Minneapolis Connects - November 2016

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

November 2016

Voter guides in the mail


Minneapolis voters should watch their mail over the next few days for a voter guide. Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services sent a voter guide to every household in Minneapolis – customized by voting precinct – to help voters understand their rights, how they can register and vote, and what’s on the ballot.

Voters are advised to use the sample ballot included in the guide to consider their choices in advance before heading to the polls. They can review all the races, candidates and questions on the ballot. They can mark their choices on the sample ballot and bring it to the polls to speed up the process of completing their official ballot (which will look identical). This can help everyone spend less time waiting in line and in the voting booth on Election Day.

The guide also gives instructions on voting early. Any Minneapolis voter can choose to vote early by mail or in person instead of waiting for Election Day.

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

Committee triggers immediate corrections to City building entrance ramp

A recent correction to a public building entrance ramp shows one of the benefits of the City’s advisory boards and commissions. Members of the City’s disability committee brought forward an issue related to one of the City’s new early voting centers: the building wasn’t ADA accessible because the entrance ramp was too steep. Several City departments immediately worked together to correct the problem, building a compliant ramp in time for the opening of the center.

The ramp leading from the sidewalk to the entrance of the Early Voting Center has been regraded to meet ADA standards, and curb cuts have been added. The City also provided the following enhancements to improve accessibility:

  • Adding two accessible parking spaces adjacent to the center.
  • Adding extra hand rails along the ramp.
  • Marking the steps with hazard stripes for visibility.

Neighborhood Story: CARAG's Mosaic Mural Project


On September 25, 2016, community members celebrated the unveiling of five mosaic muralart pieces at Bryant Square Recreation Center.

The Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG), Volunteers of America Southwest Senior Center and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board have worked with the community during 2015 and 2016 to create beautiful mosaic murals that are attached to exterior of the Bryant Square Recreation Center. 

CARAG provided $10,000 in NRP Funds to match funds from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

Arts Activities Support Program for the creation and installation of the mosaic mural.  And, it worked with the VOA SW Senior Center to recruit volunteers and lead community workshops where participants assembled and installed the mural.

The VOA Southwest Senior Center coordinated the artist and volunteers, obtained mosaic supplies and materials, and sponsored the workshops where the mosaic was assembled.

The Park Board worked with CARAG and VOA SW Senior Center to recruit volunteers and support installation of the mosaic panels.

The mosaic mural designs were developed through a series of artist-led Visioning Workshops, in which the community identified images and themes.  Community volunteers participated in dozens of workshops to prepare tiles, assemble mosaics, and grout/thin-set mosaics.

Almost 200 neighbors of different ages and backgrounds were able to work together to create what is truly a community art project. The result is five mosaic panels, each with a theme: spring/summer, winter, autumn, water, and butterfly garden. 

***Neighborhood Story is a monthly feature in the Minneapolis Connects newsletter. Each month a project from a neighborhood organization is highlighted with the goal of sharing awesome things happening in our neighborhoods. If you would like a neighborhood story featured in this newsletter, please contact Stacy.Sorenson@minneapolismn.gov. ***

Framework offered to evaluate, preserve historic Native American cultural resources in Minneapolis

A new Native American historic context study will help the City evaluate and preserve historic Native American resources including traditional cultural places, archaeological sites and buildings in Minneapolis. The study looked at cultural resources within the city that reflect thousands of years of Native American heritage. The Community Planning and Economic Development Department partnered with Neighborhood and Community Relations to perform the study.

The study documents the Native American heritage of Minneapolis and identified 24 properties and one district that appear significant to our community’s shared Native American heritage and that may be eligible for historic designation. This documentation and preservation of heritage resources will provide future generations with a connection to the rich cultural heritage of the city.

Staff and consultants conducted extensive outreach with the Native American community to create the report. The study encompasses time from the first human occupation of the region approximately 12,000 years ago to the close of the 20th century.

The work was funded in part with a $15,000 National Park Service Grant.

Members of more than 36 tribal communities live in Minneapolis.

Read the study.

One of the most popular aspects of the study is a city map that shows Dakota and Ojibwe place names, the first names given to features in our community:


October Learning Lab Recap: Renter Engagement


Minneapolis neighborhoods with some of the highest rental populations (40% to 90% rental) met on Wednesday October 26th at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center to discuss best practices for engaging renters in our community.  Neighborhood staffers Derek Watson from North East Park Neighborhood Association and Steve Gallagher from Stevens Square Community Organization shared stories of renter organizing from two distinct areas of the City with different rental populations.  In Northeast Minneapolis, neighborhood organizers from many different neighborhoods have been very successful partnering with Neighborhood and Community Relations, Regulatory Services and external agencies such as Homeline to help tenants get access to important information via “Renters Rights Forums.” 

