Ward 8 Update: Friday, November 22, 2019

CM Andrea Jenkins



Office Hours: Monday 9-11 a.m.

Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th St.

MN Housing funding award paves the way for Sabathani senior housing development


When I first entered my office in January 2018, I wrote five goals on the whiteboard to guide my work and efforts for the term. One of the items I listed was to get funding for the senior housing development at Sabathani Community Center. Yesterday Governor Tim Walz, along with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, came to Sabathani Community Center to announce the Minnesota Housing 2019 funding selections. I am so thrilled that, of the $254,000,000 distributed to 74 different projects and programs throughout the state, Sabathani Senior Housing was awarded $8,241,000, which closes the gap for this project and allows construction to begin in 2020.

We are grateful that this work will create 48 rental homes with efficiency, 1- and 2-bedroom units. The City of Minneapolis needs more senior housing options so that seniors are able to stay in their communities. And, yes, these units will be affordable up to 50% of the MTSP (multifamily tax subsidy program). Congratulations to Sabathani Community Center. Now I can check that item off the list.


City Council approves ordinance prohibiting ‘conversion therapy’ in Minneapolis


Today the City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits “conversion therapy” in Minneapolis. What is called conversion therapy (also reparative therapy) refers to treatment based on the discredited premise that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental disorder that can be cured or corrected. Medical, mental health and child welfare experts have denounced this practice as ineffective, unreliable and unsafe. Minneapolis joins 18 states and 53 cities in protecting vulnerable young people

The ban on this practice is required to protect young people from harmful effects of this practice. Exposure to “conversion therapy” can harm people through adulthood with effects including:

  • Suicide.
  • Depression.
  • Guilt.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Stress.
  • Self-blame.
  • Self-hatred.
  • Hostility and blame toward parents.
  • Problems with sexual and emotional intimacy.
  • A feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self.

The City will enforce the ban through potential administrative citations and civil fines.

Find the ordinance prohibiting “conversion therapy” here.

“In Minneapolis, we aren’t afraid to take on challenges when they’ve stalled elsewhere,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “I wholeheartedly support the excellent leadership of Council Vice President Jenkins and Councilman Cunningham on behalf of our LGBTQ community, and this ordinance represents another strong step.”

“I’m proud of our work and proud of my council colleagues for approving this ordinance to protect young people in our city,” said co-author City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. “Hopefully the actions of this council will spur other municipalities across our state to take similar measures to ensure no minor is exposed to this abusive practice.”

“Today, Minneapolis has officially taken on the moral responsibility of protecting our children and young people from the abuse of conversion ‘therapy,’” said co-author City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham. “I am thankful to my colleagues for supporting this important work, Outfront MN and all of the community partners, and Council Vice President Jenkins for being an incredible co-author. I urge other municipalities across Minnesota to pass similar legislation and join us in demanding state legislators to pass a statewide ban that protects children across our great state.”

City Council approves zoning change to allow innovative affordable housing for people transitioning out of homelessness

tiny home

The City Council approved an ordinance today amending the City’s zoning code to allow for a new type of affordable housing for people transitioning out of homelessness.

The intentional community cluster development ordinance allows nonprofit organizations, government agencies or healthcare agencies to create collections of small housing units (tiny homes) and a common house or rooming houses with shared facilities on a city lot that is at least 10,000 square feet. The developments are allowed in any part of the city with the exception of industrial zoning districts.

The policy change is one of several strategies the City has deployed to address the affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis. The amendment also includes development standards to ensure that intentional community cluster developments are safe for residents and are compatible with their surroundings. While new to Minneapolis, similar housing options have been provided in other cities across the county – including Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; and Seattle, Washington.

Minneapolis passes ordinance to require 5 cent fee for carryout bags


The Minneapolis City Council has passed an ordinance requiring retail establishments to charge a fee of at least 5 cents for carryout bags. The retail establishments will keep the fees. The requirement will go into effect Jan. 1. Shoppers bringing their own bags will reduce litter and trash, recycling problems and resource waste.

The goals of this requirement are to:

  • Encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.
  • Protect resources used to produce paper and plastic bags.
  • Reduce litter.
  • Reduce waste: Minnesotans throw away 87,000 tons of plastic bags every year and recycle less than 5% of them.
  • Keep plastic bags from clogging the gears in recycling facilities, which workers spend four-six hours a day removing.

Exemptions include bags used for produce, bulk foods, small items, carryout restaurants, farmers markets, food banks, retail establishments that do not possess a cash register; secondhand bags, bags sold in packages, dry cleaning bags, bags given out with no transaction; bags given at hospitals, car dealerships and car washes; and bags used for litter cleanup.

Retail establishments are not required to collect a pass-through charge from anyone with a voucher or electronic benefits card issued under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) support programs, or the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as Basic Food), or a recognized Minnesota food assistance program.

People can call 311 about retailers who aren’t complying with the ordinance after Jan. 1.

This ordinance came through extensive outreach with businesses and business groups.

The City will do extensive outreach with businesses and work on educating with no fines for the first six months.

Find more information on the ordinance here.

