirement levels among current officers; and funding for criminal justice system reforms by the city attorney and police department including pre-charging diversion programs and moving responsibility for tab charging decisions;
  • Adding a staffer dedicated to meeting federal rules under the Americans With Disabilities Act;     
  • Adding four new construction inspectors and six housing inspectors;
  • Adding money to expand the EMT Pathways program, the TechHire initiative and the BUILD Leaders program — hiring programs designed to get lower-income residents and people of color into jobs and training in these areas;
  • $10 million for the city’s share of a $40 million rebuild of the 10th Avenue Bridge;
  • $400,000 to begin converting street lighting to LED technology.

The Mayor’s 2016 proposed budget includes these new items:


Clean Energy Partnership

cep

The Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership has adopted its first set of metrics for its first two-year work plan.  To find out more about the Clean Energy Partnership click here.

Among other things, the Partnership will track citywide greenhouse gas emissions, the number of people subscribed to clean energy (like community solar), and the number of energy efficiency improvements made to mute-unit buildings (through a new multifamily energy efficiency program) and Home Energy Squad visits.

Many of these metrics will be measured at the census tract level, ensuring that efforts made to reach low income communities and communities of color with energy improvements can be tracked on a long-term ongoing basis.

Minneapolis is working with community partners and the EVAC (Energy Vision Advisory Committee) to design better ways to reach all community members, including renters, with information about energy improvement programs.  We will continue to provide updates as the Clean Energy Partnership continues its work.


Minneapolis offers free home energy efficiency visits, no-interest financing on improvements

home energy squad

The City of Minneapolis is offering free Home Energy Squad visits to income-qualified Minneapolis households while funds last. Qualified households have incomes less than $35,310 for one person plus $12,480 for each additional person. That’s $47,790 for two people, $60,270 for three people, or up to $122,670 for eight people. Homeowners can call 612-335-5874 to confirm eligibility and schedule a visit.

Minneapolis households over the income limit can still receive the visit for $70 – which includes a consultation, materials and labor.

The Home Energy Squad visits bring energy efficiency experts to participants’ homes to install energy-saving materials and make recommendations on energy-saving upgrades. A crew of energy consultants will visit homes and:

  • Install energy-saving materials such as door weather-stripping, compact fluorescent light bulbs, a programmable thermostat, and high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators.
  • Test for air leaks.
  • Inspect the insulation in attics and walls.
  • Check heating systems and water heaters for safety.
  • Recommend energy upgrades based on what they find in the tests.
  • Refer homeowners to no-interest financing if they decide to do certain recommended upgrades.

To schedule a Home Energy Squad visit, call 612-335-5874 or visit mncee.org/hes-mpls.

For a limited time, the City of Minneapolis also offers no-interest financing to participants making insulation and air sealing upgrades recommended by the Home Energy Squad. For more information about no-interest financing on recommended insulation and air sealing upgrades, call 612-335-5884.


Future of East 38th Street: Community Meeting regarding Urban League

property for Sale

mul

The Urban League property at 411 E 38th Street has been placed on the market.  Please join community members for a gathering to talk about this property, its history in our community, and our hopes and visions for new ownership.  

Community Meeting: Sale of Urban League property at 411 E 38th Street
Thursday, December 10, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Sabathani Community Center, Room 216 

This meeting continues the conversation from earlier in 2015 sponsored by community organizations and the Ward 8 office:  The Future of E 38th Street, Development and Opportunity.  You can view the notes from that meeting here [link to Dev and Opportunity meeting summary].  This meeting is convened with the partnership of Bryant Neighborhood Organization, CANDO (Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization), the 38th and Chicago Business Association, and the Ward 8 office.


Spokesman-Recorder Historic Designation

spo

On Friday November 20, 2015, the Minneapolis City Council approved historic landmark status for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.  Owner Tracey Williams-Dillard was in attendance for this occasion.

The Minnesota Spokesman-Record is the oldest Black-owned business in the State of Minnesota, celebrating its 80th Anniversary in 2015.  Its founder, Cecil Newman, the grandfather of Tracey Williams-Dillard, was a profoundly influential visionary, used the pages of the Spokesman-Recorder to share news and opinion combating institutional racism - a legacy that continues today.

ds

Our thanks to Deebaa Sirdar, Ward 8 Associate, for her work gathering oral interviews, conducting research, and organizing materials to assist city staff in finalizing the historic designation study; we also thank Ward 8 intern Jeremiah Osokpo for his work to begin researching local historic designation for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.  

