Minneapolis Connects June Newsletter

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

June, 2017

The City of Minneapolis Welcomes the Holy Month of Ramadan

Image of Ramadan greeting

Ramadan is a Muslim holy month that occurs on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and lasts for 29 or 30 days. This year, Ramadan begins Saturday May 27, 2017

During Ramadan, practicing Muslims spend the daylight hours fasting. This means they abstain from any food and drink from dawn to sunset. One of the key purposes of fasting is to experience how a hungry person feels and to understand what it is like to have an empty stomach. It teaches one to share the sufferings of the less fortunate. Fasting during Ramadan is considered one of the five Pillars of Islam — five activities that shape Muslims’ lives. Ramadan is also known as the month of forgiveness, charity and generosity.

In Minneapolis during Ramadan, mosques and Islamic centers see an increase in traffic and parking needs during late evening and early morning hours. Muslim community leaders are proactively working with City officials to create awareness and understanding about these needs and to ensure everyone’s safety during Ramadan. Abdirashid Ahmed, the East African community specialist in the City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, reached out to several mosques and leaders to prepare for the month of Ramadan. Ahmed is also closely working with the Police and Public Works departments on traffic safety during the month of Ramadan.

Neighbors close to mosques and Islamic centers can expect to see heavy traffic during Ramadan beginning at sundown until about 1 a.m. Heavy traffic will significantly increase during the last 10 days of Ramadan, from 9 p.m. to as late as 5 a.m. There will also be a significant change to the East African community’s activities and day-to-day operations during daylight. Some food businesses or coffee shops may close or operate fewer hours. 

For more information, contact Abdirashid Ahmed at Abdirashid.Ahmed@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3958.

Minneapolis declares June 2017 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

Minneapolis has approved a resolution declaring June 2017 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in Minneapolis. The declaration coincides with the LGBT Pride celebration, which is held annually in June and is the largest outdoor festival in the city. The City encourages residents and visitors to participate in the numerous activities celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the city and in the ongoing work of leading Minnesota toward full LGBT equality.

The 35W Bridge will be lit in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple June 23 and June 24.

The City of Minneapolis has a long history of supporting LGBT rights. The resolution notes that this year the City Council approved the creation of the Transgender Equity Council, which was intended to serve as an advisory board to the City and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on matters of importance to the transgender community.

In 2014, Minneapolis was part of a partnership with the Minneapolis School District and numerous organizations that successfully advocated at the State Capitol for passage of the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, which focuses on bullying prevention in Minnesota schools.

Minneapolis was a vocal proponent of the marriage equality statute passed in 2013 by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by the governor. It was also the first city in the state to create a domestic partner registry back in 1991.

Minneapolis was also the first city in Minnesota to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, a position subsequently adopted by numerous Minnesota cities and the State itself.

Find the full resolution and more information here.

All-gender restrooms are added to City buildings.

Image of all gender restroom sign

All-gender restrooms, facilities anyone can use as an additional option, are now being added to City buildings. They’re part of the City’s efforts to further transgender equity by making sure City policies and services are inclusive of transgender community and staff.

All-gender restrooms are an additional facility option for anyone, including:

  • People who are uncomfortable in men’s or women’s rooms for a number of reasons.
  • Parents or caregivers of children who are a different gender from them.
  • People with caregivers or personal attendants who are a different gender from them.

Over the next few weeks, all-gender restrooms will be added in 44 City facilities, including department offices, fire stations, police precincts, Public Works facilities and City-owned parking ramps. This work involves re-signing and, in some cases, adding security locks to doors to 62 restrooms.

The all-gender restrooms are in addition to the traditional restrooms. Men’s and women’s restrooms will continue to exist in every City facility. Staff and the public will be able to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identities.

City staff are already planning for the next phases of this effort, which will involve making locker room and shower facilities inclusive. Also, as buildings are constructed and remodeled for City use, staff will explore accommodating multi-stall, all-gender restrooms and changing rooms.

