Minneapolis Connects January Newsletter


Feb. 5, 2020

City unveils art centering on racial equity in the census

We count and we will be counted. Census 2020. Artwork by Ricardo Levins Morales.

The census is a vital count of the population that determines funding for important things such as schools, health care and cities as well as how many representatives we get in Congress.

It is critical for everyone in Minneapolis to be counted on the census questionnaire, and we must work to ensure that no one goes uncounted because of fear, misinformation, language or any other barriers.

Through collaboration with community and artists, the City of Minneapolis commits to center racial equity at the core of the City’s census activities, to achieve a fair and complete count of everyone who lives in our city.

In partnership with Ricardo Levins Morales, a racial justice artist, the City of Minneapolis aims to engage with traditionally underrepresented communities to address inequities and create a responsive government for all our residents.

"We know that being counted will support our ability to be heard and our communities’ access to the resources required to meet our needs. Being powerful is our birthright. Acting powerfully is a choice… We will be counted." -Ricardo Levins Morales

You can help ensure that we all count by taking any or all of these actions:

Early Vote Center now open for Minnesota presidential primary

Elections and Voter Services 980 E Hennepin Ave map and building entrance images

Early voting has begun in Minneapolis for the presidential primary. Be among the first in the nation to cast ballots in this high-profile race at the Early Vote Center now through March 2. Any voter can vote early; no explanation is required.

Unlike with other elections, voters in the presidential primary need to choose which party’s ballot they want to vote on. The party they choose is not public information, though it will be available to each party.

How to vote early

Visit the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave., between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday through March 1 and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 2. The center is also open the last two Satudays before the primary, and the center will be closed on Feb. 17,  Presidents' Day.

In addition to the Early Vote Center, voters can vote early at the downtown Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. Sixth St. Find more information on early voting options here.

Vote by mail

Please allow enough time to complete the process by mail; it can take longer than seven days. Applications are available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/absentee.

Make sure you’re registered to vote

Check your voter registration status at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.

Get registered

Job opening at East Isles Residents Association

East Isles Residents Association is hiring a part-time coordinator. Apply here by March 1, 2020.

Avoid public meetings on these election dates

Neighborhood organizations with board meetings or major events on Tuesdays are encouraged to reschedule any meetings that fall on election dates. In 2020, please avoid scheduling any major gatherings on the following evenings:

  • Tues., February 25, 2020 – Party Caucuses
  • Tues., March 3, 2020 – Presidential Nomination Primary (Super Tuesday)
  • Tues., August 11, 2020 – State Primary Election
  • Tues., November 3, 2020 – Presidential General Election

Revised Neighborhoods 2020 timeline

The Neighborhoods 2020 timeline has changed to ensure that all City Council members have the opportunity to hear the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) presentation on its Neighborhoods 2020 Racial Equity Analysis and ask questions. The CURA presentation will be on February 12, at 1:30 p.m. in City Council chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall, room 317 before the Committee of the Whole. The Neighborhoods 2020 timeline will now be:

  • February 12: Presentation to the Committee of the Whole
  • February 24: Program guidelines released for public comment, public comment period begins
  • April 9: Public comment period ends
  • May 4: Final guidelines and public comment(s) presented to the Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights and Engagement (PECE) committee
  • May 15: City Council presentation and vote

For more information about Neighborhoods 2020, visit minneapolismn.gov/neighborhoods2020.

Immigration update: Public charge rule and Liberian path to permanent residency

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision Jan. 27 affecting the ability of some people to obtain permanent resident status. The Supreme Court’s decision lifted a nationwide injunction that had prevented the implementation of the “public charge” rule, and now the rule is set to take effect Feb. 24.

People not affected by the public charge rule include:

U.S. citizens, permanent resident (green card) holders, asylees and refugees (and people applying for permanent residence based upon their asylee and refugee status), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) renewal applicants, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries, Special Immigrant Juveniles, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) beneficiaries, and U and T visa applicants/holders.

Anyone can use these free resources to find out if or how the public charge rule may affect them:

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act

Liberian nationals can now apply for permanent resident status in the U.S. if they have been here since November 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has begun accepting applications under the new Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act. This law, passed in December 2019, allows certain Liberian nationals in the U.S. as of Nov. 20, 2014, and their qualifying family members to obtain permanent resident status in the United States. The application period is open until Dec. 20, 2020. Read more about who qualifies for a green card under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act here.

Find free or low-cost immigration assistance here. 

Join the City in celebrating Black History Month

An edition of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder on display in the Hennepin Gallery.

