Minneapolis Connects April Newsletter

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

April 2017

2017 Community Connections Conference has highest attendance yet

This year's CommUnity Connections Conference was a wonderful success thanks to the many residents that came out to attend and volunteer and the partners that hosted workshops, exhibit tables, Meet-Ups and more. This year’s attendance was the highest yet, with over 600 people attending, including many first time attendees. With over sixty vendors, thirty workshops and Meet-Ups, and some incredible speakers and community guests, the conference truly did bring Unity to the Community.

Check out some of the photos from the event below.

Image of conference performersImage of conference participantsImage of confernece participants at a learning labImage of conference participants in the exhibit hall

Cheyenne Brodeen - NCR’s new Administrative and Internal Services Manager

Image of Cheyenne Brodeen

NCR is pleased to announce that Cheyenne Brodeen is NCR’s new Administrative and Internal Services Manager. Cheyenne brings a wealth of knowledge about the City and NCR to this position. She has served as NCR’s Community Relations Specialist since 2010, and prior to that worked as a Minneapolis City Council Aide since 2008. Cheyenne holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Hamline University and a B.S. in Housing, American Indian Studies and Communication from the University of Minnesota. Cheyenne is a life-long resident of Northeast Minneapolis.

In her new role, Cheyenne will focus on strengthening the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission’s role within the city and our neighborhood organizations and on expanding the role of NCR within the City enterprise. Please join us in congratulating Cheyenne!

Paying tribute to Black April

Image of Vietnamese refugees on a U.S. aircraft carrier

Black April is a very significant event for the Vietnamese American community. It marks the fall of South Vietnam on April 30th, 1975. It changed the lives of thousands of families.  Many people who fought for the United States did not feel safe and left Vietnam as political refugees.

 “…when my family escaped Vietnam in 1978, they were on a moving adventure that meant leaving their home country, the lives they knew, the people and country that they grew up with, and set sail for a new world and a new way of living.  For me, it helps remind me to appreciate living and not take life for granted.  It also helps me want to learn more about my history of where I am from and how my life and my family came to be.  This month as a Vietnamese American makes me proud of my family for the struggles and tribulations that they went through to get me to a safe place where I can grow up and be happy and healthy.” - Anonymous

Black April is a time for Vietnamese Americans and their supporters to feel pain for those loved ones they left behind after the Vietnam War, but also a time for them to have hope for their children, family and community from the communities they live in to show care, value and embrace Vietnamese Americans as friends, neighborhoods, residents, citizens and most importantly as human beings with feelings and emotion for safety and freedom.

To learn more about Vietnamese history or the Vietnamese community in Minneapolis please contact NCR's Southeast Asian Community specialist Michael Yang at Michael.Yang@minneapolismn.gov, or visit our website here.

American Indian Month kickoff

Image of American Indian Month kickoff event from 2016

On Monday, May 1st, the American Indian community will come together to kick-off the celebration of Indian Month in MN.  The kick-off event will begin at 10:00 am at the Little Earth of United Tribes in south Minneapolis.  The morning will consist of words from community leaders, local representatives, elders, and youth.  There will be a short parade from Cedar Field to the Minneapolis American Indian Center where lunch will be served. The afternoon will include music from Native bands. You can find information on other American Indian Month events here.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Nasser Mussa

Image of Commissioner Mussa

Mayoral Appointee

Term: 1st

Ward: 6

Neighborhood: Cedar Riverside

Sub-committees: City Department Engagement Committee, One Minneapolis Fund Committee, Community Connections Conference Committee

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

I have been active in my community for more than 10 years. The condition of being a young black immigrant, Muslim and Oromo living in Minneapolis, comes with extraordinary challenges and limited opportunities which made me active in my community. On my arrival to the U.S, I found myself in a profound identity crisis where challenges were not only overcoming poverty and educational shortfalls, but also adapting to a society whose values were sharply at odds with my religious values. These challenges pressured me to get involved in community development, organizing people around civic engagement and address community issues that revolve around different policies at the city, county and state.

