Ward 8 Update Newsletters - August 4, 2017 - revised to include additional articles

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

August 4, 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

Minneapolis Housing Stability Study Session and Next Steps

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This week, I helped to sponsor a City Council study session on housing stability in Minneapolis.  The Star Tribune wrote about our study session here.  The housing stability study session provided focused information on the loss of affordable homes and rental units in Minneapolis, the present day impacts of discriminatory policies and practices like racial covenants, and how gentrification of neighborhoods is displacing residents.

City staff presented a large list of recommendations for policy and funding to prioritize affordable safe places for residents to live. They are moving forward aggressively on a work plan, including an ordinance requiring advance notice of sale of multi-unit buildings that I am co-authoring with Council Member Lisa Goodman with the purpose of preserving affordable units in the city.

You can review the presentation here  and watch the study session here .  The presentation materials include specifics on work underway and work to do to preserve and create affordable housing with funding and policy change.  You can review a staff direction I authored with Council Members Goodman and Bender focusing next steps work.

Here is a link to the Regional Assessment of Impediments to Fair Housing, which includes policy and funding recommendations for many cities including Minneapolis and was a basis for the housing stability study session. 

Here is a link to the Mapping Prejudice project of Augsburg College, which has a goal to record every racial covenant on properties in Minneapolis.  You can volunteer to help this project by reviewing deeds and property records; an easy tutorial for how you can help at home is on the Mapping Prejudice website.  


City Council Executive Committee Sets Public Hearing for Appointment of Maderia Arradondo as next Chief of Minneapolis Police Department

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As a member of the Executive Committee of the City Council, I voted this week to move forward the Mayor’s nomination of Acting Chief Arradondo as the next Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department for a public hearing.  I support this nomination of Acting Chief Arradondo and believe he deserves a fair hearing by the public and the Minneapolis City Council.  For a city divided by issues of race and racism, Acting Chief Arradondo’s nomination as the first African American Minneapolis Police Chief is even more meaningful.

I have had many opportunities to work with Acting Chief Arradondo over the past dozen years; I have found him to be a man of character and strong values who is centered in community.  His family has Ward 8 roots and I have heard many stories about him as a youth from residents. 

I believe Acting Chief Arradondo understands that this is a time of significant change and reform for police departments across our nation and specifically for Minneapolis.  In a recent press conference, he stated that a police chief in 2017 could no longer create a 5 year business plan; a 1 year business plan was more appropriate to the pace of change needed and occurring. 

Acting Chief Arradondo is not afraid of adversity, a quality any Chief needs today.  Within recent years, he challenged his own department in court – a decision based on his strong value of justice and a choice that could have had severe repercussions for his career as a police officer in Minneapolis. 

While it is important for a Police Chief to support significant change to policing practices, change is not solely up to the Chief.  It depends, as well, on sustained public pressure and political engagement and will.  I accept that responsibility and have made a public statement about my hopes for change here

Some have asked about conducting a search for a new Chief.  Acting Chief Arradondo has been nominated to fill the remainder of Chief Harteau’s term, about 17 months.  With the added complication of a city election in months, which would likely delay the start of a search process, conducting a search for a new Chief will take significant time – possibly as long as a year.  Such a gap in leadership is unacceptable at this time, when policy and budget decisions must be made and the police department needs a firm message of leadership.  The time for a new year, if the Council and Mayor believe one is appropriate, will be at the end of the existing term for the police chief. For myself, I have faith in Acting Chief Arradondo as a good choice for Minneapolis; he is ready to do the work and I look forward to his leadership if confirmed.


Partnership with Xcel Energy to provide solar and wind energy for convention center and drinking water facility

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The Minneapolis Convention Center and one of the City’s two drinking water campuses will be powered, in part, by local solar and wind energy from Xcel Energy’s Renewable*Connect program. Hundreds of other Minnesota electric customers, including residences, local companies, and schools, have also signed up to receive renewable energy through the program.