The City of Minneapolis is celebrating Black History Month with special events in the City Hall Rotunda throughout February and an exhibit in the Hennepin Gallery honoring the 85th anniversary of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), the oldest black-owned newspaper in the state and one of the longest running, family-owned newspapers in the country. 

An honorary resolution passed by the City Council states: “Black history, and the contributions of peoples of African ascent, is honored and uplifted at the City of Minneapolis not only in the month of February but throughout the entire year.”

The exhibit, on display through Feb. 28, features items of historical significance from the paper’s long and storied past, including a large collection of photographs that evoke a rich and vivid display of black life in the Twin Cities that spans decades.

The City’s Civil Rights Department is also honoring individuals in the community who advance the ideals of civil rights with a History Makers at Home award. Among those being honored is Tracey Williams-Dillard, CEO and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. History Makers will be honored at an event at noon Feb. 20 in the City Hall Rotunda.

Black History Month events organized by the Minneapolis Black Employee Network

All events will be held noon to 1 p.m. in the City Hall Rotunda, 350 S. Fifth St.

  • Thursday, Feb. 6: Call to Action. Featured speaker: Lissa Jones, producer and commentator.
  • Thursday, Feb. 13: Empowering Youth. Featured speaker: Tracey Williams-Dillard, CEO and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20: Honoring History Maker at Home award recipients. Featured speaker: Deborah Watts, president, Emmitt Till Legacy Foundation.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27: Lift Every Voice. Panel discussion.


Closed captions now available for City of Minneapolis broadcasts

Screen capture with CC closed captioning button highlighted

City of Minneapolis broadcasts now have closed captions as a public service to make the City’s meetings and programs more accessible to residents. Viewers can use any external device including TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets.

Viewers can find the live streams and replayed broadcasts of all meetings at www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/citycounciltv and toggle captions on or off with the “CC” button on the video player.

Community gardeners and market gardeners: apply by Feb. 14 to lease City lots


Are you looking for a place to grow food with your community gardening group? Or are you a market gardener who needs land to grow food you’ll sell? Apply by Feb. 14 to lease City-owned vacant lots in time for the 2020 growing season.

Watch and share this video about leasing land for a community garden or market garden:

Find information on the leasing process, a map showing which lots are available and the garden request form here. Email gardenlease@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-2466 with any questions.

Minneapolis gives away free radon test kits

The City of Minneapolis is giving away 200 radon test kits donated by the Minnesota Department of Health to increase awareness of the cancer risks of radon and to encourage people to test their homes for it. The test kits are easy to use, and postage and testing instructions are included in the kit.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soil and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.

Free kits will be available while supplies last at the City of Minneapolis Development Review, 250 S. Fourth St., Room 300. Minneapolis Development Review’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Once the supply of free radon test kits runs out, kits will still be available at the same location for $9 each.

For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit www.health.state.mn.us/radon or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050.

Be prepared for extreme cold, pets feel the cold too

Samantha WCCO Pet of Week

During winter, Minneapolis City officials want everyone to resolve to be ready for extreme cold temperatures. In dangerous cold, frostbite can happen in just minutes. And everyone should remember: if it’s too cold for humans, it’s too cold for their pets. Learn signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Leaving pets outside in the cold can result in citations of $500 or more, seizure of the animal, or the death of the animal from the cold.

Anyone who sees an animal outside without shelter or in an unattended car can call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control at 311 (612-673-3000). If they believe the situation to be life-threatening and the animal is nonresponsive, they should call 911.

Reduce waste: Free repairs at Hennepin County Fix-It Clinics

Microwave being repaired at a Hennepin County Fix It Clinic

In 2020, maximize the lifespan of your household goods. When they're broken or just not quite working right, bring household items to a Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic. Learn valuable skills and reduce waste all at the same time! These monthly clinics are hosted around the county to give all residents an opportunity to fix their damaged or broken goods. In 2019, 75% of the items could be fixed.

Upcoming Fix-It Clinics

  • Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Ave., Brooklyn Park
  • Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, March 14 Burroughs Elementary School, 1601 W. 50th St.
  • 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11 Longfellow Recreation Center, 3435 36th Ave. S.

For the most up-to-date details, visit Hennepin County's website.

Minneapolis Connects is published by the City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations department (NCR). If you have stories or community events that should be included in next month's edition, email rebekah.tedrick-moutz@minneapolismn.gov.

For questions, accommodations or alternative formats, please contact Neighborhood and Community Relations at 612-673-3737 or email us at ncr@minneapolismn.gov. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 agents at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia, llame al 612-673-2700 •  Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 • Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.