Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Economic Development Working Group Attends City Council Public Hearing
  • Minneapolis Promise Zone Advocates for More Affordable Housing
  • Minneapolis Promise Zone Engages with Community on Affordable Produce 
  • Attend a Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America Workshop
  • Requests for Proposals Available to Engage Northside Residents 
  • News, Events, and Jobs 
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Economic Development Working Group Attends City Council Public Hearing 

On November 29th the co-chair Jamez Staples and members of the Economic Development Working Group, Rob Hanson (West Broadway Business and Area Coalition), Queen (One Family One Community), and Me'Lea Connelly (Blexit) spoke at City Council's public hearing to amend the 2018 budget. 

Some concerns raised were the way that the City intended to allocate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The intention of the Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) was to bring more federal funding to North Minneapolis. Since CDBG dollars are acquired through the federal government, the MPZ implores the City Council to consider directing some of those funds towards North Minneapolis. Members of the Economic Development Working Group discussed efforts they would like to be funded by the City. Some of these suggestions were the construction of a shelter in North Minneapolis, implementation of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) section 108 loan program, Clean Energy Franchise Fee, and more systems set in place for homelessness prevention. 

Engaging with the systems which integrally shape resident's every day lives, especially those living in the MPZ, is extremely important. The MPZ would like to thank everyone who attended the public hearing on behalf of the MPZ Economic Working Group. If you would like to be involved in similar actions you can contact Sam Calahan

  • To watch the public hearing click here. 

Map of upper harbor terminal development project

Minneapolis Promise Zone Advocates for More Affordable Housing at Upper Harbor Terminal Development Meeting 

The Minneapolis Promise Zone manager along with two of the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) attended the Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Housing Meeting on November 30th. The goal of the meeting was to gather input from the community, residents, and organizations on the housing and small business components as well as the eventual impact of the development project. There was a panel consisting of Tim Baylor from Pinnacle Management, Angie Skildum from the City of Minneapolis, Cora McCorvey, former CEO of MPHA, and Sarah Larson from Landon Group. The panel was facilitated by Shauen Pearce-Lassiter from Greater Minneapolis.

The panelists’ discussion centered around two topics: affordable housing trends in Minneapolis and potential tools to create and encourage affordable housing. The first topic of discussion centered around how there is a large renter population in the city of Minneapolis (especially in the North Minneapolis Promise Zone), and their income has steadily declined while the cost of housing has increased. The second topic of discussion addressed this challenge, as well as how racial disparities persist due to the legacy and complacency toward inequitable policies. 

Potential tools for creating affordable housing discussed included the city’s affordable trust fund, which subsidizes costs associated with development to incentivize affordable housing, as well as private activity bonds (tax-exempt housing residency bonds). Challenges discussed included overcoming organizational and institutional challenges such as: avoiding subtle red-lining by over-incentivizing affordable housing, and raising land values. Replicating programs from other states/cities was also discussed, like Atlanta’s tax freeze for areas experiencing or undergoing gentrification. Residents of North Minneapolis can keep updated on upcoming Upper Harbor Terminal meetings to hold the city accountable for developing equitably in North Minneapolis.

Community residents convening at Breaking Bread Cafe for Fresh Bucks event

Minneapolis Promise Zone Engages with Community on How to Make Produce More Affordable

On November 27, 2017, Northside Fresh hosted the Northside Fresh Bucks FINI Visioning Session at Breaking Bread Café. In attendance were staff from the City of Minneapolis, Appetite for Change, Project Sweetie Pie, cohorts from the University of Minnesota, and proactive local Northside farmers. Local partners and residents in the meeting came together to determine what type of nutrition incentives will best serve Northside residents.  

One of the strategies deliberated was the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive, (FINI). FINI is a Grant Program that supports projects that increase the purchase of fresh produce among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, using federal funds, provides incentives  to reduce the cost of food for qualifying low income consumers. This expands the customer’s ability to purchase healthy, local food. The group voted on most effective methods to incentivize consumers to buy healthy food. Some examples were a percentage off, a discount off of every $10 dollars spent, and cents off per dollars spent. The group decided that the most effective way to make food more affordable for low-income populations was to take off cents per every dollar spent.     

Attendees working on projects surrounding food also discussed the application process for United States Government Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal grants.Fortunately any organization that falls within the Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) boundaries is able to get preference points for their application, increasing the likelihood of being selected. If interested contact Julianne Leerssen for further inquiries. 

