Ward 8 Update Newsletters - August 12, 2016

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

August 12, 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

Action Alert: #SaveOrangeLine

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Dear Friends,

The future of our much needed Orange Line - a public transportation project that would help our businesses, low-income residents and people of color - is at risk.  The Orange Line includes the Lake Street Transit Access project, transforming the embarrassingly inadequate current staircase from Lake Street to a bus stop on I-35W into a real transit station that better serves thousands of transit riders that live walking distance from that location.

Can you help us save the Orange Line?

The Orange Line is a new bus rapid transit route that would travel along I-35W, connecting communities from Downtown, to South Minneapolis, to the cities of Bloomington, Richfield, and Burnsville. A future expansion would make the bus line serve Lakeville, thereby providing access to more than 200,000 jobs for people in our communities.

But if the Orange Line doesn't get funding, this would halt the much awaited build out of the Lake Street Station. The planned Lake Street Station would provide a quality, comfortable and easy connection from Lake Street buses to the Orange Line. The existing bus stops at Lake Street and 35W are in horrendous conditions with badly deteriorated infrastructure, unsafe stairs, and is in-accessible to many of our residents. According to MetroTransit, the neighborhoods adjacent to the Lake Street Station are 56 percent people of color, 27 percent transit-reliant, and 51 percent low income.

In other words, the Orange Line is a transportation project that needs to be funded to ensure the racial equity and economic justice values of our state and region.

You can learn more about the funding jeopardy for the Orange Line in recent news articles in the Star Tribune.

What is the urgency now?  The Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB), which currently is funding part of the Orange Line, has a key meeting August 17.  The August 17th CTIB meeting will determine what projects are kept and what projects are cut. In order for the Orange Line BRT to stay on track, we need three of the five counties that make up CTIB to support the project. The timing is critical since federal funding sources are time dependent. If the project is not supported at the August 17th meeting, the opportunity to apply for a federal Small Starts grant, which has a September 2 submission deadline, will be lost. Without CTIB funding and without the Small Starts grant, the Orange Line project and the Lake Street Transit station may be in jeopardy.

You can get more involved by calling or emailing decision makers in your County and telling them why we need this line.  Transit for Livable Communities and the Sierra Club are also organizing ways you can take action and you can find out more here.

Invite your friends to participate on Social Media using #SaveOrangeLine! 


The Bicycle Lanes are Coming!

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Ward 8 neighborhoods of Lyndale and Kingfield have been anticipating the installation of two great bicycle projects serving these neighborhoods and beyond:  a protected bike lane on Blaisdell, from 29th Street to 40th Street, and striped bicycle lanes on Nicollet Avenue, from 40th Street to 61st Street.

Both projects will be installed starting the week of August 15. Bicycle lanes will be striped first.  The ballards (delineators) and other physical elements for the protected bicycle lane will be installed after the striping is complete.

What will the projects look like? 

Blaisdell Protected Bicycle Lane - you can find out more about the project here.

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Nicollet Avenue Bicycle Lanes - you can find out more about the project here.

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Mayor Hodges’ 2017

Budget Address

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Mayor Hodges delivered, on August 10, her 2017 Budget Address.  The Mayor’s proposed  budget starts a process of budget hearings held by the City Council.  The Council will vote on the budget in December.

Here are some of the highlights of the Mayor’s budget, as provided by the Mayor’s office:

“Top highlights of Mayor Hodges’ 2017 budget proposal include:

$1,305,000 for fifteen new sworn Minneapolis Police officers: 12 for community policing, and three for a police/mental health co-responder pilot program.

Nearly $1 million for community-based strategies to improve public safety, including $500,000 for community-driven public safety strategies in two locations with high levels of youth violence.

More than $1 million annually for a new, ongoing Community Service Officer class to build more capacity for a proven, effective pathway into the police department for people of color.

$400,000 for five additional full-time sworn firefighters, which will allow the Minneapolis Fire Department to better serve residents and reduce overtime dollars.

