Ward 8 Update Newsletters - May 26, 2017

8th Ward News from Minneapolis Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward8

May 26, 2017

CONTACT INFORMATION

Elizabeth Glidden
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2208
elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov

 

OFFICE HOURS

Every Monday morning, 9-11:00 a.m.
Sabathani Community Center 
310 E 38th Street, 1st floor hallway nearest to the parking lot

Call for an appointment or just
drop by!

 

 

City of Lakes

Reopen Nicollet Moves Forward --- Slowly

Reopen Nicollet

The City of Minneapolis will present a proposal to the City Council this summer for purchase of the land under the Kmart store at Lake and Nicollet.  This is part of a long-standing effort to reopen Nicollet Avenue, which was closed to through traffic decades ago.

In 2015, the city purchased the land adjacent to the Kmart site, formerly hosting a Supervalu grocery store.  The city owns both the land and the store on that parcel. The city also in 2015 received Council approval to initiate a purchase agreement for the land under the Kmart site.  The purchase agreement is now due, and city staff will recommend that the Council approve purchase of the land.  The cost of this investment is $8 million; the city already paid $800,000 of this amount to secure the purchase agreement.

Although the city has initiated contact with Kmart to negotiate with them about their willingness to allow Nicollet Avenue to reopen while store operations continue, likely through building a new store for Kmart in a different location on the site, those negotiations have not been successful.  Kmart has a lease on the site that does not expire until 2053; Kmart also has the right to sublease its store.

I have heard from many residents who value Kmart as a discount retailer that serves community need. Others are concerned about rising prices and gentrification of our neighborhoods, and the need for more affordable commercial spaces and housing.  With a public investment and a public stake in this property, I believe we will have more options to make choices to address these very real neighborhood concerns.  As one resident pointed out to me, this site is place squarely in the middle of many of the worst decisions by the public – including the displacement of residents by I-35W construction and racial segregation of our neighborhoods due to action and inaction of government.

As a policy lead on this work for many years, and representing the Lyndale neighborhood and Horn Towers across the street from this site, I agree the City should take this step to exercise our purchase option for the land parcel under K-Mart. Re-opening Nicollet in this area remains a long-term vision, but this purchase reaffirms that reopening Nicollet is a priority. I support putting the public back in control and creating more options for our future.


Minneapolis City Council Moves Minimum Wage Ordinance Forward

Min Wage

The City Council voted today on Council Member Glidden’s direction for City staff to draft an ordinance establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage for the City of Minneapolis. There would be a tiered-phase in period for businesses, giving more time for small businesses to meet $15-an-hour.  A training wage may be paid to youth up to age 20 years for no more than 90 days consistent with state law.

The City Attorney’s Office is scheduled to present the draft ordinance for a municipal minimum wage at a special meeting of the Council’s Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, June 6 at 3 p.m.   Thanks to the workers who led the way - 71,000 people in the city, mostly people of color and women, will see their wages rise. Businesses voice has helped shape the staff report which came to the city council and will continue to help shape our final decisions on such items as phase-in period.

The staff direction followed recommendations outlined by City staff on Thursday for a City minimum wage policy. In a report presented to Council, staff said that a municipal minimum wage is one of many tools that could be used to address the city’s economic and racial disparities.

Staff was also directed to report back to the City Council with recommendations on how to fund a regular review of the minimum wage policy, including an annual evaluation of the impact on the local economy, and further identify ways to support businesses, and small businesses in particular.

Moving forward, the Council has set the following schedule to review the draft ordinance on a municipal minimum wage policy:

  • The City Attorney’s Office will present the draft ordinance at a special meeting of the Council’s Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, June 6 at 3 p.m.
  • A public hearing will be held Thursday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m. on the draft municipal minimum wage ordinance.
  • The final draft ordinance will be presented to the Council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, June 28 at 10 a.m. Any final revisions or amendments could be entertained before a final engrossed copy is prepared and submitted to the full City Council.
  • The full City Council will act on the final municipal minimum wage ordinance at its regular meeting Friday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Through the research efforts, staff concluded that nearly half of the City’s 300,000-plus workers are likely earning far less than a “living wage,” calculated by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as $19.80 per hour for a family of 3 (2 adults and 1 child) or $15.25 for a single person in Hennepin County. There are at least 71,000 workers (about one-quarter of Minneapolis workers) that struggle to pay for basic needs. 

You can read the staff report and access other research materials here.


South Side Investment Coop Survey: The Results Are In!

coop

Over the past few months, the Ward 8 office has helped convene open meetings for neighbors interested in exploring a Southside Investment Cooperative.  You can look at notes of our past meetings here. 

The Ward 8 office and our community partners continued seeking input from neighbors to assess this opportunity through a short survey. We want to thank our community partners for their help inviting residents to participate in the survey. We received a total of 101 responses! You can find the full survey report here.

 Here are some highlights:

  • The responses came close; forty-five respondents favored the purchase of residential property, while fifty-six respondents suggested the investment cooperative should focus on purchasing commercial real estate.
  • We conducted a word analysis to assess the types of businesses surveyors would like to see in their community. The biggest amount of mentions belonged to food-service businesses; such as restaurants, bakeries, breweries, etc. The second most mentioned category was retail businesses; respondents suggested boutiques, toy shops, bookstores, shoe shops, etc. Finally, the third most mentioned category was arts-related; suggestions included a theatre, crafts shops and art galleries.
  • We also conducted a word analysis to estimate the housing options survey respondents would like to see in their neighborhood. The term "affordability" received the largest amount of mentions, followed by "a path to home-ownership" and "the ability for families and individuals to remain in the neighborhood." The third largest mention was "inclusivity", such as housing or co-housing options for artists, POC, people with disabilities, seniors, LGBTQI community members, etc.
  • It was great to receive responses from business owners, thirty expressed interest in working with a cooperative, either as a tenant or as a member.

Click here to read the full survey report. We are working with our partners on next steps to move this work forward.