Minneapolis Connects March 2017

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

March 2017

Conference registration link

Sign-up for the Community Connections Conference Learning Labs

Register for this year’s Community Connections Conference, “Your Voice, Your City, CommUnity!” Free to all participants, the conference is on April 1 at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Participants will have access to Learning Labs, an exhibit hall with 50+ vendors and a keynote address during the complimentary lunch.

Conference Learning Labs are interactive sessions to explore policies, issues and ideas, share techniques, and develop solutions. Conference presenters will guide participants to advance equity in their daily lives, work, institutional, and community contexts. This is accomplished through an immersive and experiential learning format.

The conference boasts a diverse set of topics covering policies, local initiatives, and community-driven issues. Whether it’s with housing and future development of the City (Minneapolis 2040) or establishing better relationships with your neighbor (Refugees and Resettlement: Knowing Our Neighbors). The goal is creating avenues for robust dialogue and collective action.

Below is a snapshot of the program. Please visit the NCR’s website for more information.

Community Connections Conference l Register l Facebook

Here is a sample of the 2017 Conference Learning Labs

Equity in Minneapolis’ Street Prioritization Process

On April 29, 2016 the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance to equitably address funding for City of Minneapolis streets and neighborhood parks. The measure provides $800 million over the next 20 years to keep up maintenance and operations costs for City streets and neighborhood parks. The 20 Year Streets Funding Plan is the document that details the process and criteria for how the City selects street improvement projects for the annual Capital Improvement Program. This presentation will highlight how racial and economic equity components were incorporated and evaluated within the prioritization process, followed by a moderated discussion. 

Hmong Archives: Collecting and Preserving the Past for the Future

Throughout history, the Hmong have migrated within China and to various parts of the world to escape wars and persecution and to preserve their way of life. This has presented new challenges as the Hmong adapted and assimilated to life as minorities in new countries. This workshop will focus on identifying the different types of collections of Hmong materials and the importance of preserving Hmong history, cultural values and artifacts, and why preserving “your voice” of the past creates the “community unity” of the future.

Working Effectively with Muslim Clients & Colleagues: Introduction to Islam and Muslims

An interactive exercise gauges where the audience is on their understanding of the religion, basic beliefs and practices. This session then highlights Muslim demographics worldwide, in the United States and in Minnesota. This session includes an in-depth explanation of the religion and cultural norms, including keywords, holidays and customs held in Muslim culture. The training concludes with a discussion on how Muslims practice their beliefs, emphasizing the continuum of diversity of practice within the religion.

2017 One Minneapolis Fund program seeks RFP’s now through May 1st

Image of One Minneapolis Fund project participants

Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) are being sought for the 2017 One Minneapolis Fund. The One Minneapolis Fund is designed to develop diverse leadership and community engagement in Minneapolis. This year non-profit organizations based in Minneapolis that meet program criteria can submit proposals for one of two funding groups:

Group A Funding: Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that develop and prepare leaders to serve on City boards and commissions and on one of Minneapolis’ 70 neighborhood organization boards.

Group B Funding: Community or Cultural organizations should submit proposals for projects that that connect diverse residents to the City and engage communities, beyond neighborhood boarders, in specific targeted audiences. These programs may be either established and on-going programs or new programs. 

The deadline to submit an RFP is Monday, May 1, 2017. A pre-proposal conference will be held at 2:00p.m., March 23, 2017 in the 1st floor Conference Room of the Crown Roller Mill Building, 105 5th Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401.  All potential applicants are encouraged to attend this conference.

Visit the One Minneapolis Fund webpage to download the RFP and learn more about the program.

Final Neighborhood Revitalization Program Phase II Action Plans Passed by City Council

On February 10, the Minneapolis City Council approved the Nicollet Island – East Bank and West Calhoun NRP Phase II NRP Plans – the final NRP plans submitted.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) was created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1989 and funded through Common Project TIF districts. The first Phase I Plan – Whittier’s – was approved in July of 1992.

Over the life of the program, neighborhood NRP plans have allocated over $225 million to projects and programs in every Minneapolis neighborhood. Many neighborhoods continue to implement NRP strategies.

Learn more about the NRP and view the complete City Council presentation here.

