Upcoming Meetings on Short-Term Rentals, Renters' Opportunity to Purchase Housing, and More -- The Heart of Minneapolis -- September 2019

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In This Newsletter:

TOMORROW, 9/10: Share Your Thoughts on Short-Term Rentals

Short-Term Rental meeting

Short Term Rentals Ordinance Listening Session

WHEN: Tuesday, September 10th from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: ADM Room, Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St.

Since giving notice of introduction on ordinance changes for Short-Term Rental Regulations earlier this summer, I’ve learned even more about different business models, and recently attended a conference on the state of this industry across the country.

I know a lot of you have an interest in some aspect of this issue, so I am hosting this listening session with City staff to ensure that everyone's concerns are being captured for consideration as they begin to develop policy recommendations.

Please join me tomorrow evening!


Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance -- Draft to be Published This Week

Since June, I have been working on a Freelance Worker Protections ordinance with Council Members Palmisano and Cunningham as a companion to our Wage Theft Prevention ordinance, which will protect the wages of employees. We know from the experiences of independent contractors that they, too, can have difficulty getting paid for their work, and this type of work arrangement is only growing.

Both of these ordinances stem from work done by the City's Workplace Advisory Committee over the last 18 months, and after sharing a draft of the ordinance with them this afternoon, we'll post it publicly to our Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) as soon as tomorrow, so keep an eye on the ordinance page. I'll share the link on Facebook and Twitter, too.


Wednesday, 9/18: Good Morning Ward 3 with County Commissioner Irene Fernando


Good Morning Ward 3

WHEN: Wednesday, September 18th from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Kramarczuk's, 215 E Hennepin Ave.

WITH: County Commissioner Irene Fernando

Join me next Wednesday, September 18 for Good Morning Ward 3! I'll be joined by Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando to discuss how the City and County collaborate on a whole host of issues, from affordable housing and transportation to partnerships like Heading Home Hennepin or our Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership.

Working across our different levels of government can sometimes present challenges, and we are both committed to making that relationship and collaboration more effective. Bring your ideas and your questions for us both!


Friday, 9/20: City Council Study Session on Renters' Opportunity to Purchase Housing

City Council Study Session on Renters' Right to Purchase Housing

WHEN: Friday, September 20th from 10:00 a.m. - Noon

WHERE: City Hall Room 319, 350 S. 5th St.

In June, I introduced an ordinance to establish a Renters' Opportunity to Purchase housing when their properties are put on sale by the owner, along with Council Members Schroeder, Gordon, and Ellison. 

We continue to research different policy choices and look at examples from other cities around the country, and to that end we will be holding a Council Study Session on Renters’ Opportunity to Purchase Housing on Friday, September 20 at 10:00 A.M. in City Hall Room 319. 

Council study sessions are public meetings, so please join us if you are interested!


Coffee With Your Council Member

Grab Coffee with Council Member Steve Fletcher

Council Member Fletcher holds regular open community office hours, normally at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, at a rotating neighborhood coffee shop in Ward 3 for constituents to drop by, ask questions, and raise any issues you see in the community.

All are welcome! RSVP on Facebook or just show up. If you want to discuss a specific issue or project, email aurin.chowdhury@minneapolismn.gov and we'll add you to the agenda.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for all the details on future scheduled events, or contact our office at 612-673-2203.


Public Utilities Commission Holds Meeting at City Hall

PUC meeting

Last week, I had the opportunity to welcome the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to City Hall for a meeting in our Council chambers to hear from City Sustainability staff about all of our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease our contribution to global climate change. Mayor Frey, Council Vice President Jenkins, Council Member Gordon, and I all spoke to our City's commitment to these goals and the urgency we hear from all of you, our constituents, to do more.

This meeting was especially timely given the following story:

Natural Gas is Largest Source of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Minneapolis for the First Time

Natural gas

Natural gas is now the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Minneapolis. Greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas increased 18% from 2017 to 2018 driven mainly by higher use in buildings. Electricity had been the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions until 2017, but people are using less electricity because of energy efficiency improvements at the same time more electricity is coming from cleaner, renewable sources. Although this resulted in a 41% decrease in electricity emissions alone since 2006, a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas is also imperative. A new report details the updates.

Meeting Minneapolis’ next goals to reduce its climate impact – a 30% reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent or more reduction by 2050 (all from a 2006 baseline) – will take significant reductions in natural gas emissions. This requires a two-pronged approach of conservation and gas alternatives: making buildings more energy efficient (for example, using increased energy efficient building codes, more insulation in existing buildings) and alternative technology to heat buildings such as ground-source and air-source heating pumps.

Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are destabilizing the earth’s climate, and human activity is the primary driver of these emissions. Without rapid action to reduce these emissions, threats are coming to our economic livelihood; public health; and supplies of food, fresh water and power.

The City’s continuing commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The City adopted goals in 2018 to achieve 100% renewable electricity for municipal facilities and operations by 2023 and communitywide by 2030. In 2019 the City adopted three new residential energy disclosure policies (Multifamily Residential Energy Benchmarking, Time of Rent Energy Disclosure and Time of Sale Energy Disclosure) with the goals of reducing carbon emissions and reducing long-term housing costs.

