September 3, 2013
Ward 8 e-newsletter
Memorial Fund for School Board Director Hussein Samatar
On Sunday, August 25, Minneapolis School Board Director Hussein Samatar died of complications from leukemia. Hussein Samatar became the first Somali-American elected to public office when he won his election to the School Board to 2010.
Through the economic development organization he founded, the African Development Center (ADC), Hussein piloted loans that complied with Islamic faith and helped dozens of Somali and other Muslim entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Mr. Samatar also served as an appointed member of the Minneapolis Library Board before it was merged with Hennepin County, and brought his financial skills to the Library Board at a time when they were greatly needed.
I met Hussein Samatar in 2005 through a mutual friend and together we shared a love of local politics and governance. He helped me in my first campaign for City Council and I was proud to support him in his inspiring work, including on the Minneapolis School Board where his transformative work changed the way the district collected data for English learners.
AchieveMpls, the nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools, has created a memorial fund to benefit the family of school board Director Hussein Samatar. He is survived by his wife, Ubah, and four children. Contributions can be made at any Bremer Bank branch with a personal check, money order or cash designated to the Hussein Samatar Memorial Fund.
The City of Minneapolis is gearing up for the Nov. 5 municipal election, which will be city’s second election to use ranked-choice voting. You can find out where you vote, who the candidates are, register to vote, and MORE at the elections website: vote.minneapolismn.gov.
Absentee voting begins Sept. 20 - Request a ballot now
Voters who will not be able to vote at their polling place on Election Day are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Voting absentee can be done in person at City Hall, starting September 20, or entirely by mail.
To vote absentee by mail, voters may request a ballot now. Ballots will be mailed out beginning Sept. 20, and will include everything a voter needs to send back a completed ballot. Visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee for absentee ballot applications in multiple languages that can be printed out and mailed in to request a ballot, or call 311 (612-673-3000 outside of Minneapolis).
This election uses ranked-choice voting, and it’s easy as 1, 2, 3
Minneapolis voters will use ranked-choice voting this fall to elect a mayor and members of the City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board. Ranked-choice voting is used only for municipal elections in Minneapolis, but voters only need to remember a few things to ensure they are prepared for Election Day.
You can learn about ranked-choice voting by watching this video http://vote.minneapolismn.gov/rcv/index.htm.
Volunteers needed now to serve as ambassadors and election judges.
Consider becoming part of a network of community volunteers who will provide resources and information about this year’s election directly to their friends and neighbors.
Volunteers are needed now to serve in the inaugural class of Minneapolis Voter Ambassadors. Training and materials will be provided, helping you to talk to your friends and neighbors about the election on Nov. 5, and explain how ranked-choice voting works.
Election judges are also needed to serve voters in local polling places. Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the election process and is an important service to our community. We especially need judges who are fluent in a second language.
To find out more or to volunteer please visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/volunteer or call 612-673-2296.
A landmark project has literally bridged a big divide between Minneapolis’ north and south sides. After 14 months of construction, a new stretch of Van White Memorial Boulevard is now open to traffic. The street spans rail lines and passes under a freeway – two barriers that have contributed to the isolation of north Minneapolis for decades.
The mile of newly constructed roadway connects the Harrison and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods to Interstate 394 and neighborhoods to the south. Van White Boulevard includes a 600-foot bridge above the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rail Lines and the Cedar Lake Trail. A smaller bridge crosses Bassett Creek. This street now provides these communities a vital connection to each other, the rest of the city and the metro area. The new street also has a shared bike and pedestrian area that connects to the Cedar Lake Trail, making it possible for North Siders to bike to Downtown and beyond better than ever before.
Van White Memorial Boulevard should help strengthen the North Side’s links to jobs and recreational, cultural and educational resources throughout the city. Making North Minneapolis more accessible will also help spur development in one of the most undeveloped areas near downtown Minneapolis.
The boulevard is named in honor of the City’s first African-American councilmember. Van White represented the 5th Ward from 1980 to 1990, and also worked for the City’s Public Works Department from 1956 to 1968.
Applications are now being accepted for a number of open boards and commissions positions that the City Council and Mayor will appoint this fall. 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.
The openings include Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council, the Civil Right Commission, and the Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities.