Neighborhoods 2020 Update – Conversations, Focus Groups, On-Line Survey and Next Steps

Image of participants at south sector neighborhoods 2020 meeting

The Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) and the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department (NCR) partnered with neighborhood groups across the city in hosting a series of five meetings to discuss the future role of neighborhood organizations. The five meetings were held between April 25 and May 8, 2017 in each sector of the City: Downtown, North, East, South and Southwest.  A total of 517 people signed in at the five meetings, and 262 filled out demographic cards. 

Based on the review of demographic data, NCR set up two additional events to gain further input from under-represented groups. The first was held at Harrison Community Center on May 23rd with 36 Hmong and Lao community members and the second was held at Waite House on May 30th with 30 members of the Latino and American Indian communities. 

NCR is currently compiling data from all the meetings and will meet with the NCEC 2020 Committee on Tuesday June 13th 5:30pm for a preliminary discussion of the data and on Monday June 19th at 6:00pm for a more streamlined look at results of the outreach. Both meetings will take place downtown at the Crown Roller Mill Building – 105 5th Avenue South.

NCR has also developed an online survey for additional input from individuals who were not able to attend the meetings. Please share with your network!

Please check the Neighborhoods 2020 Web Page for frequent updates, demographics and reports.

Upper Harbor Terminal Project Seeks Input

Image of Upper Harbor Terminal map

In anticipation of the execution of the three-party exclusive rights agreement, the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) and master development team (United Properties, THOR Development and First Avenue Productions) have announced a series of public meetings at which community members will be able to provide input to inform the plan for the UHT site.

In order to maximize input opportunities, there will be two parallel meetings per month, held on two different days of the week at different locations and with different formats. The two meetings will cover the same basic topic and seek similar input each month. One meeting will be combined with the monthly meeting of the Above the Falls Community Advisory Committee (AFCAC). These will be held in the evening (starting at 7:00 pm) on the last Thursday of the month at the MPRB headquarters and will be a meeting format. The second meeting will be held on the last Thursday of the month (except for the first meeting) somewhat earlier in the evening (starting at 5:00 pm) at either Cityview School or Folwell Park. These second meetings generally will be an open house format in which attendees can attend any time between 5:00 and 7:30 pm. All of the events will be family-friendly, and refreshments will be offered.

The meeting pattern is as follows:

AFCAC Meetings

7:00 pm; typically last Tuesday of the month; snacks served

All at MPRB headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N.

Tuesday, May 30

Tuesday, June 27

Tuesday, July 25

Tuesday, August 29

Tuesday, September 26

Open House Meetings

5:00 – 7:30 pm; typically Thursdays; refreshments served

Thursday, June 8 (Cityview School, 3350 N. 4th St.)

Thursday, June 29 (Cityview School, 3350 N. 4th St.)

Thursday, July 27 (Folwell Park, 1615 N. Dowling St.)

Thursday, August 31 (Folwell Park, 1615 N. Dowling St.)

Thursday, September 28 (Folwell Park, 1615 N. Dowling St.)

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for GovDelivery email updates on the UHT web site or watch for social media notices on Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor, as meetings may need to be adjusted. Information on the webpage and meeting notices also will provide more details about specific meetings and topics.

State of the City: “One Minneapolis and the Call of Transformation”

The vision of a transformed city — One Minneapolis — was a major theme throughout Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ State of the City address May 23.

In the speech, the mayor outlined her proposed path to a stronger, more connected Minneapolis. She offered several examples of the city overcoming discomfort to get results: the Nicollet Mall renovation, the earned sick and safe time policy, gains in affordable housing and new approaches to public safety.

Residents were encouraged to celebrate the progress the city has made while staying focused on a vision for the future including sustainability, 21st century policing and workforce development.

Miss the State of the City address? Watch a rebroadcast or read the full text of Mayor Hodges’ 2017 State of the City address. 

Play in the street at an Open Streets event this summer

Seven Open Streets Minneapolis events this year will be a chance for people to explore their neighborhoods and local businesses in a car-free environment. Open Streets gives people an opportunity to enjoy the streets on bicycle, foot, wheelchair, skateboard or roller skates and will be packed with activities for people of all ages, including free yoga, bicycle repair, live music and children’s activities.