Stevens Square has long had excellent partnerships with their multi-family landlords and offer welcome packets to new neighbors when they sign their lease.  Some of their landlords offer a discount for tenants who volunteer for SSCO!  The discount is approximately $5 per hour for up to twelve hours per month.  Landlords in the neighborhood have found that residents who volunteer for their neighborhood stay up to 50% longer than those who don’t.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association has recently joined the Minneapolis Renters Coalition and is working hard on engaging non-English speakers in their multi-family rental housing units and encourages any other neighborhoods with large populations of renters to join. 

Regulatory Services shared access to the City of Minneapolis Open Data Portal as well as their new Neighborhood Profile Reports. 

Neighborhood Renter Engagement Resources

For more information please contact Michelle Chavez at NCR or Karen Moe at Regulatory Services.

Comment on proposed 2017 City budget at Nov. 30 public hearing


On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the City Council plans to approve the City’s 2017 budget. Before that happens, there are two public comment hearings you can attend to share your thoughts about the proposed budget and property taxes.  You can also share comments online at the City’s website.

The two public hearings are:

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

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

If you can't attend the Nov. 30 or Dec. 7 hearings, you can submit comments on the proposed budget online. All comments submitted online by 3 p.m. Dec. 6 will be entered into the public record and shared with the mayor and council members.

There are lots of ways you can learn about the City’s proposed 2017 budget. You can see the proposed budget on the City website. The proposed budget is also posted on the City’s Financial Transparency website, which provides an interactive search feature to access particular parts of the budget. Hennepin County has also mailed out truth in taxation forms to all property owners, who can also look up their property tax information online.

The City Council held a series of budget hearings as part of the budget approval process. Back-to-back rebroadcasts of those hearings will be on Minneapolis 14 (Comcast channels 14 and 799, CenturyLink channel 14) every weekend until a few days before the budget is approved on Dec. 7. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about the budget proposal and its potential impact in advance of the two public hearings. A schedule of the weekend budget hearings “marathon” is available at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/minneapolis14schedule. All of the budget hearings can also be watched online at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/minneapolis14

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Braulio Carrasco

Council Appointee

Term: 1st 

Ward: 9

Neighborhood: Corcoran

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

I have been active in my community for as long as I can remember. My family moved to the US in 2001 and by 2002 I had started as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. I have been involved in efforts to make our state a better place ever since. This drive brought me to serve on the board of my neighborhood organization, Corcoran Neighborhood Organization from 2012-2014 where we focused on outreach to immigrants and New American residents and renters. 

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

Corcoran resident are truly able to live, work and play right in our neighborhood. We have access to great schools, parks, local restaurants and entertainment. It's a hub of diverse households, families, experiences and backgrounds. 

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

I'm currently serving on the board of the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs.

In the past I've been part of board of Navigate MN, Dominicanos Unidos en MN and a volunteer coach with InnerCity Tennis.

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

Get involved as a volunteer first, find your passion and your voice and go for it.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?  (include a short Bio if you’d like)

Braulio Carrasco is a classroom teacher on leave from Minneapolis Public Schools currently at Education MN as the Race Equity Organizer working to support, recruit and retain more educators of color. Braulio was born in the Dominican Republic and is tireless advocate for immigrants and new Americans. 


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  

2016 collection of leaves and bundled brush ends the week of Nov. 14

Your garbage day in the week of Nov. 14 is the last 2016 collection for leaves, brush and other yard trimmings. Yard waste must be in compostable bags – paper (Kraft) or compostable plastic – or unbagged in a reusable container at least 26 inches high with sturdy handles. Yard waste is not allowed in City-provided containers. Set all yard waste next to your garbage cart by 6 a.m.


  • Less than 40 pounds.


  • Less than 40 pounds.
  • Less than three feet long.
  • Branch size less than three inches in diameter.
  • Must be bundled with string (no tape).

Remember, it’s against the law and bad for our lakes to rake leaves into the street.

If you have questions about leaf and brush pickup, call 673-2917 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Snow Emergency information coming to household mailboxes


Even though no snow is in sight yet, snow season is coming and you should watch your mail around Nov. 1 for information that could help you avoid tickets and tows when snow season arrives. The City is sending out more than 182,000 Snow Emergency brochures, one to each household in the city. The brochure has graphics and text showing where to park during the three phases of a Snow Emergency.

