Minneapolis Connects September Newsletter

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

September, 2017

Neighborhoods 2020 update

Image of Neighborhoods 2020 logo

NCR would like to thank all who participated in our Neighborhoods 2020 Cafés in April and May of this year. A total of 583 people signed in at the seven meetings, with an additional 30 participating through an online survey. We appreciate the time you took with us to share your thoughts. We also want to thank the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission and our many neighborhood organization partners who helped us to plan and organize these events.

The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department has worked with the NCEC Neighborhoods 2020 Committee to develop a draft report to the community on what we heard at these meetings. The draft report and the raw data can be found on NCR’s website at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/WCMSP-204378

We hope you will take the time to review the report and let us know if you have any questions or comments. The draft report will be online and we will take feedback through October 31, 2017.

Please note that this document is intended as a report to the community on what we heard at these meetings. It is not intended to be a policy document with recommendations. NCR will work with NCEC Neighborhoods 2020 Committee over the next several months to develop recommendations that will be reported to the City Council in the first quarter of 2018.

Please contact us with any questions or comments at ncr@minneapolismn.gov by October 31, 2017. You may also contact Robert Thompson with any questions at (612) 673-2523, or by email at robert.thompson@minneapolismn.gov.

Job Announcement: NCR is seeking qualified candidates to fill the department’s Deputy Director position

There is currently one exempt, full-time Deputy Director vacancy to be filled in the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department.

Primary Responsibilities: Manage a team of community engagement professionals that facilitate connections with all of the City's residents, engaging them in problem solving and decision making on matters that impact their lives. Engagement work includes the City's cultural communities, seniors, people with disabilities and the City's 70 neighborhood organizations.

Experience:  Five years of experience in community engagement and community relations, mission based, non-profit, government entity, advocate, or a related field; with at least two-three years of recent supervisory and project management experience.

Education:  Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies, Planning, or Public Administration or equivalent.

For a full job description, application details, and to apply online please go to:  http://www.MinneapolisMn.Gov/jobs/.

Applications are due by Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 9

Join the City of Minneapolis and American Indian Community in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, October 9th. 

Since 2014, the City recognizes the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day, marking and celebrating the significance of the American Indian and Indigenous community in Minneapolis, as well as the city’s history of American Indian activism. Along with the federal government, for many years Minneapolis recognized the day as Columbus Day.

Stay tuned for information on this year's events.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. In 1989, Congress expanded the observance to a month long celebration (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) of the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 is the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Locally, former Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minneapolis City Council approved a resolution in September 2012 honoring the invaluable contributions of the Latino community in Minneapolis. As part of this resolution the City Council recognized then President Obama’s “National Hispanic Heritage Month” and declared Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 as Latino Heritage Month in Minneapolis.

For more information on Hispanic Heritage month please go to: www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/hispanic-heritage.html

Minneapolis Civil Rights Department meets with Hmong 18 Council leaders to discuss collaboration

image of community members and City staff during August meeting

On August 17th, the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department and Hmong elders and leaders came together for a discussion on how a collaboration between the Hmong 18 Council and the Department can work to provide timely support and resources to the Hmong community’s need for legalization and citizenship.

The group discussed many ideas, including an effort to make the discrimination complaint form available at the Council’s office, and the Civil Right's Department dedicating staff time on a regular basis to assist Hmong speaking residents at the Council’s office to complete the form.

Neighborhoods supporting housing for homeless youth

Housing has been a major focus of Minneapolis neighborhood organizations since the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) started nearly 30 years ago. While programs have often focused on home repair loans and first-time homebuyers, a number of neighborhoods have come together to support an equally important housing need in the city: housing for homeless youth.

The Bridge for Youth is working on a new development called Rita’s House, to house young people ages 18-20 at a high risk of becoming homeless. Together, over $100,000 is being contributed to the project from the East Isles Residents Association, Armatage Neighborhood Association, West Calhoun Neighborhood Council, CARAG, Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association, East Calhoun Community Organization, and the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council.

“Sometimes I think neighborhood organizations have been portrayed as NIMBY [Not In My Backyard]. This is an example of a YIMBY concept.” Said Scott Engel, executive coordinator of the CARAG Neighborhood in an interview with the Southwest Journal.

The majority of neighborhoods that contributed to the project are in the southwest part of the city near the new development, but also included a North Minneapolis neighborhood.

“The Bridge is a high quality program,” shared Dave Ellis, Board chair at the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council. “Many of their clients come from the 55411 zip code.”

