February 2018 News and Updates from Commissioner Higgins

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linda higgins

February 2018

hashtag onlyinmn
us bank stadium

This is an amazing time in Hennepin County as we host Super Bowl LII here in the #BoldNorth. Though our Vikings did not make it in, there is plenty of opportunity to display our civic pride and to enjoy all the best of our state! #OnlyinMN

Hennepin County continues to do good things for our community, and I would urge people to take in everything, including the Minnesota Black History 101 exhibit here at the Hennepin County Government Center and the TESTIFY exhibit at the Hennepin County Central Library as well as many other great upcoming events this month. In addition, think about subscribing to other interesting topics offered by Hennepin County.


linda higgins signature
lowry bridge

Super Bowl LII Lowry Bridge style

Photographer alert! The Lowry Bridge will cycle through Super Bowl LII colors through the Super Bowl, Sunday, February 4. #BoldNorth

Hennepin County funding assistance for lead paint

baby lead paint story

Homeowners and landlords may be eligible for a free home test and as much as $8,000 in lead reduction costs such as new windows. Contact Hennepin County via email at healthyhomes@hennepin.us or call 612-543-4182.

black history 101 exhibit

Minnesota Black History 101: A celebration of Black life, history and culture in Minnesota

Minnesota Black History 101 exhibit features artifacts, memorabilia, and narratives offering a unique glimpse into the lives of Minnesota’s pioneering African-Americans. From the birth of George Bonga in 1802 to civil rights movements and beyond, the exhibit presents Minnesota’s Black history of faith, politics, music, sports and more.  The exhibit is open in the Hennepin Gallery at the Hennepin County Government Center (A level, near the Park Café).

In honor of the Super Bowl, the exhibit also features photographs from Vikings team photographer Andy Kenutis and Vikings artifacts from the 1960s and 1970s. 

The exhibition and corresponding events are sponsored by the Hennepin County Library in collaboration with the Minnesota African American Museum as part of their “History Comes Alive” series.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6 pm.

STEP-UP accepting high school internship applications until February 16

Step up video

STEP-UP is the Minneapolis internship program for young adults ages 14 to 21. Each year, STEP-UP recruits, trains and places more than 1,600 Minneapolis youth in meaningful paid internships with over 220 top Twin Cities businesses, public agencies such as Hennepin County and nonprofits. Applications are due February 16 and may be found at minneapolismn.gov/cped/

Hennepin accepting college student applications for Urban Scholars paid internship program

urban scholars

Hennepin County is collaborating with the City of Minneapolis and the Urban Scholars Program to increase the diversity of talent across the organization.

Urban Scholars is a twelve week paid internship and includes formal leadership and professional development training. Students spend four days a week working in an internship position that includes working on projects and field work. One day a week, students come together as a cohort to learn and practice skills in leadership, professional development, small groups, and public speaking. Urban Scholars also provides mentors/networking advisors and additional panels, tours, and overviews.

For more information, see Hennepin County jobs at governmentjobs.com/careers/hennepin

Minnesota State Announces 400 Scholarships for High Demand Sectors

minnesota state colleges

Minnesota State has announced the availability of 400 new scholarships of $2,500 each for students enrolling in high-demand programs at state colleges.

The scholarships will be available fall semester 2018 to new students enrolling at any Minnesota state college in associate degree, diploma, or certificate programs that prepare graduates for careers in high demand sectors including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, and information technology. Scholarship awards are scheduled to be announced on March 30, 2018. Students should check with specific colleges for application deadlines.

Application and other information is at minnstate.edu/media/newsreleases/2018/012318-wds.html.

Working to prevent the sexual exploitation of youth

sex trafficking - photo of young woman

The issue of sex trafficking/exploitation gets a spotlight during big events such as the Super Bowl, though sexual exploitation affects our community 365 days a year. Since 2014, Hennepin County has worked to enact the No Wrong Door initiative, which works across county services to help prevent the sexual exploitation of youth, and to provide resources and tools for a  journey of healing. Youth who have been sexually exploited are not criminals, but victims, and like all kids, they deserve their best lives.

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text “Be Free” to 233733.

See the Star Tribune article.


Give Kids a Smile!

kid in dental chair

Our annual “Give Kids a Smile!” dental clinic is coming up Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3! The NorthPoint dental team will provide children and youth ages 1 through 17 with cleanings, fillings, X-rays, and other dental services as needed at no cost to families. Call 612- 543-2500 to sign up.

Other Hennepin County locations are at mndental.org/events/give-kids-a-smile/patients/find-a-participating-clinic/.

