Minneapolis Connects August Newsletter

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

August 20, 2019

New, broader public charge rule affects applications for immigration status

Icon symbolizing government services

August 14, the federal government issued an immigration agency rule, colloquially known as "the public charge rule," that affects certain applicants for permanent resident status. This rule widens the scope of benefits and expands criteria the government can point to in deciding whether certain applicants for permanent residence, also known as green cards, may be denied this status. The rule is set to go into effect on October 15, though several states, including Minnesota, have joined a lawsuit to stop it.

This new, broader public charge rule does not apply to people who are applying for or who have one of the following statuses:

  • green card renewal
  • asylum or refugee status
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc.)
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • DACA renewal
  • Crime victim or trafficking victim visas (U or T visas)
  • Violence Against Women Act related visas (VAWA related status)
  • green cards for immigrants in one of the above groups
  • US citizenship


You can get free legal information about the new rule from Mid Minnesota Legal Aid at 1-800-292-4150. For additional information in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Oromo, French, Somali and English visit the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota website. Additional resources available at the Protecting Immigrant Families community resources page.

October 5, 2018 Southeast Asian Community Dialogue with Michelle Rivero of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Michelle Rivero, Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs for the City of Minneapolis is reaching out to neighborhood organizations to gauge interest in holding immigration Q&A sessions in safe community spaces about topics including the public charge rule and ICE enforcement actions.

If you would like more information about OIRA or would like to set up a Q&A in your neighborhood, please contact michelle.rivero@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-6103.

Want to stay up to date with immigration news? You can sign up for OIRA's immigration newsletter here.

Welcoming Week Celebration is September 20

Map of the US with the word welcome overlaid for Welcoming Week 2018

This year's Welcoming Week Celebration will be on September 20, 2019 from 2-6:30 p.m. at Powderhorn Park in partnership with Wellstone International School. The Welcoming Week Celebration is a great opportunity to learn how the City works to ensure that Minneapolis is a welcoming place, to find out how you can support your neighbors and to celebrate immigrant and refugee stories.

Past years have had music, traditional dance, pick-up soccer and lots of fun activities for families. Watch last year's video here.

If your organization is interested in tabling at this event, please leave us your information here.

U.S. Census Bureau is knocking on doors now for census pre-work

Census doorknock buttons and pins in multiple languages

U.S. Census Bureau field workers are in our neighborhoods now through October verifying addresses. Field workers will try to knock on every door to make sure the Census Bureau’s address list is accurate and complete ahead of the 2020 census. The census determines our political representation and funding for things like roads, schools and other public services for the next decade.

Address canvassing is a normal part of the census process, and census workers who visit buildings over the next few months will only ask for information about addresses – not people.

You can verify that the field workers are legitimate census employees in multiple ways:

  • The census worker must present an ID badge that includes their photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.
  • Census workers may be carrying a Census Bureau phone or laptop as well as a bag with a Census Bureau logo.
  • You can call 800-923-8282 or 312-579-1500 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

We are providing this information to help put Minneapolis residents at ease about the U.S. Census Bureau work occurring in our neighborhoods.

Learn more at 2020census.gov.

Save the date: February 1, 2020 is the Community Connections Conference

Community Connections Conference 2020. We count.

Save the date for this free conference featuring interactive workshops, speakers, panel discussions and a delicious catered lunch.

The Community Connections Conference is an annual event that fosters connections between the residents of Minneapolis, community groups, neighborhoods and local government. In 2019, 885 people participated.

The conference theme this year will be “We count,” in recognition of the pivotal year that 2020 will be for Minneapolis and the importance of mobilizing all community members to get counted and make their voices heard in the 2020 census and elections.

Want to get involved?

Read more about the conference here.

Logan Park Neighborhood Association debuts podcast

Logan Park Neighborhood Association Logo

On August 8, Logan Park Neighborhood Association (LPNA) launched its podcast with an interview of one of the Neighborhood & Community Relations (NCR) Department's neighborhood specialists, Jack Whitehurst. LPNA Board Chair Larry Kutzler and Jack Whitehurst discussed examples of successful neighborhood organization projects and the ways neighborhoods bring neighbors together around local issues. Listen to the full podcast on the LPNA website here.

Get free immunizations for your kids before school starts

Minneapolis is encouraging people to get their children caught up on immunizations before school starts, and to help it’s offering free immunizations on eight dates in August and September. No need for appointments or insurance. This will catch your child up on all school-required immunizations including the “MMR” immunization: safe and effective protection against measles, mumps and rubella. 

Find more information at www.minneapolismn.gov/immunize or call 311.

