I want to begin by acknowledging the pain and frustrations that we all are experiencing in these extraordinary times. Our beloved community has become the epicenter of the protests that have developed into an international movement. Much of the activity, especially during the day, has been somber, peaceful and respectful. After dark, however, the site has become something different. There are reports of gunshots, drug use, illegal alcohol service to minors and numerous mental health concerns.
In short, the activities are becoming a public health and community safety issue. It will require all of us to come together and restore our neighborhood livability while honoring the memory, history and the humanity of George Floyd. We are set to rename the intersection “George Perry Floyd Place.” I have been in communication with our U.S. Senators, Congresswoman Omar, our State Representatives and Senators, County Commissioner Conley and many staff members from the City of Minneapolis who are poised to help create a permanent memorial or monument that reflects the Floyd family and wishes of this community.
As many of you know at the beginning of my term, I prioritized the re-imagining of East 38th Street as my number one goal while in office. That goal has not changed. We must create a community that is safe and welcoming for everyone. I will be working with all of the powers that be, to begin the process of peacefully re-opening the intersection while preserving a sacred memorial. This means having open communication with all those who are there overnight, the neighbors like yourselves, as well as other like-minded stakeholders about what is the best approach to accomplish this.
Friends, we are at a historic moment – a time when we must think beyond our own comfort levels and work towards solutions that recognize the humanity in all of us. I am ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with you to make that happen. In the coming days, I will be hosting a community meeting to begin this process. We will ensure these conversations accommodate for physical distancing, and collectively, we provide an environment that is welcoming for all.
Thank you for your patience, your resolve, and your commitment to true definition of community. As we grapple with these very challenging issues, please know that I am advocating and working on your behalf.
image from Atlanta Intown Paper
Happy Juneteenth! I hope everyone finds time today to reflect on the significance and embrace all that this day means for Black people and for this country as a whole.
The history of Juneteenth:
On June 19th, 1865, two years 6 months and 18 days after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law, Union troops rode into Galveston, Texas to inform the last enslaved African Americans in the United States of their freedom. Juneteenth commemorates the official end of slavery in America and although it has been recognized as an official state holiday since 1980, due to the current focus on racial injustice in America, it is now receiving wide spread acknowledgement as a paid holiday for many large corporations. Across the country, many communities celebrate freedom on both Juneteenth (June 19th) as well as January 1st, in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Juneteenth is a time to recommit ourselves to the work that remains undone. We remember that even in the darkest hours, there is cause to hope for tomorrow’s light. Today, no matter our race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, we recommit ourselves to working to free modern-day slaves around the world and to honoring in our time the efforts of those who fought so hard to steer our country truer to our highest ideals.” -President Barack Obama, 2016
Census & Juneteenth events:
The City of Minneapolis believes that our African American communities should be counted in the 2020 Census so that they receive the adequate political representation as well as the proper resources to meet their needs. The census will have a presence at the following events commemorating Juneteenth in Minneapolis:
- Friday June 19th – Unite & Rebuild www.uniteandrebuildmsp.org, 3pm-8pm, 2500 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Friday June 19th – Community Festival and Rally, 12pm-6pm, Cub Foods Parking lot 701 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55411
- Saturday June 20th –The Staff of Freedom Works is hosting an event and BBQ, beginning at noon, located at the St Olaf Church downtown: 215 S 8th St Minneapolis, MN 55402
This has been a significant week for national protections for some of our most marginalized communities. On June 15th, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of national protections against workplace discrimination for LGBTQ people. Read more here and review the ruling here.
On June 18, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision saying that the way in which the Department of Homeland Security ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violated the Administrative Procedures Act. While the federal government retains the power to end the program, the Supreme Court ruled that the way the program was ended was unlawful. More information about the DACA decision can be found here. Stay updated on this important issue by visiting the City of Minneapolis’ Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs webpage at www.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/oira/.
If you live or work along the E 38th Street Corridor, you may be familiar with or have heard about the 38th St. Thrive! project from your neighbors, friends, or colleagues that my office has been working on since the beginning of 2019. For over a year now the Ward 8 office, with support from the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department and with the incredible dedication of community leaders from our neighborhood organizations, cultural centers, community organizations, and businesses, have worked to co-create a comprehensive strategic planning document that centers the community’s vision for the future of the 38th Street Corridor and our shared community.
