Hennepin County News and COVID-19 Update - June 20

commissioner marion greene

June 20, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to this week’s newsletter. I hope you are doing well, and finding ways to balance the challenges and weight of this moment. 

Hennepin County and the District 3 office are here if you need to engage with one of our many services or supports. We want to hear from you whether it be comments, opinions, ideas, or if you need assistance. The most efficient way to be in touch is by emailing my district aide, Laura Hoffman, at laura.hoffman@hennepin.us.

Be well,

marion signature

Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

At this coming Tuesday's (6/23) Health and Human Services Committee meeting, my colleagues Commissioners Conley and Fernando will introduce a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Hennepin County. I wholeheartedly support this resolution and am committed to making sure Hennepin County uses this lens to critically examine the work we do. 

We need to act on the plethora of scientific data demonstrating that racism has a direct and detrimental effect on health and well being. Making this declaration is an integral step in transforming Hennepin County's work as leaders in justice and reform.

The resolution language will be publicly available after its official introduction at the June 23 board meeting. 


Knowledge is the First Step

These four titles bring to light the many ways in which racism functions, damages, and is perpetuated in our modern world. These books pose essential questions to each of us: How can we hold ourselves accountable? And also, how can we contribute to a society of true equity and justice? If you're hungry for even more reading, the University of Minnesota Press has made available a collection of anti-racist books to all to read online for free through August 31.


Complex structural racism, which perpetuates racial inequity in this country, won't be dismantled overnight. There is much work to be done, both on an individual level and on an organizational level. But if there's anything the library understands, it is that knowledge is a critical first step, and educating ourselves is a good place to begin this work.

Hennepin County Library is dedicated to listening, learning, educating, and making the critical changes needed to move toward a more just world.

As part of our library’s commitment to listening, learning and taking action, four e-books are now available with no holds: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Governor Walz Approves $62M for Small Businesses

Governor Tim Walz has signed H.F. 5 into law, a bipartisan bill that will aid Minnesota’s economic recovery by providing $62.5 million in grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Eligible businesses with 50 or fewer employees can apply for grants of up to $10,000. Half of the funding will go to Greater Minnesota businesses, at least $10 million to go to minority-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to veteran-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to women-owned businesses, and $2.5 million will support cultural malls.

The bill includes $60 million from the federal CARES Act, and $2.5 million from DEED’s Emergency Loan Program. More information, including grant applications, will be available in the coming weeks at mn.gov/deed/.


State Executive Order Suspending Evictions Extended Until July 13

The governor's latest extension of the peacetime emergency means that the suspension of evictions and landlord-initiated lease terminations remains in place until July 13.

This suspension will allow households to remain sheltered during the peacetime emergency. The executive order does not relieve a tenant's obligation to pay rent, however. It also does not


Hennepin County Rent Assistance

If you can't make rent because you lost income due to COVID-19, Hennepin County has emergency funds available to help low-income renters cover housing costs.

The current eviction moratorium is expected to expire on July 13. Renters are strongly encouraged to apply now to ensure you receive support in time. 

Learn more at hennepin.us/rent-help.

Fremont Bridge Reconstruction Update



The Fremont Avenue Bridge replacement project is the current Greenway Bridges project. Construction includes removing the old structure and pouring a new bridge deck and foundation. 

The project began summer 2019 and is anticipated to be complete in fall 2020.


Sign up for Greenway updates here.

Summer Safety During Covid-19


Hennepin County Public Health Director Susan Palchick shared with MPR precautions people should take as they leave home and make summer memories during COVID-19.

Listen to the MPR story.


Biking: A Great Way to Stay Active While Staying Safe


Biking is a good option for getting exercise while keeping physical distance from others. Check out the interactive bike map to plan your route. 

It is updated to include recently completed projects in Hennepin County.


Hennepin County Cooling Locations



To assist in escaping the heat, view the Cooling Option interactive map below which shows cool places throughout Hennepin County. We have restructured the map to adhere to government mandates regarding COVID-19. Although we will do our best to update information as it becomes available, since the closure status of many facilities and businesses is changing constantly please check with each location before visiting. Also check for mask, social distancing and any other regulations implemented by that facility.

Use the county's interactive map to find cooling locations near you.

Renew Driver's Licenses and ID Cards Online


In Minnesota you can now renew your standard driver’s license or ID card online (if there is no change to your name, address, signature, or license number).

Request Your Absentee Ballot


All eligible voters in Minnesota can choose to vote by mail via absentee ballot. 

To complete the application for an absentee ballot online you must:

  • Be eligible to register and vote in Minnesota
  • Provide an email address
  • Provide your identification number: MN-issued driver's license, Minnesota ID card or last 4 digits of Social Security Number

Complete your absentee ballot request here.

Up-to-Date Resources

Community resources


Hennepin County Services

Up-to-date information about how to access Hennepin County services.

Hennepin County local resource site for information on food, health, safety, and housing resources.

Hennepin County Library Curbside Pickup FAQ

The Domestic Abuse Service Center is currently operating remotely. All services can be accessed by calling (612) 348-5073.


Health Resources

Find COVID-19 testing locations

State of Minnesota Dedicated COVID-19 Hotlines: 

  • Community (schools, child care, business) questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7:00 am – 7:00 pm)
  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7:00 am – 7:00 pm)

Ways to create your own non-medical grade mask.

Contact Standpoint advocacy services at 612-743-7397 if you are experience domestic abuse/violence.


Housing Resources

Call 612-348-5553 to speak with Healthcare for the Homeless staff about accessing quarantine and isolation space. 

Homes for All COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Resources

Additional resources for those experiencing housing instability. 

Apply for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program


Food Resources

Minneapolis Public Schools meal pickup information

Saint Louis Park public school meal distribution information

'Free Meals for Kids' Mobile App

Designate someone to use your EBT card on your behalf.

MetroMobility offering grocery delivery to certified riders

Apply for Emergency Assistance (EA) and Emergency General Assistance (EGA), and other assistance.


For Businesses

Business District Toolkit to help community partners navigate and respond to the changing demands on public spaces.

Guidance from MN DEED for safe reopening starting June 1


For Essential Workers

Metro Mobility service for healthcare workers

Free Nice Ride memberships available for healthcare workers.

Healthcare Worker Childcare through U of MN Medical Student Group


Learn from Home

Learn about free and low-cost internet options to support distance learning.

Play at Home, Short Plays to Watch at Home

Find your next read at the Advocates for Human Rights Book Club.

Stream movies from MSP Film Society Virtual Cinema's selection or rent from the parkway theater.

Minnesota Orchestra at Home

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA)

Learn from Home with the Science Museum of Minnesota

Walker Art Center's Living Collections Catalogue

The Theater of Public Policy Spring Season is being livestreamed

DNR Eagle Cam


Additional Community Resources

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid COVID legal FAQ page

Scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City of Minneapolis Stay Healthy Streets. 

Twin Cities Restaurant Curbside Order Pick Ups Options

Contact us

Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Elie Farhat
Principal Aide

Laura Hoffman
District Aide


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