Minneapolis Connects - August 2016

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

August 2016

Get behind the scenes access to your City at the 2016 Minneapolis City Academy


The City Academy is a 5-week series for participants to learn how city government works including topics on general government, tax assessments, city planning, public works and police and fire operations. The academy also features tours of the City’s 911 operations center and the water treatment facility. The City Academy is free to the public. 

The City Academy will be held on Wednesday from September 21st through October 19th.

Registration is open now until August 29th. To register, please visit the City Academy webpage

Public commenting open for ADA action plan

The City of Minneapolis has developed an action plan to comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Anyone from the public can weigh in on the plan through Aug. 27 at 612-673-3737 or ncr@minneapolismn.gov.

Neighborhood and Community Relations staff will also collect comments directly from the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Aging, the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities and the Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

About the ADA Action Plan

The action plan is a comprehensive policy document to bring Minneapolis into compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The action plan addresses City programs and services; City-owned and leased buildings; and pedestrian rights of way, sidewalks and curb cuts.

Find more information on the City’s ADA action plan at www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/services/WCMSP-183897.

Voting in the Aug. 9 primary


The City of Minneapolis encourages all eligible voters to participate in the Tuesday, Aug. 9 primary. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Individuals are eligible to vote if they are a U.S. citizen at least 18 years old who has resided in Minnesota for at least 20 days before the election. Any voters who have moved or changed their name since they last voted must re-register.

Are you pre-registered?

All individuals whose registration applications were received by elections officials by 5 p.m. July 19 are pre-registered for the Aug. 9 primary. Newly registered voters will receive a postcard notifying them where to vote.

If you missed the deadline to pre-register, you may still be able to vote. Minnesota is one of several states with Election Day registration. Individuals may register at the polls on Election Day by providing one of the forms of identification required by Minnesota law. Please allow extra time at the polls to register. See vote.minneapolismn.gov for identification allowed for Election Day registration.

What’s on the ballot?

Partisan offices

  • United States Representative (District 5).
  • Minnesota State Senator (Districts 59 and 62).
  • Minnesota State Representative (Districts 59A and 60B).

Nonpartisan office

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice (Seat 6).

Presidential candidates are not on the primary ballot. Minnesota uses caucuses run by the political parties to help each party select a presidential candidate. Caucuses were held in March in Minnesota. Presidential candidates will be on the ballot in the November general election.

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Find sample ballots for all 132 Minneapolis precincts here: vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

Find out where to vote

Minneapolis added seven new precincts for 2016. In addition to the new precincts, seven polls were relocated. Find out where to vote by calling 311 or at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/where-to-vote.

Minneapolis 311 open during voting hours for Aug. 9 primary and Nov. 8 general election.

Minneapolis 311 will extend its usual hours by one hour to serve voters while the polls are open. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Aug. 9 primary, Minneapolis voters can call Minneapolis 311 for information on how to register and where to vote. From outside the city limits dial 612-673-3000. TTY/TTD 612-673-2157.

Election judges needed, earn $13.30 per hour, judges with a second language especially needed

Election judges are needed for the general election Nov. 8 to serve voters in local polling places. Election judges are paid $13.30 per hour for their service, which includes training. Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the election process and is an important service to our community. Judges who are fluent in a second language are especially needed to provide additional language support in the polling place, including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Lao, Vietnamese, Russian and American Sign Language.

Selection and placement of judges is based on qualifications of applicants and party balance within the precinct. Preference will be given to those willing to serve a full day in a precinct with a vacancy.

For more information

The Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services Division is responsible for administering elections in the City of Minneapolis. For information about registering and voting in Minneapolis or to serve as an election judge, residents can visit vote.minneapolismn.gov or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Neighborhood Stories: Timber Framed Picnic Pavilion coming to Beltrami Park!