NACA logo

Attend a Home Ownership Workshop Hosted by Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America 

The first step in NACA’s "Ten Steps To Home Ownership" is to sign up for a free NACA workshop near you. At the four-hour workshop you will learn the details about the NACA program and the home buying or refinancing process. 

NACA provides at least two workshops a month for each office. Unlike other programs, NACA’s workshops and individual counseling are free. These workshops typically address between 100 and 600 people. The workshops usually take place on a Saturday for four hours. They provide detailed information for a participant to become NACA Qualified or mortgage-ready. 

A highlight of the workshop is the testimony of NACA homeowners. They are the best at explaining the program and the fact that it is actually as good as it sounds and even better. Many have interest rates at three percent or less by using the NACA interest rate buy-down. 

The NACA staff utilize a power point presentation at the workshop. This provides an outline for the presentation, which is supplemented by the staff and the questions of the participants. 

You must attend a workshop before you can participate in the NACA program.

The next upcoming workshop in North Minneapolis is on:  
Sat, January 6: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 
River Lutheran Church, 2200 N. Fremont Avenue, Minneapolis 

To Register

Request for Proposals Available to Engage Northside Residents on Ongoing Issues

Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) is partnering with the City of Minneapolis to contract with a trusted leader or organization from the North Minneapolis community to engage North Minneapolis residents, primarily from the Hawthorne, McKinley, Sheridan, Bottineau and Marshall Terrace neighborhoods, in coming up with recommendations on a variety of ongoing issues including but not limited to:

  • How to spend the Northern Metals settlements dollars ($200,000 per year for 3 years, within the stipulations of the consent decree)
  • A Work Plan/Action Plan for the Northside Green Zone to further the goals below and utilize additional resources (e.g. VW settlement dollars, existing City programs/resources, state, local and federal grants, etc.)

The contract will be available through an open Request for Proposals process. Applications are due by 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12 to kmongoven@caphennepin.org. Access the RFP.

There will be an informational meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19 from 9-11 a.m. at North Regional Library.

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Thinking About Business Workshop 
Sat, December 9: 9 a.m.- noon 
NEON, 1007 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis 

Home Alone: Exploring Racial Disparities in Housing Policy 
Tues, December 12: 2-5 p.m. 
Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis 

North Market Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting 
Wed, December 13: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 
4414 Humboldt Ave N., Minneapolis 

Your Voice Makes a Difference- Serve on a MN State Board or Commission 
Mon, December 13: 6-8 p.m. 
Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center 

Expert Panel on Immigrant and Refugee Trauma 
Thu, December 14: 9 a.m.-noon 
Minneapolis Central Library Pohlad Room, 300 Nicollet Mall 

Alternative Frameworks for Understanding and Addressing Systemic Inequity 
Fri, December 15: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 
EMERGE, 1834 Emerson Ave N., Minneapolis 


Plymouth Christian Youth Center 
Youth Worker 
More Information 

Tree Trust JobPrep
Young Adult Employment Training Opportunities
More Information

CliftonLarson Allen 
Plans to hire 50 college interns 
More Information 

STEM internships 
More Information 

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Promise Zone Preference Points

If a discretionary funding opportunity indicates Promise Zone (PZ) preference points are available, please visit http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/promisezone/WCMSP-190631 for additional information on forms and contacts to request preference point certification from the City of Minneapolis Promise Zone. Please submit your preference point request at least two weeks prior to the application deadline for Promise Zone certification approval consideration. 

If a funding opportunity does not indicate PZ preference points, you are still encouraged to contact the Promise Zone Manager, Julianne Leerssen (612-225-7721), about potential partnership opportunities to strengthen your application.

About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Promise Zones are federally designated, high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and leverage private investment. The Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) plan is a comprehensive, community-driven revitalization strategy that builds on and aligns numerous initiatives to address the persistent unemployment, crime, housing blight, and poor educational outcomes that affect that area.

Contact information: Juli Leerssen, (612) 225-7721

For more information, please visit www.minneapolismn.gov/promisezone

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For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Jennifer Melin at Jennifer.Melin@minneapolismn.gov or by phone: 612-597-3406. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. 

TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

"Welcome to North Minneapolis" mural by youth artists from Juxtaposition Arts and TATS CRU