2017 Open Streets events 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open Streets Lyndale: Sunday, June 4

Open Streets Downtown: Sunday, June 11

Open Streets Lake and Minnehaha: Sunday, July 23

Open Streets Northeast: Sunday, Aug. 6

Open Streets Franklin: Sunday, Aug. 27

Open Streets West Broadway: Saturday, Sept. 9

Open Streets Nicollet: Sunday, Sept. 24

The free event helps promote walking, bicycling and mass transit for the well-being of people and our environment. It also helps promote good public health by encouraging active, healthy lifestyles. 

Since 2011 when the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition hosted the first Open Streets event on a 2-mile stretch of Lyndale Avenue South, the initiative has grown considerably, drawing 81,000 people to eight events in 2016.

Open Streets Minneapolis is hosted by the City of Minneapolis and is organized by Our Streets Minneapolis, formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. For more information on this year’s events, visit www.openstreetsmpls.com.

Learn more about bicycling and walking in Minneapolis.

New strategy to prevent violent crime begins in Minneapolis

A new collaborative strategy to reduce homicides and shootings in the city has begun in Minneapolis. The Group Violence Intervention (GVI) brings law enforcement, social services and the community together.

A key component of GVI is a meeting known as a “call-in.” There, at-risk young adults identified by police as being both crime victims and offenders are brought in to hear from government leaders, social service groups and people from the community that the violence needs to stop. They are also told that help is available to any of them who sincerely ask for it.

In addition to the offer of assistance, law enforcement makes it clear that there will be enhanced police attention on the next group whose member commits a homicide in Minneapolis as well as the most violent group in the city.

Law enforcement and community partners will coordinate outreach to at-risk young people. Services offered could include housing, health care and help clearing outstanding warrants as well as more long-term considerations like job readiness and employment connections. In addition, personal harm reduction planning and 24-hour crisis services will be available.

GVI includes a broad-based partnership that includes the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Hennepin County Community Corrections, the Office of Mayor Betsy Hodges, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Health Department and various community organizations.

National data shows that a small number of individuals drive a significant percentage of the violence in major cities. These individuals are often affiliated with groups. An analysis of crime data shows that Minneapolis follows that same pattern.

GVI is a data-driven approach and a Department of Justice model program. It has been applied in cities throughout the country with proven results, and many communities using the strategy have seen dramatic reductions in homicides and nonfatal shootings. A Yale study found that Project Longevity, New Haven’s implementation of GVI, contributed to a reduction of five group-involved shootings per month during the first three years of implementation.

Mark your calendar to get rid of your household hazardous wastes at these summer events

Image of woman holding box of hazardous household items

You can drop off your household hazardous wastes for free at any of these Hennepin County events in Minneapolis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday-Saturday.

  • June 23-24, Public Works facility, 3607 E. 44th St. (Enter off 44th Street between Hwy 55 and Snelling Avenue.)
  • July 28-29, Jenny Lind Elementary School, 5025 Bryant Ave. N. (Enter off Dupont Avenue.)
  • Aug. 11-12, Anthony Middle School, 5757 Irving Ave. S. (Enter off Sunrise Drive.)
  • Aug. 18-19, South High School, 3131 19th Ave. S. (Enter off 21st Avenue South.)

Accepted from households

  • Automotive fluids (except oil) and lead-acid batteries
  • Household, lawn and garden hazardous waste
  • Aerosols
  • Batteries – tape both terminals
  • CFLs and other fluorescent lamps and HID lamps (limit 25)
  • Drain, oven and other corrosive cleaners
  • Gas cylinders – propane less than 40   lbs. Specialty gases (oxygen, helium, etc.) less than 59 lbs. will be evaluated onsite; some may not be accepted.
  • Mercury thermostats
  • Paint, stain, varnish, solvents (limit three 5-gallon pails); no limit on 1-gallon pails or smaller)
  • Pesticides
  • Pool chemicals

Not accepted

  • Asbestos
  • Business generated waste
  • Construction debris
  • Electronics*
  • Explosives
  • Garbage*
  • Major appliances*
  • Medicines
  • Oil
  • Oil filters
  • Radioactive material
  • Recyclables – cardboard, glass, metal, paper, phone books, plastic, etc.*
  • Sharps
  • Tires

* These items are accepted curbside through the City of Minneapolis solid waste and recycling program.