In May of 2016, the Beltrami Neighborhood Council (BNC) was awarded a grant from U.S. Bank Places to Play Program to construct a custom timber framed picnic pavilion at Beltrami Park in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB), Spark-Y, and volunteer timber-framing expert Clark Bremer. The BNC is matching the Places to Play grant with $25,000 of City of Minneapolis Neighborhood Priority funding.  MPRB and Beltrami Community Church are also contributing funds to the project and Building Restoration Corporation is generously donating several pieces of equipment.

Construction on the pavilion began in June with the timber carving occurring the last two weeks of July. This community-led project features work days – including a “picnic table build” on August 3 - in which residents can learn more about timber framing through demonstrations and hands-on work. The timber framed pavilion will be erected in August through a barn-raising group effort and celebration.  

Find more details at www.discoverbeltrami.org

Minneapolis Police begin using body cameras

Body cameras are now being used by the Minneapolis Police Department. Officers in the 1st Precinct began wearing body cameras earlier this month. Later in July, officers in the 4th Precinct will begin wearing them, and officers across the city will be wearing body cameras by the end of the year. The use of the cameras follows the finalization of the body-worn camera policy, which was developed with extensive feedback from and involvement with community.

The introduction of body cameras comes after years of studying, testing and evaluating, and it puts Minneapolis in the forefront of cities across the country that are using them to help improve interactions between police officers and residents. Body cameras are now a recommended best practice for 21st century policing. They can be a tool for building and enhancing accountability, transparency, and public trust. In other cities, the adoption of body cameras has also resulted in fewer use-of-force complaints.

Officer-worn body cameras are merely a tool for improving police-community relations; they are not a solution in themselves. But body cameras are an important tool, one that will help the City continue to transform the relationship between police and community for the better. They are not the final step in transparency, but they are a big step toward it.

More information:

The body-worn camera policy (section 4-223 of the “equipment and supplies” section of the MPD Policy & Procedure Manual).

A list of concerns that community raised about body camera policy, and an explanation of the considerations that went into addressing those concerns in the final policy.

Cover letter from Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau introducing body camera policy and other documents.

A backgrounder that the Police Department prepared about the development of the BWC program and policy.

City awards funding to 10 organizations for the 2016 One Minneapolis Fund

The One Minneapolis Fund provides funding to community organizations for leadership development programs and community engagement activities. The name “One Minneapolis” is used for the fund as a challenge to create an inclusive community in which all people are valued, all communities are engaged, and leadership mirrors the great diversity of our city. The One Minneapolis Fund is facilitated by the Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) and is funded by the General Fund of the City of Minneapolis budget.

The following organizations were awarded funding, for a total of $182,000, for the 2016 One Minneapolis Fund program:

  • African Chamber of Commerce $25,000
  • Anyah $ 1,000
  • Circle of Discipline $25,000
  • From Death to Life $20,000
  • The Dial Group $15,000
  • Emerge Community Development $25,000
  • Givens Foundation/Black Market MN $17,000
  • Lake Street Council $10,000
  • LVY Foundation $19,000
  • We Win Institute $25,000

For project narratives and more information please visit the One Minneapolis Fund website.

NCR sends proposed CPP Guidelines and 2017-2019 allocations to City Council for approval

On Monday, July 25, the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department presented the proposed Community Participation Program Guidelines and allocations for neighborhood organizations for 2017-2019 to the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee of the City Council. The Guidelines were adopted after one amendment to make a minor revision to language in the Guidelines on residency verification for annual meetings. You can see the Request for Council Action, the Guidelines, and the 2017-2019 allocations here.

The Guidelines and Allocations will be forwarded to the full City Council for action on Friday, August 5, 2016. Once approved, NCR staff will notify neighborhood organizations of the application process.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: David Zaffrann

Mayoral Appointee

Term: 2nd

Ward: 12

Neighborhood: Howe

Sub-committees: Chair, Executive Committee and Chair, Community Innovation Fund Committee

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

I have been involved in community organizing of one kind or another for almost 15 years, dating back to when I was attending the University of Minnesota. I have always had an interest in making my community a better place to live, and I consider my career and my life an ongoing education in how best to create that change. There are so many different ways we can do that in Minneapolis — in addition to direct engagement with our City Council, School Board, and Park Board, we have neighborhood organizations funded directly by the City and numerous other outstanding community organizations that organize and advocate on behalf of different communities. 

