County board actions: funding expands team fighting sex trafficking, autonomous shuttle test planned

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Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

County board actions

Voting Thursday, the board approved funding to continue combatting youth sex trafficking, approved an agreement for an autonomous shuttle test, approved funding for free home health and safety inspections and more.

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Funding will expand team fighting youth
sex trafficking

The board accepted a $100,000 grant from the Women's Foundation of Minnesota to dedicate an additional staff member to a team investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking crimes. 

This new position will join six other staff dedicated to the county's work on No Wrong Door and Safe Harbor initiatives. These initiatives focus on the principle that sexually exploited youth should be treated as survivors and victims, rather than criminals.

County staff work year-round to combat this persistent issue. The number of sex trafficking cases submitted to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office increased from 27 in 2015 to 95 in 2017.

Read more about this action.

Learn more about the county's work to help sexually exploited youth

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Autonomous shuttle demonstration to take place along Midtown Greenway

The board approved negotiation of an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to lease an autonomous shuttle for a demonstration along the Midtown Greenway.

Hennepin County will test the electric-powered shuttle and offer free public rides along a two- to three-block stretch of the Greenway during Earth Day weekend, April 20 - 22. The shuttle, capable of operating safely in mixed traffic with pedestrians and bicyclists, will travel for limited hours during the demonstration on one lane of the existing bicycle and pedestrian trail. A human operator will be on board the shuttle to take over, if needed. The shuttle will travel no more than 12 miles per hour.

The county is interested in studying how this emerging technology can complement other multimodal forms of transportation and enhance connections to major transitways.

The Greenway was acquired by Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority in the early 1990s for future transit use and connects the Blue Line, Orange Line and planned Green Line Extension.

Learn more about the board action.

View a PowerPoint presentation with more details on the demonstration.

Grant will fund more than 100 home health and safety inspections

Voting February 13 as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the board approved a $60,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Health to assess as many as 110 homes in Hennepin County for safety and health hazards. Through the Healthy Homes program, residents can receive free help to reduce home health risks, such as asthma triggers and lead paint.

Learn more about this funding.

Learn more about the Healthy Homes program.

Candidates appointed to citizen advisory boards

The board appointed the following candidates:

Adult Mental Health Local Advisory Council

  • Barbara Kaiser 
  • Suzanne Bachman
  • Kathleen Goldammer-Copeland 
  • Kathryn Walton
  • Esther Muturi
  • Will Hall
  • Sankolo Dolo

Capital Budgeting Task Force

  • Greg Sticha
  • Heidi Hamilton

City Planning Commission (Minneapolis)

  • Amy Sweasy

County Extension Committee (University of Minnesota Extension)

  • Jazmyn Becker

Library Board

  • Adja Kaba Ann
  • Rahfat Hussain
  • Sheila Letscher

Mental Commitment Attorney Panel Advisory Board

  • Kim Lutes

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Board

  • Anthony Scallon 
  • Thomas Adams
  • Alexander Hanlon
  • Andrea Ferstan
  • Aaron Hill

Learn about Hennepin County's citizen advisory boards.

Federal legislative platform approved

The board adopted the 2018 federal legislative platform asking Minnesota members of Congress to support the county’s requests in the following areas:

  • Transportation
  • Health and human services
  • Safety-net health services
  • Taxes
  • Criminal justice
  • Housing and community development 
  • Workforce development 

Public hearing - issuing debt under capital improvement program

The board established a public hearing on issuing debt to finance new capital improvements included in the county's 2018-2022 capital improvement program.

  • Tuesday, March 20, 1:30 p.m.
  • Board room (A-2400), Hennepin County Government Center
  • 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

Read more about the public hearing.

Current and archival board meetings, agendas and minutes are available online. View at

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