Ward 8 Update June 26, 2013

News of the 8th Ward

June 26, 2013

Reminder:  Early Mornings with Elizabeth welcomes Minneapolis Legislators on Friday, June 28

Early Mornings with Elizabeth!

Friday, June 28 7:30 - 9am

Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave S

In the Pizza Biga Room

Legislative Update with Minneapolis Legislators: Accomplishments of 2013 Legislative Session and preview of work left undone

Please join Minneapolis legislators Senator Scott Dibble, Representative Susan Allen, and Senator Patricia Torres Ray for an interactive review of the 2013 legislative session, including accomplishments and key issues left for future work. 

In 2013, the list of accomplishments is long, showing a strong partnership between legislators and grassroots advocates for change.  From guaranteeing the freedom to marry in Minnesota, to funding for homeless youth and sex trafficking victims, to the Homeowner Bill of Rights, to setting a new solar energy standard, and more – these changes happened due to the engagement of Minneapolis residents and Minnesotans in shaping the future of our state.

Please come and join the conversation with our legislative leaders on June 28!


Community Meeting on Proposed Food Co-op: Tuesday, July 9

A major development project has been proposed that is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our community.  The Seward Co-op seeks to open a new food co-op across the street from Sabathani Community Center – a proposal that would bring jobs, a vital business AND fresh healthy food to Central-Bryant and the greater community.  We look forward to a great community conversation about this opportunity, as there are many steps ahead for this large proposed project.  I know our neighbors will be anxious to engage.

Please save the date for an evening community meeting on Tuesday, July 9 at Sabathani, 310 E 38th Street to learn more about this proposed development and begin a community dialogue.  We will provide an update as soon as the meeting time is announced.

The proposed development location is the former home of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and has been for sale by the church for many years; it is located on 38th Street, between 3rd Avenue and Clinton, and is across the street from Sabathani Community Center.  The development location is wholly within the Bryant neighborhood, and across the street from the Central neighborhood.  The proposed name of the Co-op is the “Friendship” store, in honor of the church that had its home there.

Thank you to the Carrot Initiative, a grassroots group devoted to bringing a full service grocer to the area, whose organizing work and hands-on recruitment of responsible area grocers caught the attention of the Seward Co-op and led to an ongoing partnership. Thank you to Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the owner/seller of the property, which has sought from the beginning to benefit the community with the sale of its property.  And thank you to community members who have laid the ground work on food justice for our community over the past decades - including the many neighbors who organized 15 years ago for a co-op at 38th St and 4th Avenue, the pioneering work of Sabathani Community Center around urban gardening, the healthy living focus of Southside Community Health, and so many others.  

Most of all, thank you to the Seward Co-op for identifying a match between its mission to expand community access to healthy food and the opportunity in our community on E 38th Street.  There are many steps ahead, as this proposed project is in its very early stages – these steps include property acquisition, rezoning, environmental assessments, and obtaining financing.  We look forward to the community conversation about this development project.  

For more information about the proposed development, including some answers to frequently asked questions, check out these links:





Streetcar Financing Tool Approved by City Council

On June 25, the City Council considered and approved use of a funding tool for streetcars in the City of Minneapolis; I voted “yes” to support use of this tool to help finance a local portion of a streetcar line.  The tool is called Value Capture and would devote property taxes from select downtown properties to finance building a streetcar line on Nicollet Avenue-Central.   More information about the proposed streetcar analysis on Nicollet Avenue-Central is available here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/nicollet-central/

Value capture is an innovative tool, approved by the legislature in 2013, allowing a public jurisdiction to direct public dollars to public transit investments.  It will take the increase in property value from five projects about to be built in downtown Minneapolis, and direct those funds to support for a streetcar line. 

The City of Minneapolis has worked to methodically over several years review streetcars, evaluate and approve appropriate potential corridors for streetcars in Minneapolis, and investigate how to fund the building and ongoing operation of streetcars. 

Analysis has shown that streetcars can bring high value in targeted locations.  Streetcars are much less expensive than light rail lines (LRT) to build and operate.  In other cities, streetcars have been proven to increase transit ridership (even in already high transit ridership areas), and -- due to the permanency of rail -- also attract neighborhood scale economic development opportunities which can increase the property tax base.  Streetcars are also friendlier to seniors and those with accessibility needs, as there is sidewalk level boarding (walk on boarding, rather than stairs as in current busses).

