Ward 8 Update Newsletters December 9, 2014

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

December 9, 2014


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

Phone: 612-673-2208



Every Monday morning, 9-11:00 a.m.
Sabathani Community Center 
310 E 38th Street, Room 129

Call for an appointment or just drop by!


Minneapolis, City of Lakes

City Council Set to Approve Budget on December 10


The City Council plans to approve the 2015 budget on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Before that vote, you will have a chance to share your thoughts about the proposed budget and property taxes at a public hearing. 

Public hearing on proposed 2015 budget
6:05 p.m., Dec. 10, Room 317 of City Hall, 350 South Fifth Street

Council Member described budget highlights in an earlier newsletter you can read here  

Public Art in Minneapolis


Council Member Glidden along with Council Member Kevin Reich (who represents the Northeast Arts District) have introduced an ordinance that would set a minimum standard for the city's annual public art investment, including conservation of existing public art. This ordinance, if approved by the City Council, would ensure that Minneapolis’ commitment to public art continues on a consistent annual basis and also that we continue to invest in properly maintaining existing public art installations in our city.


Other cities in Minnesota, such as St Paul, also have city laws or resolutions that dedicate a minimum amount of capital investment in public art, with a portion of that commitment dedicated to conserving existing public art.  You can read more about our proposed ordinance here 


Minneapolis has had a long history - decades - of supporting public art through a small percent of our annual capital budget. In Ward 8, we are privileged to have a robust community of artists and arts organizations, who are a strong part of our local economy and social fabric.  Initiatives such as Pillsbury House+Theater’s Arts on Chicago help build the capacity and influence of our grassroots artist community as well.  Investing in public art is one small way that the city can continue to showcase its commitment to arts, and build a visible and public legacy to the importance of the arts to each persons’ human capacity and well-being.


Minneapolis Approves Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s)


After months of work with residents and experts around the country, the Minneapolis City Council has approved a zoning change that allows Accessory Dwelling Units to be built on residential lots.  This work was led by Council Member Lisa Bender, and resulted in a change strongly supported by the council and many groups - including seniors - advocating for a better range of housing options in Minneapolis.


An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) – also known as a “granny flat,” “mother-in-law apartment” or “carriage house” – is a self-contained living unit that can be located within the walls of an existing or newly constructed home, or that can be an addition to an existing home. It can also be a freestanding structure on the same lot as the main house.


An ADU in Minneapolis will be allowed only for homesteaded properties, and can be a way to create more options for affordable housing, for seniors to stay in their homes, and for extended families to live together.  A rental license will be required for the ADU unit.


ADUs have received significant attention in recent years as a way to provide more flexible housing options in built-out urban neighborhoods. Over the past few decades, municipalities across the country, and in other Minnesota cities, have adopted standards to allow or encourage the construction of ADUs. 


A guide on ADU’s will be available in the first part of 2015 that provides an overview of the standards, review, and approval process.

White House names Minneapolis a Climate Action Champion


The White House and U.S. Department of Energy named the City of Minneapolis one of 16 communities from across the nation chosen as a Climate Action Champion. 

Council Member Glidden says, “I am so proud of this national recognition of the important and groundbreaking work done in Minneapolis to prioritize our commitment to greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy. One of the reasons we received this significant award was because of our newly approved Clean Energy Partnership, part of the organizing work with community done around our utility franchise agreements. I hope our commitment to the Clean Energy Partnership remains strong - including in our city budget and in our work in 2015.”

As a Climate Action Champion, Minneapolis will get opportunities for federal funding and technical assistance made available only to Climate Action Champions.  Minneapolis will also be assigned a federal coordinator to assist our city in identify and applying for federal grant and assistance programs.

Minneapolis won the designation because of its commitment to clean energy. The City and its electricity and natural gas utilities, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, have committed to a first-of-its-kind in the nation City-utility Clean Energy Partnership. The partnership will result in the City and utility companies collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its climate and energy goals. These goals include making energy affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases. The City of Minneapolis has also developed the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, which includes greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.


Minneapolis prohibits e-cigarette use in public indoor spaces

we win

The City of Minneapolis updated its clean indoor air ordinance to prohibit electronic cigarette use in all indoor public places and places of employment. It takes effect immediately. 

The new ordinance, sponsored by Council Member Cam Gordon and approved by a unanimous City Council, adopts the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act banning indoor cigarette smoking and prohibits electronic cigarette use in all indoor public places in the city. Public places such as stores, restaurants and other places of employment can be fined for allowing indoor electronic cigarette use. The ordinance does not restrict electronic cigarette sampling in exclusive tobacco shops (including exclusive electronic cigarette shops) that restrict people under the age of 18 from entering.

To help restaurants, businesses and other worksites inform people about the new law, the Minneapolis Health Department will provide free window decals that indicate smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is prohibited indoors. To get a decal, businesses can email health@minneapolismn.gov

In June 2014, the Minneapolis Youth Congress recommended this action as a strategy for reducing exposure to potentially harmful vapor and preventing the normalization and use of electronic cigarettes among young people. In Ward 8, We Win Institute youth activists met with Council Member Glidden to urge support of this important new law.  


Nationwide, electronic cigarette use among young people who have never smoked a cigarette has tripled since 2011. In Minnesota, 28 percent of high school students and 8 percent of middle school students have tried electronic cigarettes.

Other cities that ban electronic cigarettes in indoor public places include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Bloomington, Duluth and Edina. Dozens of other cities and counties have also included electronic cigarette bans in their clean indoor air laws. 

Minneapolis Launches Open Data Portal

Minneapolis has announced the launch of our Open Data portal.  The portal, which is a work in progress, can be viewed here . Minneapolis seeks, with its open data initiative, to continue Minnesota’s reputation as a “sunshine” state, meaning that public data is available and accessible. Open data policies ensure that data we have a public right to see (under state law) is easily accessible and in a usable format. Minneapolis is joining dozens of other cities and states in creating an open data policy and portal for the public. Minneapolis’s open data  program was initiated in December 2013 by Council Member Glidden, and is now led by Council Member Andrew Johnson (Ward 12), who is a strong supporter of innovative government data and technology issues.

Minneapolis again receives high credit ratings for its financial management

City Hall

The City of Minneapolis has again been assigned some of the highest credit ratings of cities in the country. The City has received a new round of ratings from all three major rating agencies as it prepares to issue new bonds next week. High bond ratings and positive outlooks from the ratings agencies allow the City to save taxpayer dollars by issuing bonds and borrowing funds at the lowest possible interest rates. 

Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services have again assigned the City of Minneapolis AAA ratings, the highest ratings possible. Moody’s affirmed the City’s Aa1 rating, which is its second-highest rating, placing Minneapolis among the top-rated cities and local districts in the country. Less than 10 percent of jurisdictions, and just a handful of major cities, have an Aa1 rating or higher from Moody’s.

Congratulations to our strong financial team at the city, including Chief Financial Officer Kevin Carpenter, along with continued policy maker commitment to fiscal responsibility with the leadership of Ways & Means Committee Chair John Quincy.

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

Snow flake

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 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

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.