For more information, visit www.hennepin.us/collectionevents or contact Hennepin County Environment and Energy at 612-348-3777 or environment@hennepin.us.

Three free lead testing events scheduled this month, more throughout summer

Image of Leadie Eddie van

Children and pregnant or nursing women can have their blood tested for lead at free events this summer. Families can also learn more at the events about the City of Minneapolis grant program that will test homes for lead poisoning hazards and fix them – such as replacing windows that have lead in them for free.

In 2016, 158 children in Minneapolis had lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is a hazard because children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to their brains and nervous systems. Lead poisoning can slow a child’s growth, damage hearing, cause aggressive behavior problems, reduce IQ and make it harder to concentrate or do well in school. Lead in pregnant women can be transferred to the fetus, and lead in a nursing mother can transfer to the child. Lead can also cause miscarriages and reproductive problems in adults.

Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.

Free lead testing events in June

Hawthorne Neighborhood Council’s Hot Dog Day
1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 4
2944 Emerson Ave. N.

Folwell Neighborhood Resource Fair ice cream social
5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15
1315 Penn Ave. N.

HUB Healthy Homes Health Fair
6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 22
3120 Washburn Ave. N.

Parents and other caregivers need to know how to protect children from lead exposure. Lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 remains the primary source of lead poisoning for children. In Minnesota, there are an estimated 1 million homes with lead paint. But other sources exist as well: lead in toys, chalk, plumbing and even some foods. Other ways children could come in contact with lead include remodeling being done in the home, someone in the household who works with lead (paint removal, remodeling, electronics, ceramics, automotive repair), and playing outside in soil or sand that may be contaminated. Contaminated soil is more likely near busy roads, highways or within two feet of a house or garage that was painted with lead paint. Nutrition is also important. Children who get enough iron, vitamin C and calcium are less likely to absorb lead.

For information and resources click here or call 311.


Learn how to identify lead paint and protect your family from the potential dangers of lead poisoning by watching this short video from the City of Minneapolis. It runs in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

Lead paint safety
Paint on older homes may contain lead. Learn how to identify lead paint and protect your family from potential dangers of lead poisoning in this video from the City of Minneapolis.

  • Lead Paint Safety
  • Seguridad de la Pintura con Plomo (Lead Paint Safety, Spanish)
    En este video aprende como identificar la pintura con plomo en las casas antiguas y como proteger a tu familia de los peligros de envenenamiento por plomo.
  • Ka digtoonaanta Sunta Liidhka (Lead Paint Safety, Somali)
    Riinjiinga darbiyada ee guryaha mudo badan dhisnaa waxaa suuro gal ah in ay leeyihiin suntn looyaqaan Liidh (Lead). Si aad qoyskaaga uga ilaalisid qatarta suntan, Fiidiyoowgaan city of Minneapolis, ka baro sida loo ogaado darbiyada kalaradoodu leeyihiin suntaa, & sidii aad uga ilaalin lahayd qoyskaaga
  • Tiv thaiv cov xim muaj txhuas (Lead Paint Safety, Hmong) Cov xim ua pleev cov tsev qub qub lawm tej zaum nws kuj muaj txhuas. Txhuas yog ib yam “metal” ua lom tau neeg thaum ib tug neeg twg nqo tau ib yam khoom ua muaj txhuas lo yog nqus pas tau hmoov txhuas. Lub nroog Minneapolis daim “video” no yuav pab qhia rau koj kom paub ntsuam xyua cov xim ua muaj txhuas thiab tiv thaiv koj tsev neeg.

City changing crosswalk markings, zebra-striped crosswalks will help enhance safety

Image of changes to crosswalks

Crosswalk markings are changing throughout Minneapolis this year. City crews are replacing the parallel-line crosswalk markings with zebra-stripe crosswalk markings. Approximately 3,000 marked crosswalks will be repainted. Durable material will be used instead of paint at 120 intersections.

