Minneapolis Connects October Newsletter

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

October, 2017

The City of Minneapolis seeks applicants for boards and commissions

Image of City of Minneapolis Commission memeber

A number of board and commission positions are open for City Council and Mayoral appointments this fall. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis provide valuable insights, help shape key policy decisions and provide community-based input into administration of services. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to strengthen the work of the City. Translation services are available upon request to ensure all residents have the ability to participate.

Applications will be reviewed beginning October 20, unless otherwise marked. The positions are open until filled. There are 119 open positions on 17 City boards and commissions.

Visit the City’s website for a list of appointment opportunities, position descriptions and the applications. 

Boards, commissions and advisory committees

The City of Minneapolis has more than 50 volunteer-based boards, commissions and advisory committees that advise the City on issues and help with policy development and administration of services. Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards, and special service districts, which are defined areas within the city where special services are rendered.

Appointments to board and commissions are made twice a year — in the spring and fall.

This streamlined appointment process makes it easier for people to learn about volunteer opportunities, ensures a more open and understandable process for residents and staff, and increases the diversity of the applicant pool. 

City launches #WeAreMpls campaign

Image of Lourdes de la Luz with quote "it's good to see that we're growing  as communities of color"

The City of Minneapolis has launched a new public awareness campaign called #WeAreMpls elevating unique voices in the city reflective of Minneapolis’ rich diversity.  To celebrate the launch, two events were held in September during "Welcoming Week" at Powderhorn Park and the Brian Coyle Center.

The City’s #WeAreMpls campaign features compelling stories and photos of newcomers and longtime Minneapolis residents by Stephanie Glaros, a local photographer behind the popular blog “Humans of Minneapolis.” The photos and stories can be found at www.minneapolismn.gov/WeAreMpls.

Through the personal lens of members of our community, the campaign lifts up individual stories of identity, reflecting Minneapolis’ diversity of experiences. The campaign reaffirms the City of Minneapolis’ commitment to be a welcoming place for all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, national origin, gender identity, religion or birthplace.

If you live in Minneapolis and are interested in being featured in this campaign, share your photo and story on social media with the hashtag #WeAreMpls.

The City recently joined Welcoming America’s network of Welcoming Cities and Counties, 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. In 2016, there were nearly 400 events in 150 communities for Welcoming Week.

For more information about the #WeAreMpls campaign, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/WeAreMpls.

Join the City of Minneapolis and American Indian Community in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day Friday October 6 through Monday, October 9.

Image of American Indian dancers

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.

For information on events beginning Friday, Oct. 6th please visit the Indigenous Cities website. A full schedule for Monday’s events can also be found here.

City Council passes resolution supporting DACA

The City Council approved a resolution reaffirming the City’s support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The Trump administration recently called for the end of the DACA program and gave Congress six months to pass legislation to determine the fate of roughly 800,000 people with DACA status. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security established DACA under the Obama administration in 2012, which allows undocumented youths who came to the country as children to apply for temporary permission to stay in the U.S.

The City of Minneapolis was the first in the country to declare support for DACA in 2012. The resolution notes that Minnesota is home to 6,300 people with DACA status, often referred to as Dreamers. It also cited a study by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Affairs estimating that Minnesota’s DACA participants pay nearly $7 million annually in taxes. The program has enabled more than 70 percent of participants to find a new job.

“The City of Minneapolis is strongly committed to continuing the work of enacting policies and programs to welcome members of all communities, including creating a legal defense fund to support immigrants and refugees in our city,” the resolution notes. 

Meet Anthony Taylor - NCR's new African American Community Specialist

Image of Anthony Taylor

Anthony has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Criminology and comes to the NCR department after working in education. Anthony’s work focused around racial equity as well as providing authentic family engagement opportunities to underrepresented communities in Minneapolis.

Anthony can be reached at 612-673-5475 or anthony.taylor@minneapolismn.gov

Neighborhoods 2020 Update

Neighborhoods 2020 logo

Neighborhoods 2020 continues to move ahead with the help of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC).  The draft summary of findings were released on September 5, 2017.  A summary page of how the data was gathered and evaluated can be found on the NCR web site.

This October, NCR will be holding two luncheon conversations in City Hall with select City leaders and staff.  After these conversations are complete, an on-line survey for select City staff who work with neighborhood organizations will be circulated. Invitations to these meetings will be sent out shortly to participants.

The Neighborhoods 2020 project has a goal of preparing policy recommendations to be submitted to the City Council no later than the end of first quarter 2018.

The next meeting of the NCEC Neighborhoods 2020 Committee will be Monday October 16th at 6pm on the first floor of Crown Roller Mill.

For more information regarding Neighborhoods 2020, contact robert.thompson@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-3737.

NCR staff travels to Norway, exchanges ideas on how to support Somali immigrants.

