Ward 8 Update Newsletters October 10, 2014

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

October 10, 2014

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

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

Minneapolis, City of Lakes

Minneapolis to observe first-ever Indigenous Peoples Day Oct. 13

indigenous people's day

The first-ever Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis will be Monday, Oct. 13. A celebration will be held 4-7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 13, at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. There will be a community meal with indigenous foods from throughout North and South America provided by Native chefs Sean Sherman and Cheo Smith, a film screening of "Women Are Sacred," by bfreshproductions, community speakers and cultural performances. More information about the Oct. 13 event is available here.

On April 25, Minneapolis approved the resolution to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis, beginning this year. Along with the federal government, Minneapolis had for many years recognized the second Monday in October as Columbus Day. Recognizing the day as Indigenous Peoples Day marks and celebrates the significance of the American Indian and Indigenous community in Minneapolis, as well as the city’s history of American Indian activism.


Minneapolis franchise agreements and first-of-its-kind Clean Energy Partnership with utilities

utility franchise

The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have reached tentative agreements that would establish a first-of-its-kind City-utility Clean Energy Partnership. The partnership, approved by council committed and set for vote by the full City Council on October 17, will result in the City and utility companies collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its energy goals. These goals include making energy affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases. 

Council Member Glidden has been involved with these negotiations from the beginning, including requiring the city to create a Energy Pathways Study, a document which fully evaluated all options, including municipalization, and provided a pathway to final franchise negotiations.

The Clean Energy Partnership agreements would establish a board that will include the mayor, two council members, the city coordinator and two senior officials from each of the two utilities. The agreements also identify the creation of an Energy Vision Advisory Committee, which would provide feedback on the board’s work plan and gather feedback from critical Minneapolis communities. The board’s work plan would be shaped by Minneapolis’ adopted Climate Action Plan and may include ideas such as: 

  • Giving customers additional choices about the way their energy is generated.
  • Increasing residential and business use of new and existing energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs to help consumers control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases. 
  • Supporting the development of renewable energy in the city and in Minnesota. 
  • Exploring and implementing ways for the City to reduce its own energy use and increase its use of clean and renewable energy.

These clean Energy Partnership agreements, proposed for Council approval, came about following discussions over renewing the City’s franchise agreements with the two utilities. 

The proposed franchise agreements would have a term with a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 with the potential to renew for up to 20. They would maintain the current level of franchise fees that the utilities pay to the City.

More information is available about the Clean Energy Partnership and franchise agreements at www.minneapolismn.gov/energyfranchise


Police Community Relations: Change is Happening

Neighbors:

On September 18, I co-hosted a forum, planned by Council Member Alondra Cano, that was to feature Chief Harteau, along with moderator Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds and panelists Jason Sole and Dr Rose Brewer.  Chief Harteau cancelled her appearance, an action which has raised tremendous community concern.  

In the days following the forum, which was attended by approximately 200 people, an “open letterwas drafted to the Mayor and Police Chief with recommendations for change. Mayor Hodges has just released a public letter in response to the community’s “open letter,” a serious response to the serious issues raised regarding need for reform. 

Also just days ago, the Minneapolis Police Department released recommendations for change to the department from the U.S. Department of Justice.  The MPD requested that the Department of Justice conduct an independent audit of MPD’s oversight and discipline process in fall of 2013.  Following a 9-month-long review process, the Department of Justice issued draft recommendations are that MPD should:

  • Develop a new, prevention-oriented Early Intervention System, in partnership with community, for officers who show signs of going down the wrong path, and provide a broad range of interventions.
  • Strengthen coaching for officers about their behavior and integrate it with the new Early Intervention System.
  • Heighten transparency in the complaint process, and make more data about it available to community.
  • Improve community relations by integrating model practices into community policing and expanding community engagement.
  • Improve communications about the police conduct and oversight process.
  • These recommendations will be provided in final form in a few weeks, and presented to the City Council.

Reform of police policies is being examined nation-wide.  In September, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will examine racial bias in law enforcement in key cities, with intent to offer national policy recommendations.  

Reform is also occurring now in Minneapolis, and I stand with many of my colleagues on the City Council who are committed to appropriate and meaningful change.  Some years ago, I supported an attempt to eliminate the Minneapolis ordinance of lurking, out of concern for its constitutionality and potential for inappropriate race-based application – an effort that failed on a close 7-6 vote; today, I believe that many of my council colleague are ready to support reforms that improve our police force and its need to be accountable, trusted by all community members, and as effective as possible in ensuring residents feel safe throughout our city. 

In partnership with community members, my council colleagues, and the Minneapolis Police Department, I support these and other reforms:

  • Body cameras, which I strongly support, are proposed in the 2015 and are now going through pilot testing with the MPD; we expect high community interest in the proposed policies for use of body cameras;
  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment of low level offences, in particular non-violent offences, with expectations for review and changes to the criminal justice system where needed;
  • Supporting full implementation of the Department of Justice’s recommendations around accountability for MPD, including institution of a robust early intervention system, and public regular reporting including complaints, claims and litigation;
  • Develop a more robust system of transparency, reporting and discussion with community for issues of high interest including increasing diversity, assessment of low level offences, and accountability.