Getting involved in politics of place making and community building is a long journey that has shaped my understanding of common good in my community and the City of Minneapolis. I became NCEC commissioner to be a voice for my community and address barriers including systemic and structural racism and persistence underrepresentation of communities of color in decision making. Of course, addressing these issues is not going to happen overnight, it requires an open and an honest conversation focusing on policy change and making city more inclusive. As NCEC Commissioner, my vision is to promote policies that are intentionally inclusive and focus on creating equitable outcome for all community members living or working in the city of Minneapolis

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

In my neighborhood, I get to work with people from different walks of life including socioeconomic statuses, life experiences, cultural differences, social identities, language and religious beliefs. This is a great asset that encourages me to continue living in this community. My neighborhood has a great potential for community based economic development including growing small businesses as employers at community level. Geographically, the Cedar Riverside neighborhood is connected to downtown Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and many other community centers.

Are there other boards and committees you are or have been on?

Currently I am serving on the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage as a board Chair (appointed by Governor).

City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission 

(Mayoral appointee commissioner)

University of Minnesota Immigrant Stories and the Immigration History Research Center Advisory board member

Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows Alumni board

Previously I served on the following boards

Former board chair of the Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization program                         

Brain Coyle Community Health Action Committee board member

Minnesota DFL Party Central Committee at-large                                                                         

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

Neighborhood boards play an important role in shaping city’s policies particularly around community engagement and setting community priorities. It’s important for community members to be involved in this process of community building and place making. This is great way of developing community leadership and changing city policies.     

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

I have been in Minnesota for more than 10 years, and I have been involved in a wide range of community development and policy change at neighborhood, city and state levels.  I care about communities and building bridges between local government and communities to ensure transformative policy change and address multidimensional socioeconomic challenges through policy change.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota with triple major in Sociology, Political Science and African American and African Studies. I was a 2014-2015 Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Policy Fellows.

Currently I work for the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties as a financial service coordinator. In this role, I provide socially and culturally relevant asset development strategies including home ownership, starting or expanding a small business and pursuing higher education. My goal is to integrate financial services, entrepreneurship support, education, home ownership, workforce development and social services to improve financial well-being of low-wage workers and reduce financial barriers.

2017 One Minneapolis Fund proposals accepted through May 1st

Image of One Minneapolis Fund Project Participants

Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) are being sought for the 2017 One Minneapolis Fund. The One Minneapolis Fund is designed to develop diverse leadership and community engagement in Minneapolis. This year non-profit organizations based in Minneapolis that meet program criteria can submit proposals for one of two funding groups:

Group A Funding: Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that develop and prepare leaders to serve on City boards and commissions and on one of Minneapolis’ 70 neighborhood organization boards.

Group B Funding: Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that that connect diverse residents to the City and engage communities, beyond neighborhood boarders, in specific targeted audiences. These programs may be either established and on-going programs or new programs. 

The deadline to submit an RFP is Monday, May 1, 2017.

Visit the One Minneapolis Fund webpage to download the RFP and learn more about the program.

Neighborhoods 2020 Update


Join Us at the Neighborhoods 2020 Cafes!

Neighborhood organizations across the City are partnering with the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) and NCR to host a series of community dialogues about neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis. Each event will include small group discussions to discuss the following questions:

  • What services, opportunities and information should neighborhood organizations provide?
  • What are characteristics of an effective neighborhood organization?
  • How can neighborhood organizations empower engagement?

These questions were developed by 37 participants at a day-long workshop on the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter.

The dialogues are a first step in developing recommendations for the Minneapolis City Council on the future work of neighborhood organizations through a process of respectful and inclusive community engagement.

Upcoming Neighborhoods 2020 Community Conversations

Downtown - Tuesday April 25th - 5:30pm to 8:30pm Plymouth Congregational Church - 1900 Nicollet Ave. So.