In August, NCR East African Community Specialist Abdirashid Ahmed traveled to Norway to meet government and Somali community leaders. The trip was paid for by the U.S. Embassy in Norway  and focused on exchanging insights into the ways the City of Minneapolis and the Norwegian governments have been able to support the success of the large Somali populations within their communities. Ahmed went on a similar trip in 2016, when Swedish officials invited the City to share its best practices around community engagement in order to learn how it positively engages immigrants in their new country.

To date, City staff have traveled to Norway, Sweden, Italy, Kenya, England and Washington D.C. to share information and best practices. The work of the City of Minneapolis and NCR is recognized both nationally and internationally as a model for successfully integrating and welcoming immigrants and refugees into the community.

Abdirashid’s work was highlighted this month in a Citypages article by Susan Du.

Sheridan Community Garden brings together neighborhood organization, mosque and brewery

Image of the Sheridan Garden

Neighborhood organizations are often encouraged to partner with area businesses, non-profits, and faith-based organizations.  The unique partnership behind the Sheridan Community Garden in Northeast Minneapolis, however, deserves special mention.

Dangerous Man Brewing Company’s volunteers serve as stewards for the garden. Much of the food raised is donated to The Sheridan Story, a local nonprofit working to fight childhood hunger. The Sheridan Neighborhood Organization (SNO) provides NRP funding for garden supplies and coordination.  The garden is located at and hosted by the Islamic Community Center of Minnesota.

Dangerous Man states, “A brewery and a mosque is not the easiest relationship… However, we believe that to truly be part of our greater community we need to have those hard relationships. We encourage you to work on the hard relationships within your community because that is what is truly going to make your community a community”.

Former SNO president Joy Smallfield notes, “Thank you Dangerous Man! This is beautiful!”

Get ready for the Nov. 7 election, Minneapolis will use ranked-choice voting

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. Sample ballots are now available, and voters can go to the elections webpages to see how their ballots will look in November.

There are three ways voters can cast their ballots: by mail, in person at the Early Vote Center and in person at their polling place on Election Day. As we get closer to the election, the City is working to remind folks how to use ranked-choice voting, and to make sure people know how to register to vote, how to find their polling place, and to answer any other questions about voting.

Sample ballots available now

You can see exactly what the ballot in your precinct will look like. Just go to vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot and a link there will take you to a Minnesota Secretary of State webpage where you can get your sample ballot. It’s a great way to make sure you’re prepared for the voting booth, and you can bring it with you to the polls as a reference.

In the mayor’s race, 16 candidates will appear on the ballot. All City Council offices will also be on the ballot. Each ballot across the city will also feature two other citywide contests: one for two at-large seats on the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and one for three at-large seats on the Park and Recreation Board. Every voter will also have a chance to select a representative for one of the six Park and Recreation Board districts.

Early voting is underway – Request a ballot now

Early voting has now begun, and any voter who wants to cast an early ballot can do so. This can be done in person at the Early Vote Center, 217 S. Third St., at the corner of Third Ave. S. and Third St. S., one block from City Hall. Standard voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, with extended hours including weekends in the final days before Election Day.

To vote early by mail, voters may request an absentee ballot. Ballots are then mailed out, and they include everything a voter needs to send back a completed ballot. Visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee for absentee ballot applications in multiple languages that can be printed out and mailed, faxed or emailed in to request a ballot. Also online is a link to the Secretary of State’s absentee ballot lookup tool to follow the status of an absentee ballot that has been submitted. You can also watch this video on voting by mail for more information.

Oct. 17 is the deadline to pre-register to vote

Registering to vote is fast and easy. If you’ve never voted before and need to register, now is the perfect time. If it’s been more than four years since you last voted, or you’ve moved or changed your name since you last registered, you’ll also need to re-register.

Oct. 17 is the deadline for pre-registering in 2017. Voter registrations can be submitted anytime and can help ensure a smooth Election Day experience for voters – with less time spent waiting in lines and no need to bring documents with you on Election Day.

In addition to submitting voter registration applications by mail or in person to elections offices, voters have the option to register or update their registrations online. To pre-register, start the process at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.

This election uses 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. Ranked-choice voting is a way of voting that eliminates the need for separate primary elections. Voters rank up to three candidates for each office. The ballot has three columns, and choices are made from left to right in those columns. Ranked-choice voting is used only for municipal elections in Minneapolis.

More information on ranked-choice voting is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/rcv.

Get elections info at vote.minneapolismn.gov

The City has an elections-focused website: vote.minneapolismn.gov. This website is a central place to go for accurate, timely information about this year’s election and ranked-choice voting. The fresh, intuitive design is focused on the user, with content on the site arranged according to specific audiences including voters, candidates, volunteers and students.

