Ward 8 Update Newsletters - August 5, 2016

8th Ward News from Minneapolis Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward8

August 5, 2016

CONTACT INFORMATION

Elizabeth Glidden
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2208
elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov

 

OFFICE HOURS

Every Monday morning, 9-11:00 a.m.
Sabathani Community Center 
310 E 38th Street, 1st floor hallway nearest to the parking lot

Call for an appointment or just
drop by!

 

 

City of Lakes

A message from Elizabeth

I’ve been a supporter of raising the wage at the city level for some time. I’ve publicly stated my support since January for a city minimum wage and the 15Now campaign. I talked about this issue, and importance of raising the minimum wage at almost every National Night Out party I attended on Tuesday. I know a strong majority of Ward 8 constituents support this effort.

Because of my feelings on raising the wage, the votes the Council took this week were, in some ways, the most difficult of my career on the City Council. The question before us was whether two separate ballot questions to amend the city charter could legally be put before voters. What was especially hard was that the questions the council voted on were not about whether we agreed with the underlying issues that was proposed for the ballot– raising the wage to $15 per hour and insuring the police.

The City Attorney’s opinion, which I voted in agreement with, was – in a nutshell – that raising the wage is a legislative act which is not permitted in the charter unless the charter provides for “initiative and referendum” – legislating by popular vote. Our City Charter does not provide for “initiative and referendum.” 

Residents have asked me how to raise the wage if not in the city charter and the answer is by city ordinance. Today, after the vote on the city charter, almost all council members voted in support of a staff direction to start the process of raising the city minimum wage by ordinance. This is a huge turnaround for some of my council colleagues – who until recently were not open to a city minimum wage - and it is due to the voice and pressure of the community. Community voice will be important as – public and private, worker and business – we work together to develop a minimum wage ordinance. I will spend my energy to get the job done, as I know a majority of my constituents demand.

A second petition was before us today with a proposed charter amendment to require the police to obtain and maintain their own primary insurance, and further allowing the City to reimburse police employees for the base rate of that insurance. The City Attorney’s opinion on this issue was that it was in conflict with state law, which requires the City to defend and indemnify its employees. There is a second state law that specifically requires cities to defend police officers in their employment. I voted in support of the City Attorney’s opinion because I agreed with the assessment that the proposed charter amendment is in conflict with (or preempted by) the City’s duty to defend and indemnify its employees. Again, this did not reflect my opinion on the underlying proposal – which I have continued to review– which addresses the deep community mistrust that officers are not appropriately held accountable for misconduct. 

I know many are very upset and disappointed by my votes, and the vote of the majority of the council, that the petitions before us were not legal charter amendments. I know that both campaigns are ready to ask the courts to make the ultimate decision, by filing a lawsuit in court to determine proposed amendments are proper subjects for city charter amendments and should be presented to the voters. As with all issues before me, I have done my best to listen and take responsible votes and share the reasons for my votes. Thank you for letting me explain my votes to you.  You can read the City Attorney opinions here.

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Minneapolis City Council Votes on Path to Raise

City Minimum Wage

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A majority of the Minneapolis City Council voted Wednesday, August 3, to direct staff to develop a city minimum wage ordinance for presentation to the Council in early 2017. The momentum and pressure for a municipal minimum wage has resulted in a super majority of the City Council voting in support of the staff direction. 

“I have been public with my opinion in support of raising the minimum wage at the city level,” said City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden. “We can and should take action on this issue by passing a minimum wage ordinance; I’m proud that a majority of my colleagues join me in support of raising the wage, and knowing we need to work together with business and workers to do so.”

The Minneapolis City Council first acted on minimum wages on April 17, 2015, with a resolution authored by all 13 councilmembers “in support of a strong economy and working families.” That resolution committed the city to a study of the effects of establishing a minimum wage regionally and locally, which was fully funded in the city’s budget. The results of the minimum wage study are expected in September.


Vote in the Aug. 9 primary!

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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. 

You can register on Election Day!

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).

Find out where to vote and find a sample ballot:

Call 311 or go to: vote.minneapolismn.gov


Become an Election Judge!!

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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.  Apply online here.


Safe and sick time Ordinance

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This year, the Minneapolis City Council passed a safe and sick time ordinance.  Beginning July 1, 2017, employees will accrue sick and safe time at one hour per 30 hours worked and be compensated while using sick and safe time at normal rates of pay and benefits.  Employees may use sick and safe time for their own health and certain family members’ illness, injury or health conditions; or appointments for diagnosis, care, treatment or preventive care.

You can find out more, including soon to come fact sheets specific to employees, employers, and payroll administrators, at www.minneapolismn.gov (search “Safe and Sick Time”)


Get behind the scenes, learn how

the City works

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The City Academy is a free five-week series on how Minneapolis government works including topics on general government, tax assessments, city planning, public works and police and fire operations. Attendees will also get tours of the City’s 911 operations center and the water treatment facility. The City Academy will be held Wednesdays Sept. 21-Oct. 19.

Register by Aug. 29.


Minneapolis Police begin using body cameras

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Body cameras are now being used by the Minneapolis Police Department by officers in the 1st Precinct and 4th Precinct. 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 Janeé Harteau introducing body camera policy and other documents. 
  • A backgrounder that the Police Department prepared about the development of the BWC program and policy.


Public Comment on Tilsenbilt Homes Open until Aug 23

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The City has been working on a historic designation study for the Tilsenbilt Homes, a group of 50 plus homes in the Bryant, Regina and Field neighborhoods that are one of the first FHA-backed residential housing developments in the nation to be marketed to buyers of all races.

City planning staff has completed a Tilsenbilt Homes Historic District draft designation study and draft design guidelines for the potential historic district.  You can review them here.

The public is invited to submit comments on the draft study and design guidelines through August 23. Please call or email Andrew.Frenz@minneapolismn.gov, 612-673-3790, with comments or to request a paper copy of the draft study and design guidelines via US Mail. 

CPED has also prepared a FAQ document which addresses some of the most common inquiries regarding the draft design guidelines.