Fourth Ward Report February 2017

4th Ward Report from Council President Barbara Johnson

February 2017

Contact Information

Council President Barbara Johnson
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Jennifer White, Senior Policy Aide

Dawn Lange, Associate


Shingle Creek
Willard Hay

EMS Pathways Academy

The EMS Pathways Academy is a partnership between the Minneapolis Fire Department, The Minneapolis Foundation, Hennepin County Medical Center, Project for Pride and Living, and other healthcare organizations. The goal is to provide a pipeline of diverse candidates for the Minneapolis Fire Department and the emergency medical workforce of our community.  Obtaining your Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification opens the door to many career paths. This is a rapidly expanding field. Graduates of this program have been successfully hired as Minneapolis Firefighters, dispatchers with Hennepin EMS and some are continuing their training to become Paramedics.

What: 11-13 week EMT training and certification course.

Who: Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, be authorized to work in the United States, and will be required to pass a physical exam.

When: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. beginning May 1, 2017.

Cost: There is no cost to apply. Participants are paid $15 hourly.

Applications are being accepted February 13 -24.  To learn more go to the EMS Pathways Minneapolis Fire Department webpage or to apply, visit

Urban Scholars Application Deadline February 18


The City of Minneapolis is once again offering its leadership development summer internship program for college students. The City is accepting applications for 2017 Urban Scholars now through February 18. Urban Scholars aims to provide college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with professional, resume-building work experience.

Urban Scholars is a full-time paid 12-week internship program that runs from May 22, 2017 to August 11, 2017. Urban Scholars will work in different City departments, including the Mayor’s Office and City Council offices and with program partners Metropolitan Council, Minneapolis Public Schools, State of Minnesota, and Minneapolis Park Board.

Students must have completed their first year of post-secondary education prior to the beginning of the internship and be enrolled and in good standing at a two- or four-year college or university, graduate, or law school at the time of application. For more information and to apply, visit

North Service Area Master Plan Community Advisory Committee Seeking Applicants

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is seeking applications from the general public to serve on the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the North Service Area Master Plan (NSAMP). This planning project will guide long-term capital improvements, management and operations within the North Minneapolis Service Area.

NSAMP is a unique opportunity to set the vision for north side parks for the coming decades. The project will take a complete look at all outdoor park facilities, create improvement plans for each neighborhood park, and guide decisions on capital improvements—including Neighborhood Park Plan (NPP20) allocations.

The CAC will work with MPRB staff and consultants over the next 12-18 months to make recommendations to MPRB Commissioners. Applications are due February 17. For more information and to apply visit the MPRB Website or contact the MPRB Project Manager, Adam Arvidson, at 612-230-6470 / Applications are also available each of the six recreation centers in the North Service Area.

FREE Tax Help at North Regional Library

AARP will provide free tax help to residents at North Regional Library beginning this month. This year, printed tax forms and instructions are not being provided to libraries. This is a change from previous years. You can still request paper forms at and search for Income Tax Forms or by calling 651-296-3781. Federal forms can be requested at and go to Forms and Pubs section or by calling 1-800-Tax-Form.

Save Money on Your Property Taxes, Call to See if You Qualify

A lot of Minneapolis property owners and renters could save money with state tax relief programs they might not know about. If you’re not already in a program for tax relief, check the lists below and call 311 to find out if you qualify for reduced property taxes or a refund this year. Several property tax relief programs exist for property owners and renters.

Call 311 if you are a homeowner and any of these apply to you:

  • Homeowner with household income less than $108,660.
  • Blind homeowner.
  • Disabled homeowner.
  • Disabled veteran homeowner (70 percent or more disabled).
  • Surviving spouse or primary caregiver of a disabled veteran (70 percent or more permanently disabled).
  • Surviving spouse of a service member who died while on active duty.
  • Homeowner 65 or older, household income $60,000 or less, owned and lived in the property 15 years or longer, no state or federal tax liens on property, debt cannot exceed 75 percent of assessor’s value.
  • Homeowner with a property tax increase at least 12 percent ($100 or more) from the previous year.

Call 311 if you are a renter and this applies to you:

  • Renter with 2016 household income less than $58,880.

If any of those apply to you, call 311 and an agent will help you find out if you qualify for property tax relief.

City Recycling Guides Coming in the Mail


City of Minneapolis recycling customers should watch their mailboxes for City Solid Waste & Recycling services guides arriving soon. The guides include information on all City Solid Waste and Recycling services from recycling and organics to large items such as mattresses, furniture and TVs. The guide also lists what customers can and can’t recycle through the City’s Solid Waste and Recycling service, and it shows all recycling pickup dates through March 2018. Customers can sign up at to get email reminders before every recycling day.

