First Ward January Newsletter

Ward 1 News from Minneapolis Council Member Kevin Reich
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward1

Date 2014

CONTACT INFORMATION

Kevin Reich
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2201

Email:
kevin.reich@minneapolismn.gov

Neighborhoods

Audubon Park
Columbia Park
Como
Holland
Logan Park
Marshall Terrace
Mid-City Industrial
Northeast Park
Waite Park
Windom Park

Council Member's Message

Public art was the topic of much discussion this past budget season. The City of Minneapolis has an international reputation for the quality of our arts community and our city government has a long history of supporting the arts through a small percentage of our capital budget. We can't help but be aware of that in Ward 1, given that Northeast Minneapolis is the home of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. Artists and the economic activity they generate are an integral part of the vitality of our community. The signature event of Art-A-Whirl is the most visible symbol of that activity, but the creative economy is in action 365 days a year in Northeast, generating millions of dollars of direct economic activity and attracting and supporting millions more through related activity such as design, education and manufacturing .

To ensure that the City continues to support the arts and our creative vitality, Council Member Elizabeth Glidden and I introduced an ordinance at the last Council Meeting of 2014 that would set a minimum standard for the City's annual public art investment. Specifically, this ordinance would ensure dedicated ongoing funding for public art and, equally as important, for the ongoing maintenance and conservation of that art. I am very pleased that we were also able to shift  funds in the 2015 budget for public art conservation, which is essential work that ensures our investment in public art is protected and sustained.

On another note, as Chair of the Transportation and Public Works Committee, I am continually struck by the broad scope of the City's Public Works department. Indeed, as many know, Public Works has an immense impact on the daily lives of the citizens of Minneapolis and has a larger share of the City's budget than any other department. Further, the work that they do, from plowing snow and repairing streets to maintaining our water supply and implementing sustainability initiatives like one-sort recycling goes to the heart of the responsibilities of municipal government.

Because Public Works is such a large and diverse department, I am launching an intermittent series of features in my newsletter about different aspects of their work: Public Works 101. Last month I had the opportunity to  tour some of the City's stormwater tunnels with Public Works' staff. It was eye-opening to learn about the important work these crews are doing deep in the earth, so I'm sharing a little about it in my newsletter. Stay posted for interesting insights into Public Works in future issues.

Kevin Reich