Promise Zone Updates

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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May 10, 2018

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Equity Summit Provides Renewed Energy
  • Equitable Cities Reporter Fellowship
  • Business Research Boot Camp 
  • Participate in Wage$ Research Study, Earn up to $70
  • New Scholarship Opportunity for Homeless Students in the Twin Cities 
  • Governor's Housing Task Force and Work Group May Meetings 
  • News, Events, and Jobs
  • Promise Zone Preference Points  
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Minneapolis Promise Zone at Equity Summit in Chicago
L to R: Kattie Evans, Resource Development VISTA; Sam Calahan, Economic Development VISTA; Tina Weitzel, VISTA Leader; Jacob Akervik, HUD Liason; Michael Waldegerma, Research Analyst VISTA; Julianne Leerssen, Manger of Equity and Inclusion; Jenny Melin, Communications & Marketing VISTA

Equity Summit Provides Renewed Energy, for Working Towards Racial Equity Goal in Minneapolis 

From April 11-13, the City of Minneapolis, including the Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) team, participated in Policy Link's 2018 Equity Summit in Chicago, IL. The conference, which drew over 4,000 attendees from all over the country, directly aligns with the MPZ’s top goal: increasing racial equity. In fact, the MPZ is the only one of the 22 Promise Zones across the nation with a stated racial equity goal.  

In addition to City Equity and MPZ teams, City Council members were in attendance along with other City representatives from Community and Economic Development PlanningIntergovernmental RelationsInnovation TeamThe Resilience in Communities After Stress & Trauma (ReCAST), and more. The City’s strong showing represents an enterprise-wide commitment to learning and implementing equitable policies both organizationally and City-wide.  

This year's Equity Summit was divided into three main workshop series: Equitable Economy, Healthy Communities of Opportunity, and Just Society. Each of the workshop series included around fifteen large sessions, with a panel of about four people, participants could choose from to attend. One of the Equitable Development workshops, Housing Development Without Displacement, covered topics like: 'people-driven alternative' housing models and strategic community-centered public-private partnerships.  

“The Equity Summit provided a re-charge for me and my team’s work said Julianne Leerssen, the MPZ Manager and one of the City’s two equity managers. “Meeting so many others engaged in similar work around the country, especially people of color, reinforces not only the importance of the work, but the fact that Minneapolis has many valuable resources and examples to draw from when considering which policies may have the biggest impact if implemented.” 

Some of the ideas taken away from the Summit included a lesson from the organization, City Life/Vida Urbana, which focuses on the significant role Community Land Trusts (CLTs) play in preventing displacement of low-to-moderate-income people of color in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston, MA. Dudley Neighbors Inc., created the CLT mentioned above in 1988, they now own 30 acres of land with 226 units of affordable housing. City Life/Vida Urbana is also a member of the Right to the City Alliance, which recently released a report detailing similar 'people-driven alternative' housing models like Community Land Trusts called, Communities over Commodities. Ron Sims, former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), concentrated on the responsibility of the Federal government to leverage their influence and convince developers to include a significant number of affordable housing units for lower income households.   

The final workshop series, Healthy Communities of Opportunity, included a workshop discussing the importance of place-based, or collective impact, initiatives, where the goal is to funnel streams of resources to neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, which are often racially segregated. The Promise Zone initiative, led by the City of Minneapolis and HUD, is one of several place-based Federal-local initiatives. The MPZ team works to bring additional Federal dollars into North Minneapolis while concurrently pursuing local policy education and change for partners, stakeholders, and community members working on issues, such as economic development, that are critical to increasing racial equity via more and better jobs, housing, and health.  

    Equitable Cities Reporter Fellowship 2018-2019

    Next City seeks a talented journalist of color for a one-year freelance reporting fellowship starting in May 2018. Although minorities represent more than half of the population in the 10 largest U.S. cities, they are vastly underrepresented in the media and in many conversations about urban trends and growth.

    Ideal candidates for this Equitable Cities Reporter Fellowship will have a demonstrated interest in urban policy, and published clips that show you deftly reporting on economic inequality and how it affects marginalized communities in a U.S. city (or cities).

    Within the framework of economic development, economic policy and social mobility, we’ll encourage you to follow your passion as you pitch and contribute to our online news site each month — whether that’s the racial wealth gap in the U.S., ineffective corporate subsidies, or wage theft and beyond. (Hint: If you don’t know the gist of all three of those, this fellowship probably isn’t for you.)