North - Saturday April 29th – 10:00am to 2:00pm North West Corner of Penn and Lowry (Outdoors under tent)

East - Wednesday May 3rd - 5:30pm to 8:00pm NE Minneapolis Armory - 1025 Broadway St NE 55413

South - Thursday May 4th - 5:30pm to 8:30pm Abubakar-As-Saddique Islamic Center - 2824 13th Ave So.

Southwest - Monday May 8th - 6:00pm to 8:00pm Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Park - 4055 Nicollet Ave So.

For more information and to register for the events, see the Neighborhoods 2020 webpage here.

City of Minneapolis invites applications for the position of Community Service Officer

A Community Service Officer (CSO) works approximately 20-30 hours per week in the Minneapolis Police Department up to three years while enrolled as a student in an approved, two-year law enforcement program and/or working toward completion of MN Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) licensing requirements. CSO's assist the police department and community by promoting intercommunication, understanding and cooperation between department personnel and the diverse communities of the City of Minneapolis. The CSO is a civilian position which has the possibility of promotion to a full time Police Officer position.


The Minneapolis Police Department has prepared a detailed information session which you are highly encouraged to attend. Attendance is optional for all applicants or potential applicants. Registration is NOT required. We will highlight and discuss the following:

· Application process and educational requirements

· Fitness Assessment details

· Background Investigation information

· Oral Exam expectations

· Medical, psychological, and drug & alcohol testing

· CSO Academy and Education Program


Tuesday, April 18 from 6pm-8pm

Location: Emergency Operation Training Facility (EOTF)

25 - 37th Avenue NE, Fridley, MN 55421

Phillips Community Aquatics Center groundbreaking

Image of Phillips Aquatics Center groundbreaking

Thanks to significant work by Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association Inc. (MPNAI) and many other partners and residents, construction began on a new Phillips Aquatic Center by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB).

MPNAI set a Neighborhood Priority plan in 2015 to “ensure the renovation and future use of an existing deep water indoor pool and to ensure that Phillips neighborhood children, adults, and Elders have access to the pool for exercise, enjoyment, and swimming lessons." They also dedicated $50,000 of NRP funds to the project.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2018. You can visit the MPRB website for more details.

Minneapolis Hosts Public Comment Sessions on Capital Projects

The Minneapolis Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee (CLIC) is beginning work on the 2017 CLIC Report. This report recommends to the Mayor and City Council a portion of the capital improvement projects requested by departments, boards and commissions for the five-year period 2018 - 2022. For this period, Capital Budget Requests totaling over $988 million have been requested.  A majority of the projects are Public Works related such as bridges, roads, sidewalks, streets, streetlights, traffic control, bike and pedestrian projects, sewers, water, etc.  A smaller portion of the requests are related to parks and public buildings.

The City is hosting two information sessions where public comments will be taken regarding the upcoming project proposals.  These two meetings are in advance of the May 11th joint public hearing of the CLIC and the Planning Commission.  Participants will be able to review and comment on project proposals and give feedback to CLIC members.  

Public Comment Sessions

Tuesday May 2nd – 6:30pm to 8:00pm – Eastside Neighborhood Services – 1700 Second St. NE

Wednesday May 3rd – 6:30pm to 8:00pm – Sabathani Center – Room J-3rd Floor – 310 East 38th Street

Thursday May 11th – 6:00pm-8:00pm – RM 319 City Hall (Joint Public Hearing with CLIC and Mpls. Planning Commission)

Past CLIC Reports

PW Capital Project Maps

City of Minneapolis Public Art Permits

The City of Minneapolis is giving residents the opportunity to apply for permits and to create public art pieces. Some of the options include wrapping or painting a utility box, painting intersections or sidewalks, and other small public art projects! This year, pre-applications are due April 7, June 9 and August 11. For more information, click here.