2016 recycling results

In 2016, Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers recycled 500 tons more of paper products and plastic, glass and metal food and beverage containers than in 2015. The 29,500 tons of recyclables collected in 2016 were sorted by material in Minneapolis and sold to make new products. Check the City’s “what to do” list if you don’t know how to dispose of something.

By the end of 2016, 40 percent of eligible customers had signed up for the organics recycling program, which finished rolling out citywide in June. Throughout the year participating residents diverted more than 3,300 tons of compostable materials including food scraps, food-soiled paper items including paper towels, napkins, pizza boxes and egg cartons and other compostable items.

Customers who have not yet signed up may do so by visiting or by calling 311. There’s no extra cost to have organics picked up every week. By participating in organics recycling, customers may be able to reduce the number or size of their garbage cart(s) which saves money on their City of Minneapolis utility bills.

For more information about recycling in Minneapolis, visit

City Leaders Respond to White House Orders on Immigration

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council President Barbara Johnson and City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden issued the following joint statement regarding President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration policy: 

“Minneapolis is a city that welcomes everyone: immigrants, refugees, Native people, LGBT people, people with disabilities, and people of all races, genders, religions and ethnicities. Minneapolis is also a city that works hard to keep everyone safe in every community and every neighborhood. In Minneapolis, one of the common-sense ways that we welcome all communities and work to keep them safe is by separating local police work from that of federal immigration authorities. This is how we encourage anyone who has been the victim of or witness to a crime to come forward, which keeps everyone in every neighborhood safer. We will continue to aggressively defend this common-sense practice to ensure that Minneapolis remains safe and welcoming for everyone.”

I-94 Construction to Begin Spring 2017

Interstate I-94 between Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and Shingle Creek Pkwy in Brooklyn Center will be under construction beginning this spring. The project will last two years. This highway corridor averages more than 140,000 vehicles in daily traffic. The construction will prolong the life of the pavement and repair 50bridges on the road.This work will affect the community so the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants you, your neighbors and anyone else who travels this section of I-94 to know about the work before it starts. MnDOT is holding an open house on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4 – 7pm at Minneapolis Park and Recreation Headquarters, 2117 W. River Road. There will be project staff on hand to answer questions about the project. Visit the project website to stay informed and sign up for updates. 


Diabetes Prevention Classes

People at risk for Type 2 diabetes can call a new hotline to find out if they’re at risk for getting diabetes. Anyone can call 1-888-643-2584 to get a quick screening over the phone and help signing up for a diabetes prevention class in their language and in their area.

Diabetes Prevention Program classes start in February in English, Spanish, Somali and Oromo. The classes are also available online in English. The Diabetes Prevention Connection provides a one-stop source of reliable and up-to-date information on in-person classes in Minneapolis and an online option.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one out of three Minnesotans have prediabetes, but most of them don’t know it. People with prediabetes have a blood sugar level higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can lead to stroke, heart disease, blindness, amputations and other serious conditions.

Classes are available at clinics, churches, YMCAs and other organizations in the city. The Minneapolis Health Department also offers an online version of the class. The online option offers flexibility while maintaining essential parts of the program such as a live coach and support from other participants.

For more information about the Diabetes Prevention Program, people can call the Diabetes Prevention Connection at 1-888-643-2584 or go to

Minneapolis Champion to Help Ensure Stability of the Public Pension System PERA


Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson to the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) board. The PERA board administers retirement plans for more than 250,000 current and former public employees throughout Minnesota.

Johnson will represent Minnesota cities as a strong champion of ensuring the stability of the public pension system PERA. She previously served on the Municipal Employees Retirement Fund before its merger with PERA. She was instrumental in crafting the merger of the City’s fire and police pensions into PERA along with Mayor Betsy Hodges and Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden.

PERA was established in 1931 and provides monthly benefits to more than 100,000 retirees and other benefit recipients. 

City Holding Listening Sessions to Discuss Minimum Wage

The City of Minneapolis is hosting several listening sessions in coming weeks to gather feedback on a potential minimum wage policy for employers in the City of Minneapolis.

The City Council has directed City staff to present minimum wage policy recommendations mid-year after doing additional research and community engagement on the topic. The listening sessions will be an opportunity for community stakeholders to share viewpoints on how a change in the minimum wage would impact them.

More information can be found on the City’s minimum wage webpage. Find upcoming meetings and more information here.

The community engagement plan follows a presentation to the City Council’s Committee of the Whole in October 2016 by a research team presenting highlights of a study analyzing the relative impact of a local minimum wage increase in the City of Minneapolis and regionally in Hennepin County and Ramsey County. The study, led by the University of Minnesota’s Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Justice, examined the impact of increasing the wage to $12 and $15 per hour phased in over five years.

