Fourth Ward Report January 20, 2015

4th Ward Report from Council President Barbara Johnson

January 2015


Shingle Creek
Willard Hay

Minneapolis Taking Steps to Make Sidewalks Clearer in the Winter

Minneapolis is implementing a faster system to make sure sidewalks are cleared when it snows. Sidewalks are an important part of Minneapolis’ transportation system, and they should be open for everyone. City ordinance requires property owners to clear sidewalks after a snowfall within 24 hours for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for all other properties.

A new, faster timeline takes effect this year

Starting this year, the inspection and warning process follows the same steps as in the past, but if the property owner doesn’t clear their sidewalk after receiving a warning letter, the City will send out crews more quickly to do the work and bill the owner. This means that the sidewalk could be cleared by the City in substantially less time, often in half the time or less than it’s taken in previous winters.

Clearing corners

The city is also making improvements to how sidewalk corners are cleared at intersections throughout Minneapolis. Because there are so many corners, it can take time for crews to get to all of them. Starting this year, City crews will clear sidewalk corners on “pedestrian priority corridors” faster than in the past. These corners, which tend to be along major streets throughout the city, will have snow removed within three working days after a Snow Emergency ends or after an accumulation of four inches of snow.

To report a sidewalk that is not shoveled, anyone can file an online complaint, call 311 or use the 311 mobile app.

There may be resources for people who need help clearing their sidewalks. Call 311 for a list of resources that might be available.

City Internship Opportunities Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2015 Placements


STEP-UP Youth Employment Program

The City’s youth employment program STEP-UP is accepting applications for 2015 summer internships now through February 18, 2015.  Eligible youth interested in participating must complete an online application, available on the City’s website at

Created in 2004, STEP-UP is one of the country’s premiere youth employment programs focused on serving Minneapolis students age 14-21 who face some of the greatest barriers to employment. Since the program was launched, it has provided nearly 20,000 internship opportunities.

Prior to being placed in their internships, youth receive work-readiness training certified by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce that enhances their skills and prepares them for a professional work experience. Throughout their internship, youth gain valuable on-the-job skills, make strong professional connections, and become exposed to careers they may have not otherwise accessed without STEP-UP.  Last summer, STEP-UP placed nearly 1,650 Minneapolis youth in jobs with over 230 Twin Cities businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits. 

STEP-UP is a City of Minneapolis program in partnership with AchieveMpls, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Project for Pride in Living.


Urban Scholars Internship Program

The City of Minneapolis is once again offering its leadership development summer internship program for college students. The City is accepting applications for 2015 Urban Scholars now through February 20. Urban Scholars aims to provide college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with professional, resume-building work experience.

Urban Scholars is a full-time paid 12-week internship program that runs from May 26, 2015 to August 14, 2015. Urban Scholars will work in different City departments, including the Mayor’s Office and City Council offices and with program partners Metropolitan Council, Minneapolis Public Schools, State of Minnesota, Minneapolis Park Board, Greater Twin Cities United Way and PCL Construction.

Students must have completed their first year of post-secondary education prior to the beginning of the internship and be enrolled and in good standing at a two- or four-year college or university, graduate, or law school at the time of application. For more information and to apply, visit

Minneapolis Regulating Electronic Cigarettes, Prohibits Their Use in Public Indoor Spaces


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.

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, email

City Launches New Online Hiring System


Applying for jobs with the City of Minneapolis got a lot easier with the debut of Team Minneapolis: the City’s new online hiring system. Team Minneapolis provides an easier-to-use, more intuitive application process with a more modern interface.

Team Minneapolis:

  • Allows applicants to easily upload resumes and other documents into the system.
  • Pre-fills applications quickly by importing resumes.
  • Emails alerts about new openings to job seekers as requested.
  • Keeps all materials within the online application.
  • Allows applicants to self-schedule tests and interviews.
  • Is easy to use on smartphones and tablets.

Team Minneapolis uses NEOGOV, a specialized hiring software for the public sector. Once an applicant has created an account in NEOGOV, he or she can quickly apply to any agency using the software. That includes many of the major counties and cities in Minnesota, such as Hennepin and Ramsey counties and the cities of Saint Paul, Bloomington, Rochester and Mankato.

The City is unveiling Team Minneapolis with a new jobs Web page. Both external and internal job postings are at

Scholarships Available for New Software Development School


There’s high demand for software developers in the state, and the City of Minneapolis is helping make it easier for unemployed or underemployed residents to train in this field through a scholarship program at Prime Digital Academy.

Prime Digital Academy is a new software engineering school offering an 18- to 30-week learning program to help smart, driven learners get up to speed for entry-level jobs in software engineering. Nearly 30 local businesses have signed on to host apprenticeships, serve on the curriculum board and hire graduates.

Through a partnership with the City, the Minnesota High Tech Association and the Creating IT Futures Foundation, Prime offers scholarships to people who would otherwise be unable to attend. Applications are now being accepted online for the first cohort of students, with the first classes starting March 3. 

More information is available on Prime Digital Academy’s website.