Department of Homeland Security proposes higher fees for immigration applications

The Department of Homeland Security has proposed higher fees for immigration applications that would have a serious impact on people’s ability to file for different types of immigration status.

The proposed fee changes include:

  • Asylum applications going from $0 to $50.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications going up from $495 to $765.
  • Lawful permanent residence ("green card") applications going up from $1,225 to $2,195.
  • Naturalization (U.S. citizenship) applications going up from $640 to $1,170.

The proposed rule would also eliminate the possibility of waiving filing fees for many applicants.

Comment on the proposed changes

Any member of the public can submit a comment on this proposed rule by Dec. 16. (Click the green box “Submit a formal comment” in the upper right corner.)

This template is a resource suggesting what ground to cover in comments.

More information

Find information from the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota about the proposed rule here.

Find more information about this and other immigration-related issues on the City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs webpage.

Share feedback on proposed 2020 City budget at public hearings or online


There are two upcoming public hearings for people to share thoughts on Mayor Jacob Frey’s recommended 2020 City budget. Comments can also be submitted online.

Budget public hearings:

  • 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 City Council Chamber, Room 317, City Hall
  • 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 City Council Chamber, Room 317, City Hall

Comments submitted online will enter the public record and be shared with the mayor and council members. The City Council is scheduled to vote on adopting the budget Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The mayor’s recommended 2020 budget is $1.6 billion. The City’s revenues come from a variety of sources with property taxes accounting for about 23% of the budget.

Visit the City’s budget website to learn more about the budget and key dates and watch a video about how to participate in the budget process. You can also watch budget hearings on Minneapolis City Council TV. Tune to SD channel 14 or HD channel 799 on Comcast or SD channel 8001 or HD channel 8501 on CenturyLink. You can also watch archived meetings on the City of Minneapolis YouTube channel.

City seeking comment on draft plan to remove accessibility barriers in public right of way


The City of Minneapolis is seeking public comment on the draft Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan for Public Works – a plan that identifies priorities for removing accessibility barriers in the City’s public right of way.

The City is accepting comments on the draft plan through Dec. 27. It is a supplemental plan to the City’s ADA Action Plan, a comprehensive policy document for the City of Minneapolis to comply with the Title II requirements of the ADA. The draft plan was last updated in 2012.

Open house on draft ADA Transition Plan for Public Works 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room, 300 Nicollet Mall

The City developed the draft plan through engagement with community stakeholders, including the Minneapolis Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Minneapolis Committee on Aging, partner agencies and two working groups of City staff.

Based on public input and ADA regulations and guidance, the draft ADA Transition Plan identifies and outlines recommendations for four types of infrastructure that impact accessibility for people walking or rolling in the public right of way: pedestrian curb ramps, accessible pedestrian signal systems, sidewalks and street crossings.

The draft plan is being coordinated with the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, which will be released in draft form in early 2020. The Transportation Action Plan is a 10-year plan to implement the transportation visions outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Visit the City’s website for more information about the draft ADA Transition Plan for Public Works. Comments can be made online or by contacting Kelsey Fogt at Kelsey.fogt@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3885.

Minneapolis offering the best solar incentives in the country, early bird applications due Dec. 1


Are you thinking about solar panels for your home or business? You can get help from the City of Minneapolis Green Cost Share Program and other resources in 2020. Solar energy is clean and renewable, and it can save money on your electricity bill. Minneapolis is serious about climate change; no other city in the country is offering as much in incentives to help owners install solar.

To get started

  1. Find out if your house/building gets shade-free sunlight for solar power. You can take an initial look on the Minneapolis solar suitability maps.
  2. Choose an installer. City staff recommend looking at company reviews and getting two or three bids.
  • Ask your installer to connect you with the City of Minneapolis Green Cost Share Program and any other resources, such as Xcel Solar Rewards incentives, Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, etc.
  • Act soon

    Federal tax credits may be claimed to cover 26% of a solar project’s cost in 2020. The credit decreases to 22% in 2021 and expires Dec. 31, 2021. Xcel Energy also offers incentives now that expire in 2021.

    About the Minneapolis Green Cost Share Program

    Minneapolis residents may qualify for incentives between $1,500 and $4,000 from the City of Minneapolis depending on the size of the array, and businesses can earn up to $50,000. The incentives are based on the system’s first year of energy production. The incentives are awarded first-come, first-served with an early bird application deadline of Dec. 1, 2019. There are three more opportunities in 2020 if funding allows.

    For more information about the City’s Green Cost Share Program, call 311 or email GreenCostShare@Minneapolismn.gov.


    Minneapolis offers benefits to property owners through the 2020 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program, apply by Jan. 8


    The City of Minneapolis is now accepting applications for the Minneapolis 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program, which helps property owners obtain property tax reductions for agreeing to keep a portion of rental units affordable for 10 years.

    Learn how to apply

    Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline of January 8, 2020. Property owners are encouraged to apply early.

    Since the launch of the program in May 2018, the Minneapolis 4d program has helped preserve over 700 affordable housing units through partnerships with more than 50 property owners. It is one of several strategies the City is deploying to address the affordable housing shortage in Minneapolis.