Neighborhood Power workshops

Image of Neighborhood Power workshop participants

If you live in the city limits, you live in one of 81 neighborhoods in Minneapolis, but you might not know it. If you haven’t lived in one place for several years, you might not have a strong affinity to a particular neighborhood, nor learned about the neighborhood organization and work being done in that particular area. In north Minneapolis, residents are more likely to say they live on the “Northside” or are a “Northsider” then to say they live in Cleveland or McKinley or elsewhere.

This spring, the Northside Neighborhoods Council, a collaborative of the majority of the neighborhood organizations on the northside, launched the Come Build Neighborhood Power workshops. These fun and interactive workshops are marketed to residents who’ve maybe never heard of their neighborhood organization, but are interested in making a difference in their community. The workshops are facilitated by NCR staff and focus on a quick overview of neighborhood history, the roots of neighborhood organizing, and collective brainstorming about what would make a difference on your block and in your neighborhood.

The goal of these workshops are to raise awareness, peak interest, and potentially draw out more residents to get involved in their neighborhood organizations by joining a committee or even the board. Trying new and innovative approaches to outreach and recruitment is one way NCR is working with neighborhoods to increase diversity on neighborhood boards by intentionally focusing on welcoming more renters and people of Color into neighborhood organizing work. 

Fourth annual Minneapolis Trans* Equity Summit Sept. 28

The fourth annual Minneapolis Trans* Equity Summit will focus on health and history, with breakout sessions on meeting healthcare needs, being an ally, health care laws, public policy and more. Community members and organizations interested in learning about and furthering transgender equity are encouraged to attend.

Trans* Equity Summit
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Ave. S.

The summit will include:

  • A keynote address by Monica Roberts, founding editor of TransGriot, a blog focusing on issues pertaining to transgender women of color.
  • Findings of the U.S. Transgender Survey, presented by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
  • An opportunity to meet members of the City’s newly appointed advisory board, the Transgender Equity Council.

Hosted by the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the event is free and open to the public. Register and find more information at www.minneapolismn.gov/TransEquity.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner: Isaac Russell


Isaac Russell

Neighborhood District 3 Representative

Term: 1st

Neighborhood: Diamond Lake


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

I have been active in my community for a few years now. I am currently a legislative staff at the Minnesota senate, which is giving me the ability to work with various groups on issues important to the community. I have also done outreach within the African-American community to bring more people into the political process and to educate people on salient issues to minority communities. I am also on the board of Hunger Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger.

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

I very much appreciate being in an area that is very much like living in a park. There's a strong sense of community, people who are dedicated to enhancing that sense, and quite frankly beautiful ways to enjoy being outdoors while meeting neighbors. Several small businesses are within my vicinity, and I very much appreciate being involved in them. Things such as farmers markets, community events, and involved parents at school truly highlight how fortunate our community is. Growing diversity also gives me strong hope that this community sense will become more and more multicultural. The demographics are changing, more people of color and younger people with families are moving in.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I serve as treasurer on the board of Hunger Solutions. We put great effort into fighting hunger by connecting people with resources in times of need, including SNAP, food shelves, and championing legislation to provide more funding for these resources.

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

My advice would be to just show up at a meeting. Talk to people. Go to the businesses in your community, go to the public events, go to the youth sports, and go to PTA meetings. Also, considering my work, go to your neighborhood associations. Read any newsletters that come your way and ask yourself what is important to you? How can I foster a greater sense of community? How can I bring different types of people together around a common shared set of values?  Then find a reasonable, manageable way to get involved That does not lend you the ability to make an easy and convenient excuse to not do it. Then do it.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? 

I currently live in Diamond Lake with my girlfriend Jessica, and her two boys Kaeden and Carson. I am also the proud father of a four-year-old girl Savannah. I originally hail from St. Paul, but I've moved around much throughout my life and have experienced areas that lack a sense of community, where I have experienced poverty firsthand. I've lived in Minneapolis multiple times, and also spent some time in Phoenix, Arizona. I graduated college from River Falls with a double major in political science and history with graduate work at Duke University. I spent a few years in industrial flooring before I volunteered for a political campaign and received a job in Senator Jim Metzen's office. I spent four years in his office before I came to Senator Dan Schoen's office. Currently, I will begin graduate work at the Humphrey Institute this fall. In my spare time, I love to work out, read, watch documentaries, pretend I know a lot about wine, and compete in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu tournaments and practice Muay Thai boxing (of course at a school in my ward!).