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

There is so much! I have lived in the Longfellow area for over 7 years now, and above all I love our proximity to the river and all of the great parks and natural spaces along it. It’s also about as centrally located in the Twin Cities as you can get — it’s easy to get to downtown, to Saint Paul, the airport, and more. We have a pretty quiet neighborhood, and there are a lot of great neighborhood shops and restaurants within walking or biking distance. During the summer months, the Midtown Farmers Market is one of our favorite weekly destinations. My family and I recently moved into a new house, and we knew we wanted to stay exactly where we were — we ended up moving about 7 blocks! 

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

I have served on the central committee of the state DFL Party as well as my senate district over many years, though not currently.

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

Definitely. First and foremost, take the time necessary to be able to articulate why you want to serve on the board or commission, and what you want to work on or achieve. Second, be sure to get to know others serving in a similar capacity to get a sense of what the work, the group, and the experience are like. And finally, make a plan for getting elected or appointed. Don’t just leave it to chance — organize!

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? 

I am an organizer by training and mindset. I have worked for the Service Employees International Union in Minnesota for over 11 years to advance the interests of all working people and ensure that everyone has a voice in our community and in our democracy. I grew up in the Milwaukee area, moved here to go to the U of M, and have lived here permanently since 2005. I live in the Howe neighborhood with my wife and 18-month-old daughter.


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  

Green Zones workgroup and survey underway


The Minneapolis Green Zones Workgroup, formed in April 2016 following the City Council adoption of Resolution 2016R-040, has now met four times. The Workgroup is made up of 19 members including ten community representatives and nine City and agency staff. The Workgroup has spent its first few months getting to know each other, developing workgroup dynamics--such as group norms and ground rules-- and participating in training sessions, including an unconscious bias workshop and an environmental justice training. Meeting agendas and notes are available on the Green Zones webpage.

There will be multiple, diverse community engagement strategies to connect and influence the Green Zones vision and goals. You can start by taking this short 2-question survey.

The next meeting is on August 30 from 5-8pm at East Side Neighborhood Services (1700 NE 2nd St) and will be focused on developing a vision and goals for Minneapolis Green Zones. Meetings are open to the public. To RSVP, please contact Kelly Muellman at kelly.muellman@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3014.

Later this year the Workgroup will develop criteria for determining Green Zone priority areas and potential strategies or activities within the Green Zone areas to achieve the vision and goals. The recommendation for a pilot Green Zone is scheduled to go to City Council later this year.


Upcoming Events 

8/2: National Night Out

8/3: Summer Walks Across Seward – Discovering Seward’s Lost Stores

8/4: Equity in transportation investment open house 

8/4: Lynnhurst Summer Festival

8/5: West Bank Votes Candidate Town Hall

8/6-8/7: Powderhorn Art Fair

8/7: Open Streets Northeast  

8/8: Armatage Summer Festival

8/9: Primary Election Day

8/9: MPD’s Safe Summer Nights – Elliot Park

8/9: Prospect Park Community Celebration & Concert

8/10: Summer Walks Across Seward – Historical Seward School and Tour the rebuilt Montessori School

8/11: Longfellow Annual Corn Feed

8/11: Live on the Drive

8/16: Bryn Mawr Ice Cream Scoop-Off

8/16: NENA Open House

8/17: Board Repair Board Recruitment Fair

8/17: Summer Walks Across Seward – Three Bars on Franklin

8/20: Lowry Avenue Harvest Fest

8/21: Open Streets Franklin

8/23: MPD’s Safe Summer Nights – Painter Park

8/24: Summer Walks Across Seward – Seward’s Urban Forest

8/27: Urban League Family Day

8/27: Win Back the Community Summer Festival

8/28: CANDO Plant Grow Share Community Bonfire

8/31: Summer Walks Across Seward – The Bridges of Seward

Additional events and details can be found online 

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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