Nominations are being accepted for the Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour


Would your home or building be of interest in 2018 or on a future tour? The home tour is looking for a wide variety of homes that help tell the stories of city living and provide home improvement inspiration. Selections are made in February. Contact coordinator Margo Ashmore at mfashmore@aol.com or 612-867-4874. Further information is at msphometour.com/.

The tour is open Saturday, April 28 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, April 29 from 1 to 5 pm.

Metro Transit news you can use

metro transit fares

Transit Assistance Program (TAP) to help low-income riders

Metro Transit has developed a new program called the Transit Assistance Program (TAP) to help low-income riders. Qualified commuters will be able to ride the bus or train any time for $1. To enroll, applicants must verify that they are low-income, and an ID. 

Read more information on Transit Assistance Program.

metro transit text

Metro Transit Text for Safety

Call 9-1-1 to report a crime, text 612-900-0411 if you can’t

Everyone knows to call 9-1-1 to report a crime but what if you don’t feel comfortable making that call because of concerns for your personal safety? Now you can text Metro Transit for non-emergency situations to silently report something that doesn’t look right on a bus, on a train or at a transit shelter. This service is also accessible via the Metro Transit Mobile App

TEXT 612-900-0411* to report suspicious or threatening behavior or anything else we should know about so we can send help. metrotransit.org/textforsafety

*Messaging and data rates apply; refer to your wireless plan for more details.

Road salt usage in Hennepin County down 80 percent since 1980s

road salt

Fox 9 covers how road salt usage in Hennepin County has been carefully reduced to help the environment. County officials say new technology like monitors that show drivers how much salt they are using, pretreating roads before snowstorms and using more brine, a combination of salt and water, has allowed them to use salt more efficiently and effectively.

Hennepin annual request for affordable housing proposals open now

We’re investing in housing and development projects that build lasting public value through affordable housing and transit oriented development.

Hennepin County's annual coordinated request for proposals for development funding was posted Thursday, January 4, 2018, and all application materials are due by February 8, 2018 at 4:30 pm.

Up to $6.1 million combined is available through our three Hennepin County programs this year, including:

  • Affordable Housing Incentive Fund
  • HOME Investment Partnerships program
  • Transit Oriented Development program

Learn more about development proposals at hennepin.us/business/work-with-henn-co/rfp. 

New hotline to report hate crimes: call 311 from inside Minneapolis or 612-673-3000


Through its 311 service, Minneapolis has opened a new hotline for reporting hate crimes, which are harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice. The hotline number is 311 for anyone calling from within the city or 612-673-3000 statewide. The 311 hotline will be answered 7 am to 7 pm weekdays and 8 am to 4:30 pm weekends. Those with a report to make can also call the Department of Justice at 612-664-5600. As always, in the case of immediate physical violence, property damage or threats, people should call 911.

Visit the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights' page

Learn more about NorthPoint’s Campus Expansion and Penn-Plymouth Corridor projects

penn plymouth

Residents and potential contractors can learn about the upcoming NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center’s campus expansion at Penn and Plymouth.

Tuesday, February 20, 6 to 8 pm

NorthPoint at 1313 Penn Ave. N. (clinic lower conference rooms)

News you can use from the Hennepin County Libraries

library homework

Help with homework at Webber Park Library

The library system's K-12 Homework Help program, already very popular at Brookdale and North Regional libraries, soon will launch at Webber Park Library. Beginning February 13 and continuing through the end of May, live tutors will work with students on Tuesday evenings from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Free snacks also are available to students younger than 18, from 3:30 to 4 pm.

Learn more about Homework Help.

The library is looking for volunteers to help make it happen. Adults and teens 16 years and older may become volunteers.

Find a volunteer application on the Library website.

Renewing a library book is easier

The Hennepin County Library system has enhanced our notification and renewal service to make it easier for patrons to manage their accounts. If we have your email address, you’ll get a notice that says which items renewed, which didn’t, and new due dates. To add or update your email address, log in to your account on hclib.org.

Learn more about auto-renewal.

North Minneapolis Town Hall meeting February 19

north town hall

Senator Bobby Joe Champion is holding a special Town Hall meeting with Representatives Fue Lee and Raymond Dehn to discuss issues facing the 2018 legislative session. Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins and Council Member Jeremiah Ellison will join as special guests. All are welcome!

Monday, February 19

5:30 to 8 pm

UROC at 2001 Plymouth Ave. N.

Learn about Health and Human Services contracting with Hennepin County

shaking hands

Are you a provider of health or human services? Please join the Contract Management Services area of the Human Services and Public Health Department for the next presentation in a series of provider information sessions for 2018. 

Contracting information sessions are offered to support your ability to meet contracting requirements. Pre-registration is required. To preregister, email county staff at hsphpartners@hennepin.us with the names, email addresses and contact telephone numbers for all attendees. You will receive a follow-up email confirming your registration.