Minneapolis Wins Awards for Solar Energy and Clean Energy

The City of Minneapolis has earned a couple of important awards relating to its leadership in the area of clean energy:

SolSmart Gold Designation - Solar

SolSmart, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy of Energy, has awarded the City of Minneapolis a Gold designation in recognition of its national leadership in advancing solar energy. A SolSmart designation is a signal that the community is "open for solar business," helping to attract solar industry investment and generate economic development and local jobs.

MN Clean Energy Community Award - Clean Energy Partnership

Minneapolis was one of six communities to receive an Achievement Award as an acknowledgement of work done to further the state's clean energy goals. Minneapolis received its award for the formation of the Clean Energy Partnership. This is a new approach that partners the City with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy to help the City reach its Climate Action Plan and Energy Vision for 2040, goals of 30% greenhouse gas reduction by 2025 and 80% by 2050.

Climate change is a defining challenge of this century and even this decade. The scientific consensus holds that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are destabilizing the earth’s climate, and that human activity is the primary driver of these emissions. Without rapid action to reduce these emissions, we will face threats to our economic livelihood, public health, and supplies of food, fresh water, and power.

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Receives Historic Designation


The Minneapolis City Council voted to approve historic designation for Pilgrim Rest at its January 13 meeting. Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, located at 5100 James Ave N is locally significant as one of the earliest African American churches in North Minneapolis, in what was platted as the Maple Leaf Addition. Some of the first African American families that settled in the Maple Leaf Addition in the early twentieth century were former slaves and children of former slaves who had moved from the south seeking a better life. Despite facing racial discrimination, segregation, and economic difficulties, many African American residents from the Shingle Creek community overcame these obstacles to become homeowners.

Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is historically significant for its association with the development of religious life in the Shingle Creek African American community in the 20th century. The church has been an important structure for social events, meetings, entertainment, and as an anchor for the Single Creek African American residents. The Star Tribune featured Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in a recent article about historic Minneapolis sites. 

Early Tree Ordering Available for Residents in Ward 4


Residents of City Council Wards 3-7 and 10 are able to order $25 trees from Tree Trust starting Monday, March 6 at 9:00 a.m. through Sunday, March 12, at 

Residents living outside of Wards 3-7 and 10 will be able to register for the tree lottery March 13-18. The lottery will be open the entire week. Your address can only be registered one time through this process. The lottery will take place during the week of March 20. If you are selected you will be notified by email by March 22 and you will receive further instructions, including payment options. 

For more information on the tree sales, visit or call the Tree Trust office at 952-767-3880.

Two Calls for Artists

Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative (ANPI)

CURA’s Artists Neighborhood Partnership Initiative (ANPI) provides small grants to artists of color and Native artists working in neighborhoods in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. ANPI grants recognize the valuable role that artists and the arts play in neighborhood revitalization efforts and are intended to support the leadership of artists in community revitalization efforts. This grant program is particularly focused on directly funding individual artists or groups of artists who are working to build a more equitable Twin Cities.

The goal of the program is to identify and support compelling projects that artists have developed in response to their community’s specific challenges and opportunities. They are now accepting proposals for one-year support of artist-driven projects. For more information, visit the CURA website.

Minneapolis Convention Center Exhibit

Art Force, a Ward One-based artwork services provider, is requesting submissions of original two-dimensional artwork for their SmartArt Rotating Art Program for exhibition at the Minneapolis Convention Center. They are seeking large scale pieces, 40"X60" or larger, from artists who live and/or work in the City of Minneapolis. The goal of the exhibit is to showcase the varied visual art talent created by local artists. Consideration will be given to artists with a cultural or geographic perspective that is unique or appropriate to Minneapolis and artists who could be considered emerging in their development.

The deadline for submission is February 24, 2017. For further information and submission details, contact Mary Skaden at

Minneapolis Fire Fighter Cadet Application Opening Soon


The Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) is looking to further diversify its workforce to better reflect the community they serve. MFD saves and protects life, property and the environment at emergencies and in addition, provides the residents of the City of Minneapolis emergency medical services, community outreach, hazardous materials response, confined space & collapse rescue and water/river rescue. Minneapolis Firefighters work a 24-hour shift, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 a.m. the following day. A Firefighter is on duty an average of 10 days a month, 107 days out of the 365 day year. Starting salary for an MFD Firefighter Cadet is $19.90/hour and after promotion to Firefighter, wages increase to $59,150 annually. Applications will be accepted for this program online beginning April 17, 2017 at There will be an information session on Monday, February 27 from 6 – 7:30pm at UROC (2001 Plymouth Ave N)