Responding and Adapting to COVID-19 Isolation -- The Heart of Minneapolis -- March 2019

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Steve.Fletcher@MinneapolisMN.gov

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In This Newsletter:


How the City is Responding and Adapting to COVID-19

My Previous COVID-19 Updates:

The last ten days have been unlike any other time in recent memory. We are in the midst of a global pandemic -- a genuine public health crisis -- and the way our city and our community are responding has been inspiring and hopeful.

I urge everyone to continue to do what we can to slow the spread of this virus: wash our hands often, stay at home as much as we can, and maintain distance from other people when we must be in public. 

As of Monday the 23rd of March, there were 235 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, and this past weekend marked the first confirmed COVID-related death in the state. We also know that the true number of cases is much, much higher since we still face a critical shortage of testing capacity, here and across the country.

You can see the MN Department of Health's Coronavirus information page, including all of the state's latest guidance, here.

Last week, the City Council held our first-ever remote meeting via Skype to approve and extend the Mayor's Declaration of a Local Public Health Emergency. While it was audio-only, it was still broadcast to the public online at minneapolismn.gov/tv/citycounciltv.

Starting next week, the City Council will move to a weekly, abbreviated schedule during the Declaration of Emergency to conduct the business of the City. I will serve on a combined Business, Inspections & Zoning Committee to handle the City’s continuing regulatory and quasi-judicial functions, and I will Chair a Finance Subcommittee (essentially replacing our Ways & Means Committee) of a full-Council Policy & Government Oversight Committee. The City Council will hold regular meetings weekly, on Fridays.

The pandemic focuses our attention on three critical goals:

People are experiencing a lot of pain, a lot of upheaval, and a lot of uncertainty. I’m proud of the way our city is working to minimize disruption by maintaining critical city services, and also solving unforeseen problems with compassion and efficiency. Our goal in streamlining the City Council’s operations in this emergency is to keep the entire city focused on these goals, providing the guidance and approvals staff need to move forward, and delaying policy discussions that can wait for a calmer day. 

I’m looking forward, as I know everyone is, to a return to the normalcy of day-to-day public life. In the meantime, please keep in touch with your ideas, questions, and feedback. You can see all of Mayor Frey's emergency regulations here, and you’ll be able to view our remote council meetings on the City of Minneapolis YouTube Channel. The business of the city continues, and as always, I’m appreciate you being a part of it.

En avant!

 


Information on Coronavirus / COVID-19 in More Languages to Share with Your Neighbors

The Minnesota Department of Health has translated some of its coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) information and materials into several languages. Please share these links with your neighbors, colleagues and connections and help protect our communities. 

The City of Minneapolis Health Department is taking the situation seriously and actively monitoring the situation in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Find information and materials in several languages here

Hotline, email

The Minnesota Department of Health offers a coronavirus disease 19 hotline at 651-201-3920 with interpreters if needed.

The City of Minneapolis will answer questions during business hours in English, Spanish and Chinese at health@minneapolismn.gov.

As of March 13, these resources are offered during business hours.

 


(Virtual) Coffee With Your Council Member

Grab Coffee with Council Member Steve Fletcher

I normally hold regular open community office hours 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. 

While we are keeping social distance, I will hold my community office hours by phone instead. 

Wednesday, March 25, 4:00 - 6:00 P.M.

If you have questions or a topic to discuss, email Aurin.Chowdhury@minneapolismn.gov to schedule a 15-minute phone call this Wednesday between 4-6pm.

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

 


Ward 3 Info Meeting & Public Comment Period for Recommended Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guidelines

The public comment period is open for the Neighborhoods 2020 draft program guidelines on neighborhood programming and funding to support the City’s 70 neighborhood organizations in 2021 and beyond. The public comment period is currently scheduled to run through April 17. 

The draft program guidelines follow the vision to preserve Minneapolis’ neighborhood organizations and create equitable communities in which all people are valued, communities are engaged and leadership mirrors the diversity of the city.

Ward 3 Informational Meeting on Recommended Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guidelines

Wednesday, April 1 from 6:30 - 8:00 P.M.

Teleconference via Skype -- details TBA* 

Neighborhood & Community Relations Department staff will attend this meeting, so bring your questions for them, and any feedback you would like to share.

*If you plan to attend this teleconference meeting, RSVP to Aurin.Chowdhury@minneapolismn.gov and we will make sure to send you a direct invitation.

Other ways to comment on these draft program guidelines:

  • Email Neighborhoods2020@minneapolismn.gov.
  • Call 612-673-3737
  • Text or leave a voicemail:
    • Español: 612-404-2978
    • Hmoob: 612-367-6548
    • Soomaaliga: 612-404-2978
    • English: 612-518-8743
  • Mail: Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations, 105 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 425, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

Next steps as currently scheduled:

  • April 17: Public comment period ends.
  • May 4: Final guidelines and public comments presented to the City Council’s Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights and Engagement Committee
  • May 15: City Council presentation and vote

Background:

Neighborhoods 2020 is a plan for continuing to fund neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis when the existing funding source ends and a process to identify expectations for the work they do.

These draft program guidelines are the outcome of a City Council direction that staff work with a consultant(s) to continue conversations with neighborhoods and the community on program guidelines and metrics for the Neighborhoods 2020 framework while continuing to ensure that racial equity remains at the core of the work.

Find more information on Neighborhoods 2020 and its process here.

