Minneapolis Connects - December 2016

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

December 5th, 2016

Standing Rock

The City of Minneapolis Supports Standing Rock

In North Dakota, Energy Transfer Partners wants to build a pipeline under the Missouri River which is the source of the Standing Rock Nations drinking water. To date, construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has already lead to the deliberate destruction of sacred places and burial sites.  Original plans had the pipeline crossing the Missouri River just north of Bismarck.  Residents of the city would not agree to the pipeline citing that it puts their water supply in danger.  Officials planned to move the pipeline to what they designated a “low consequence area”, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, endangering the water supply of the tribe and 18 million other people south of there.

Since April, a growing number of unarmed protestors and Water Protectors have been camped near Cannon Ball, ND. This gathering has become a historic event, being the first time in over 100 years that the Seven Councils of the Sioux Nation have come together, along with over 300 other tribal nations.  With little coverage coming from mainstream media, the Water Protectors have relied on Indigenous and Social Media to spread awareness of their fight to stop the pipeline. As confrontations with law enforcement have become increasingly violent, livestream video showing constitutional, human and civil rights violations has recently led to mainstream media providing coverage from the largest camp on site, the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires.

On September 2nd, by unanimous vote the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor passed a resolution “Expressing solidarity with Indigenous resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline”. To date 29 cities across the country have provided resolutions supporting the Tribe, including Los Angeles and New York City.  

As of Sunday, December 4th, the ACOE has stated they will not approve the easement DAPL needs to drill under the river and is requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement be completed.  Energy Transfer Partners has since responded that they intend to complete the project as planned. 

For more information: http://standwithstandingrock.net/oceti-sakowin/

ADA Action Plan Approved

The 2017-2019 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Action Plan is a city-wide comprehensive policy document with identified strategies to remove physical, communication and program barriers.

On November 28, the Minneapolis City Council approved the plan. It outlines the City’s policies and procedures for inclusion of people with disabilities. The plan is structured to meet administrative and legal requirements set by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 In 2015, the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department elected to pro-actively conduct an evaluation of programs and services. At the same time, Finance and Property Services began an ADA assessment of city-owned and leased buildings. In 2012, Public Works evaluated City owned public right of ways, sidewalks and curbs. The culmination of NCR, Property Services, and Public Works assessments lead to the development of a comprehensive and updated ADA Action Plan.

The City originally adopted a city-wide ADA Transition Plan in 1993. With the passage of the ADA in 1990, state and local government agencies were mandated to conduct self-evaluations to identify deficiencies and barriers for people with disabilities. At the time, the City’s ADA Transition Plan outlined policies and strategies for modification and removal of physical barriers.

NCR completes board diversity survey reports

On Monday, November 28th, the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department presented key findings from the department’s 2016 diversity survey on the City’s appointed boards and commissions and neighborhood boards, to the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee of the City Council.

NCR has worked in partnership with the City Clerk’s Office, City Council and City departments since 2009, to increase diversity on these boards and commissions. Given the City’s goal - One Minneapolis: Disparities are eliminated so all Minneapolis residents can participate and prosper - this work is imperative to achieving goal.

The full diversity survey report for the City’s boards and commissions can be found here, and the neighborhood board report can be found here.

City, Neighborhood Organizations respond to potential rental license revocations

The City of Minneapolis and neighborhood organizations are seeking to help the estimated 2,500 to 4,000 renters who may be affected by the City’s move to revoke the 62 rental licenses of Stephen Frenz, one of the city’s biggest landlords. 

The City of Minneapolis Regulatory Services Division reached out to Neighborhoods and Neighborhood and Community Relations for assistance reaching residents affected by the process taking place. 

The City held two informational meetings in November that were attended by over 50 people.  Interpretation services were provided in Spanish and Somali and a frequently asked questions worksheet was created and translated into Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

The Prospect Park Association (PPA) sent a team of volunteers to door-knock affected neighborhood rental properties with information about the license revocation process.  Volunteers referred renters with more detailed question to HOME Line and to Legal Aid.  Other neighborhood groups are working with the Minneapolis Renters Coalition on similar efforts.   

Neighborhoods have expressed appreciation to Regulatory Services for contacting them early in the process. More neighborhood door-knocks are planned for the future.

City addressing discrimination in public accommodations

The City of Minneapolis is addressing discrimination in businesses through education, extensive investigation and enforcement. All people have the right to receive service, free from discrimination, from any business that obtains or solicits customers from the general public. Minneapolis bans discrimination in public accommodations based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, and status regarding public assistance.

Public accommodations are establishments that provide goods and services to the general public; these include taxicab and on-demand ride services; restaurants, bars and food vendors; theaters; hotels; health and fitness clubs; hospitals; libraries; gas stations and retail stores.

“No one in Minneapolis or anywhere in this country should ever be discriminated against simply for being who they are,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Any act of discrimination is beyond unacceptable — it is a violation of our standards of humanity and decency.”