City joins Welcoming Cities and Counties network

The City of Minneapolis has joined Welcoming America’s network of Welcoming Cities and Counties — a designation recognizing its commitment to inclusiveness toward immigrants and all its residents.

Nearly 100 local governments across the country belong to the network launched by Decatur, Georgia-based Welcoming America, a nonprofit founded in 2009. A welcoming city understands that prosperity comes when everyone feels like they belong. It is the belief that all people, including immigrants, should be valued contributors and are vital to the success of both our communities and our shared future.

The City Council passed a resolution affirming the City’s values as a welcoming city. “Fostering a welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity or place of origin, gender identity or religious affiliation enhances Minneapolis’ cultural fabric, economic growth, global competitiveness and overall prosperity for current and future generations,” the resolution noted.

The participation in the Welcoming Cities and Counties network is one of many activities City leaders have spearheaded to develop strategies and strengthen policies, programs and resources to support immigrant and refugee families.

Other initiatives include providing funding for legal advocates working directly with residents involved with immigration proceedings, providing a hotline to report hate crimes and a new public awareness campaign called #WeAreMpls, which will highlight the rich diversity of the city through interviews and photography of residents. The campaign will launch in September and be promoted through social media and other communication channels.

The City will also participate in Welcoming Week set for Sept. 15­-24. During this annual series of events, Welcoming Cities host community events to bring together immigrants, refugees and native-born residents to promote the benefits of inclusion. In 2016, there were nearly 400 events in 150 communities for Welcoming Week.

New Minneapolis program available to clean up litter in public spaces

Image of person throwing away litter

The City of Minneapolis’ Division of Solid Waste and Recycling recognizes that not all volunteers are able to commit to reoccurring cleanup events, or maintaining areas for an extended period of time. The new Request for Litter Clean-Up Supplies program offers volunteers an opportunity to participate in one-time, no commitment cleanup activities. The program provides litter clean-up supplies such as bags and gloves at no cost, and delivery is provided. The program is available to Minneapolis residents, business and property owners, visitors and other groups that are interested in volunteering to collect litter in their community. Clean-up areas are limited to public sidewalks, curbs, and boulevard greenbelts, green spaces and other public property within the City of Minneapolis.

Find more information here or contact the Division of Solid Waste and Recycling’s Clean City Coordinator at (612) 673-2789. 

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.

September Events

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month

September is National Preparedness Month


9/5: Civic Buzz: The State of Affordable Housing in Minneapolis

9/6: East African Community - Community Connections Learning Lab

9/6, 9/7 & 9/11: MPCA Urban Air Quality Project - Open House

9/7: Lake Street Safety Listening Session

9/9: Ryan Lake Park Grand Opening

9/9: Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Yard Sale

9/9: Powderhorn Rummage Tour

9/9: Longfellow Fall Birding Hike

9/9: East Isles Super Sale

9/9: Downtown / North Loop Joint Washington Avenue Cleanup

9/9: Minneapolis Monarch Festival

9/9: Waite Park Push-Cart Derby

9/9: Fulton Fall Festival

9/9: Open Streets West Broadway

9/9: Battle of the Badges

9/9: Lowry Hill Neighborhood Garage Sale

9/12: DMNA 3rd Ward Council Candidate Forum

9/13: Passport Day in the USA

9/13: Disability Awareness - Community Connections Learning Lab

9/13: Ability Bash 2017

9/14: Latino Community - Community Connections Learning Lab

9/14: Sheridan Ice Cream SNOcial

9/15-9/16: Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Yard Sale 

9/16: Central Neighborhood Fair

9/16: Lynnhurst / Fulton Neighborhood Garage Sales

9/16: Seward King's Fair

9/16: Cleveland 2 Wheel Harvest Tour

9/16-9/17: LoLa Art Crawl

9/17: Minneapolis Bike Tour

9/17: Ukrainian Heritage Festival

9/17: Central Plant Grown Share Community Bonfire

9/19: City Council Ward 9 Candidates' Forum

9/21: Transition Longfellow Climate Conversation: New & More Climate-Related Illnesses

9/23: Park Siding Park Gardening

9/23: Lynnhurst Walking Tour

9/23: Como Cookout

9/23: Marcy-Holmes Ice Cream Social

9/24: Open Streets Nicollet

9/24: Open Streets on 50th

9/26: Taste of Linden Hills

9/27: African-American Community - Community Connections Learning Lab

9/28: Trans*Equity Summit

9/28-9/30: Black Master Storytellers Festival, "Signifyin' & Testifyin'"

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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