Minneapolis Connects - September 2016

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

September 2016

Help shape our city — apply for openings on Minneapolis boards and commissions


Applications are now being accepted for a number of open board and commission positions that the City Council and mayor will appoint this fall. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis provide valuable insights, help shape key policy decisions and provide community-based input into administration of services. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to strengthen the work of the City.

Applications will be reviewed beginning Oct. 21. The positions are open until filled. There are 151 open positions on 17 City boards and commissions:

Visit the City’s website for a list of appointment opportunities, position descriptions and the applications.

New Workplace Advisory Committee

The City Council passed a resolution Aug. 19 establishing a new Workplace Advisory Committee charged with advising City policymakers on workplace-related issues.

The 16-member committee will include a cross-section of business and worker stakeholders. It will advise City leaders on workplace initiatives, provide recommendations on community outreach, monitor implementation of workplace policies, and offer suggestions on ways to improve policies to better serve businesses and workers.

Boards, commissions and advisory committees

The City of Minneapolis has more than 50 volunteer-based boards, commissions and advisory committees that advise the City on issues and help with policy development and administration of services. Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards, and special service districts, which are defined areas within the city where special services are rendered.

Appointments to board and commissions are made twice a year — in the spring and fall.

This streamlined appointment process makes it easier for people to learn about volunteer opportunities, ensures a more open and understandable process for residents and staff, and increases the diversity of the applicant pool. 

311 adds Hmong, Somali options to call greeting

Residents and visitors who call 311 now have the option to speak to an agent in Hmong and Somali in addition to English and Spanish. 311 partnered with Neighborhood and Community Relations to add the new language options to its call greeting this summer with the goal of increasing the use of 311 in underserved communities.

Since providing the new language options in May, 311 has spoken to more than 200 Somali speakers and nearly 100 Hmong speakers. 311 added the Spanish language option to its call greeting in November 2015 and has since seen 311 calls from the Spanish-speaking community increase fivefold.

About 311

Minneapolis residents and visitors can dial 311 for City information and services from 7 a.m. -7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 am.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Residents and visitors can also access Minneapolis 311 through its online service options and mobile app. Download the mobile app for an:

SAVE the DATE: NCR October Learning Lab – Best Practices for Connecting with Renters

The October Learning Lab will be held on October 26th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. The location is yet to be determined.  The tentative agenda is as follows: 

  1. Group Discussion and Presentation from Regulatory Services on the Open Data Portal and Neighborhood Profiles. 
  2. Best Practices from representatives from several neighborhoods who have successfully connected with a large population of renters.
  3. Action items and follow ups for the future.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Michelle Chavez at 612-673-3564 or michelle.chavez@minneapolismn.gov

2017-2019 Community Participation Program guidelines, application materials now available

On August 5, 2016, the Minneapolis City Council approved the revised Community Participation Program Guidelines and the three-year allocations for the years 2017 to 2019. Community Participation Program funds can be used to support your neighborhood organization’s community engagement activities and related administrative expenses, as well as to fund work on priorities identified in approved Neighborhood Priority Plans. For more information, please visit the Community Participation Program webpage

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Pat Vogel

City Council Appointee

Term: 1st 

Ward: 1

Neighborhood: Logan Park 

Sub-committees: Neighborhoods 2020 Committee

Hi! My name is Pat Vogel. I’m a new member of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission.

I’ve been involved with the Logan Park Neighborhood Association since 1990. Shortly after moving in, we meet a neighbor who warmly welcomed us and strongly urged us to go to the neighborhood meetings. We did and found that was a great way to meet more neighbors as well learn about what was happening.

I was active during the NRP process, then took a break and did other volunteer community work for a few years. In 2012, I became co-chair of the 807 Task Force, the neighborhood-led effort to bring citizen participation to the process of determining the fate of the former Minneapolis Public School Admin building (located at 807 Broadway). Our work and success on this project reinvigorated my interest in the neighborhood organization. I became a LPNA board member and Treasurer.

Becoming a Neighborhood Board member is a good way to learn how the city works, get to know the local businesses and organizations – and create and advance projects that enhance the community and help neighbors. It’s rewarding, occasionally frustrating and often fun. It is also a great way to develop leadership skills, conflict resolution tactics and open yourself to new perspectives.

The NCEC is my first foray into the ‘big league’ of city-wide commissions. My goal is to bring my community experience to the discussion of the future of neighborhood organizations.

More about Pat:

I’m a 3rd generation Northeast resident and a graduate of Edison and the U of M. My work experience includes the Minneapolis YWCA, Fundraising & Communication Services, Carlson-Wagonlit Travel and Aveda. For the last 10 years, I’ve worked at Schutta & Zimmer CPA as an accountant for small businesses. 


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  

City Council receives mayor’s proposed 2017 budget

Mayor Betsy Hodges presented her 2017 recommended budget to the City Council Aug. 10. Council members will consider the budget from now through early December with final approval of the 2017 budget scheduled for Wednesday, Dec.7, 2016.

The mayor’s proposed budget includes:

  • $1,305,000 for 15 new sworn police officers, which includes 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.

The City of Minneapolis has tentatively scheduled two public comment hearings on the proposed 2017 property tax levy and budget:

Nov. 30 at 6:05 p.m.
Room 317 of City Hall

Dec. 7 at 6:05 p.m.
Room 317 of City Hall

Below are additional key dates in the 2017 budget process. Dates and times are tentative and subject to change.