A total of $14.5 million in affordable housing development, including a Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing strategy, the Family Housing Initiative, and additions to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Tax policy

The Mayor and City Council already anticipated a property-tax increase of 4.9 percent in 2017 when they passed a landmark, 20-year agreement to fund the infrastructure and operations of neighborhood parks and City streets earlier this year.

The Mayor’s budget proposes a 5.5 percent increase in the levy for 2017. Most, if not all, of the difference between the anticipated 4.9 percent increase and the proposed 5.5 percent increase could be made up by an additional $1.7 million in Local Government Aid that was anticipated but did not materialize when the State’s tax bill was not enacted into law earlier this year. If the Legislature passes a corrected tax bill that Governor Dayton can sign later this year, the Mayor recommended using that money to reduce the 2017 levy.

The Mayor’s budget also includes $2.7 million in significant, strategic cuts.

The entire 0.6 increase in the property-tax levy over the anticipated 4.9 percent pays for a portion of the Mayor’s new investments in public safety.”


Ward 8 Businesses Invest in Energy Improvements

Congratulations to Tubman, with multiple locations in Ward 8, and commercial property owner Mike Stebnitz for their investments in energy improvements that are supported by a PACE loan, recently approved by the City Council.  The PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) energy program allows Minneapolis businesses to finance energy efficiency improvements to their facilities through an agreement with the Saint Paul Port Authority (SPPA). Under the agreement, the SPPA provides upfront capital to finance the energy efficiency projects, which are then paid back through assessments placed on that property.

At 3736 Chicago Avenue, property owner Mike Stebnitz has made renewable energy improvements through investment in a 10- Kilowatt Photovoltaic Solar System, to be placed on the roof.  This is a great example of how to meet energy efficiency goals and save on utility costs.

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At Tubman’s building at 4432 Chicago Avenue,  a solar installation will be added, as well as many other energy efficiency improvements to the facility. 

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Thank you to these businesses for investing in smart energy improvements!


Kids Voting Needs You!

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Kids Voting Minneapolis is a community-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to prepare Minneapolis' 50,000 K-12 students to be educated, informed voters.

To make this goal possible, Kids Voting Minneapolis relies on volunteers to offer students an authentic polling place voting experience. At Minneapolis polling places, volunteers hand out ballots, explain the voting process, and distribute I VOTED stickers. 

How can you help?  Kids Voting needs volunteers on Election Day.  You can register here . Thank you for your help!


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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.


Minneapolis offers free home energy efficiency visits, no-interest financing for recommended upgrades

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The City of Minneapolis is offering free home visits from energy-saving experts to income-qualified Minneapolis residents including renters. Join more than 9,000 households that have already benefitted from the program. Home Energy Squad visits bring energy efficiency experts to participants’ homes to install energy-saving materials and make recommendations on energy-saving upgrades. Minneapolis households over the income limit for the free visits can still receive the visit for $70.

At the home visit a team of energy consultants will:

  • Install energy-saving materials such as door weatherstripping, a water heater blanket, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, a programmable thermostat, and high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators.
  • Test for air leaks.
  • Inspect attic and wall insulation using an infrared camera.
  • Recommend energy upgrades based on the test results.
  • Check heating systems and water heaters for safety.
  • Provide a quote for insulation and/or air sealing and the opportunity to connect with a qualified contractor if applicable.

Free visits and no-interest financing

The City of Minneapolis offers free visits to qualified households with an income less than $48,100 for one person, $54,950 for two people, $61,850 for three people, or up to $90,650 for eight people. If the Home Energy Squad recommends insulation or air sealing, income-qualified residents also have special access to zero percent financing to complete that work. Homeowners can call 612-335-5874 to confirm eligibility and schedule a visit. Funds are limited.

Video

Watch and share these videos about Home Energy Squad in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

Home Energy Squad is provided by CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy in partnership with the City of Minneapolis and delivered by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), a Minneapolis nonprofit.

To schedule a Home Energy Squad visit, call 612-335-5874 or visit mncee.org/hes-mpls.