The City continues to collaborate with CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy via the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership to achieve the City’s energy and climate goals. Through the partnership, the City and utilities are creating new initiatives to help residents and businesses implement energy efficiency and clean energy projects.


Adult Entertainment Ordinance Strengthens Protections for Workers

The City Council has strengthened an ordinance that improves working conditions in the adult entertainment field. Following concerns about physical safety and well-being involving unsanitary conditions, tripping hazards, wage theft and other issues, the ordinance requires worker protections including:

  • Rules posted for customer conduct.
  • Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination materials available.
  • Workers’ rights posted and workers given copies of their contracts.
  • Managers and owners barred from accepting tips from entertainers.
  • No retaliation allowed against workers for reporting violations.
  • Security cameras covering all areas where entertainers interact with customers.
  • Standard cleaning procedures for the work environment and shared areas.
  • Seating made of cleanable material.
  • Tripping hazards eliminated.
  • No manager or security staff employed who have a criminal domestic violence-related offense conviction within five years.

Led by Council Members Gordon and Palmisano, staff developed this ordinance over two years with research on best practices, outreach to businesses and entertainers, and cooperation with the Sex Workers Outreach Project and the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC).


Diverse Applicants Wanted for Minneapolis Boards and Commissions

Several board and commission positions are open for appointments this fall. The City seeks applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences representing the demographics of Minneapolis to strengthen the work of the City. Translation and interpreting services are available so all residents can participate.

City boards and commissions have brought forward recommendations that resulted in renter protections, wage theft prevention and a ban on a hazardous chemical in dry cleaning. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis help shape key policy decisions, give community-based input into the City’s administration of services and supply valuable insights.

People can apply through the open position pages linked below and stay up to date on vacancies, position descriptions and timelines by visiting minneapolismn.gov/boards/openings. The positions are open until filled with application review beginning on October 18.

There are 132 open positions on 19 City boards and commissions:

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 develop policy and administer services. Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards and special service districts (defined areas within the city with special services).

Appointments to boards and commissions are made twice a year: in the spring and fall.

Potential applicants can find more information at 612-673-2216 or OpenAppointments@minneapolismn.gov.


Submit a Route Idea for 2020 Open Streets

The City of Minneapolis and the City’s Open Streets event organizer, Our Streets Minneapolis, are seeking route ideas for the 2020 season.

Applicants can also share their interest in being a local route host. Applications are due Oct. 3, 2019. Routes that have had Open Streets events for the last two years do not need to apply for 2020 and will be considered along with other route ideas.

Open Streets Minneapolis encourages people to contact Nick Ray Olson, the organization’s event and program director, at 612-785-0722 or nickray@ourstreetsmpls.org before submitting a route idea.

Goals for Open Street Minneapolis events include fostering community connections, celebrating the city’s diversity, inspiring healthy living, supporting local businesses and promoting active transportation.

More than 93,000 people participated in Open Streets events in 2018. For more information on this year’s events, visit the Open Streets Minneapolis website at www.openstreetsmpls.org.


Environmental Project Funds Available

Minneapolis Climate Action + Racial Equity fund – Due Mon, Sept 16

The Minneapolis Climate Action & Racial Equity Fund offers grants for place-based, community-driven initiatives and projects that result in a demonstrable reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions, align with the goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, and further the goals of the Minneapolis Strategic Racial Equity Plan. This fund is a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation.

Fall Deadline: September 16, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. Fall Award Notification: November 1, 2019

For more information or to apply click here to link to the website. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Jerabek Heelan at erin@erinhconsulting.com.


Hennepin County Grants to protect and plant trees – Due Mon, Oct 28 

Hennepin County is offering healthy tree canopy grants to schools, nonprofit organizations, and affordable housing properties to make positive changes in the tree canopy and engage residents in taking action to protect trees.

These grants aim to support efforts to educate the public on tree care and the importance of trees, combat threats to trees from invasive insects and disease, and promote the development of a more diverse and resilient tree canopy. Grants are available to plant trees, conduct tree-related education, remove ash trees, complete tree inventories, and hold Arbor Day celebrations.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Monday, October 28. See the healthy tree canopy grants flyer (PDF) to learn more.

For more information and to get help with grant projects, email trees@hennepin.us


CERTs energy grants – Due Fri, Oct 11

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) are now accepting grant applications for renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance services (i.e., labor costs only, such as for a consultant, design professional, installer, or student labor). The projects need to encourage the implementation of community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota CERT regions.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams — or CERTs — are a statewide partnership with a shared mission to connect individuals and their communities to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects.

Proposals must be submitted electronically to rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, October 11. Learn more and apply.


Neighborhood Event Calendars

Want to know what's happening around Ward 3? Check out these event calendars!


If you need a reasonable accommodation to fully participate or if you need information in an alternative format, please contact 311 (612-673-3000). TTY users call 612-673-2157.

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

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