Help spread the word on Hands-Free law in multiple languages

Hands free MN Law, handsfreemn.org

 It is against the law to hold a phone while driving as of August 1, 2019.  What can and can’t you do with your phone? Read the answers frequently asked questions here.

Under the new law:

  • You cannot hold a phone unless you are calling 911.
  • Using voice commands or single touch activation can allow you to use the phone hands-free, but not using your phone at all is still the safest option.
  • For a first offense, the ticket is $50 plus court fees and $275 plus court fees for each additional offense.

Want to spread the word?

Learn more at HandsFreeMN.org and download outreach materials.

You can share these answers to frequently asked questions in EnglishSpanishSomaliHmong.

New NRP plan modification process

A significant change to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) plan modification process is going before the NRP Policy Board on August 20 for approval before going before the City Council on September 27. 

The NRP Policy Board recommends that all plan modifications in excess of $100,000 be presented, discussed and approved by the Policy Board. Previously, the Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) Department director had discretion to approve or refer plan modifications to the Policy Board.

Neighborhoods were first notified of the proposed change in June and encouraged to send in public comments by July 25. NCR received one comment, which was in favor of this change. Read the full article here...

Mayor Frey outlines vision for 2020 City budget

Mayor Jacob Frey presented his recommended 2020 City budget August 15 – a budget that invests in the mayor’s top priorities of economic inclusion, affordable housing, public safety and police-community relations.

The City Council will begin reviewing the recommended $1.62 billion budget, hold a series of budget presentations in September and October, and vote on adopting the budget in December. The Board of Estimate and Taxation is scheduled to hold a public hearing to set the maximum property levy at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday, September 11. Read more...

Renters’ protection public hearing August 28

The Minneapolis City Council’s Housing Policy & Development Committee will hold a public hearing August 28 on an ordinance under consideration to establish renter protections.

Public hearing City Council’s Housing Policy & Development Committee 1:30 p.m. August 28 Room 317, City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St.

The ordinance would:

  • Cap security deposits at a maximum of one month’s rent.
  • Give property owners two options for screening potential renters:
    • Use an inclusive screening criteria that places restrictions on consideration of criminal background, eviction history and income requirements, and prohibits use of a credit score.
    • Conduct an individualized assessment.

City Council approves wage theft prevention ordinance

To help protect employees in Minneapolis, the City has adopted parts of the state’s new wage theft law into local ordinance. This ordinance will provide workers in Minneapolis with an additional avenue to recover unpaid wages through enforcement by the City’s Civil Rights Department. The ordinance takes effect January 1, 2020.

The City’s Civil Rights Department will enforce the ordinance beginning January 1, 2020. Employees are encouraged to report violations online or call 311.


City Council approves policy priorities for City’s Strategic and Racial Equity Action Plan

The City Council has approved policy priorities for the City’s first-ever Strategic and Racial Equity Action Plan, a four-year plan that embeds racial equity principles into all aspects of the City’s work and defines goals that can be objectively measured and inform resource decisions.

The City’s three policy priorities include:

  • Reducing involuntary displacement in rental housing for black, indigenous and people of color communities.
  • Increasing the number of Minneapolis-based businesses owned by black people, indigenous people and people of color; and increase businesses with black, indigenous and people of color ownership that are still in business after five years.
  • Increasing the number of black people, indigenous people and people of color ages 10 to 24 living in higher violence areas of Minneapolis who participate in high quality youth programs.

Responding to the urgent need to prioritize and address historic racial disparities in Minneapolis, this is the first time the City has merged its strategic planning with a racial equity framework. Read more...

Congratulations to Stacy Sorenson

Stacy Sorenson and Michelle Rivero tabling at Pride 2019 in Loring Park

This July, Stacy Sorenson accepted a new role as NRP / Finance Specialist with the City’s Development Finance Division (DFD) where she will be focusing primarily on NRP-funded housing programs. Stacy replaces Joe Horan, who recently retired. She brings her 25 years of experience working directly with neighborhood organizations and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program to the new role. Stacy confesses that while she’ll miss her neighborhoods, she’s looking forward to fewer evening meetings.


The US Census Bureau is hiring for many positions in the Minnesota area. Earn extra income while helping your community! Apply for census jobs in the Minnesota area here.

Upcoming Events

Tue., 20 Aug.

Wed., 21 Aug.

Tue., 27 Aug.

Wed., 28 Aug.

Sat., 31 Aug.

Sat., 7 Sep.

Sat., 14 Sep.

Tue., 17 Sep.

Wed., 18 Sep.

Fri., 20 Sep.

Sat., 21 Sep.

Sun., 22 Sep.

Thu., 10 Oct.

Sat., 12 Oct.

Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

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