Minneapolis Connects: July 2016

Minneapolis Connects: News and information from Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations

July, 2016

Don Joseph named Deputy Director of the NCR department

Donald Jospeh

Don Joseph is the new Deputy Director of the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department.  Over the past couple of months, the Neighborhood and Community Relations department has been undergoing some changes to improve its services to both City departments and city residents.  The Department is currently re-aligning neighborhood support staff and cultural outreach staff to better serve neighborhoods, cultural communities and City departments.  The new structure will also enhance the support of the City equity work and the Blueprint for Equitable Engagement. 

Don’s experience on equity projects, performance measures, and his extensive human resources and analytics background made him a good fit for this position.  Previously Don served as the Director of the Innovation Team in the City Coordinator’s Office, which focuses on how core City services are delivered equitably throughout Minneapolis.  Prior to working with the City of Minneapolis, Don worked as a Diversity and Inclusion Lead with Target Corporation.  He has also worked with several corporate, consulting, government and non-profit organizations.  He is highly regarded for collaborating and building relationships with key stakeholders and teams, as well as for his flexibility with change and drive for delivering results.

Don earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from Pace University, and his graduate degree in Human Resources Management from New York University.  He also serves as a Board Member for a non-profit organization that delivers mentoring services to at-risk youth in the Minneapolis Metro Area.  In his spare time, Don enjoys listening to jazz music and staying abreast of both domestic and foreign affairs.   

NCR and American Indian Community Leaders present a refresh of the American Indian Memorandum of Understanding to City Council

American Indian MOU

On Wednesday, June 29th leaders of the American Indian Community and the Neighborhood and Community Relations department presented to the City Council a plan to refresh the American Indian Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). In a process driven by the American Indian community, the MOU was first established in 2003 as the first official partnership with the City of Minneapolis with the mission to promote the well-being, growth, and mutual interests of the American Indian Community. The partnership was revitalized again in 2011 with an emphasis on engagement. Now in 2016, it is time for the City and the community to update the partnership to ensure the continued success of the American Indian Community in Minneapolis.  

Now through early 2017 the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors groups will be working with Christine McDonald, Native American Community Specialist to revise the MOU. The final MOU will be brought to City Council in April 2017.  View the MOU and presentation to City Council.

Tour Minneapolis Neighborhoods this Summer!


Neighborhood garden tours have become a summer staple, and this year is no exception. This month brings the popular Kingfield Garden Tour (July 14), the Seward Garden Tour and Tea Party (also July 14) and the Bryn Mawr Garden Tour (July 16). These tours highlight neighborhood gardening efforts, raise funds for the neighborhood organizations, and more importantly, bring residents together to explore neighborhood issues.

A twist on the garden walking tour is the Nokomis East Blooming Alleys Bike Tour (July 14). Those looking for a slightly longer bike tour should also consider riding in the 10th Annual Tour de Camden (July 16). Sponsored by the Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association, this leisurely ride provides participants with an opportunity for a close-up look at the seven neighborhoods of Camden.

Those more interested in history will want to consider attending the Lynnhurst Historic Homes Walking Tour (July 16). Finally, there’s something for everyone in the Summer Walks Across Seward (each Wednesday through August 31).  These walks range from “A Sweet Walk on Franklin” (July 20) to Micro Housing (July 27) to Discovering Seward’s Lost Stores (August 3).

Public Works partners with NCR to spread the importance of organics recycling to the Southeast Asian community

Through the Southeast Asian Soccer Connection, the Solid Waste and Recycling department was able to share the importance of Organics Recycling to the Southeast Asian Community.


The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, hosts the Southeast Asian Soccer Connection, an event for City departments to share important city information with the Southeast Asian community in a creative and enjoyable way. To learn more about the work of the Engagement Services Team, please visit the Neighborhood and Community Relations website

July 27th NCR Learning Lab: Neighborhood Organizations and Elections

Come and learn from NCR Staff and other neighborhoods, the rules regarding 501c3 non-profit organizations and political elections.  What can organizations do when it comes to allowing political candidates to address their membership?  Can our neighborhood group work on ballot initiatives? Can we accept political advertising in our newsletter or website? These topics will be covered and much more.  July 27th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Van Cleve Recreation Center – 901 15th Ave SE. Mpls. 55414 More on-line resources at this NCR Web-Link Please RSVP to ncr@minneapolismn.gov

Hundreds attend Juneteenth Festival


Several hundred people braved sweltering heat and gathered for last month’s Juneteenth Festival at North Mississippi Regional Park. The Juneteenth Festival observes the June 19th 1865 proclamation of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The Festival celebrates freedom for people of all racial backgrounds.