  • 1:30 p.m., Aug. 29 – Ways & Means budget overview presentation.
  • 5:05 p.m., Sept. 14 – Board of Estimate and Taxation meeting and public hearing on maximum property tax levies and the mayor’s budget.
  • Sept. 22-Nov. 17 – Ways and Means presentations and consideration of City departmental budgets hearings (tentative dates can be found at www.minneapolismn.gov/finance/budget).
  • 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Dec. 2 – Ways and Means Budget Subcommittee budget markup.
  • 6:05 p.m.  Dec. 7 – City Council final vote on budget after the public hearing.

Watch the 2017 budget process live on TV or the City website

You can watch the mayor’s budget address and upcoming budget hearings on Minneapolis 79 (Comcast channel 79, CenturyLink channel 14), or on a smartphone, tablet or computer by visiting the City of Minneapolis website at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79.  

Wanted: Ideas for new Open Streets Minneapolis locations

Open Streets Minneapolis, an initiative comprised of individual, one-day routes that give residents, families and neighbors opportunities to walk, bike, skate, have fun and shop in a safe, car-free environment, is looking to expand into other parts of the city. Organizers are asking for ideas in the community to see what neighborhoods would be a good fit for an Open Streets Minneapolis route.

More than a street festival, Open Streets Minneapolis gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space. The first Open Streets Event was in 2011 and has since grown to eight events a year that draw tens of thousands of pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and wheelchair users.

If you have a good idea for a route or if you are part of an organization that would like to be considered as a host of a 2017 Open Streets Minneapolis route, go to the application webpage at www.openstreetsmpls.org/open_streets_2017_local_route.

Open Streets Minneapolis is a City of Minneapolis event hosted by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and presented by The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

For more information, visit the Open Streets Minneapolis website at www.openstreetsmpls.org.  

New Regulatory Services data profiles promote engagement

Regulatory Services created profiles for each ward and neighborhood in the city, highlighting information on department services and demographic data within each area. These reports were recently recognized and presented at the 2016 ESRI International User Conference for using Geographic Information Systems technology to effectively promote engagement.

The reports have been used to communicate Regulatory Services’ work to external stakeholders in various community engagement efforts while relating the services to a broader context. A combination of tables, charts and maps displays the data so a diverse audience can understand and use the information. 

Typical data in these reports includes:

  • Rental license information.
  • Land use.
  • Housing vacancies.
  • Nuisance conditions. 

This is the second round of profiles created, and updates are planned annually.

Minneapolis Homeowner Resource Guide now available

The Minneapolis Regulatory Services Department is pleased to announce the release of a Homeowner Resource Guide. The guide was developed over the past year with help from the Neighborhood Community Relations and Property and Finance Departments, with the intent of helping neighborhood and community organizations, public employees and service providers better assist residents with their housing related needs. 

The guide provides information covering a range of topics including state, city and neighborhood homeownership and home improvement programs and resources for volunteer home repair programs, chore services, energy assistance, foreclosure prevention and more. 

Your Community for a Lifetime Health & Wellness Expo 2016

East Side Neighborhood Services and Council Members Kevin Reich and Jacob Frey invite you to a FREE, fun and educational event for older adults and neighbors!

Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Time:10:00 AM to Noon
Location: Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

Visit the event webpage for more information. 

Ward 11 Summit: September 28th

NCR is excited to assist with the Ward 11 Summit on September 28, 2016 at 6:30pm at Windom Park.   This summit will bring together neighborhood board members and staff along with elected Ward 11 representatives to discuss important work being done in their communities.  The summit is hosted by Council Member John Quincy and staff.  Boards will  share news and events, learn what services NCR can provide and  plan for future collaborative neighborhood events in Ward 11.  For more information please contact Mary Petersen at 612-673-2211 or mary.petersen@minneapolismn.gov

East Isles Residents' Association seeks administrator


The East Isles Residents' Association (EIRA) seeks a part time administrator to perform administrative duties and provide support for its projects and community engagement initiatives.  This is a 10-15 hours per week contract position.

Candidates should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written); a working understanding of Minneapolis city (including Neighborhood Revitalization Program and Community Participation Program) and park board government; experience with community engagement and working with volunteers; strong organizational skills; event coordination; website support and administration; and be a self-starter.

Visit www.eastisles.org for more information. Applications are due to Nancy Johnston by Friday, September 16.

Upcoming Events

September 15- October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month

9/8: Lynnhurst Blooming Alley Tour and Happy Hour

9/9: Edison Plaza and Green Campus ribbon cutting

9/9: Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series: Leila Araghian

9/10: East Isles Super Sale

9/10: Minneapolis Monarch Festival

9/10: Waite Park Push Cart Derby

9/10: Open Streets West Broadway

9/10: Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic

9/10: West Calhoun Astronomy Night

9/11: People for Parks 5K Run, Walk & Stroll

9/11: Nokomis Block Party

9/12: Beltrami Park Pavilion Celebration

9/13: Elliot Park on Wheels

9/13-9/15: Minneapolis Bicyclist and Pedestrian Count

9/14: Powderhorn 365 September Social

9/15: Northside Renters Forum

9/17: Community Garden Harvest Celebration

9/17: Fit 4 Fun

9/17: Lynnhurst/Fulton Neighborhood Garage Sales

9/17: Marcy-Holmes September Social

9/18: Minneapolis Bike Tour

9/18: Open Streets Nicollet

9/22: Minneapolis Trans* Equity Summit

9/22, 9/24, 9/28: Minneapolis Zero Waste Plan Meetings

9/23: Trans* Equity Job Fair

9/23: Early Voting begins

9/24: UROC Community Day

9/24: Linden Hills Nice Neighbors Day

9/24: Fix-It Tech Event

9/24: Powderhorn Porchfest

9/25: CANDO Plant Grow Share Community Bonfire

9/27: Organics Recycling Training

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