Due to the current circumstances and needs at the intersection of 38th St. and Chicago we have decided that now is not the time to move forward with this engagement session until stability and safety of the intersection is restored and plans for engagement around a permanent memorial to honor the life of George Perry Floyd have been drafted.
Background on the 38th St. Thrive Project
In 2015, the community held a series of meetings titled “The Future of East 38th Street,” hosted by then Ward 8 Council Member Elizabeth Glidden. Those meetings led to the generation of several ideas, priorities and recommendations from community members.
In February 2019, Ward 8 Council VP Andrea Jenkins reconvened community members to co-create a strategic development plan by the residents, business owners, and neighborhood organizations in the E 38th Street community, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis’ Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
In March 2019, a smaller planning committee was formed with community members who expressed interest in driving the planning process from the initial February event, to conduct community engagement and to draft a proposed plan together to share with the larger community.
This planning committee met five times to craft the district’s vision, assets, and strategies based on priorities identified by the broader 38th Street community and a draft plan has been developed to share with you all.
At a future virtual community meeting you can expect to:
The State has added special COVID-19 testing sites for critical communities for people who have recently been a part of large gatherings whether or not they have symptoms. Make sure to preregister for a time slot if you can before heading over to be sure you have a spot. Appointments have been filling up fast. People who arrive without an appointment might have to come back later or another day. Appointments for the next week will open up on Wednesdays, so if you don’t find anything available, keep checking back.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that any Minnesotan who has attended a protest, vigil or community cleanup get tested for COVID-19, which can spread easily and quickly in large groups of people who are close together for long periods of time. Even people who do not have symptoms can still spread the virus to others.
Residents who live in the area of these three outdoor sites who have recently been a part of large gatherings are invited to preregister for free COVID-19 testing:
- Holy Trinity Church (pedestrians) 2730 E. 31st St.
- Sabathani Community Center (drive up, limited pedestrians) 310 E. 38th St.
- New Salem Baptist Church (pedestrians) 2507 Bryant Ave. N.
Make sure to preregister for a time slot if possible before heading over to be sure you have a spot. Appointments have been filling up fast. People who arrive without an appointment might have to come back later or another day. Appointments for the next week will open up on Wednesdays. People who join the waiting list will be notified when slots open up.
The registration form is in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. Spanish, Somali and Hmong interpreters will be onsite. Interpreting for other languages will be available by phone.
Preregister for a time slot and find more information online here or by phone at 1-800-657-3903 if you don’t have internet access or need interpreting.
Testing for other communities
If you do not live in the neighborhood of one of these three new sites, use this directory to find a testing location near you.
Note: Once you’ve been tested for COVID-19, it’s important to self-isolate until you receive your test results to avoid infecting others in case you test positive. If your test is positive, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends staying home for at least 10 days and until you have three days fever-free without using fever reducing meds.
Hennepin County has up to $15 million available to help low-income renters who can’t afford their housing costs this month due to COVID-19. Even though there is a temporary hold on evictions, rent is still due.
Folks may qualify for emergency assistance if they:
- Rent anywhere in Hennepin County.
- Had household income below 50% of the area median income (about $46,550 for a three-person household) before COVID-19.
- Lost income due to COVID-19 that has not been replaced by unemployment insurance or other emergency assistance.
- Can’t afford housing costs this month.
- Are not currently receiving Section 8 or other rental assistance.
There is no deadline to apply. Priority will be given to households with the lowest incomes and those not eligible for unemployment insurance.
Learn more and apply for assistance.
If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.
The governor’s latest extension of the peacetime emergency means that the suspension of evictions and landlord-initiated lease terminations remains in place until July 13.
This suspension will allow households to remain sheltered during the peacetime emergency. The executive order does not relieve a tenant’s obligation to pay rent.
It also does not include eviction actions based on cases where the tenant seriously endangers the safety of residents, or where the tenant seriously endangers the safety of others on the premises. Read more about this exception.
