Minneapolis Connects: March 2016

Minneapolis Connects: News and information from Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations

March 2016

Registration now open for the April 2 Community Connections Conference

Community Connections Conference

Registration is now open for the 4th annual Community Connections Conference being held on Saturday, April 2nd from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Click here to REGISTER now!

The conference theme - Big Ideas: Your Minneapolis – invites you to join neighbors, community members, non-profit organizations, business leaders, and members of Minneapolis’ design community, developers and City and elected officials to think BIG about the future of Minneapolis. 

The conference features three tracks:

  • Your City:  The Community Connections Conference will be the kick-off for Minneapolis 2040, a three-year planning process for the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Minneapolis 2040 will be the City’s twenty-year vision to direct the logical and coordinated physical development of the city into the future. Learn about the Comprehensive Plan process and participate in discussions on the big ideas for the direction of the city on such topics as growth, equity, resiliency, economic competiveness, and civic technology.
  • Your Neighborhood: The current neighborhood structure of the Community Participation Program is set to end in the year 2020. This is an opportunity for neighborhood organization staff, board members and residents to help plan a vision for the future of neighborhoods and their role in community beyond the year 2020.
  • Your Voice: Community engagement plays a crucial role in shaping City policy. This track will focus on how residents can engage with City leaders, learn how to serve on City boards and commissions and engage our cultural communities.

The conference is FREE and lunch will be provided. Have a BIG IDEA you can’t wait to share? Share it now by tweeting #MplsBigIdeas. Visit the conference webpage for more information.  

Now accepting Request for Proposals for the One Minneapolis Fund

One Minneapolis

The One Minneapolis Fund is designed to support diverse leadership development and community engagement in the City of Minneapolis. A total of $182,000 is available in funding for the 2016 grant cycle.

Proposals are requested to do this work in one of two ways: 

Group A Funding - Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that develop leaders and engage communities and result in increased involvement in City leadership structures by diverse people. For the purpose of this RFP, “City leadership structures” refers to City of Minneapolis boards, commissions, neighborhood organizations, and other similar advisory or civic engagement groups. Group A proposals may request a maximum of $15,000.

Group B Funding - Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that develop leaders and engage communities in specific targeted audiences. These leaders and communities will demonstrate their leadership and engagement by defining a specific community issue, and ways to address them through their program.

Preferred (but not limited to) target audiences:

  • Youth (ages 12-24)
  • Renters
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • African-Americans
  • American Indians
  • Group B proposals may request a maximum of $25,000.

The name “One Minneapolis” is used for the fund as a challenge to create an inclusive community in which all people are valued, all communities are engaged, and leadership mirrors the great diversity of our city. The One Minneapolis Fund is facilitated by the Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) and is funded by the General Fund of the City of Minneapolis budget.

Proposals are due by April 11th. For more information and to download the full RFP, please visit the One Minneapolis Fund webpage

Community Participation Program – draft revisions to guidelines now available

NCR is preparing draft revisions to the Community Participation Program (CPP) Guidelines for the 2017-2019 funding cycle. Residents are invited to an informational meeting to review the proposed Guidelines and provide early input. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Crown Roller Mill – 105 5th Ave. S.  

Attend the Northside Housing Fair on March 12

Northside Housing Fair

The Northside Housing Fair is your one-stop shop for all things housing related, whether you’re a renter, a homeowner, or anything in between. The event is free, and will be held on Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Lucy Craft Laney Elementary School – 3333 Penn Ave. N.

There'll be housing resources from contractors to financing opportunities, housing organizations to renter resources, neighborhood organizations, community groups and everything in between. Visit tons of vendors, participate in 20-minute mini-workshops, and find answers to your housing related questions all in one place.

If you can’t make it to the Northside Housing Fair, then mark your calendar for the South Minneapolis Housing Fair on April 16 at the Minneapolis Sports Center / Midtown YWCA.