Applications will be reviewed beginning October 18, 2013. However, the positions are open until filled. For a full list of appointment opportunities and position descriptions, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/boards/openings.
On September 3, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will begin removing tree stumps remaining from the June 2013 storms. Once the stumps are removed, City of Minneapolis Public Works personnel will repair sidewalks and curbs damaged by tipped stumps at no charge to residents.
The late June storms toppled more than 3,000 park and boulevard trees throughout the City. During the days and weeks following the storm, Park Board and City crews worked around the clock to open streets, remove downed and damaged boulevard trees and haul away residential tree debris. During the month of August, University of Minnesota researchers photographed and inventoried the addresses of nearly 800 stumps, looking for patterns that could help foresters and arborists better understand why some trees of the same age and type fell and others did not. The researcher’s documentation will also be used as part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s FEMA application process.
With the University’s work nearly complete, the Park Board will work with a local contractor to extract the tipped stumps, load and haul them away, and fill the resulting hole with clean soil. Shortly after tipped stumps are safely removed, the City of Minneapolis will begin repairing damaged sidewalks and curbs.
The stump extraction does require the use of large machinery and may temporary close some streets while the work is being done.
The Park Board estimates it will take four weeks to remove all of the tipped stumps. The City’s goal is to have all sidewalk and curb repairs completed by November 1.
Minneapolis homeowners affected by the June 21 severe storm will have the opportunity to order a $25 tree to plant on their private property. The City of Minneapolis is offering about 500 trees to Minneapolis homeowners who lost trees on their properties during the June 21 severe storm. Ordering will begin at 8 a.m., Monday, Sept. 9, and end Sept. 20 (earlier if the trees sell out first).
Tree pickup will take place 2 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept 26, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Minneapolis Impound Lot, 51 Colfax Ave. N. There will be no refunds for trees that die or are not picked up. If the purchaser is unable to pick up the tree, they are encouraged to have someone else pick up their tree on their behalf.
Six species of trees will be available for order: Hackberry, Harvest Gold Linden, Heritage Oak (English Oak and Bur Oak Cross), Heritage River Birch, Honeycrisp Apple, and Royal Star Magnolia.
Volunteers will be available at the pickup location to help load each tree and a complimentary bag of mulch.
The Park Board estimates 3,000 trees on public land were destroyed or damaged in that storm; the number on private property is not known.
The City still plans its regular spring distribution for property owners citywide.
Homeowners who lost a tree in the June 21 storm can find more information and order their tree at www.treetrust.org.
The Seward Co-op has announced LaDonna Redmond as its newly hired Education and Outreach Coordinator. LaDonna staffed the Food and Justice Program at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and she was a 2003 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow.
As Education and Outreach Coordinator, LaDonna will reach out to residents and organizations in the neighborhoods surrounding the Seward Co-op’s potential second store site, across from Sabathani Community Center, and she will act as the point person for questions, concerns and ideas about the proposed project. In the months to come, LaDonna will also organize events and educational information about the co-op.
LaDonna invites residents to contact her at email@example.com or (612) 314-2016 extension 1025. She will soon announce community office hours at a location in the Bryant neighborhood near 38th Street and 3rd Avenue.
Please join your neighbors at a Minneapolis Mayoral Forum on September 19, 2013, at 7 pm, at The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave S.
The Forum is sponsored by the Hale-Page-Diamond Lake Community Association, and co-sponsored by the Nokomis East and Field-Regina neighborhood associations. Doors open at 6:15 pm.
Participating candidates are: Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton, and Stephanie Woodruff.
The City of Minneapolis is hosting an additional public open house to share new information on the enhanced bus and modern streetcar being considered on Central Avenue NE, Nicollet Mall, and Nicollet Avenue S.
Monday, September 9th, 5-7 pm, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall
Presentation at 5:30 p.m.
The purpose of Nicollet‐Central Transit Alternatives Study is to evaluate a variety of transit improvements in the Nicollet‐Central corridor and select a preferred alternative for implementation. The City of Minneapolis is leading the study in partnership with Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit. For more information, visit http://www.minneapolismn.gov/nicollet-central/. To review a summary of alternatives, including streetcar and enhanced bus, click here. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@publicworks/documents/images/wcms1p-112533.pdf.