Jordan Area Community Council seeks Administrative Coordinator

Jordan Area Community Council logo

The Jordan Area Community Council (JACC) seeks an Administrative Coordinator. This position will provide administrative and communication support to JACC for its strategic and organizational initiatives. Of primary importance is expanding JACC’s participation base with more renter, homeowner, and business owner members. This is part time position. Applications are due by Monday, April 24.

The Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization is hiring

Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization logo

The Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) seeks a full time Community Engagement Organizer, a full time Housing Organizer, and a part time Communications Specialist. Applications will be accepted through Friday, April 14.

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association seeks Office and Logistics Manager

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association logo

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA) seeks an Office and Logistics Manager. This position is responsible for the smooth operation of the various office activities in support of MHNA, manages daily banking, and assists in website and social media maintenance. This part time position is open until filled.

City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board continue Upper Harbor Terminal discussions

In January, the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) selected a master developer team to work with them to pursue redevelopment of the 48-acre City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) site. The selected team is led by United Properties and also includes THOR Companies, Inc. and First Avenue Productions.

Since then, the parties have been negotiating the terms of an exclusive rights agreement (ER Agreement) that will formalize this relationship and guide the upcoming UHT site planning process. For more information on the possible authorization of this agreement click here.

To lay the groundwork for this planning process, a public meeting has been scheduled:

Tue., April 25
7:00 pm
MPRB headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N.

At this meeting, information will be shared about to the community input received to date and attendees will be asked to provide input as to which aspects of the initial development program they fully support and would like to see happen (and why), which components they’re conditionally open to (but have questions or reservations) and which components they do not support (and why). Light refreshments will be provided, and the event will be family-friendly.

Plans for additional opportunities for community input will be outlined in the coming weeks.

Earth Day Cleanup is April 22

Earth Day Cleanup 2017 takes place at more than 30 locations throughout Minneapolis. The event has become the largest community-service project in the city, attracting 2,000+ volunteers annually.

To participate, just arrive at any site between 9:30 am and noon, bring a pair of gloves to pick up trash, and check in at the registration table. A site coordinator will provide you with gloves (if you did not bring any) and bags, and instruct you where to go and where to leave trash. Every site has a coordinator available to assist volunteers and to answer any questions you may have.

Earth Day Cleanup is a collaborative effort between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and City of Minneapolis Solid Waste and Recycling. 

Attend the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour

Minneapolis home tour logo

Make plans for the 2017 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour! The tour is open Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 from 1-5 p.m.

The Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour is a FREE annual event that promotes city living. Come out and meet other homeowners and professionals in a low-key no-obligation setting. Learn about the neighborhood, and find out what it’s like to remodel, expand, or build new. Many contractors, architects, and other trades people will also be available to answer your questions.

The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department is a Diamond Sponsor of the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour.

NCEC’s April meeting rescheduled to April 26

The Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission’s April Meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 26th from 5:00-7:00p.m. The location has yet to be determined, visit the Commission’s webpage for the most up to date information.

Upcoming Events

4/1: Community Connections Conference

4/1: South Minneapolis Housing Fair

4/1: Victory GardenWorkshop

4/6: Bridges to Manhood Conference

4/11: Pizza & a Pint: Lowry Hill East Renters Happy Hour

4/13: Powderhorn Community Forum

4/18: Armatage & Kenny Community Egg Hunt

4/19: Love Loring

4/20: Hawthorne Health & Wellbeing Celebration

4/20: “Arc of Justice” film screening

4/20: Lyndale Open House

4/20 & 4/27: Stories from Seward's History

4/22: Earth Day Clean-up

4/23: Holland Hotdish Revolution

4/25: Downtown Neighborhoods 2020 Community Conversation

4/28: Arbor Day Celebration

4/29-4/30: Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour

4/29: North Neighborhoods 2020 Community Conversation

5/1: American Indian Month Kick-off

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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