Upcoming Meetings on Freelance Worker Protections, Student Housing, and Data Privacy -- The Heart of Minneapolis -- October 2019

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612-673-2203

Steve.Fletcher@MinneapolisMN.gov

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Twitter.com/FletcherMpls

In This Newsletter:


Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance -- Ward 3 Happy Hour and a Survey

Freelancer Happy Hour

Ward 3 Happy Hour: Freelancers & Independent Contractors

WHEN: Wednesday, October 16th from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Fueled Collective, 400 S. 4th St. #401

Since June, I have been working on a Freelance Worker Protections ordinance with Council Members Palmisano and Cunningham as a companion to our employee Wage Theft Prevention ordinance. We know from the experiences of independent contractors that they, too, can have difficulty getting paid for their work. This type of work arrangement is already a significant portion of our economy, and it is growing.

If you do freelance work in Minneapolis, or are interested in this policy, please join me at my next Ward 3 Happy Hour to discuss this ordinance and how we can best protect the work of freelancers in Minneapolis!

Freelance Worker Survey

We are also gathering data and stories from independent contractors to help inform this ordinance. If you do freelance work in Minneapolis, please share your experience with us in this survey.

 


Affordable Housing for Students in Minneapolis

MSA

Student Affordable Housing Townhall Meeting

WHEN: Thursday, October 17th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Room 50B, 301 19th Ave S.

The City is working on an "inclusionary zoning" ordinance to coincide with the new Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, and the intent is to ensure that multi-family residential developments include units of long-term affordable housing.

I'm working with the Minnesota Student Association, City staff, and the authors of this ordinance to make sure that student housing is included in this policy. We need to define what "affordable" should mean for students, and we need to figure out how we would decide who is eligible for those housing units.

Please join me and the Minnesota Student Association to share your housing experiences and how you envision affordable housing in the campus area. We will give updates on upcoming city policies, answer questions, and brainstorm how these policies can improve and shape student apartments.

 


Municipal Data Privacy Policy Discussion

Data Privacy Listening Session

Data Privacy Listening Session

WHEN: Tuesday, October 29th from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

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

Last summer, I introduced ordinance work for a citywide data privacy policy to clarify the ways in which the City collects and uses personally identifiable information, and that got referred to staff for study and development.

In that time, our Information Governance Policy Committee has developed a draft set of Data Privacy Principles, which will come back to the City Council for consideration in November.

Join me on Tuesday, October 29th to dig into this draft document and discuss the future of Data Privacy in Minneapolis!

 


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.

 


Wednesday, 11/20: Good Morning Ward 3 with City Budget Director Micah Intermill

Kramarczuk's

Good Morning Ward 3

WHEN: Wednesday, November 20th from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Kramarczuk's, 215 E. Hennepin Ave.

WITH: Minneapolis Budget Director Micah Intermill

Micah joined us for GMW3 in March, and it was such a hit that we have invited him to come back! We'll discuss the big trends shaping the City's budget over the next five (or so) years, the Mayor's proposed 2020 budget, and 

 


Improving Public Safety Downtown and Citywide

Since the Mayor released his proposed 2020 budget in August, I have been asked many times for my position on the police budget. Debates on policing often devolve into over-simplified "pro" and "against" camps, so I wrote this Commentary to try to push beyond that polarization, because I believe that solving big structural problems is what voters sent us to City Hall to do. 

I have heard from people who support adding more police officers. What is most frustrating to me is that our downtown precinct was unacceptably understaffed below what the Council authorized during the heat of summer, and adding officers to a broken staffing model will not fix that problem. I support making needed structural investments in recruitment, training, and retention of MPD officers to provide more consistent and dependable staffing throughout the year, and I want to improve our existing systems to make meaningful and lasting progress in how we provide for public safety.

During the Police Department's budget presentation, Chief Arradondo said that he would feel a lot more comfortable if we could solve systemic staffing issues that long pre-date his leadership of the department. I think the Council should work with our Chief and our Mayor to make that happen. We can help MPD be better, not just bigger.

In September, I heard a lot of concern and feedback regarding the news of the robberies and assaults that occurred downtown in August. Those incidents and the video footage of them were scary and disturbing. We all deserve a community where we can feel safe, and it is understandable that these incidents make our downtown feel less safe.