 


Count Yourself In! Watch the Mail for Your U.S. Census Invitation

Preview of census invitation letter March 12 2020

By April 1, every home will receive an invitation in the mail to participate in the 2020 Census. Once it arrives, you can fill out your form online, by mail or by phone.

It’s important for everyone to be counted

Census data is used to decide where public funds go and how much of a voice we have in Congress. Our community’s count shows what we need – from housing and schools to highways and health care. When our communities are undercounted, we lose these valuable resources and political power. You count, so be counted.

Your responses are confidential

Any information you provide to the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential. The bureau is not allowed to share an individual’s responses with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies.

Trusted Spaces

If you like, you can even be counted by visiting one of the Trusted Spaces in Minneapolis. These are safe and trusted locations at local organizations, community centers and religious spaces throughout Minneapolis where people can get census assistance. All of the Trusted Spaces will have people from the immediate community on hand who can help people understand the census. Days and hours for Trusted Spaces will be posted at each location and online. No appointment will be necessary; anyone can come by during those hours and get help.

Go to wecountminneapolis.org to find a Trusted Space near you.

More about the census

Find more information about the 2020 Census here.

 


Transportation Action Plan -- Read and Comment Online by April 22

Transportation Action Plan logo

Our Public Works Department recently released the draft of the City's Transportation Action Plan, and it is now open for public comment through April 22. 

You can read the plan, see maps, and comment online at http://go.minneapolismn.gov

Public Works staff are also planning online open houses to get your input on the plan and interact in real time -- mark your calendar for:

  • Wednesday, April 8th, 6:00 - 7:00pm
  • Monday, April 13th, 4:30 - 5:30pm

Follow the City of Minneapolis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated! Use #gompls to share your feedback with us. 

The Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan is a 10-year action plan to guide future planning, design, and implementation of transportation projects for all people in all the ways we move around the city. The plan will identify specific actions for the City and our partners to take to implement the transportation vision outlined in Minneapolis 2040.

If you have feedback or ideas about how you walk, bike, bus, drive, scooter, roll, ride, or otherwise get around your neighborhood, I strongly encourage you to comment on this plan in the next month!

 


Rescheduled: Good Morning Ward 3 with Housing Director Andrea Brennan

Kramarczuk's

Good Morning Ward 3

WHEN: (Tentatively) Wednesday, May 20 from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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

WITH: Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy & Development

Rescheduled from March:

Our City recognizes that we have an affordable housing crisis, and we are moving aggressively to adopt policies and direct City funds to address it. On March 18, I'll be joined by Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development in the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), for a conversation about our City's housing policies and programs. Join us to learn more about how we're working to make affordable housing available to more Minneapolis residents. 

 


Minneapolis & Saint Paul Announce New, Lower Speed Limits

lower speed limits save lives

The Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul announced plans to lower speed limits to support safer streets. Slower speeds on local streets make travel safer for everyone no matter how you get around.

The lower speed limits are in line with national trends toward lower urban speed limits to support safety. Lower traffic speeds reduce the likelihood of a crash and make all types of crashes less likely to lead to death or a life-changing injury. A person hit at 35 mph is three times as likely to die as someone hit at 25 mph.

New speed limits will be 20 mph for local residential streets; 25 mph for larger, arterial city-owned streets; and 30 or more for a few city-owned streets. By Minnesota law, cities do not have authority to change speed limits on county and MnDOT roads. Speed limits on these streets in Minneapolis and Saint Paul will not change.

Staff from both cities will begin to install or change more than 1,000 speed limit signs on city-owned streets in the coming months. New, lower 25 mph speed limits on individual streets will go into effect as soon as the signs appear.

Once the busier streets have signs, the cities will then install “gateway signs” at entry points in both cities, indicating the citywide speed limit is 20 mph unless otherwise posted. Once the gateway signs are installed, the 20 mph speed limit on local residential streets will be in effect. The cities will generally not post 20 mph signs on local residential streets. The cities expect to complete the sign installation by this fall.

The speed limit changes follow detailed studies done by the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Works departments to determine appropriate local speed limits as required by state statute.

Reducing speed limits is one of the key strategies in the Minneapolis Vision Zero Action Plan, which outlines key steps for the next three years to advance the City’s goal of ending traffic deaths and injuries on City streets by 2027.

Learn more about the speed limit changes at visionzerompls.com and stpaul.gov/speedlimits.

 


Minneapolis Property Owners Can Buy a Low-Cost Tree this Spring

The City of Minneapolis is offering twice as many low-cost trees this year for property owners to plant on their private property. About 2,000 Minneapolis property owners will each be able to order a 3- to 8-foot tree for $25 to plant in their yards.

Owners of property in any part of Minneapolis who haven’t had a tree from the City Trees program in the last three years can order a tree from March 23-April 15.

Owners of property in any part of Minneapolis can then order a tree from April 16-May 1.

  • Low-cost trees are available first-come, first-served for Minneapolis residents, businesses and nonprofits.
  • Limit one tree per address.
  • Trees must be picked up May 16, 17 or 18 at the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot. Volunteers onsite will help load each new tree and a complimentary bag of mulch into vehicles.
  • The 22 varieties available this year include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery.

Since 2006, the City of Minneapolis has funded the City Trees program, a low-cost way for folks to help the city’s tree canopy grow. In the past 13 years, the City Trees program has provided approximately 15,000 trees for planting on private property. 

 


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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