The switch began last year, with crews remarking the crosswalks as part of street and traffic signal construction projects. This year, marked crosswalks outside of construction zones will be switched to zebra-striped markings. By the end of the year, nearly all existing marked crosswalks on City and County streets in Minneapolis will have zebra stripes.

Zebra-striped crosswalks are easier to see than the parallel line crosswalks. Making the switch will help enhance pedestrian safety and make people more comfortable using crosswalks. 

The City will work with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to evaluate marked parkway crosswalks for future zebra style crosswalk installation, with some segments of the parkway system receiving zebra crosswalks next year. Marked crosswalks within the trunk highway system are maintained by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and are unaffected by this change. 

Drivers and pedestrians should remember that under Minnesota law, drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at all intersections – with or without marked crosswalks.

The Commons 2017 summer season kicks off now

You’ve got another great reason to get outside and enjoy summer in Minneapolis. Green Minneapolis has announced a lineup of events happening at The Commons throughout the season. Starting now, folks can grab colorful umbrellas, choose from an assortment of games or pick up a book – for free.

Daily amenities include an Imagination Playground, a large building block set for children, umbrellas for shade, table tennis, reading and games carts.

Free recurring programs include children’s story time with local authors, musical performances with MacPhail Center for Music, fitness classes with Fly Feet Running and a weekly evening Mill City Farmers Market.

Under a new ordinance, visitors to The Commons can bring and consume alcoholic beverages during designated events. The first designated event will be a film screening June 29, one of four movie nights scheduled throughout the summer.

The Commons will also host events produced by others, including the X Games, which comes to U.S. Bank Stadium and The Commons in mid-July, and Vikings home game activations.

You can find a full schedule of happenings at commonsmpls.com.

The Commons is a 4.2 acre, public green space downtown bounded by Park Avenue and Fourth and Fifth streets. The Commons was designed as a place for respite, everyday activities, and events large and small for residents, workers and visitors. Green Minneapolis is under contract with the City of Minneapolis to operate, maintain and program The Commons. 

Music and Movies in the Parks offers free summer entertainment in your area

Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Music and Movies in the Parks. More than 250 free outdoor concerts and movies will be hosted in parks across the city.

Music in the Parks

Since 1892, local Minneapolis artists and bands have put on a show every day in the summer for their residents and neighbors. Genres include swing, folk, rock, bluegrass, classical and much more. The 2017 season fills the air daily with music at six outstanding concert venues running from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

  • Lake Harriet Band Shell: Weekdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 and 5:30 p.m.
  • Nicollet Island Park: Mondays at 7 p.m.
  • Father Hennepin Bluffs Park: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
  • Minnehaha Park: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m.
  • Bryant Square Park: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • Loring Park: Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.

Movies in the Parks

Movies in the Parks will travel to more than 45 neighborhood parks throughout the summer. The season runs from Monday, June 5, to Saturday, Aug. 26. All showings begin 15 minutes after sunset.

Concerts and movies are free, and everyone is welcome. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and bug spray. For the most up-to-date schedules and weather-related information, visit www.mplsmusicandmovies.com. You can also keep track of Music and Movies in the Park on Twitter and Facebook.

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month

6/8: Kingfield PorchFest

6/10: Standish, Ericsson & Corcoran Neighborhood Garage Sale

6/10: Loring Park Music Festival

6/10: Lyndale Fish Fest

6/11: Open Streets Downtown

6/16: St. Anthony East Ice Cream Social

6/17: Nokomis East Garage Sale Day

6/17: Field Regina Northrop Annual Neighborhood Celebration & Parade

6/17: Juneteenth

6/18: Asian Heritage Festival

6/18: World Refugee Day - Solidarity Party at the Capitol

6/20: Celebrate Northeast Parade

6/22: Seward Garden Tour

6/23-6/24: NEeighbors Sale Days

6/24: Prospect Park Yard Sale Days and Garden Walk

6/24-6/25: Twin Cities Pride Festival

6/25: Beltrami Summer Festival

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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