January 15, 2021 Newsletter

chris latondresse


  January 15, 2021

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

This week our team spent time visiting all five of the local business districts in District 6 that have partnered with Hennepin County on the Love Local Initiative, including Edina, Hopkins, Excelsior, Wayzata, and Minnetonka connecting with hardworking businesses in our community to talk about the latest round of critical small business relief grants available. I was also elected by our board to Chair the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.  Additionally, our board worked on finalizing our 2021 State Legislative Platform which will later be taken up for final approval.

I look forward and encourage you to reach out to my office with your questions, thoughts, comments, and concerns.

In service,


Local Small Business Tour


This week our team set out to talk to the hardworking businesses located at 50th and France in Edina, downtown Excelsior, Mainstreet in Hopkins, Glen Lake in Minnetonka, and downtown Wayzata to spread the word about the most recent small business relief grants administered by the county. 

Since May 2020, Hennepin County approved $44.75 million in small business relief grants through four application rounds. Learn more about previous funding rounds, here.

Excelsior Bay Books

Picked up a "Lenny the Loon" book for my son at Excelsior Bay Books, which has been around for 25 years.

Had a great conversation with Bill, the owner of Brightwater Clothing about the challenges facing our small businesses and his successful experience applying for and receiving a county grant. It was a reminder that these small business funds are already at work in our communities.

Commissioner LaTondresse at Brightwater Clothing with Bill, the owner
Commissioner LaTondresse standing inside LTD Brewing alongside staff

Stopped by LTD Brewing and picked up a crowler after talking to the management staff about their experience in applying for relief grants administered by Hennepin County.

Weekly Board Actions

The board's Intergovernmental Committee took up our proposed 2021 State Legislative Platform, which will later be taken up for final approval. We worked diligently on the language of our platform which includes housing, mental health, disparity reduction, criminal justice reform, child protection, and much more. 

You can access the full meeting, here.

Commissioner LaTondresse Elected Chair of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Commissioner LaTondresse addresses the board after being elected chair of the HRA


On Tuesday, board colleagues entrusted me with the responsibility of serving as Chair of the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).


Our region faces intersecting crises of homelessness and affordability. I believe we need a Minnesota Marshall Plan for affordable housing that matches the scale of the problem with public resources equal to the challenge. Hennepin County can’t do it alone, but as stewards of millions of housing dollars through our HRA, we must play a lead role uniting leaders across governments, the business community, and civil society, around unprecedented public investments in affordable housing. This will be my North Star as HRA Chair.

Our community should also know the HRA has stewarded a large part of the county’s COVID-19 direct aid for residents through our rental assistance programs ($23 million), small business grants ($44.7 million), and emergency homelessness response ($24 million). There’s no manual for the decisions we’ve made to support our community through these challenging times. But we’ve not only met the moment. We’ve discovered new pathways for the future of this work.

Watch my full remarks after being elected as Chair, here and the full meeting, here.


Hennepin County libraries end overdue book fees

By David Chanen, Star Tribune

Hennepin County Library users will no longer be paying fines for overdue books, movies and music.

The Hennepin County Board is eliminating the fees to make libraries more accessible to low-income populations, the kind of users who might stay away as fines pile up.

Access the full story, here.

Up to $5 million available for supportive housing development

As part of its supportive housing strategy, Hennepin County is currently seeking proposals for supportive housing development projects that serve two specific target populations:

  • People transitioning from mental health treatment
  • Families involved with child protection services

A Request for Proposals for these projects was posted yesterday, January 14. Up to $5 million in capital funds are available.

Proposals are due by 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 25th.

Access the RFP and apply through the Hennepin County Supplier Portal.

For more information, click here.

About District 6

District 6 map

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring ParkTonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

County information

Chris LaTondresse
6th District

Jessica Oaxaca
District Director

Kyle Olson
Policy Director


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