Version 3.0 of Snow Emergency App Makes it Easier to Know Where to Park


The snow season is now in full swing, and that means drivers in Minneapolis should make sure they are ready to find out if a Snow Emergency is in effect and know where to park. An improved Snow Emergency app will help them do that. The app now accesses the same interactive street lookup map that’s on the City website, which shows where drivers can park on each of the three days of a Snow Emergency. Drivers will be able to use their smartphones’ location services function to find out if the street they’re on has any Snow Emergency parking restrictions.

This year’s revision, available for iPhone and Android devices, uses location services information to approximate the user’s location on the Snow Emergency street lookup map. If there’s a Snow Emergency in effect and a driver wants to know if it’s OK to park on the street, all he or she has to do is open the app, click on “parking maps” and then open the map for that day of the Snow Emergency. The app will then mark the driver’s approximate location on the map, showing in red where “no parking” areas are in effect. The updated app does not send push notifications, but signing up for a text alert will essentially accomplish the same thing. Those who downloaded last year’s version of the app should update it to the current version.

Help Minneapolis Measure How It's Doing

There’s a new project to help gauge how well the City of Minneapolis is doing at achieving its goals, and you can be a part of it. From now until Feb. 6, share your thoughts using an online engagement tool at, City staff will use the information from you and others to develop measures for the most popular themes within each of the five City goals.

The way it works, you and others comment on what the City goals mean to you. For the City goal of “living well,” for example, you can tell the City what that means to you. Does it mean having connected neighborhoods? Access to amenities?  Safe streets?

The information within the tool will update in real time to display the changing input and ideas of its users. Log in often to submit new ideas and vote on new information. It’s quick and easy to participate, and you can spend as much or as little time within the tool as you want.

Minneapolis Gives Away Free Radon Test Kits for Radon Action Month


The City of Minneapolis is giving away 200 radon test kits to increase awareness of the cancer risks of radon and to encourage people to test their homes for it. The Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls. Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. More than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S.

Kits will be available while supplies last at the City of Minneapolis Development Review, 250 S. Fourth St., Room 300. Minneapolis Development Review’s hours of operation are: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The giveaway test kits are donated by the Minnesota Department of Health. Once the supply of free radon test kits runs out, kits will still be available at the same location for $9 each.

MPD is Hiring


Residents and community members have probably seen many new faces wearing the MPD Uniform responding to calls throughout the City. The City of Minneapolis has been committed to increasing our numbers to better serve the community.

This year the City hired 20 new Community Service Officers in January (this program develops these individuals to become our future officers), 26 Cadets were hired in March and are on the street as Police Officers (to be eligible as a Cadet you must possess any 2 or 4 year college degree by the close of application), 24 additional Officers made up of Lateral Transfers from other departments and our old CSO's started the Police Academy in September. 12 more recruit Officers started the Police Academy in November and will hit the street in February.

The department has also made 25 conditional job officers to another group of Community Service Officers that will start January 5th and approximately 25-30 more Cadets will be hired and start the Police Academy March 23rd, 2015.

MPD is currently accepting job applications for Police Officers through January 30th, 2015 and we will open the application process for more Community Service Officers in May for a January 2016 Class.

Please encourage friends and family that are interested in a career in law enforcement to apply online at

Upcoming Block Leader Training

One of the Minneapolis Police Department’s top goals is to increase organized blocks. Neighborhoods and block clubs work with our Crime Prevention Specialists to prevent and reduce crime. Get your block organized!

Saturday, January 31st, 2015
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Minneapolis Police Department
4th Precinct
1925 Plymouth Ave N (Ample parking across the street)

Help build Community one block at a time and develop a communication tool where people have the ability to contact each other. Neighbors who are informed are the strongest crime prevention tool for communities. Work with neighbors and MPD if there is a problem on the block.

RSVP appreciated so we have enough materials. You can RSVP by calling 612-673-2866

Join other leaders to develop skills for effectively working with your neighbors to prevent crime and build community.

Above the Falls Plan Health Impact Assessment Case Study Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Two years ago Minneapolis Health Department staff Epidemiologist and Sr. Public Health Researcher, Jared Erdman presented alongside three other Health Impact Assessment (HIA) representatives in Washington DC at the National HIA Conference. All of the HIAs related to waterways were asked to present together at the conference. One of the presenters, Katrina Korfmacher Associate Professor at the University of Rochester,  was interested in compiling the case studies of the waterway related HIAs together and publishing an article about them. Over about the last year or so representatives from each waterway-related HIA have been working on the article collaboratively and it finally has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. One of the case studies in the article is about the Above the Falls HIA that took place here in Minneapolis coordinated through the Minneapolis Health Department. The article can be found here.  

Bottineau LRT (METRO Blue Line Extension) Open House


Come weigh in on local planning efforts around future light rail transit stations! Review information and plans for four station areas along the proposed METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT): Van White Boulevard, Penn Avenue, Plymouth Avenue, and Golden Valley Road.

·        Improvements to make walking and biking easier

·        Enhancements including lighting, landscaping, signage and art

·        Opportunities to ensure appropriate future development

Date: Thursday, January 29
Time: 5:30 – 8pm with welcome/presentation at 6pm
Location: UROC, 2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis

Information/RSVP: 612-348-4454 or

Hosted by Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis and City of Golden Valley