Ward 8 Update Newsletters - July 10, 2017

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

July 10, 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

City Council Approves $15 Municipal Minimum Wage

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On June 30th, 12 of 13 Council Members gave their support for approval of a $15 municipal minimum wage, phased in over a multiple year period.  This wage increase will benefit 71,000 workers in Minneapolis, almost 25% of the Minneapolis workforce, that today make less than $15 an hour.  The impact on workers of color is astronomical, especially for a state with some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, as 42% of Black workers and 54% of Latino workers in Minneapolis earn less than $15 an hour today.

Action by the City of Minneapolis to raise the wage comes in the wake of federal  and state inaction on workplace standards, resulting in wage stagnation harmful to workers and business.  In response to this failure of federal government, dozens of cities and some states have raised minimum wages, Minneapolis joining 51 other jurisdictions including 21 which have established a $15 or higher phased in minimum wage.

In response to feedback from the business community, the City extended the phase-in period from an initial 4 years to 5 years for businesses over 100 employees, with a 7 year phase in work smaller business of 100 or fewer workers.  As the vast majority of restaurants in Minneapolis have 100 or fewer employees, this extended phase-in was targeted to assist our local independent restaurants.  Minneapolis is also investing heavily in new supports for small businesses, with more details to come this summer on a range of changes and investments.

I have received many questions about setting a different wage for tipped workers (some calling this a tip credit, some calling it a tip penalty).  I do not believe that creating a lower wage tier for tipped workers is the right solution for a minimum wage policy.  Minnesota has a decades-long tradition of a one fair wage for all workers, including tipped workers.  Raises to the Minnesota minimum wage over the years have not had a unique detrimental effect on our valued restaurant industry.   I don't doubt that servers/bartenders from some local restaurants do make a relatively high wage with tips; I think they have earned that and more. But most tipped employees do not make high wages (the average wage for Minneapolis and for the region is $10-$11 per hour) and a minimum wage is an important component of their salary. Finally, data from the Department of Labor indicate that compliance is challenging and difficult to enforce, creating even more problems for some of the most vulnerable residents that a higher minimum wage would help.  For these reasons, I agreed with our City staff report that recommended not creating a different wage tier for tipped workers.

A final significant action by the City Council incorporated a regular market analysis report into the requirements of the ordinance.  I am certain that the City’s municipal minimum wage will be the subject of significant scrutiny as it is phased in, helping our review of the ordinance impacts into the future.

You can view all materials on the city’s municipal minimum wage here

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City Council Action to Reopen Nicollet by Purchasing Kmart Land

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After decades of desire, and years of planning to reopen Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street, the City Council approved City staff to exercise an option to purchase 10 W. Lake St.—the land under the Kmart store in south Minneapolis.

Moving ahead with the purchase of the Kmart land gives the City certainty that at some point in the future Nicollet Avenue will reopen, but an exact timeline hasn’t been determined. The City and Kmart have not been able to reach an agreement to relocate Kmart to a new store location on site, which would allow Nicollet to reopen. Kmart’s lease expires in 2053.

Thank you to visionary former Council Member Robert Lilligren, of Ward 6, who worked with Council Member Glidden for years to gain approval of the formal city goal of reopening Nicollet and set a strategy to achieve that goal.  This has been a long term goal of nearby neighbors, many of whom protested the closing of Nicollet at Lake Street decades ago.

While the purchase is significant, and ensures the public will help direct goals for this area into the future, a development project is some years away and will depend in part on continued negotiations with Kmart.  Residents have told me that they value the type of store and price points at Kmart; they have also told me they are concerned about continued rising prices and resulting gentrification of Lake Street.  As we identify next steps, City staff will work with the surrounding community to incorporate the community’s vision into the goals and objectives for the site. Public investment in the I-35W Transit Access project and green crescent connection to the greenway will also provide enhanced pedestrian, bicycle and transit access in the immediate area.