Juneteenth 2016 featured music, dozens of information tables, and plenty of food. Above, Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association (LBNA) staffer Cody Olson and NCEC and LBNA board member David Boyd welcome festival attendees to their neighborhood.

Pastime; a Memory Café for people with memory loss and their caregivers

Walker Methodist announces the opening of Pastime; a Memory Café for people with memory loss and their caregivers to experience a relaxing, fun, and comfortable setting with others.

Pastime will be a social outlet for caregivers and their loved ones to attend for fun activities, friendship building, and educational opportunities. The goal is to support older adults and enhance their lives – as is the mission of Walker Methodist. Cafés will resemble the corner coffee shop – with refreshments, laughter, and active conversation. Pastime; Memory Cafés are open to the public – with a heart for those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss and their caregivers.

The Pastime; Memory Cafés will be held at the Minneapolis Campus (3737 Bryant Ave. S.) on the third Tuesday of each month; other locations will also be participating. If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact Anne Tabat at 612-827-8311.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Maleta Kimmons

Park Board Appointee

Term: 2nd

Ward: 5

Neighborhood: Willard-Hay

Sub-committees: Executive Committee and City Department Engagement Committee  

How long have you been active in your community and what made you get involved in community work?

I have been doing organizing work in my community since 1991. I got involved because I witnessed no significant change for black people in the areas of poverty and social exclusion.  I did not understand the role of the city or who was the key players that made decisions on behalf of the people.  I understood that there were issues but no relief for solving the problems, particularly for black folks.  

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

What I like most about my neighborhood:  The people there are integrated and they are not interested in moving out of the neighborhood. I like that the Neighborhood Association has become integrated and that renters and homeowners are working together to build economic development score card and a community benefit agreement to equally distribute housing, transportation and employment opportunities.  

Are there other boards and committees you are or have been on? 

Currently, I sit on the board of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. I work with 5 Neighborhood Associations in partnership with my own nonprofit One Family One Community.  One Family One Community is in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and A Brush with Kindness to rehab homes for Jordan residents.  I work with a diverse range of organizations, including MICAH, St. Stephens, Resource Inc., and the Coalition to End Homelessness.

Do you have any tips for residents interested in running for neighborhood boards and/or City boards and commissions?

I understand that most people do not know how to get involved with neighborhood boards or City boards and commissions.  It starts with picking up a neighborhood newsletter or going to a meeting of interest.   Civic engagement is the missing key for neighborhood residents. 

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?  

I am a north side resident.  I am a black woman, from a stolen tribe on stolen land.  My name is Queen.  One Family One Community is my legacy.  I work for the City of Minneapolis in the City Clerk’s office as a community specialist reaching out on behalf of wards 4 and 5 that have low voter turnout.   I have a two part task, one that encompasses black folks in North Minneapolis that are homeless or have criminal records.  I have a criminal record and I have experienced unstable living arrangements that badly undermine an individual’s ability to participate in community politics, and can limit access even to fundamental political rights such as voting.

One Family One Community is an organization that works to reduce chronic homelessness and remedy the root causes of housing instability. It is a true grassroots organization, working to advance a dual mission of housing access and civic engagement while teaching self-reliance and political self-determination. Its leadership is drawn directly from its membership, and made up of program participants who have demonstrated their passion for the organization’s mission and a willingness to work hard to benefit the community. Many of its leaders have previously faced, and overcome, the same challenges that its members currently face, such as extreme poverty or the stigma of involvement in the criminal justice system.

One Family One Community is pioneering an approach modeled off the Massachusetts abandoned housing receivership initiative, using the Hennepin County quiet title application to resolve legal and financial problems obstructing the sale or reuse of vacant buildings. Many abandoned units also are currently in need of repairs. We help perform needed renovation on these units, and in the process, provide practical vocational training to members. This process also helps revitalize the surrounding area by alleviating the pressure that idle and vacant dwellings place on property values – a positive externality that benefits the entire community. 