Image of NRP phase 1 allocation by program area. Further description below.
NRP Phase I plan allocations by program area; Housing 53.5%; Economic Development 14.2%; Community Building 5.26%; Crime Prevention and Safety 4.1%; Transportation and Infrastructure 1.7%; Environment 2.89%; Parks and Recreation 7.58%; Human Services 6.9%; Schools and Libraries 3.82%
Image of NRP phase 2 allocation by program area. Further description below.
NRP Phase II plan allocations by program area; Housing 78.94%; Economic Development 4.5%; Community Building 3.85%; Crime Prevention and Safety 2.8%; Transportation and Infrastructure 1.8%; Environment 3.46%; Parks and Recreation 2.17%; Human Services 2.53%; Schools and Libraries 0.56%

NCR, the MPD and Face2Face LLC. partner for Police and Community Relations Series

Image of Police and Community Engagement Series participants doing group role playing scenarios

The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, the Minneapolis Police Department Community Engagement Team (MPD C.E.T) and Face2Face LLC., have recently partnered on a six week Police and Community Engagement Series.

The event series focused on providing African American and Southeast Asian residents in north Minneapolis an opportunity to learn about law enforcement protocols during police stops, interactions with suspicious persons and affiliation groups. Attendees also learned what to expect from law enforcement and emergency personnel at the scene of an emergency or crime through role playing and group scenarios.

The series has provided rich conversation between police and community members and has propelled participants to consider what law enforcement and the community can do to work together to foster education between youth and law enforcement.

Image: MPD officer addressing participants of the Police and Community Engagement Series

Apply for openings on Minneapolis boards and commissions

Image of Akisha Everett, Public Health Advisory Committee member, saying "I wanted to be part of the solution."

A number of board and commission positions are open for City Council and mayor appointments this spring. 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. Translation and interpreting services are available upon request to ensure all residents have the ability to participate.

Applications will be reviewed beginning April 14 unless otherwise marked. The positions are open until filled. There are 89 open positions on 15 City boards and commissions:

Visit the Appointed Boards and Commissions website for a list of appointment opportunities, position descriptions and the applications.

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 boards 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.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Denis Houle

Image of Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner Denis Houle

District 2 Representative

Term: 2nd

Ward: 2

Neighborhood: Armatage

Sub-committees: Neighborhoods 2020 Committee and One Minneapolis Fund Committee

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

I live in the Armatage neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis, and I have participated in Armatge community activities for the past fifteen years.  I first became involved with the Armatage Neighborhood Association because it solicited people's opinions in the early 2000s on how the neighborhood should spend NRP Phase II funds, and since my wife and I had a small child I considered it important to help the neighborhood determine how to best serve its residents.  

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

My neighborhood is small and close-knit, with many retail businesses and restaurants within walking distance.  It also includes a vibrant park with a skate park and several playing fields, activities for all ages and a magnet school that serves many Armatage residents.

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

Along with the NCEC, I am the president of the Armatage Neighborhood Association.

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

If a resident wants to participate in a neighborhood or city-wide board or commission, the first step is to attend meetings.  By doing this residents can meet current members, learn about each organization's role and the issues it faces, and eventually either get elected or appointed to the board or commission. 

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

My wife Rebecca and I have lived in Armatage for twenty years, and we have two sons, Anton (20) and Dmitri (13). 

City creates Transgender Equity Council

City Council approved the creation of the Transgender Equity Council. The council will serve as an advisory board to the City and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on matters of importance to the transgender community. The council’s work will include studying issues, courses of action, policies, and programs as well as making recommendations. 

The board will be comprised of 15 appointed members and will meet monthly. Board members will be chosen through the City’s open appointment process. Information on the application process is posted on the Transgender Equity Council website and on the Minneapolis Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Committees webpage.

For more than 20 years, the City of Minneapolis has explicitly protected the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming residents to be free from discrimination based on gender identity. In 1975, Minneapolis became the first city in the country to pass an ordinance preventing discrimination. Despite this, disparities still exist in virtually all areas including employment, healthcare, safety, housing and access to public spaces. 

In 2014, the City of Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group was established to look at transgender disparities, engage the broader community and make policy recommendations for the City to improve the lives of transgender residents. The work group includes participants from City departments, City Council offices, the Mayor’s office, and the community.

In 2016, the City Council and Mayor of Minneapolis passed a resolution supporting continued efforts to further transgender equity in the City of Minneapolis, including the creation of an advisory board.