The City purchased land adjacent to the Kmart site formerly home to a Supervalu grocery story in 2015. At that time, the Council also approved initiating an option agreement for the land under the Kmart site. The cost of this investment is $8 million, of which the City has already paid $800,000 to secure the option agreement.

Cash from the City’s Streetcar Value Capture Fund will cover the $7.2 million remainder of the purchase price plus $100,000 in closing costs. The Value Capture tool allows the City to tap property taxes generated from five parcels along the Nicollet Central corridor identified for a future streetcar line.

The Council also passed directions calling on City staff to report back later this summer with recommendations on supporting renters and preventing the displacement of low-income residents, renters and businesses owned by immigrants and people of color.


Sick and safe time ordinance now in effect

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For healthy workers and healthy businesses, a new ordinance protecting time off for people who get sick and work in Minneapolis has taken effect. Employers with six or more workers will be required to provide time off at a minimum threshold of at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or fewer workers must also provide sick time, but it may be unpaid. The goal of the ordinance is to protect public health and prevent workers from being penalized because of illness or a need to care for a sick loved one.

Until this law took effect, four out of 10 Minneapolis workers lacked access to paid sick time. For more information, including addressing questions or complaints, call 311 or visit www.minneapolismn.gov/sicktimeinfo.


Airplane noise concerns

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City Staff and the Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) share in residents' concerns of frequent departures flying over Minneapolis in recent weeks.  This is due to heavy use of a “north flow."  NOC recently contacted the Control Tower at MSP airport and asked the FAA to use a south flow more often.  A “south flow” would help offset departures to the other end of the runway over areas like Eagan and Mendota Heights. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has total authority over planes in the sky. City staff and the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) rely on cooperation from the FAA to try to address concerns. 

Disruptive nighttime and early morning flights are most concerning. Federal law does not allow for airports to impose curfews or penalties for night flights. The City is constantly working with the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to explore any innovative ways to manage this problem, including asking the FAA to use alternative runways at night which do not put the planes over the most populated areas (Minneapolis).

You can help to encourage the FAA, and ensure the partnership of Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to try to address these concerns, by sharing your concerns with MAC.  Residents are encouraged to make ongoing complaints to MAC if this problem persists. The data is helpful to us at the City, and to other stakeholders to understand where the most problematic conditions exist.  

You can complain by:

Calling the hotline 612-726-9411
Online: http://www.macnoise.com/our-neighbors/file- noise-complaint


New hotline to report hate crimes: call 311 from inside Minneapolis or 612-673-3000

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Through its 311 service, the City of Minneapolis has opened a new hotline for reporting hate crimes, which are crimes motivated by prejudice. You can call 311 in Minneapolis or 612-673-3000 statewide. You can also make reports to the Department of Justice at 612-664-5600. If there is an immediate threat of physical violence or property damage, call 911.

Council Member Elizabeth Glidden helped identify funding to support the hate crime hotline in the 2016 budget and has advocated for the city to take a stronger role in responding to hate crimes.

Hate crimes
A hate crime is any crime against a person or property motivated by prejudice against someone’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity. This includes prejudice-motivated property damage (including graffiti), stalking and assault.

Minneapolis is committed to human rights and racial equity for everyone who lives in, works in and visits our city. Public jurisdictions in Minnesota, including the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, City of Saint Paul Equal Opportunity Office and the Minnesota FBI, are working together to ensure all Minnesotans feel safe and welcome.

Discrimination
Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.

If you, your family or someone you know experiences discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, LGBT status or other protected class, or has been the victim of police misconduct, please call 612-673-3012 or visit www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights.


Don’t forget: Register for National Night Out by July 18 for free street closure

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This year, National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 1. Registering a National Night Out event and applying to close a street or alley is a single online process. You can also call 311 to register. Organizers who register their events will get free Mystery Point Passes for Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America.

Deadlines to apply for street or alley closure

  • By July 18: free
  • July 19-July 26: $100
  • July 26 is the last day to apply for street closure.

Note: Not every street can be blocked off. Generally, bus routes and high traffic streets cannot be used for block events.