We have rehabilitated one house by relying upon efforts of our members and volunteers, and demonstrated the potential of our housing program. We are currently exploring methods of responsibly scaling up the housing program in a variety of Minneapolis neighborhoods. Meanwhile, weekly training and organizing sessions regularly attract over three dozen participants. A number of experts and prominent community members have spoken at these meetings, such as Myron Orfield, Louis King and Dan Schulman and Ishmael Israel.  


The “Meet a Commissioner” series of the monthly Minneapolis Connects newsletter is intended for readers to get to know representatives of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC). The NCEC is a 16 member board that advises the Mayor and City Council on a wide range of community engagement issues.

The NCEC is responsible for developing guidelines for the City’s principal neighborhood funding program, the Community Participation Program, as well as the One Minneapolis Fund and the Community Innovation Fund. The Commission also works to broaden participation on advisory boards and commissions and develops recommendations for improving the City’s public participation process.

The Commission meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 5:00p.m. Learn more about the Commission.  Executive Committee and City Department Engagement Committee  

Absentee voting for primary begins, new downtown location


Early voting is now open for the primary election in a new location downtown, the Early Vote Center at 217 S. Third St. In-person absentee voting is no longer at City Hall. The new site allows more privacy and easier access for voters than the City Hall Rotunda did.

Early in-person voting is convenient. It especially helps voters who need special accommodations, such as language support, that the extra time, attention and onsite resources of early in-person voting afford more readily than the polls might on Election Day.

Standard hours throughout the absentee voting period are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. During the final two weeks before each election, these hours will be extended and include weekend times. These hours will be posted on the website (vote.minneapolismn.gov) once they have been set.

People can vote early (by absentee ballot) by mail or in person. 

Register your National Night Out gathering by July 19 for free street closure

This year, National Night Out is Tuesday, August 2, and if you’re planning a neighborhood gathering, there are important deadlines for registering your event with the City and for blocking off your street.

There is a single online process to register your National Night Out event and apply to close your street. If you want to close your street for your event, street closure is free if you apply by July 19. From July 20 to July 27, there is a $100 fee for blocking off the street. You need permission of 75 percent of your neighbors to be approved for street closure. (You do not need their signatures.) Get started at www.minneapolismn.gov/nno or register your event and apply for street closure by calling 311.

The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in an alternative format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.

Upcoming events

7/2-7/3: Hmong Freedom Celebration

7/4: Tangletown 4th of July Picnic and Parade

7/4: Red, White and Boom

7/6: Summer Walks Across Seward - Silk Stockings and Social Justice

7/16: Kids of CARAG Car Wash   

7/9: Somali-American Independence Day Festival

7/9-7/16: Jordan Week of Kindness 

7/10: Open Streets Downtown

7/11: City Hall / Courthouse 125th Anniversary Celebration

7/12: MPD's Safe Summer Nights

7/12: Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social

7/13: Summer Walks Across Seward - Westside Story: The Green Version

7/14: Live on the Drive

7/14: St. Anthony West Picnic in the Park

7/14: Seward Garden Tour and Tea Party

7/14: Kingfield Garden Tour

7/14: Nokomis East Blooming Alleys Bike Tour

7/16: Tour de Camden

7/16: Lynnhurst Historic Homes Walking Tour

7/16: Bryn Mawr Garden Tour 

7/16: Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic

7/17: Minneapolis Sister Cities Day

7/19: Pastime; A Memory Café

7/20: Summer Walks Across Seward - a Sweet Walk on Franklin

7/23: Pan African Arts and Culture Fair

7/23-7/24: U.S. Bank Stadium Open House

7/24: Open Streets East Lake

7/25: Windom Ice Cream Social

7/26: MPD's Safe Summer Nights

7/26: Elliot Park Ice Cream Social and free concert

7/27: Summer Walks Across Seward - Micro Housing/ Housing on Back Lots

7/27: Share the River Gorge Ice Cream Social

7/28: East Isles Ice Cream Social  

7/28: Hale Page Diamond Lake Picnic in the Park 

7/28: Kickin’ Back at Kenny! Summer Festival and Kickball Tournament

7/28-7/30: FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

7/29: Somali American Appreciation Dinner

7/30-7/31: Stevens Square Red Hot Art Festival

7/30-7/31: Loring Park Art Festival  

7/31: CANDO Plant Grow Share Community Bonfire

Additional events and details can be found online: www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/calendar

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

Director, David Rubedor 
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425
105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-3737