Minneapolis Connects: early voting and census edition

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Sept. 15, 2020

Apply now to get your mail-in ballot for the general election

stay at home. vote by mail.

Want to make sure your ballot will be returned on time to count for the general election on Nov. 3?

Apply now and get your ballot right when early voting opens. Ballots will be mailed out starting Sept. 18. This will ensure plenty of time to receive your ballot, vote and return it.

Apply on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website

Learn more about how the City is working to ensure a safe election season during the pandemic.

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

Vote early in person

You can vote at the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave., starting Sept. 18. It’s especially helpful to people who need language support or other special accommodations, such as curbside voting.  While we are in a pandemic, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on the day of the election.


Two weeks left to complete the census. Get counted by Sept. 30.

Census banner Sept. 30, 2020 deadline

Minneapolis has reached a milestone in its 2020 Census count by meeting the 2010 Census self-response rate of 72.8%.

Meanwhile, hundreds of households in Minneapolis remain uncounted. This undercount could leave communities without resources and fair political representation for the next 10 years.

What can you do to help?

  1. Complete the census online, by mail, or over the phone in one of 14 languages.
  2. Share census information on social media. Post the link: my2020census.gov and tell your networks about the importance of getting counted.

Read more.


Join a City board or commission to advise City leaders on topics you care about

Why I Serve 2018 boards and commissions, commissioner Jerome Evans quote

Applications to serve on many City advisory boards and commissions close on Sept. 30.

Some of the bodies seeking volunteers include the Violence Prevention Steering Committee, the Arts Commission, the Racial Equity Community Advisory Committee, the Public Health Advisory Committee, the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, the Transgender Equity Council, the Futuro Latino Empowerment Commission and many others. Read more and apply.


Upcoming events

Benefits of Naturalization Facebook Live event Sept. 17, 2020 Welcoming Week

Citizenship Day naturalization information session on Sept. 17

Sept. 17 is Citizenship Day. Becoming a US citizen (naturalization) offers many rights and opportunities. This Citizenship Day, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, a part of the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, will co-host an online panel discussion and question and answer session covering:

  • The benefits of citizenship
  • Pathways to citizenship
  • How citizenship benefits communities
  • Information about local organizations that support citizenship
  • Existing and new barriers to citizenship and how to overcome them
  • How to support and promote naturalization efforts from organizations such as the Center for Popular Democracy and National Partnership for New Americans

Panelists include the City of Saint Paul Refugee and Immigrant Program, the City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and the International Institute of Minnesota.

View the presentation at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17 here.

Linden Hills Neighborhood Council and Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs co-host online speaker series

This August, Linden Hills Neighborhood Council and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs began collaborating on a speaker series entitled "Communities in Crisis, In this Together: Immigrants and Refugees." The series focuses on issues that impact immigrants and refugees in Minneapolis,  organizations that are working on these issues and how community members can help.

The next session will be Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Learn more about the speaker series and listen to the August session here.

Latino Heritage Month starts Sept. 15

From September 15 to October 15 every year in the United States, we honor the contributions of Latino communities with the celebration of Latino Heritage Month while highlighting Latino diversity, culture and history. The celebration begins in the middle rather than the start of September because it coincides with national independence days of several Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica on Sept. 15, Mexico on Sept. 16, Chile on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept 21. Read more about places to go this month on Meet Minneapolis.


Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo overhaul policy on police using force

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced an overhaul of the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) use of force policy. The new policy requires that officers use the lowest level of force needed to safely engage a subject and that officers first consider all reasonable alternatives before using deadly force. Additional changes also prohibit behavior that incites or escalates a situation.

Frey and Arradondo are also working on a ban on shooting at moving vehicles. Some of these changes were made possible by the new Minnesota Police Accountability Act, including the restrictions on deadly force. Read more and watch the announcement here.


City leaders continue conversations with community about future of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue

The City is committed to supporting and investing in racial justice and healing in the area of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. City leaders have met with community leaders who have authored a racial justice resolution outlining a series of demands for the City to consider before barricades would be removed from the intersection.

While City staff and elected officials have had conversations with community about a potential phased reopening plan for 38th Street the week of Aug. 17, those plans are on hold to allow for continued discussions with community members. Read more.


Neighborhoods 2020 deadline approaching: Sept. 30

The public comment period for the Neighborhoods 2020 draft program guidelines on neighborhood programming and funding to support the City’s 70 neighborhood organizations in 2021 and beyond ends Sept. 30, 2020.

Ways to submit comments

  • Email: Neighborhoods2020@minneapolismn.gov
  • Phone: 612-673-3737
  • Text messaging and voicemail: Español: 612-404-2978 Hmoob: 612-367-6548 Soomaaliga: 612-367-6729 English: 612-518-8743
  • Mail: Neighborhood and Community Relations 105 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 425 Minneapolis, MN 55401

Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m., Sept. 30.

Next steps

The final guidelines and public comments will be presented to a City Council committee and then the City Council for a vote.

Read more about Neighborhoods 2020.


Neighborhood job openings this September

Prospect Park Association (PPA) is hiring a part-time administrative and communications coordinator

The Seward Neighborhood Group is hiring for a full-time executive director.  


Community engagement opportunities

Seeking input from community on mental health crisis and non-emergency crime responses

The City of Minneapolis is seeking responses on translated Alternatives to Police Mental Health and Non-Violent Crime surveys. The City received over 8,000 responses to the original English versions of the two surveys.