“In the City’s most recent resident survey, 13 percent of respondents indicated they had been discriminated against while getting service in a restaurant or store,” said Council Member Abdi Warsame. “Now the City will not only investigate and enforce antidiscrimination laws but also go out and educate businesses about their rights and obligations. We will also educate customers about prohibited behaviors and recourse they can take.”

City staff will hold listening sessions to educate the community at large about protections against discrimination. Members of the community can also learn about their legal right to file a complaint of discrimination. Check www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights or call 311 for more information.

The City plans to hold sessions for Minneapolis business owners and employees in January.

The investigations include using “testers” with diverse racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic backgrounds who also represent people with disabilities to act as patrons and document the treatment they receive.

Businesses that do not cease discriminatory practices are subject to fines, damages and penalties; prolonged monitoring and ultimately license revocation.

Discrimination in public accommodations adversely affects the health, welfare, peace and safety of the community. Discriminatory practices degrade individuals and foster intolerance and hate, thereby injuring the public welfare.

Find out what Minneapolis is doing to investigate and stop discrimination here.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Shannon Bean.


City Council Appointee

Term: 1st 

Ward: 8

Neighborhood: Lyndale

Sub-committees:  City Department Engagement Committee, Community Innovation Fund Committee, Community Connections Conference Committee, Community Forums Task Force and the Grievance Committee.

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

I’ve only lived in Minneapolis since early 2014, so I haven’t been involved for that long.  But, since moving here I’ve come to love the city and my neighborhood, and I wanted to find ways to participate and support the amazing work the city, neighborhoods, and other organizations are doing.

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

I live in Lyndale, and I particularly enjoy how dynamic and diverse the neighborhood is.  People from all walks of life, homeowners, renters, families, young adults. I love driving through the neighborhood and seeing people out enjoying their community.  Walking their dogs, kids playing outside, etc. 

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

The Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission is the first board or commission I’ve participated on.

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

My biggest tip is just start browsing the City of Minneapolis Boards and Commissions website!  Take a look at all the amazing work going on in the city and see if any of it jumps out at you.  Then look for ways to get involved.  Attend a meeting, submit an application for a position, or contact a current board member or commissioner. 

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

I’m a 28 year old woman currently living in the Lyndale neighborhood of Minneapolis.  I grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis before moving away to Texas for college and back to the western suburbs for law school, finally moving to Lyndale in early 2014.  I have a career in financial services compliance.  Lastly, I have three cats and three siblings, and enjoy reading, Netflix, and CrossFit. The photo is me with my mom Kathryn at my sister’s wedding reception in October.


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 meets with Somali-speaking entrepreneurs

The City recently held its sixth informational meeting with members of the Somali-speaking business community discussing issues important to the community, food safety topics and business licensing issues. Approximately 80 people attended. The meeting addressed the importance of Somali entrepreneurs in Minneapolis, small business support offered by the City, commercial recycling requirements, calling 311, and Hennepin County’s business recycling grants.

People can get more information and find out about future meetings by contacting food@minneapolismn.gov.

Step Up

Applications now accepted for STEP-UP summer youth employment program

The City of Minneapolis youth employment program STEP-UP is now accepting applications for 2017 summer interns. Eligible Minneapolis youths ages 14-21 who are interested in participating in the 2017 STEP-UP may go online and fill out the application until February 10, 2017.

STEP-UP is one of the country’s premier youth employment programs, serving Minneapolis youths who face some of the greatest barriers to employment. This includes youths from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, youths of color, youths from recent immigrant families, and youths with disabilities. In addition to summer jobs with more than 230 top Twin Cities companies, nonprofits and public agencies, STEP-UP also offers work readiness training, advanced-level internships and industry-specific career opportunities that help interns integrate their career exposure with post-secondary education and career planning.

Prior to being placed in their internships, youths receive work readiness training certified by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce that prepares them for a professional work environment. Returning interns receive advanced training that helps them deepen their professional skills. Throughout their internships, they gain valuable on-the-job skills, make strong professional connections, and become exposed to careers they may have not otherwise accessed without STEP-UP.

Businesses, public agencies and nonprofits interested in employing interns in 2017 can find information on the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP website.

STEP-UP is a City of Minneapolis program in partnership with AchieveMpls, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Project for Pride in Living.

To learn more about STEP-UP or to access the online STEP-UP application, visit the City of Minneapolis website.

Add your voice to improving the Minneapolis Impound Lot

The City has launched an online survey to gather feedback for the Impound Lot Facility Improvement Project from Minneapolis residents. Project organizers will use survey results to identify additional improvement ideas and understand community perceptions about the impound lot.

The project is in the master planning phase, which will determine whether to renovate and expand the existing impound lot building or replace it with a new structure. Additionally, the facility’s footprint will be reduced and new landscaping, fencing and security improvements, and energy efficiency improvements will be made. Construction is expected to start in summer 2017 and take about a year to complete.

The impound lot is located at 51 Colfax Ave. N., just west of downtown Minneapolis. It is open for customers Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (except for City holidays). The impound lot takes in about 32,500 vehicles each year.

The survey is available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali. Take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MplsImpound..