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has published this video, which includes Council Member Glidden’s comments at the November 20, 2015 Council meeting.  Council Member Glidden’s comments also acknowledge the death of Jamar Clark, a young black man shot and killed by police officer, ongoing protests watched by the international community, and the role of community in calling out institutional racism at play.


Stearline Rucker receives highest honor from American Association for State and Local History for Lee Family House

stea

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly awarded the most prestigious recognition, The Award of Merit, for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history to Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group’s Past President and current Program Manager/Historian Intellect Stearline Rucker. Along with Stearline, honorees include U of M Associate Professor of Heritage Conservation & Preservation Greg Donofrio, Ph.D., and U of M Architectural Historian Laurel Fritz.  The honorees received this esteemed award for their depiction of the historical account of Arthur Lee having the right to live in South Minneapolis, at 4600 Columbus Ave, in 1931, whereby enduring mobs of 3000 to 4000 white residents taunting the family for over a year to move out of the neighborhood. 

The Award of Merit is presented for excellence in history programs, projects, and people when compared with similar activities nationwide.  The Leadership in History Awards Program was initiated in 1945 to build standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout America.

Congratulation to Stearline, Greg and Laurel for their accomplishments in representing this important piece of history in our community!


Re-Open Nicollet: Moving Forward

kmart

For many years, Council Member Glidden, along with key city staff and Council Members, has been meeting to develop a city strategy for reopening Nicollet.  These efforts were spearheaded some years ago by Council Member Robert Lilligren.

Now, after significant efforts, the City has taken a major step forward in efforts to reopen Nicollet and seek development for that location that better serves community needs.  

On November 30, 2015, the City Council authorized the purchase of 30 W Lake St (the former site of Sullivan’s, or a grocery store) for $5,275,000. The Council also authorized a Purchase Agreement for 10 W Lake Street (home of K-Mart); the agreement is for a purchase price of $8 million, with 10% or $800,000 due within 90 days.  The purchase option will be available exclusively to the City for a period between 1.5 to 2 years (terms still being negotiated).

While this is a major step forward in working to reopen Nicollet, major obstacles also remain.  K-Mart (Sears holdings) retains rights to a lease on 10 W Lake Street for 37 more years.  As well, original agreements in place at the time 30 W Lake and 10 W Lake were created prevent either property owner from building a new development on what is today a large shared parking lot, unless there is agreement from both parties to that development.  The City will continue to negotiate with K-Mart during the period of time the purchase option for 10 W Lake Street is in place.


Dred and Harriet Scott Days

in the State of Minnesota

dred scott
Dred and Harriet Scott's restored quarters at Fort Snelling


We the people celebrate the ratification of the 13th Amendment… 150 years ago.  You are invited to this free community event and speak out!

Dred & Harriet Scott Days in the State of Minnesota
Saturday, December 5, 2015 2:00-4:00pm
Sabathani Community Center
(310 E 38th Street, Minneapolis) featuring Dr. John Wright, PhD, and music

Sunday, December 6, 2015 12:30-2:00pm
Vigil at Historic Fort Snelling Visitor Center for all persons enslaved, trafficked, interned, persecuted or denied the full status of persons protected by the United States Constitution.
200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul, 55111

You are invited to this free community event and speak out! With the ratification of the 13th Amendment formally abolishing slavery in the US.... 150 years ago, the abolition of America's largest capitol generating institution created a backlash which took many forms. Violent resistance, the Black Codes, the formation of the KKK and "state’s rights" which persist to this day. Please join us in remembering the past in order to make a better future in Minnesota.

Come and learn from speakers and artists about Dred and Harriet Scott and their impact on history. Dred Scott carries clear lessons for our democracy. How do you see your citizenship or status in America?


Central Neighborhood Community Meeting and Celebration

ca

Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) will have a community meeting Friday, Dec. 11th, 5:00pm - 7:0pm, 3736 Chicago Ave, to discuss and vote on changes to CANDO bylaws and NRP plan modifications to begin implementing in the 2016 CANDO budget.
Stay for the party, 7-10pm, to celebrate the successes of 2015.  There will be free food and prizes given away throughout the evening.