    You should be an expressive, engaging writer who can weave together human interest stories with data and reporting. You should be motivated to uncover ways people can move out of or avoid poverty and to investigate policies and strategies that are contributing to inequality.  

    The fellowship will begin ASAP and can be fulfilled remotely, though you’re also welcome to work out of our Philadelphia office. The fellowship includes opportunities for travel, an annual membership to the professional journalism organization of your choice and other resources for professional development.  

    Fellows are welcome to write for other journalism outlets, but you’ll need time in your schedule to pitch and deliver about six 1,000-word articles a month to Next City.

    More Information

    Business Research Boot Camp 

    Register for this 4 week course 

    Knock out all of the Core Four courses at Business Research Boot Camp. In this month-long series you will meet once a week to learn about industry, company, market and funding research in an accelerated 90-minute classroom setting. Classes are instructional and include expanded time for Q&A. 

    Session Dates: Wednesdays in June - 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27 
    Weekly Time: 4-5:30 p.m. 
    Course Cost: $40 for Non-member (Hill members are free) 
    Location: James J. Hill Center, 80 West 4th Street, Saint Paul 

    Week 1: Industry Research 
    Week 2: Company Research 
    Week 3: Market Research 
    Week 4: Funding Research 

    More Information 

    Participate in Wage$ Research Study, Earn up to $70

    On June 30th Minneapolis became the 40th jursidiction to enact a minimum wage ordinance to increase the minimum wage over the next 5 years. This ordinance will incrementally raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, by 2022 for large businesses and by 2024 for small businesses.

    In the WAGE$ study, we will evaluate how this increase in the local minimum wage affects the health and wellness of Minneapolis minimum-wage workers over 5 years. Evaluating this "upstream" policy is critical in moving forward the conversation about wages and health, especially as it relates to health equity. This natural experiment involves two cities: Minneapolis, Minnesota and Raleigh, North Carolina (comparison site) and is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

    More Information 

    New Scholarship Opportunity for Homeless Students in the Twin Cities

    Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is offering ten $2,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year to Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) students who are currently homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past two years. Funds can be used for education or living expenses. The deadline for applications for the scholarships is June 1, 2018. Applicants can apply at the admissions office of the Minneapolis Community Technical College at 1501 Hennepin or online at 

    Stop by during one of our help sessions in T-4220:

    • April 17: 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    • April 25: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • May 2: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    For more information contact: Amy McCarthy: amy.mccarthy@minneapolis.edu612.659.6313.

    Governor's Housing Task Force and Work Group May Meetings 

    Regional Housing Forum in Crookston, MN
    Thurs, May 3, 2-5 p.m. 
    2900 University Ave., Crookston, MN 

    Housing Stability & Opportunity Work Group Meeting #5
    Mon, May 7, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. 
    400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Paul  

    Rental Housing Work Group Mtg #5 
    Mon, May 7, 1-4 p.m. 
    400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Pau

    Homeownership Work Group Meeting #5 
    Wed, May 9, 1-4 p.m. 
    400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Paul 

    Regional Housing Forum in Saint Paul 
    Thurs, May 10, 6-9 p.m. 
    Chiller Building, Falcon Heights, MN 



    Introduction to Government Contracting 
    Wed, May 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m. 
    SBA District Office 330 Second Ave S, 1st Floor Conference Center, Minneapolis  

    Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan Community Meeting 
    Wed, May 16, 5:30-8 p.m. 
    North Commons Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollett Ave S., Minneapolis 

    Thinking About Business Workshop 
    Sat, May 19, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. 
    NEON, 1007 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis 

    Northside Fresh Quarter 2 Meeting! 
    Thur, May 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
    Breaking Bread Cafe and Catering, 1210 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis 


    Request for Proposals: Community Planning and Economic Development Financial Portfolio, Real Estate, and Property Management System 
    City of Minneapolis |
    More Information

    Request for Proposals: Minneapolis Tenant Legal Services 
    City of Minneapolis 
    More Information 

    Request for Proposals: Homeownership Opportunity Minneapolis Lending Administration Services 
    City of Minneapolis 
    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 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

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    For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Jennifer Melin at 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