Hold on to this brochure throughout the winter and have it handy whenever a Snow Emergency is declared. The brochure contains the Snow Emergency parking rules and lists ways you can find out when the City of Minneapolis declares a Snow Emergency. The more people follow the Snow Emergency parking rules and help their neighbors do the same, the easier snow season is on everyone.

Snow Emergencies are declared whenever there’s enough snowfall to warrant a complete plowing of our streets. To get that done, people need to follow the parking rules and move their vehicles so crews can plow the full width of the street. When the snow flies, City Public Works crews have enormous jobs to do, with more than 1,500 miles of streets, parkways and alleys that need to be cleared. It’s important for drivers to follow the Snow Emergency parking rules so plows can do the best job possible clearing snow. Vehicles parked on the street in violation of Snow Emergency rules can be ticketed or towed.

By reaching out to educate people about Snow Emergency parking rules, the City hopes that more drivers will avoid tickets and tows. Minneapolis spreads the word about Snow Emergencies by direct mail, emails, text messages, automated phone calls, social networks, the internet and by working with the news media. 

Getting drivers to follow Snow Emergency parking rules helps the City, too. Towing and impounding vehicles is expensive and makes plowing inefficient, so it’s in everyone’s interest to help drivers follow the parking rules and avoid a ticket and tow. Learn more by visiting the City's website

Organics recycling reaches 40 percent opt-in rate, residents can still sign up for collection

Just more than a year into the citywide organics recycling program, the number of participating customers has reached the opt-in rate predicted in a study conducted before the program rollout: 40 percent. The City collects food scraps, coffee grounds, meat trimmings, paper towels and many other items weekly from more than 42,500 households for composting. Since it started rolling out the citywide program in August 2015, the City has collected more than 2,700 tons of organics.

Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers who aren’t already in the organics recycling program can sign up now to receive a cart. They can fill out the online form or call 612-673-2917 to get started with organics recycling. There is no extra cost, but they have to sign up. Residents who participate in the program may be able to reduce the size of their garbage carts and save money on their City of Minneapolis utility bills.

Organics recycling includes:

  • All food scraps including fruits, vegetables, bones, meat, breads, pasta, nut shells, eggshells and dairy products.
  • Non-recyclable and food-soiled paper products including paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, egg cartons and pizza boxes.
  • Certified compostable paper cups, plates, bowls, utensils, bags and takeout containers.
  • Other compostable items including coffee grounds; tea bags; wood chopsticks, Popsicle sticks and toothpicks; hair; and houseplant trimmings.

Organics recycling does not include yard waste; pet waste, litter or bedding; milk cartons; ice cream tubs; Chinese food containers; dryer lint; dryer sheets; diapers; sanitary products; cleaning or baby wipes; grease; oil; Styrofoam; foil-lined products; non-certified compostable bags and food service items; or products labeled “biodegradable.”

Find more information at www.minneapolismn.gov/organics.

Harrison Neighborhood Association seeks Executive Director - application review begins November 20

The Harrison Neighborhood Association (HNA) seeks an experienced Executive Director committed to ensuring a strong organizational foundation, building grassroots leaders, fostering cross-cultural relationships, maintaining and building partnerships, and sharing power. Ideal candidates will be skilled in financial and staff management, fundraising, coalition building, planning, administration, and board development.

HNA is a powerful resident driven community-based organization located in North Minneapolis. The HNA represents a diverse neighborhood of 3,200 people consisting of African Americans (39%), White (28%), Southeast Asians (17%), and Latino (9%).

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to info@hnampls.org by November 20, 2016. 

Upcoming Events 

November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

11/1: Tangletown Fall Water Quality Forum

11/2: Town Hall Forum on Islamophobia

11/3: Upper Harbor Terminal Developer Submission Community Input Open House

11/4: Powderhorn Empty Bowls

11/5: Friends of Diamond Lake Invasive Species Removal Event

11/5: Tangletown Water Quality Fair

11/5: FRNNG's A Night on 48th

11/6: Pizza Night! A Kingfield Community Oven Event

11/7: Dine-out for LHENA Fall Fundraiser

11/8: Election Day

11/11-12: In the Air – A Fundraiser for Bottineau’s Air Pollution Study

11/13: Longfellow Chili Cook Off Fundraiser

11/14: Hawthorne Health & Wellbeing Dialogue

11/14: Night out with NENA - What can the Library do for you?

11/16: Corcoran Soup Cook-off

11/17: Bryn Mawr Harvest Dinner

11/18: CURA Housing Forum: Gentrification in the Twin Cities – Fact or Fiction?

11/19: Fix-It Tech Event

11/25: Armatage Winter Tree-Lighting & Charity Drive

11/26: CIDNA Art Mart

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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