City of Minneapolis Ward 6 Newsletter- February 22, 2013

Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member Robert Lilligren

February 22, 2013

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University of Minnesota Day of Activism

On Tuesday, February 12th I participated as a panel member as part of the “Day of Activism” at the Global Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. With the theme to “bring the global to the local”, the Day of Activism was a full day of panel discussions, workshops, film screenings, and other activities for Global Studies students to help them learn more about different movements going on in the Twin Cities. Session topics ranged from local food production to building community through art.


I was a panelist on the topic of Neighborhood Development along with Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon,  Seward Redesign Senior Project Manager Eddie Landenberger, and the Director of Waite House Francisco Segovia.

Council Member Gordon spoke of his involvement in community building through projects; both actual buildings and policy developments. Eddie Landenberger gave the history of Seward Redesign and the community development corporation movement (CDC), with an emphasis on community building and empowerment. He used a number of Redesign projects as examples. Francisco Segovia talked engaging and empowering new arrival communities at the economic, cultural, political and all levels – specifically the growing Latino community.


As requested by the organizers, I spoke from my experience and history as a grassroots neighborhood activist and small-scale housing developer,  the community development components of a major project I worked on – the Midtown Exchange,  and  my current work focusing on economic and community development focusing on the American Indian Community as chair of the board of directors of the Native American Community Development Institute


My community activism began at my front door in the early 1980’s, when the street in front of my recently purchased home in the Phillips area became violent and dangerous because of a deeply engrained crack and prostitution trade. I felt this was unfair to the residents, especially the children in my area. I created a mission statement that I still use today, “to help build a community where children feel safe to play and grow”. My work and investment in the neighborhood has helped bring partners together to make our community safer and stronger, full of thriving young families.


The focus of my first term on the City Council was the then vacant and boarded Sears building at Chicago Ave and Lake St, now the up and running Midtown Exchange. After seeing other proposals for this then city owned property, I knew that for this project to be successful the surrounding community would need to see direct benefits. The resulting redevelopment provides affordable home ownership and rental as well as market rate housing. Local entrepreneurs have opportunity to open and grow businesses at the Midtown Global Market, a piece of the project that I drafted directly into the City’s request for proposal (RFP) for the project. The Midtown Exchange project set record high workforce participation goals for women and minority skilled and unskilled workers, and women and minority contractors. As the area Council Member at the time I convened the stakeholders – construction trade unions, skilled training providers, advocacy groups, developers and City departmental staff – to not only establish these goals, but to set successful strategies to meet them. These goals are still used as the standard on large, City sponsored construction projects and they continue to benefit traditionally under-represented communities.


Some of the community development work I am most satisfied with is the work of the Native American Community Development Institute, where I am a volunteer and the chair of NACDI’s board. NACDI is an intermediary organization that takes an asset-based approach to building economic vitality within the Native community. This young organization has an impressive history of successes. NACDI has also convened the community to express the vision for an American Indian Cultural Corridor on Franklin Avenue from the Hiawatha LRT Station to 12th Avenue


The Day of Activism was a great opportunity to connect with students and to share ways to be involved in the community.


Warm regards,

Robert Lilligren

Mondays with Robert

Council Member Lilligren has always believed that it's important for people like you and me to have access to government. Robert remains committed to that value today. For that reason, Council Member Lilligren makes himself available to community member visits on a walk-in and appointment basis.

You can meet with Robert on the first four Mondays of the month at each of the neighborhoods he represents. Call or email Gerardo at 673-2206 or to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, however - you will be asked to wait if there is a scheduled appointment.

First Monday of the Month
Whittier Alliance, 10 E. 25th Street
9:30am - 11:30am

Second Monday of the Month
Phillips West, 2400 Park Ave.
Center for Changing Lives
9:30am - 11:30am

Third Monday of the Month
Stevens Square, 1925 Nicollet Ave.
9:30am - 11:30am

Fourth Monday of the Month
Ventura Village, 2323 11th Ave. S.
2nd Floor of Phillips Community Center
9:30am - 11:30am



STEP-UP Is Looking For Applicants

STEP-UP is a summer job program for Minneapolis youth ages 14-21. Youth must complete a competitive application process and work readiness training to be considered for a position with the STEP-UP program. Youth ages 14-21 are offered a paid internship experience and matched with positions at local businesses.


Tax Season Is Here!

Tax season is here and the filing date, April 15, is quickly approaching. Luckily the non-profit group AccountAbility Minnesota is providing free tax preparation and financial services for those who qualify. IRS-certified volunteers will be on hand at the Hope Community Center Tuesdays, Thursday, and Saturdays to help individuals, families, and self-employed individuals with their tax preparation. Clinics operate on a first-come, first-served basis so it is a good idea to arrive when the clinic starts, or even 15 minutes earlier, to get in line. Please allow at least two hours or more for tax preparation. Also, make sure to bring a picture id, social security card, and your W-2s when you come in. Find a clinic near you.

 Grant Development Workshop

Greetings, we would like to remind you to  join us at our  two-day grant development workshop at the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minnesota.  March 4 - 5, 2013. Learn from Professional Grant Writers how to prepare, write and secure grants from various funding agencies. We are finalizing the attendee list as we speak, if interested please visit our website or contact us at 1.877.414.8991 to register/ reserve seating.

Additional discounts are available for groups that would like to participate in this interactive workshop.  


Make It Pop Art Gallery

Make it Pop, at the All My Relations Gallery  features the collective works of eleven Native Artists who strive to use the influence of pop culture in every one of their pieces, either through reaction to or conjunction with it. Make it pop will utilize the individual talents of these artist to convey both the tremendous history and culture of the Native people, as it applies to the current  trends of pop culture. These artists express their message through a variety of mediums from metalwork, to ceramics, painting and printmaking; in addition to covering a range of tribes, spanning across the country. The gallery will be on display form February 15th - May 4th 2013 and is completely FREE to the public.

From the Office of City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren
350 South 5th Street, City Hall, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415 · Ward 6 website · (612) 673-2206

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