Board member applicants needed for Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

Board member applicants are needed for the Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN). MTN operates the public access channels for the City of Minneapolis on Comcast’s and CenturyLink’s cable communications systems. The network maintains and operates production studios; it also provides access to video training and equipment for Minneapolis residents. MTN’s mission is to operate a media center that helps residents develop skills to increase the social, civic, and economic equity, and freedom of expression in our community via the transformative art of creating and broadcasting media.

Board members participate in regular board meetings and serve on at least one committee.

Applications will be accepted until the open position is filled. The application review process will begin Dec. 12.

Find more information or apply here.


Tangletown Neighborhood Association seeks Coordinator

The Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA) is seeking a Coordinator who can take board ideas and run with them to make things happen.  TNA needs someone who is organized and has great ability to follow through with little to no supervision.  The Coordinator works closely with volunteer board members and officers, and is a key part of the team.  Beyond interacting with board members and neighborhood residents, the Coordinator will have a great support system via the Southwest Coordinators group and various City contacts.  

This is part-time contract position. To apply, email resume and references to info@tangletown.org.

Seward Neighborhood Group seeks Community Facilitator

The Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG) is hiring a Community Facilitator for Seward Towers, two 320 unit affordable housing buildings located in the Seward neighborhood. 


  • Maintain communications with SNG supervisor and Towers management.  Attend quarterly SNG staff meetings.
  • Be available to the residents for assistance with their concerns with Seward Towers and its managements at regular hours in each Tower (minimum of 4 hours/week in each building).   Provide translation as possible for adults with limited English.
  • Work with building management as well as relocation and construction personnel to maintain clear and consistent communication with residents during final phase of renovation.
  • Assist with monthly resident Discussion Groups by posting notice of meetings, distributing reminder fliers, preparing the agenda, arranging for outside speakers, and following up on issues raised at the meetings.  
  • Recruit and support Resident Representatives to the Seward Towers Corporation Board of Directors. 
  • Provide support for the weekly Sewing Circles.
  • Promote resident participation in community activities and events outside the Towers.  
  • Collaborate with staff and volunteers of other organizations (CommonBond, SNG, Redesign, etc) on projects for the benefit of the residents
  • Keep timesheet of hours worked and assignments completed for each pay period (twice a month).
  • Other tasks as required to complete Community Facilitation Workplan.

Candidate Requirements:

  • Good communications skills and proficiency in English.
  • Ability to relate well with people of all backgrounds and be welcoming to the diverse population of the Towers.
  • Ability to work well independently and follow through on commitments while maintaining good communication with staff and volunteers from partner organizations.
  • Availability to work a flexible schedule.
  • Knowledge of at least one of the following languages is preferred: Somali, Oromo, Amharic.

This is a fulltime position; however, qualified candidates seeking less than fulltime work are welcomed to apply.   Hourly rate $16-$19, depending on qualifications.  SNG provides health insurance and paid vacation and sick time.

To apply, send letter of application and resume including at least two references to admin@sng.org or SNG/Community Facilitator Position, 2323 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406.  Application deadline is January 4, 2017.

Body Cam

Body-worn cameras now used by police throughout Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Police Department has completed the introduction of body-worn cameras to the police force. The cameras will now be worn by officers who respond to 911 calls in all five police precincts. The citywide rollout is a culmination of community input to enhance accountability and transparency.

After years of studying, testing and evaluating, officers began wearing body cameras in the 1st Precinct back in July. The introduction of the cameras puts Minneapolis at 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 policing.

The use of body-worn cameras comes after the finalization of MPD’s body-worn camera policy, which was developed with extensive feedback from and involvement with community. The cameras are an important tool in providing transparency in government and in helping improve relationships between police and community.

Snow Emergency

Sign up for Snow Emergency alerts

Snow season is here. 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

Residents, workers and visitors have a number of ways to learn when Snow Emergencies are declared and what to do when they are. We’re advising drivers to put many of these tools to use, not just one or two. The more ways people use to learn about a Snow Emergency, the more prepared they will be to do their part, and the less likely they will be to be towed because they didn’t know one was declared. Learn all the ways to stay informed about snow emergencies at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/snow/index.htm

Upcoming Events

December 10 is Human Rights Day

12/1: Homegrown Minneapolis 2016 Open House

12/2: Holiday on 44th

12/2-12/4: Seward Winter Frolic

12/3: Lynnhurst Gives

12/4: Standish-Ericsson Holiday Tree Lighting

12/7:  Public hearing and adoption of 2017 City Budget

12/8: Loring Park Winter Wonderland

12/9: Marshall Terrace Holiday Potluck

12/10: Hawthorne Winter Warmth Collection

12/10: CANDO Clothing and Toy Swap

12/10: Taste of Windom

12/10: Bryn Mawr Saturnalia Festival

12/10: Coffee Talk: NE Minneapolis Art-Sustainability Incubator

12/11: Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic

12/13: Discrimination in public accommodations - listening session

12/13: One Family One Community Housing Forum

12/15: Jordan Community Celebration

12/18: Lights of Logan Contest

12/30: Nokomis East Night Before New Year’s Eve Party

Additional events and details can be found online: www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/calendar

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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