Think spring! Order a tree, compost bin or rain barrel

Once again, the City of Minneapolis is offering more than 1,200 three- to eight-foot trees for only $25 each. Several varieties and sizes of trees are available, including fruit trees. Ordering begins Monday, March 7 in City Council Wards 3456, and 10 and Monday, March 21 for the entire city. Trees may be picked up on May 21, 22, or 23 at the Minneapolis Impound Lot.

Get a jump-start on gardening by ordering a $59 compost bin or a $74 rain barrel for your home. (These regularly cost $105 and $139.) By using a compost bin, you can keep more than a quarter of your household waste out of the garbage while making valuable compost for your garden. Compost bins and rain barrels will be available for pick up Saturday, April 30.

Apply to serve on City of Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup

The City of Minneapolis is looking for interested stakeholders to be a part of the City of Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup. Green Zones are a placed-based strategy that is grounded in community planning processes and community led solutions to transform neighborhoods overburdened by pollution and other social and economic stressors into healthy thriving neighborhoods. The goal of Green Zones is to prioritize these neighborhoods to reduce pollution and to develop new planning strategies that are both equitable and sustainable. Applications are due by Sunday, March 13. 

Position openings with neighborhood organizations

Corcoran new logo

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization is seeking a full-time community organizer. The community organizer will develop relationships and leadership, and help resident-leaders organize and engage with the CNO Board and outside decision makers to support their objectives. This position requires strong verbal and written Spanish language skills. This position is open until filled.

NENA logo

The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association is hiring a part-time bilingual community organizer. This position will lead the organization’s outreach and engagements initiatives, including work with cultural communities, renters and grassroots leadership. Complete applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25.

The Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association is seeking a part time independent contractor bookkeeper. The bookkeeper will support the SCNA board by helping the Treasurer, completing and submitting draw requests, drafting monthly/annual reports, and submitting all necessary tax filings. This is a one year contract. A cover letter including a resume and rates is due by Friday, March 18.

Shingle Creek logo

The Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA), is seeking proposals to provide bookkeeping / accounting services to cover fiscal year starting April 1, 2016 and help with closing fiscal year ending March 30, 2016. The contract will be for a one year period with the option to extend for an additional two years. All services will require close collaboration with SECIA staff and the board’s Executive Committee. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 28.

SECIA logo

Job opportunities in Minneapolis Elections office

The Elections office has a number of temporary full-time positions available for the upcoming primary elections. Fluency in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish is highly desirable.  

Election office jobs

Check out the financial transparency platform

Launched a year ago, the financial transparency platform powered by OpenGov.com gives residents and City officials unprecedented access to the City’s finances. The powerful visualization software transforms volumes of raw financial data into actionable insight and information, enabling better analysis and understanding of the City’s budget.

Minneapolis residents and staff can explore long-term budget trends and quickly drill down into specific financial detail in an intuitive, user-friendly format. Residents can easily answer questions such as, “what did the City spend on capital improvement projects?” or “How has City spending on police changed over the past seven years?” and download or share the data on social media.

Visitors to the Minneapolis platform can access the City’s recently approved 2016 budget, compare it to previous years dating to 2008 and instantly view revenues and expenses by fund, department and expense type on interactive graphs.  The current year's report provides insight into spending and revenues year-to-date.

Help shape our City - apply for openings on Boards and Commissions

Boards and Commissions

Applications are now being accepted for a number of open boards and commissions positions that the City Council and mayor will appoint this spring. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis provide valuable insights, help shape key policy decisions and provide community-based input into administration of services. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to strengthen the work of the City.

Applications will be reviewed beginning April 29. However, the positions are open until filled. There are 55 open positions on the following 9 City boards and commissions:

Visit the City’s website for a list of appointment opportunities, position descriptions and the applications. 