Overview of HSPHD Contracting and the Vendor Selection Process

This information session specifically will review the contracting guide and vendor selection process. This session is for anyone interested, including staff from newer organization with a contract with HSPHD, in learning more about HSPH contracting standards and processes, along with the ins and outs of the vendor selection process.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

9:30 to 11:30 am

Brookdale Library - Room C

6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy.

Brooklyn Center, MN

Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Symposium kicks off during Super Bowl week

symposium pic

HCMC: More than 10,500 Minnesotans are living with paralysis from a spinal cord injury and 100,000 are living with disabilities from brain injury. No matter what the cause – whether it’s from a slip on the ice, a ladder fall or a car crash – these injuries are life changing for patients and their families.

On Wednesday, the first annual Minnesota Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Symposium will showcase new and innovative research funded by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Grant Program, legislation supported by Senator John Hoffman and Representative Tony Albright.

“Without a doubt, the path to hope for these courageous patients is research,” explains neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for TBI Research at Hennepin County Medical Center, one of the moderators at the Symposium.

The grant program funds research to discover treatment and rehabilitation with the aim of improving function in people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries and will award a total of $6 million for research in the next two years.

Hennepin County Career Connections fair

Join us for a job development career fair!

Monday, February 12, 2018

9 am to 2 pm

Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central
300 Nicollet Mall, 2nd Floor
Job development career fair flyer (PDF)

Board news

January 2

Board reappoints Commissioner Jan Callison as chair

At its annual organization meeting on January 2, the Hennepin County Board unanimously voted to elect District 6 Commissioner Jan Callison as chair for 2018. Commissioner Callison has served as chair since 2015.

The board also reelected Commissioner Linda Higgins, District 2, to serve as vice chair of the board. Commissioner Higgins has been vice chair since 2015.

Committee chairs

The board also established board committees and selected committee chairs:

  • County Administration: Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, District 4
  • Health: Commissioner Marion Greene, District 3
  • Human Services: Commissioner Debbie Goettel, District 5
  • Operations and Libraries: Linda Higgins, District 2
  • Public Works: Commissioner Mike Opat, District 1
  • Public Safety: Commissioner Jeff Johnson, District 7

Regional Railroad Authority leadership

Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), the board re-elected Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, District 4, as chair and Commissioner Mike Opat, District 1, as vice chair of the HCRRA.

Attend or watch board meetings

The county board usually meets Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center.

Board and committee meetings generally are live-streamed and on demand on the web, broadcast live on Metropolitan Cable Network Channel 6, and re-broadcast on Channel 6 on Fridays at 8 p.m. 

Find a complete schedule, meeting minutes and agendas at www.hennepin.us/boardmeetings

January 23

Pilot program aims to keep more North Minneapolis residents in their homes

The board accepted a $260,000 McKnight Foundation grant to provide emergency assistance to North Minneapolis households at risk of eviction. 

As part of this pilot project, 200 low-income families will receive legal help, along with social and employment services. The county will work with NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid on this effort. 

Learn more about this action.

Reducing eviction rates is part of the county's overall strategy for preventing homelessness. Learn about how the county is working to end homelessness, one person at a time

Leaders appointed to Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Voting January 9 as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the board re-elected District 2 Commissioner Linda Higgins as chair and District 5 Commissioner Debbie Goettel as vice chair of the authority.

Board meeting calendars

Housing and Redevelopment Authority meetings will continue taking place immediately following the first scheduled Hennepin County committee meetings of each month.

View the 2018 board and committee meeting calendar



  • Friday, February 1, through April 14
    Tax Preparation Sessions. Eastside Neighborhood Services.1700 2nd St. NE. For schedule visit TaxPreparation  
  • Friday, February 2, 6-9pm
    Opening Reception at the 2001 A Space. Jaymee Kjelland: Explorations in Glass and Stone. 2001 5th St. NE. GlassandStoneExhibit  
  • Sunday, February 18, 10am-2pm
    Northeast Farmers’ Market. Support local food vendors and artisans. Solar Arts by Chowgirls, 711 15th Ave. NE, 3rd floor. northeastmarket.org
  • February 22, 6-7:15pm
    African-American Artists in Minnesota Museums. Discover the work of African-American artists that can be seen in museums in Minnesota. Also learn the importance of the artwork in terms of the artist’s career and a shared cultural legacy. Pierre Bottineau Library, 55 Broadway St. NE. african-american-artists

North Loop

  • February 1 through February 6
    Testify: Americana Slavery to Today, the Diane and Alan Page Collection. Minneapolis Central Library, Cargill Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall. For schedule visit testifyexhibit
  • Wednesday, February 2, 6-8pm
    Kindred Kitchen, Food Business 101 Class. Minneapolis Central Library. 300 Nicollet Mall, Rm. 270. kindredkitchen  