It is also important to know that by the time the videos of these incidents were released, our Police Department, in partnership with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, had already arrested 20 people connected to these robberies, who were then charged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. This immediately led to a major decrease in robberies downtown, back to previous levels, and the safest September downtown in seven years. That doesn't mean we don't have work to do, but it's important that we recognize those successes when they happen, and I am extremely appreciative of the collaborative work of the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office to respond quickly.

Since the beginning of my term, I have been actively engaged in multi-jurisdictional efforts to ensure public safety downtown on an ongoing basis. In addition to the MPD and Sheriff’s office, who are stepping up curfew enforcement in the wake of these incidents, we also work with the Downtown Improvement District, YouthLink, and the Office of Violence Prevention to implement community-based crime prevention and intervention strategies. I also sit on the County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, and I am coordinating efforts to address barriers to effective policing that cannot be changed unilaterally by the City. 

More than anything, I encourage you to continue to engage and participate in these discussions. Please know that my office phone line and email inbox are always open for your concerns and feedback. I also have regularly scheduled Community Office Hours that you can attend to speak with me in person – you can see the schedule for these on our Ward webpage at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/ward3.

 


Budget Participation Video & Public Hearing Dates

Budget participation video

Every year, the City of Minneapolis creates a budget to pay for what our community needs and values. Watch this video to find out how you can speak up, because everyone's participation makes Minneapolis better for all of us.

Public hearings on the 2020 budget:

  • Thursday, November 7 -- 10:30 A.M. - Noon
  • Wednesday, December 4 -- 6:05 P.M.
  • Wednesday, December 11 -- 6:05 P.M.

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 350 S. 5th St.

Please mark your calendars! You can learn more about the budget process at www.minneapolismn.gov/budget.

 


Comment on Draft Vision Zero Action Plan to Prevent Traffic Deaths & Severe Injuries on City Streets

Woman crossing marked crosswalk with children

The City of Minneapolis has released a draft plan to advance the City’s goal of ending traffic deaths and injuries on City streets by 2027. The Minneapolis Vision Zero Action Plan outlines steps for the next three years. The City is taking public comments on the plan through Oct. 16.

City staff from multiple departments developed the draft plan with significant direction from community stakeholders, partner agencies and the public. The draft Vision Zero Action Plan includes 16 strategies and 68 actions to be carried out between 2020 and 2022.

Highlights of proposed strategies include:

  • Reducing speed limits. Slower speeds on our streets make travel safer for everyone no matter how they get around. Minnesota cities recently received authority to control speed limits on City-owned streets and the City is taking appropriate steps to lower speed limits on most City streets.
  • Making safety improvements on high injury streets. Seventy percent of severe and fatal crashes happen on just 9% of streets in Minneapolis. The City and partners will proactively install traffic safety treatments on these streets. These treatments will include converting four lanes to three and adding pedestrian medians, bump outs and other street safety best practices.
  • Addressing leading unsafe traffic behaviors. The five traffic behaviors that lead to fatal crashes and the most severe injuries in Minneapolis are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, speeding, red light running and unsafe turning. The City will address these unsafe behaviors head-on through a combination of education, communication and enforcement actions.
  • Seeking to implement automated traffic enforcement. Automated traffic enforcement has proven effective at saving lives, and it eliminates the need for officer interaction. The City will seek legislative authority to implement camera enforcement while studying and engaging on the details to implement it effectively and equitably.

Comment on the draft plan

Comment online on the draft plan at visionzerompls.com or provide feedback during:

  • Online open house, 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15

Next steps

A final Vision Zero Action Plan will be brought to the City Council for approval by early 2020 after incorporating any changes based on public feedback.

NOTE: The Vision Zero Action Plan is being coordinated with the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, a 10-year action plan to guide planning, design and implementation of transportation projects that benefit all people in all the ways they move around. A draft of the Transportation Action Plan will be released in early 2020.

 


Short-Term Rental Ordinance Listening Session

Last month, we had a listening session downtown on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance my office is working on. We had a healthy cross-section of stakeholders join us, from local short-term rental hosts, customers, and neighbors of short-term rental businesses, to property managers and investment broker representatives, which led to a very dynamic and informative conversation.