Public Works trainee program increases diversity, serves as new hiring pipeline

The Public Works Service Worker 1 Trainee Program is helping the department change the face of its workforce to better reflect the community it serves. Public Works is hiring for service worker 1 positions and for service worker 1 trainee positions. See the required qualifications and experience here.

New trainee program begins soon

Public Works is accepting applications throughout October for the next trainee program. The program offers adults a chance at on-the-job training to meet the qualifications for the Public Works service worker 1 position. Trainees perform manual labor to support construction and maintenance work while also learning the fundamentals of the construction industry and how to drive and operate Public Works equipment. Through the course of the program, they earn their Class B commercial driver’s licenses.

Spread the word

Please help spread the word about these opportunities with folks in your network. Share this flyer, and encourage prospective applicants to attend one of several information sessions in October.

Public Works Service Worker 1 Trainee Program information sessions

2-4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5
Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center, 505 Fifth Ave. S.

3-5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 12
American Indian OIC, 1845 E. Franklin Ave.

5-7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16
Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N.

5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 18 
Waite House - Pillsbury United Communities, 2323 11th Ave. S.

3-5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 19
Summit Academy OIC, 935 Olson Memorial Highway

5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24
Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
2001 Plymouth Ave. N.

1-3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25
Emerge, 1834 Emerson Ave. N.

Attendees will be able to talk to Public Works representatives and apply for a position on the spot.

Applicants don’t have to attend an information session; they can also apply online at www.minneapolismn.gov/jobs.

Meet a Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commissioner - Peter Eichten

Image of NCEC Commissioner Peter Eichten

District 7 Representative 

Term: 1st

Neighborhood: Midtown Phillips

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

My wife, Jane, and I live in the Mid-town Phillips neighborhood.  We purchased a duplex in Mid-town in 2002 to help provide some affordable housing to a low-income family.  We live in one of the units and rent out the other.  When we moved in we could watch drug deals and prostitution deals out of our window.  We wanted to help make the neighborhood a better place than what we were witnessing, so we became involved in our block club and with the Midtown Neighborhood Association.

What do you like most about your neighborhood or community?

We love the diversity of Mid-town.  We love the commitment our neighbors have to help making our neighborhood safe and an enjoyable place to live; however, fulfilling that goal that has been a challenge at times over the past 15 years. We love our neighbors.

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

I served on the Weed & Seed Steering Committee from 2003 – 2009.  I served on the Phillips Community Energy Co-op Board from about 2005 – 2010.  I am presently the president of the Mid-town Phillips Neighborhood Association.  I am presently the chair of the Racial Justice Task Force at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.

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

Get involved!  Participate in the events and activities in your neighborhood – speak to neighborhood board members, let your voice be heard. 

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself? 

I have degrees in History, Education, and Theology, I have been a high school teacher, counselor, and coach, and have also worked in Catholic Campus Ministry.  I was elected to a public-school board in Missoula MT.  I presently teach part-time at Metropolitan State University. My wife and I are returned Peace Corps Volunteers (Iran 1970-72). We have five adult children, and five grandchildren.

Kenwood Isles Area Association seeks Neighborhood Contractor

Kenwood logo

The Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA) seeks a Neighborhood Contractor.  This position supports neighborhood communications and community engagement efforts, and assists KIAA with CPP and NRP activities. To apply, please contract Shawn Smith by Monday, October 23rd with 3-4 skills that support your candidacy.

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.

October Events

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month

October 9 is Indigenous Peoples Day


10/1:  SE Como Community Garage Sale

10/1:  CIDNA Speaker Series: The Perfect Shaah

10/4:  How intersectionality can affect engagement - Community Connections Learning Lab

10/5:  1st Thursdays at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet
10/5:  UROC Community Day

10/6:  Southeast Asian & MPD Dialogues

10/6:  Lyndale Fall Fundraiser

10/7:  St. Anthony West Historic Riverfront 5K Run/Walk

10/7:  Prospect Park Tour of Homes, North of University Tour & Harvest Festival

10/7:  Linden Hills Nice Neighbors Day

10/7:  Nordeast Big River Brew Fest

10/8:  Nokomis East Fall Garden Social

10/8:  CIDNA Fall Festival

10/9:  Indigenous Peoples Day events

10/10: People of Color Career Fair

10/12: Disability Awareness - Community Connections Learning Lab

10/12: CURA Board Representation Leadership Training for People of Color

10/12: Bryn Mawr Sip & Stroll

10/14: Phillips Clean Sweep

10/14: HPDL Brew 'n Stew Fall Arts Festival

10/19: Marshall Terrace Fall Festival

10/24: Longfellow Best. Meeting. Ever.

10/26: African-American Community - Community Connections Learning Lab

10/26: Hennepin and Lake Community Wine Tasting Fund Raiser

10/28: Beltrami SCARE Year 3: Wrath of the Goat 

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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