  • Tuesdays, 12-1pm
    Northpoint Health and Wellness Mobile Market. Delivers healthy and affordable food: fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Call 612-529-8054 or visit NorthpointMobileMarket
  • Thursday, February 1 through Wednesday, February 28
    Black History Month Emporium at Homewood Studios, featuring Bill Jeter. 2400 Plymouth Ave. N. For studio hours visit homewoodstudios
  • Thursday, February 1, 5:30-8pm
    Mentoring at the Intersection of Chemical Health, Reentry, and Culture. Guest speaker Dr. Peter Hayden. Shiloh Temple International Ministries, 1201 West Broadway Ave. ChemicalHealthMentoring
  • February 7, 11:30am-1:30 pm
    Hawthorne EcoVillage Grand Opening. Ceremony and tours. 617 Lowry Ave. N. EcoVillageGrandOpening

Medicine Lake

  • Saturday, February 10, 10am-2pm
    2nd Annual Augustine Team Ice Fishing Derby on Medicine Lake,189 Peninsula Road. Lunch, snacks, hot chocolate and cider will be served. FishingDerby


  • February 3, 3-7pm 29th Annual Fire and Ice Festival. Good, old-fashioned winter fun for the whole family. Parkers Lake Park. 15205 County Rd 6. FireandIce
  • Saturday, February 10, 9am-1:30pm
    Indoor Farmers’ Market at Bachman’s. 10050 6th Ave. N. IndoorFarmersMarket
  • Saturday, February 10, 3-6pm
    2018 Plymouth Rotary Brew Fest Fundraiser for Community CPR Training. Join the fun and save lives! Tickets: $40, VIP $50. Unlimited tastings and snacks. Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. N. RotaryBrewfest
  • Thursday, February 22. 5-7:30 pm
    Wedding Open House. Everything for your wedding; vendors, caterers, showcases and more. Free. Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. N. WeddingOpenHouse

St. Anthony

  • Thursday, February 8, 6pm
    St. Anthony Village Area Chamber of Commerce Speed Networking. Make new business connections, promote your business and get further involved in the St. Anthony Chamber. TC WebTech/Everyday Office, 2303 Kennedy St. NE #201. Register online at Speednetworking.com

Multiple communities

  • Saturday, February 3, 9am-5:30pm
    Homestretch Workshop: Your American Dream. Your guide to financial success: Offering training on how to establish a strong financial base, counseling to prepare for home ownership, business expansion, and financing that suits your cultural needs. African Development Center of Minnesota, 1931 S. 5th St. $40. HomeStretch.com
  • Saturday, February 10, 8am-3pm
    2018 Community Connections Conference. Connect with diverse members of your community to voice what you aspire Minneapolis to become. Collaborate with neighbors and develop strategies to transform that vision into reality. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. S. CommunityConnections  
  • February 13, 6:30-7:45pm
    Minnesota Stories: 150 Years of African American Art. See the art practices and lives of professional African-American artists that either lived and/or worked in Minnesota since the middle of the 19th century. Hennepin County Library, 2727 E. Lake St. MinnesotaStories
  • Thursday, February 22, 11am-2pm
    Minneapolis Professional and Technology Diversity Career Fair. Meet face-to-face with hiring managers at the Minneapolis Professional and Technology Diversity Career Fair! Meet with top employers who are looking to fill their openings with qualified candidates. U.S. Bank Stadium, 401 Chicago Ave., West Plaza Lobby. DiversityCareerFair
  • Friday, February 23, 6-9pm
    NABA 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration: Spoken Word/Music and Movie Night. Celebrate Black/African-American achievements across business, arts and social causes. Hennepin Theatre Trust, 900 Hennepin Ave. BlackHistoryCelebration

Golden Valley

  • Saturday, February 17, 8-10pm
    Comedy at Brookview. Features national headliners! Come for a catered buffet dinner before the show at 6:30 or attend just the show at 8 pm. All shows will be in the Bassett Creek banquet room. Tickets $20. Brookview Golden Valley, 316 Brookview Parkway S. ComedyatBrookview
  • Tuesday, February 20, 6-7:15pm
    African-American Art and the Civil Rights Movement. Learn about the political protest in art by African-American artists before the Black Arts Movement of 1968. Golden Valley Library, 830 Winnetka Ave. N. AfricanAmericanArt
  • Thursday, February 22, 7:30-9:30am
    Golden Valley State of the City Address by Mayor Shep Harris. Golden Valley City Hall, 7800 Golden Valley Rd. StateoftheCity


Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Beverly Hammond
Administrative Secretary

You can also send comments via my feedback form.

Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2



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