Alternative Responses to Mental Health Crisis survey:

Non-Emergency Crime response survey:

Minneapolis is updating the zoning code to reach Minneapolis 2040 goals

Public comment period open for zoning code updates to reach Minneapolis 2040 goals

The City has launched the 45-day comment period for the public to review draft “built form” regulations that will regulate the scale of new buildings and additions throughout Minneapolis. The regulations are critical to achieving the goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations on issues such as: building height, floor area ratio, lot sizes and setbacks from property lines.

Read more about how to comment on the draft regulations.

Map Hennepin Avenue South reconstruction

City hosting online open houses for Hennepin Avenue South reconstruction project

The City of Minneapolis is holding two online open houses later this month to share updates, answer questions and solicit feedback about the reconstruction of Hennepin South between Douglas Avenue and West Lake Street.

  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22.
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30

Read more.


Mayor Frey delivers 2021 City budget address

In August, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey delivered his 2021 budget address, which underscored his commitment to maintaining core City services, the City’s response to COVID-19, and new public safety transformation work. Frey has recommended continuing an enterprise-wide hiring freeze, reductions in spending across the board, and broad departmental reorganizations to maintain current service levels. Read more.

Regular meetings of the Budget Committee to consider the Mayor's 2021 Recommended Budget have been scheduled for the following dates and times.

Watch the meetings on:

Learn how to participate in the online meetings.


City Council approves boundaries for seven new cultural districts

The City Council has approved an ordinance establishing seven new cultural districts along 38th Street South, Cedar Avenue South, Central Avenue, East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue East, West Broadway and Lowry Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Cultural district recognition allows the City to prioritize these areas for resources related to cultural and linguistic identity, economic development, stable housing and infrastructure.

Read more about cultural districts in Minneapolis 2040


Welcome, Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman

Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman

The City welcomes new Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman.

Focused on housing and mental health, he has worked with Common Bond Communities, in the Social Services department and served on the board of Phillips Community Clinic. Through Resident Services, he worked to ensure those living in affordable and public housing have access to a full range of services to feel supported and safe. Osman is a certified mental health trainer who regularly trains youths and adults to recognize and destigmatize mental health issues in the community.

Read more.


Minnesota peacetime emergency for COVID-19 and eviction moratorium extended for 30 days

Governor Tim Walz was granted an extension of the COVID-19 peacetime state of emergency during a special legislative session that began on Sept. 11. This ensures that Minnesota can continue to quickly and effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also extends the eviction moratorium through Oct. 12.  See the full proclamation here.

Minnesota Lynx face mask image - you have the power - social media

Heading into fall, State leaders urge Minnesotans to double down in their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Minnesota’s rate of coronavirus community spread is high and sustained.

We must have extra caution around private gatherings like parties, weddings and funerals, because we’re seeing the coronavirus spreading through those events.

Shareable video from the Minnesota Lynx on wearing face masks

To promote the power of wearing face masks, the City has made a 30-second video, billboards and social media images all featuring Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx, the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year, with the message “You have the power. Wear a mask for the team.”

Minnesotans must wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings because it’s a simple and effective step to protect each other and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Returning to school

It’s critically important to do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. Parents and families should:

  • Limit potential exposure by staying at least 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with, wear masks and avoid large crowds.
  • Watch for symptoms and stay home when sick.
  • Get tested when appropriate and staying home while waiting for test results.

For more on Minnesota’s response to COVID-19 and the steps you can take to prevent the spread, visit mn.gov/covid19.


Free COVID-19 testing events focused on the East African community

The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 tests and flu shots in Minneapolis communities. All are welcome.

Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 26 Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Ave. S. Register onsite.

You can expect to get your test results in about two days.

Testing resources

The COVID-19 test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


COVID-19 resources available

Free meals for all families with children available at school sites

Free meal boxes are now available at 29 school sites. All families are invited to participate in this free program and do not have to have a student in Minneapolis Public Schools. Families can pick up one box per child per week.

Visit the Minneapolis Public Schools website for more information. 

House for Rent Blue Icon

Housing assistance for renters and homeowners

Minnesota's COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program opens

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities and other housing-related costs. This program will help keep eligible renters and homeowners in their homes across the state.

If you are interested in applying for assistance, call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, 211unitedway.org or text “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has multilingual staff available to answer questions about the program 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For questions regarding the application process, check the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.

Hennepin County rental assistance

Residents can learn more and apply at www.hennepin.us/rent-help and find more information here:


Highlights of recovery efforts helping business community

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s economic development team has helped our business community start to recover through expertise, funding and adapting processes.

Overall, the City’s economic development team has connected with more than 2,000 businesses, provided more than 3,000 hours of direct customer assistance directly or through service contracts, changed licensing and regulatory processes to save businesses $1.4 million, and helped business access more than $3 billion in funding since the start of the pandemic. Read highlights and more recovery data here.

See more ways the City is working to move recovery efforts forward.


How do you stay healthy and grounded?

How do you stay healthy and grounded

Many of us are feeling a huge emotional toll with the recent killings, racial injustice and COVID-19. This short video, introduced by the Minnesota Lynx star Napheesa Collier, features seven members of our Minneapolis community talking about some of the ways they take care of themselves so they can show up for their families and community. Read more.


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 612-263-6850.

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