As streetcars are most appropriate only in targeted locations, Minneapolis is also working to support expansions to existing bus service and a new type of bus service called enhanced bus.  Enhanced bus investments will also provide a higher quality services for high ridership corridors in the Twin Cities.  Enhanced bus is being currently studied by the Met Council along many major corridors in the City of Minneapolis.

The City of Minneapolis will move forward with streetcars only if critical partners can support this investment.  Metro Transit has committed to be the operator of a streetcar system, but it still must secure ongoing operating dollars.  Funding will also be sought from the federal government, the state, and the county taxing district dedicated to transit investments.  If these partnerships are not secured, or if a final decision on transit for Nicollet-Central does not include streetcars, Minneapolis will decertify the value capture district.

Currently, the city is reviewing an initial segment along Nicollet, from Lake Street through downtown to 5th Avenue NE, as potentially appropriate for streetcars.

For more information about the Nicollet-Central transit alternatives study, which is examining both streetcars and enhanced bus, please go to: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/nicollet-central/



Central Identify Mural Project


Beginning in June 2013, under the guidance of artist Greta McLain and in partnership with Minneapolis Community Education, the Minneapolis Public Schools and Central Neighborhood organizations, Green Central School youth and Central neighborhood residents have been coming together to create a large scale mural (2000+ square feet!) through a series of 10 community paint workshops.

With the main project goals of providing a positive outlet for youth, combating graffiti and training youth and residents in using art as a vehicle to address community issues, the Central Identity Mural Project will be one of the first of its kind and scale in Minneapolis. This high profile mural will reflect the history and culture of the school and neighborhood and will promote a positive Central neighborhood identity.

Please click here to check out Central Identify Mural Project website (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/504121575/central-identity-mural-project), which includes a kick-starter campaign to help finalize funding for this public art and large community engagement project.  Go Central!! 


Community Respond to Storm, Mourns Trees

Thank you to so community members who have helped each other, assisted with tree clean-up on their blocks and in their neighborhoods, and who have checked on vulnerable neighbors to ensure their safety.  And while we are thankful that there were no major personal injuries from the storm, the challenges posed by lack of electricity for many days, home and garage and car damage have been ongoing. 

Possibly most concerning is the loss of our majestic and beautiful canopy of trees throughout the neighborhoods – this is a huge loss to our environment, our comfort, and our city’s history.  I look forward to working with neighbors, the City and the Park Board on a plan to begin restoring and replanting our urban forest.



Curbside tree debris collection July 1-12

Park Board crews will collect tree debris that can be brought to the boulevard beginning July 1 through July 12 for properties affected by the storm. This service is for property owners clearing their property of tree debris after storm damage only—it is not for contractors doing work for property owners or for regular tree pruning. It is only for tree debris, not construction or other materials.

Here's how residents in the area can prepare downed trees and branches for collection:

Move larger limbs, branches, and trunks to the boulevard area in front of your house. Park Board crews will pick up and dispose of these items at no charge.

Property owners adjacent to tree debris placed on the boulevard are asked not to park vehicles near the debris, to help crews in the removal process. “No parking” signs may be posted and enforced to facilitate the cleanup operation.

Regular yard waste collection for smaller branches

Residents with small branches and pieces of brush can use the regular weekly Solid Waste & Recycling yard waste collection service to have them picked up. Crews will pick up bundles of brush and small branches that are less than three inches in diameter and less than three feet long. Here's how to get them ready for pickup:

Bundle them securely with twine or rope. Do not use wire. Each bundle must be less than 3 feet long. Each bundle must weigh less than 40 pounds.

Make sure to have the bundles of yard waste at your alley or curb line, next to the garbage cart, by 6 a.m. on your garbage day.

Tree contractors

Since there are so many downed trees in yards throughout the city, many residents will be looking for a contractor to take care of the problem. It’s important to make sure the tree company you use is licensed, because unlicensed companies may not be insured for damage they might cause to your property, and their workers may not be properly trained to protect themselves and your property from damage.

A licensed contractor must submit a copy of a written estimate to the property owner for approval prior to any work to be performed. Licensed Tree Service contractors have marked vehicles and display a City of Minneapolis license decal. Licensed Tree Service contractors maintain insurance in the event of damage to your property, your neighbors’ property, or if anyone is injured on the job site.