The City of Minneapolis and Xcel Energy have a new agreement for the City to purchase 17.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar and wind energy annually. Of this total, 14 million kWh will be used for the Minneapolis Convention Center; now all of the electricity the convention center uses will be from renewable sources. The other 3.8 million kWh will be used for the City’s water treatment services. The total agreement reduces the City’s carbon dioxide pollution for streetlights, traffic signals, water treatment and distribution, sewer, and all City-owned buildings by 7,825 metric tons – a 12 percent carbon reduction total for City operations.

Of the electricity that the City of Minneapolis uses overall, 38.6 percent will now come from renewable sources.

Approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in early 2017 and open to all customers, Renewable*Connect provides month-to-month, five-year or 10-year options for participants. Energy from the Odell Wind Farm in southern Minnesota and North Star Solar project in North Branch, Minn., were reserved for the program.

About Renewable*Connect

Renewable*Connect allows customers to subscribe to low-cost wind and solar energy without the need to install and maintain equipment. Customers will have the flexibility to choose how much of their energy usage they wish to subscribe and how long a commitment they wish to make. There are no up-front costs, and prices are known at the start, giving customers more price certainty.

Xcel Energy retires Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) on behalf of program participants, enabling customers to use those credits in their reporting, a key requirement for businesses with sustainability programs. An independent organization, Green-e.org, verifies the REC retirement, providing documentation that the energy used by participating customers is from the dedicated renewable energy source.


Election for All City Offices Nov 7: Get ready to vote for Mayor, City Council, Park Board, and Board Est & Tax

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The City of Minneapolis is gearing up for the Nov. 7 municipal election, which will be the City’s third election to use ranked-choice voting.  Minneapolis voters will use ranked-choice voting this fall to elect a mayor and members of the City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board.  You can get all elections information at vote.minneapolismn.gov

  •  Candidate filing opens Aug. 1: Find out more at vote.minneapolismn.gov
  • City elections use Ranked-Choice Voting.  Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is a way of voting that eliminates the need for separate primary elections.  Voters rank up to three candidates for each office.  You can find out more about RCV at vote.minneapolismn.gov/rcv.
  • Jobs!  For information on seasonal and temporary jobs with Elections & Voter Services, check out minneapolismn.gov/jobs


Minneapolis posts deleted EPA climate change data

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Minneapolis has joined cities around the country in posting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s deleted climate data. The posted data is a snapshot of the EPA site before climate change information was removed by the current President’s Administration. Recognizing that climate change is real, the City is helping make sure people have access to information on it. The City is committed to taking action to adapt to climate threats while reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

The webpages contain information on the basic science behind climate change, the ways weather is impacted from increased greenhouse gas emissions and actions the federal government has taken to reduce the impact. Other cities, academic institutions and organizations can post the same information to their own websites.  Major cities including Atlanta, Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle have also posted the information.

Minneapolis’ commitment to taking action on climate change also includes its nation-leading Climate Action Plan and first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership.


Trees need an inch of water every week

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Whenever the rain slows down, remember that trees – especially young trees – need watering any time it doesn’t rain an inch in a week. Minneapolis yard and boulevard trees need an inch of water every week all through the summer-fall season. Lack of water can make trees vulnerable to insects and disease and cause permanent damage to young and old trees alike. Trees up to five years old are especially susceptible. The Park Board plants and mulches boulevard trees but relies on residents or businesses nearby to water them.

An effective way to water a tree is to turn on a slow stream of water (just so the hose is weeping) for a few hours. Watering in the evening after dinner time is most effective since it minimizes evaporation, and trees tend to take most of their water during the night. Watering one tree weekly costs only about $3 for 23 weeks – the entire summer-fall season. For people who lose track of when they last watered a tree, a good way to remember is to water trees on the same day trash is picked up.

Share this short video about some of the benefits of our urban forest and how we can help. For information on tree care and the urban forest, call the Park Board’s Forestry Department at 612-313-7710, email forestry@minneapolisparks.org or visit www.minneapolisparks.org/trees.