Minneapolis Somali-language Food Safety Coalition wins Healthy10 Award

Image of member of Somali food business partnership that won Healthy10 Award

A Minneapolis partnership around Somali food businesses has won a Healthy10 award in the category of Healthy Environment from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The foundation’s Health Means Business campaign honors American businesses and their partners for their strategic and sustained positive impact on the health and wellness of their employees, community, environment and society.

Somali restaurateurs are vital to Minneapolis’ business community and vibrant restaurant scene. However, many business owners struggled to meet the compliance standards critical to food safety because of language barriers.

Together, the City of Minneapolis Health Department, the local Somali community, GlobeGlow Consulting and Research, the Minnesota Somali Chamber of Commerce and food safety evaluators created the Minneapolis Somali-language Food Safety Coalition to help close service and equity gaps. By working together, policymakers gained a better sense of how to address cultural differences to communicate food safety issues with business owners and employees. They also gained insights into Somali business operations that helped the Health Department develop new best practices.

In Minneapolis, a city with a strong immigrant-owned business community, greater inclusion yields equal opportunities for health and economic success.


The Health Means Business Healthy10 Awards were created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as a way to honor 10 outstanding business-led initiatives or cross-sector collaborations between local businesses and traditional and non-traditional partners to improve community wellness and access to economic opportunity. Find out more about the program and the other winners on the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's website.

DMNA Public Forum: Reducing Violent Crime in Downtown Minneapolis

Image of event info for the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association Crine and Safety Public Forum, Mon 3/7/17 5:30pm at the New Century Theatre

This forum will address the continuing problem of serious street crime in Downtown West at Hennepin and First Avenues. Representatives from the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Downtown Improvement District / Safe Zone and YouthLink will be on hand to provide crime stats and talk about possible solutions to criminal activity in the downtown community. Secured guest presenters include the following:

  • Renee Allen, Minneapolis Police Department, First Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Lieutenant Chris House, Minneapolis Police Department, First Precinct Sector Lieutenant
  • Shane Zahn, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District / Safe Zone
  • Steve Cramer, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Downtown Council
  • Youth Link representative

For more information go to the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association's website.

The Immigration History Research Center invites you to the launch of the Immigrant Stories website

The University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center invites you to make a digital story about your own immigrant experience or that of your family members. For more information go to the Immigrant Stories website.  

The official launch of the Immigrant Stories website will be March 9, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., in Room 120 Andersen Library on the West Bank.  The event is free, but registration is requested. Click here to go to the event registration website.

Harrison Neighborhood Association seeks Community Outreach Director

Image of Harrison Neighborhood Organization logo

The Harrison Neighborhood Association (HNA) is hiring a full-time Community Outreach Director. This position will lead the organization’s outreach and engagement initiatives and build grassroots leadership in the Harrison Neighborhood.

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

HNA is dedicated to grassroots leadership development, community self-determination, and the advancement of racial and economic equity.

How to apply:

Applications packets should include cover letter, résumé and three professional references emailed to info@hnampls.org. The position will be posted until filled. No phone calls please.

Corcoran Neighborhood Association seeks Community Development Manager

Image of Corcoran Neighborhood Association logo

CNA Mission: We unite neighbors to strengthen our community. We envision Corcoran as a place that fosters leadership, engagement, and a sense of belonging.

Job Description and Background:

The Community Development Manager works with CNO leadership, residents, business and property owners, and other neighborhood stakeholders to improve and protect the physical neighborhood and small business environment. The Community Development Manager helps the CNO Board identify relevant issues of concern to the community, and coordinates the creation of community capacity, plans, strategy, partnerships, political will, and other resources to realize CNO’s desired outcomes, which are often accomplished by CNO’s partners or other parties.

To Apply: Send a resume along with a succinct cover letter or e-mail explaining your qualifications and readiness to succeed on the Draft Workplan outlined above to: hiring@corcoranneighborhood.org. Applicants will receive confirmation their materials were received; we will get in touch if we would like to set up an interview. No calls, please.

The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in an alternative format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.

Upcoming Events

3/9: Immigration History Research Center-Immigrant Stories Website Launch

3/10: Fix-It Tech Event

3/16: Steven Square Winter Warm-Up

3/18: Northside Housing Fair

3/20: DMNA Public Forum: Reducing Violent Crime in Downtown Minneapolis

4/1: Community Connections Conference

4/1: South Minneapolis Housing Fair

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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