Many have also raised concerns about militarization of police in Minneapolis and elsewhere.  Minneapolis has returned, in September 2014, approximately $180,000 worth of equipment received from the U.S. military over the past seven years.  As well, the Public Safety Committee, Chaired by Council Member Blong Yang, received an update about the military exercise involving Blackhawk helicopters that occurred in August.  The Committee directed that any future proposals to conduct exercises be presented to the Council and that any use of city resources require City Council approval.

Thank you for sharing your concerns with me about the police department and our need for everyone to be and feel safe.  Your requests for change are part of a national movement, and are having great impact.  Thank you.

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Help shape our city – apply for openings on Minneapolis boards and commissions

ABCs

Applications are accepted in the spring and fall for boards and commissions positions. 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. 


Find out about job opportunities at the City’s Public Works Department

public works

Would you like to work for the City of Minneapolis? The Public Works Department is hiring new service workers, and you can learn about this job opportunity at one of several upcoming information sessions. 

The sessions will take place throughout Minneapolis. City staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the application process and the skills needed for these positions. You’ll also be able to apply online. 

The open positions are for “service worker I” and “service worker I trainees.” All applicants must be at least 18 by Oct. 31; possess a high school diploma, a GED or equivalent; be able to perform manual labor and also have the ability to drive trucks and light construction equipment. Those who possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL – Class B) with no air brake restrictions and also have one year of previous labor experience in a similar environment including operating construction equipment will be considered for service worker positions. Applicants with no related experience or commercial driver’s license will be considered for service worker trainee positions. 

Can’t make any of the information sessions?  No problem. You are not required to attend an information session to apply. Just go to the City of Minneapolis jobs website at www.minneapolismn.gov/jobs and look for “Public Works, Service Worker I” under “featured jobs.” 

Information sessions: 

2-4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, American Indian OIC, 1845 E. Franklin Ave. 

3-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20, Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th St. 

4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21, Midtown Exchange, 2929 Chicago Ave. 

2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N.


Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin will deliver Energy Assistance Program in Minneapolis

CA

Following the State of Minnesota’s termination of its contracts with Community Action of Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis is committed to ensuring that those who need the services that Community Action provided will still receive them. Effective immediately Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH) will deliver the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) in Minneapolis.

Energy Assistance.  Energy assistance applications that were previously submitted to Community Action of Minneapolis (CAM) will be delivered to CAPSH and processed in the order in which they were received. Clients do not need to submit new applications unless notified by CAPSH.

Minneapolis residents who have received energy assistance applications should mail them to CAPSH rather than the address printed on their applications (see address below).

CAPSH has a long history of receiving good audit reports from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and independent auditors. CAPSH is committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity, transparency and ethical conduct in all of its program delivery and business operations. The energy assistance application can be downloaded online at www.capsh.org or by calling 952-930-3541.

  • Mail new applications to: Energy Assistance Program, 8800 Highway 7, #403, St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Weatherization.  Residents who are interested in weatherization services for their home should contact Sustainable Resources Center at 612-870-4255.

The City is working closely with the State on designating a new permanent “community action” agency for the City of Minneapolis. Until that work is completed, however, residents should contact the above agencies.


Minneapolis Proposes a Sister City relationship with Bosaso Somalia

bosaso

This was such a wonderful and emotional moment at City Hall yesterday, as council chambers were packed to the gills for a committee vote on the sister city relationship with Bosaso Somalia. Congratulations to all and thank you to Council Member Abdi Warsame for his work with the community and for his moving words.

The proposal will go before the full CIty Council for vote on Oct 17.


Get ready to vote in general election Nov. 4

vote

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Voters will be asked to choose their candidates for governor, U.S. senator, school board, judicial, and other elected positions. There will also be two questions to amend the City Charter on the ballot. 

If you want to cast your ballot early, you can submit an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots can be requested online. Applications are also available on the Minneapolis elections website and may be sent anytime leading up to the primary. You can also vote absentee in-person by visiting the Minneapolis Office of Elections & Voter Services, 350 Fifth St. S. 

Before you vote, make sure you’re registered. It is possible to register on the day you vote, but registering in advance is fast and easy and will save you time at the polls. You can register online or at government offices, libraries, park buildings, fire stations and police stations. Voter registration applications are available in English, Hmong, Somali, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese on the elections language support website.

More information on voting is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters


Nicollet Votes

i voted

This fall, the neighborhoods of Kingfield, Lyndale, Whittier and Stevens Square are partnering on a project called Nicollet Votes. The goal of the project is to get people excited to vote and to register voters.  

Able to help with this non-partisan effort and meet neighbors to boot? You can sign up for door knock dates in all participating neighborhoods here!


Free Classes Now through Spring at Inner City Tennis

inner city tennis

Want a great free activity for kids on Saturdays?  Every Saturday from now through Spring, Inner City Tennis, located at 40th & Nicollet at Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Park, offers FREE activities for neighborhood youth. No pre-registration necessary - you can sign up when you arrive with your child.  Nearly 300 kids ages 3-18 fill the tennis center each Saturday, learning tennis fundamentals and life skills. Over 80 volunteers, of all ages and abilities, conduct the program alongside the Inner City Tennis professional staff. Find out more here.