    Program benefits

    • 10-year eligibility for 4d property tax rate, which provides a 40% tax rate reduction on qualifying units. The reduction is prorated so if you enroll 50% of the units in the building your reduction would be about 20%, etc.
    • Free or low-cost energy assessments and city cost sharing for solar energy installations and energy efficiency improvements.
    • A grant to each 4d property, in the amount of $100 per affordable unit, capped at $1,000 per property, as well as payment of document recording fees and first year State of Minnesota Low Income Rental Classification (LIRC) fees.


    Owners of market-rate multifamily properties with two or more units, and a Tier 1 or 2 rental license are eligible to apply. At least 20 percent of the property’s rental units must be affordable to households making 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

    Learn more about eligibility requirements

    Property Owner Commitment

    Record a 10-year affordability declaration on your property stating:

    • At least 20% of units at a property (e.g. 2 units at a 10-unit property) will remain affordable to households making 60% of AMI. You may enroll up to 100% of the units in the building. As of 2019, 60% AMI rents are $1,050 for a Studio, $1,125 for a 1 BR, $1,350 for a 2 BR, and $1,560 for a 3 BR.
    • Rent increases for tenants in affordable units are limited to 6% or less annually.
    • As units turn over, new tenants must have household incomes at or below 60% of AMI. In 2019, maximum incomes are $39,660 for one person; $45,300 for two people; $50,940 for three people; $56,580 for 4 people; $61,140 for 5 people.

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until January 8, 2020. Property owners are encouraged to apply early. For more information, please email 4dprogram@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-5055.

    National election is one year away, there are three times to vote in 2020


    In one year, voters will cast ballots Nov. 3, 2020, for the Minnesota Legislature, U.S. Congress and U.S. president. Besides the general election, Minnesota will have two primaries: the presidential primary March 3 and the state primary Aug. 11.

    Key 2020 election dates

    • Presidential primary: March 3.
    • State primary: Aug. 11.
    • General election: Nov. 3.

    Early voting in the presidential primary

    Minnesota will hold its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, and because of early voting we’ll be among the first voters in the nation to cast ballots. The Early Vote Center opens Jan. 17 for the presidential primary, and it will be at a new location: 980 E. Hennepin Ave. In downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin County will also have early voting at the Government Center, 300 S. Sixth St.

    This will be Minnesota’s first presidential primary election since 1992. People who vote will need to choose which major party’s ballot they want. The parties people choose will not be public information, though it will be available to each major party.

    More information on the upcoming primaries and election is at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

    Batteries no longer accepted in Minneapolis recycling, some may go in trash


    Due to the dangers of flammable batteries, the City of Minneapolis has made changes in its pickup policy. Effective immediately, Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling is changing how it collects batteries from homes. No batteries may go with the recycling. Alkaline batteries (single use AA, AAA, etc.) may be disposed of in the Solid Waste & Recycling black garbage carts. Rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries and items containing batteries such as electronic cigarettes and cellphones are prohibited from all City of Minneapolis garbage and recycling carts.

    What to do with batteries

    Hennepin County will accept batteries at its permanent drop-off locations in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park. It will also accept batteries at hazardous waste drop-off events located around Minneapolis in the spring, summer and fall. Call2Recycle.org/locator lists additional retail drop-off sites for rechargeable batteries.  For devices that have difficult-to-remove batteries, such as vaping devices, cellphones and digital watches, people should bring the entire device to a drop-off location.

    Danger of fire with lithium batteries

    Lithium batteries are responsible for fires in collection vehicles, drop-off programs and disposal facilities around the country at increasing rates. The quantity of lithium chemistry batteries used in household products has increased while the protective casings have become thinner to make products lighter – which increases the risk of fire. Minneapolis is ending the collection of these hazardous materials for the safety of Minneapolis residents and workers.

    To prevent fires, individually bag each lithium and other rechargeable battery in a clear plastic bag, or place clear tape on the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals.

    Hennepin County recently discontinued its battery collection program at community locations including city and county buildings, libraries, schools and community centers because of a fire at one of its community drop-off locations caused by a vaping device.

    To learn more about getting rid of batteries, visit hennepin.us/batteryrecycling.

    I-35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Updates in Minneapolis


    Upcoming Closures:


    • The ramp from I-35W north to 31st/ Lake Street will close at 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6 until fall 2021.

    MnDOT maintenance:

    I-35W Minneapolis

    • The ramp from University Avenue to I-35W south is closed from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 for repairs to the bridge anti-icing system.

    I-94 Minneapolis

    • I-94 east will be reduced to two lanes between I-394 and Highway 55 from 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20  to 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.
    • I-94 west will be reduced to two lanes between I-394 and the Lowry Tunnel from 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.
    • I-94 is reduced to two lanes in both directions between Dowling Avenue and 53rd Avenue from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 for repairs to the 49th Avenue bridge.

    Stay connected

    For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.

    Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

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    Andrea Jenkins, 350 S. Fifth St., City Hall Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415


    For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

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    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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