People shared positive experiences, reporting that they really enjoy the entrepreneurial opportunity to host people from all over the world to experience our city. Short-term rental for many local hosts allows them to provide lodging alternatives that generate revenue while maintaining flexible use of their property, whether to live in it themselves part of the year, or take the time needed to rehabilitate the properties they own and manage between stays.

People also shared their concerns about short-term rentals taking housing units off the market and driving up the cost of housing. They expressed frustrations about a lack of transparency where developers and landlords have invited short-term rental operators into their buildings without disclosing those plans to long-term tenants, neighbors, or during the land use approval process. We heard testimony about nuisance, livability, and safety issues, and the impact that short-term rentals could have and in some cases are already having on participants’ neighborhoods.

While a few participants cautioned against over-regulation that would unnecessarily burden small operators, almost everyone agreed that new regulations are needed. Participants’ broadly supported different regulations catered to the various business models of short-term rental, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Participants also recognized a need to structure fees and taxes to ensure short term rentals are not a drain on other city resources, and to put them on a level playing field with hotel operators, who pay lodging and entertainment taxes and commercial property tax rates. Many participants suggested that, particularly for larger-scale operators, that there be a requirement to provide affordable housing to match any short term rental units.

I want to especially thank staff from the Department of Regulatory Services for partnering with us and taking this ordinance onto the next step of the process, and extend my thanks to everyone that came to the listening session. Your feedback and participation is invaluable.

If you have comments and concerns about short-term rentals, please feel free to reach out to my office.

 


City Council Approves Renter Protections

Last month, the City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance strengthening protections for renters in Minneapolis.

The ordinance will cap security deposits at a maximum of one month’s rent and gives property owners two options for screening potential renters: use inclusive screening criteria outlined in the ordinance or conduct an individualized assessment. The inclusive screening criteria limit consideration of criminal background and rental history – including eviction history – and prohibits use of a credit score.

The effective date for the ordinance is June 1, 2020, except for property owners with 15 dwelling units or fewer. The effective date for those property owners is Dec. 1, 2020. 

The ordinance builds on a growing body of work City leaders have advanced to address the challenges facing renters. Minneapolis is a majority renter city with 89,000 households renting their homes. Renters are vulnerable to challenging market conditions including low vacancy rates and limited affordable housing options.

The City will launch a cross-sector committee to create and execute an implementation plan for the ordinance. The committee will include representatives from legal and tenant advocacy organizations, the multi-housing industry and City departments.

 


Look Underneath the Street

Underneath the Street

Get a closer look underneath the street at complex utility work during street reconstruction projects in Minneapolis.

What’s under the street?

If you think of a street as a layer cake, the asphalt is the frosting. But much more lies beneath the street’s surface: water pipes, deep stormwater tunnels, wastewater pipes, electric and gas lines, telecommunications cables and more sit below the surface to help you every day.

Take a look under the street.

 


Fall Street Sweeping Begins Tuesday, October 22

Crews are preparing to sweep streets across Minneapolis to clean the streets before winter to keep leaves and debris out of the storm drains and ending up in our lakes and rivers as much as possible.

Minneapolis Public Works will begin street sweeping on Tuesday, October 22.

Temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance so streets will be clear of cars when they’re swept. Anyone who parks on the street will need to follow posted parking rules or their cars may be ticketed and towed.

Ways to stay informed of the parking rules:

  • No Parking” signs – City crews will post “No Parking” signs at least 24 hours before sweeping any streets. Parking will be banned from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the day a street is swept. However, the “No Parking” signs will be removed as soon as possible after a street has been completely swept to allow people to resume parking after the signs are removed.
  • Social media – The City will use Facebook and Twitter to post periodic street sweeping updates and information.
  • Interactive web feature – You can use the City’s website to find out when the sweepers are coming through your neighborhood. Check www.minneapolismn.gov/streetsweeping once we get closer to the start date. The fall street sweep takes four weeks, and visitors to the website will be able to find out which week their street is scheduled to be swept. Then, on the weekend before each of the four weeks, the schedule for the upcoming week will be broken down to show which day of the week streets are scheduled to be swept.

 


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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