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Nick Cichowic

Nick Chicowicz

 District 5 Representative

Term: 1st two-year term

Ward: 7

Neighborhood: Bryn Mawr  

Sub-Committees:  City Department Engagement Task Force, Neighborhoods 2020 and Community Connections Conference.

Nick has lived in Minneapolis since 2008. As a Minneapolitan he has lived in a variety of neighborhoods including: Marcy Holmes, North Loop, Elliot Park and Downtown East. He has served as the DMNA Board Chair for the past year. Nick’s volunteer and professional career have included positions in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Over the past seven years he has worked in the areas of nonprofit consulting and management with an emphasis on nonprofit board of director’s development and strategic planning. In his most recent professional positions Nick has served as the Executive Director for the second largest home remodeling trade association in the United States (NARI of MN), written grant proposals and funding requests while also implementing community outreach strategic plans targeting public, private and nonprofit organizations. Nick has a passion for Minneapolis and intends to continue to focus his energy as a DMNA Board Member on making Downtown Minneapolis a vibrant, safe and livable destination for residents and visitors.

Nick also serves on the board of directors for two other nonprofit organizations: Dress for Success, Twin Cities and Restorative Justice Community Action, Inc. Nick was elected to the DMNA Board in October 2012.

How long have you been active in your community and what made you get involved in community work?

I've been active in the Minneapolis community since I arrived at my first Marcy Holmes neighborhood association meeting in 2008. From my first meeting I was hooked and I knew I wanted to continue to be a part of my neighborhood at the time. I wanted to become involved because I saw the importance of local and more specifically neighborhood involvement. Since my first meeting I've tried to offer a perspective of open and transparent communication on any board or commission that I've served on. Our boards and commissions in Minneapolis are effective with new leadership and continued community dialogue. As a current commissioner on the Neighborhood Community Engagement Commission my number one priority is to find ways for neighborhood organizations to communicate best practices and share successes and barriers to success and offer tools to build upon the knowledge gained from both.

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

As a current resident of the Bryn Mawr neighborhood I'm regularly impressed with the amount of community involvement I've witnessed during my time as a volunteer with my neighborhood association.  As the Chair of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association I've seen incredible development in Downtown East since I was elected to the board in 2012. The DMNA looks forward to building more engagement in Downtown West and with a motivated board focused on impact in the coming year - I expect a great deal of success.

Do you have any tips for residents interested in running for neighborhood boards and/or City boards and commissions?

The most important tip is to attend a meeting of the board or commission before you apply. It's important to learn about the culture of the board or commission to make sure that it's a good fit for your personality. The process of becoming a part of a board or commission can seem messy, hard to navigate and sometimes frustrating but the end result of being a part of the process will be that your voice and community's voice will be heard by decision makers in the city of Minneapolis.

The “Meet a Commissioner” series of the monthly Minneapolis Connects newsletter is intended for readers to get to know representatives of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC). The NCEC is a 16 member board. Seven members are appointed by the City Council and Mayor, one member is appointed by the Park Board and eight members are elected by neighborhood organizations.

The purpose of the Commission is to advise the Mayor and City Council on a wide range of community engagement issues. The NCEC is responsible for developing guidelines for the City’s principal neighborhood funding program, the Community Participation Program, as well as the One Minneapolis Fund and the Community Innovation Fund. The Commission also works to broaden participation on advisory boards and commissions and develops recommendations for improving the City’s public participation process.  

The Commission meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:00p.m. Learn more about the Commission

Upcoming events

March is Women’s History month

3/5: Harrison Winter Art Festival: SOMETHNGS MELT

3/8: Public Meeting on History of Native Americans in Minneapolis

3/10: Minneapolis 311 Community Coffee

3/12: Northside Housing Fair

3/12: Fix-It Tech Event

3/19: Northeast Renters' Rights Clinic

3/19: Tots Rock 10th Anniversary Party

Additional events and details can be found online: www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/calendar

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

Director, David Rubedor 
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425
105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-3737