Lake Street closure June 22-23
Now that the new bridge deck has had time to cure, crews will need to remove the temporary support structures from around the new northbound I-35W bridge deck over Lake St. To do this safely, crews will close Lake St. between Stevens Ave. and 2nd Ave. on Mon, June 22 and Tue, June 23 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists will be detoured to use 31st St.
I-35W overnight closures June 22-24
As reconstruction work continues on I-35W, a traffic shift is needed. To complete the traffic shift, there will be upcoming overnight closures of I-35W between I-94 and Hwy 62.
- Southbound I-35W will be closed from 10 p.m. Mon, June 22 through 5 a.m. Tue, June 23
- Northbound I-35W will be closed from 10 p.m. Tue, June 23 through 5 a.m. Wed, June 24
Additional overnight closures may be needed later in the week.
46th Street to northbound I-35W ramp closure begins June 23
Beginning at 10 p.m. Tue, June 23, the ramp from 46th St. to northbound I-35W will close. Motorists will be able to get on northbound I-35W using Diamond Lake Rd. This closure is needed as crews begin reconstruction work on the northbound I-35W lanes. The ramp will remain closed through September 2021.
The southbound I-35W ramps to/from 46th St. and the ramp from northbound I-35W to 46th St. will remain open.
Northbound I-35W to 36th Street ramp closure begins June 23
In addition to the 46th St. to northbound I-35W ramp closure, the ramp from northbound I-35W to 36th St. will also close at 10 p.m. on Tue, June 23. This closure will allow crews to begin reconstruction work on the northbound I-35W lanes. Motorists will need to exit at 46th St. during the closure. The ramp will remain closed through September 2021.
Stay safe driving near construction work areas
Please drive with care around construction work zones:
- Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
- Stay alert; work zones constantly change
- Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
- Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
- Minimize distractions behind the wheel
- Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times
All closures are weather permitting and subject to change.
Road work continues to be a critical service. MnDOT is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and all Minnesotans. Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.
The City Council’s Budget Committee will hold two public hearings in July on proposed revisions to the City’s 2020 budget.
The City faces a significant revenue shortfall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and needs to make cuts to the City’s roughly $1.5 billion budget.
Mayor Jacob Frey will brief the City Council’s Policy & Government Oversight (POGO) Committee on a revised 2020 budget July 9, and staff will present the revised budget to the City Council July 10.
Engage and share your voice in this process during two online public hearings:
- 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, July 14
- 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 22
You can watch the online meetings and participate in the online public hearings.
The City Council is scheduled to vote July 24 on a revised 2020 budget.
For more information about the City’s budget, visit minneapolismn.gov/budget.
As a precautionary measure, the Postal Service has also temporarily removed some collection boxes in St. Paul and Minneapolis. They will be back in service when it is deemed safe to do so, and when we are able to collect the mail within them without incident.
Postal Service Impacts
A special window has been set up for customers to pick up their post office box mail and mail held due to damaged businesses or residences. Mail pick up service will end at 5:00pm. An ID will be required for all mail pickups.
Customers from ZIP Codes 55408 and 55409 will now be served out of the Loring Post Office in Downtown Minneapolis:
- Lake Street Station, 110 E 31st St, 55408
Operations will be relocated to:
Loring Station, 18 N 12th Street, 55403
Monday – Friday
8:30AM to 5:00PM
9:00AM to 1:00PM
A special window has been set up for customers to pick up their post office box mail and mail held due to damaged businesses or residences. An ID will be required for all mail pickups.
As a reminder, PO Box services and package pickups can be done at the relocated location for these services.
Retail services are also available online 24/7 including weekends and holidays at usps.com.
Receive a daily email with photos of your mail. Informed Delivery is a free service that sends customers a picture of their incoming letters each day. Sign up today at usps.com.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Remember to wear masks or face coverings while in indoor public places
Minneapolis Mayor Frey’s emergency regulation requiring people in Minneapolis to wear cloth face masks or coverings when they are in an indoor place of public accommodation is in effect.
Medical research has indicated that COVID-19 may have a high rate of transmission through respiratory droplets, particularly while indoors, and that wearing a mask can help reduce the risk of community spread. Research has also shown that people who don’t show signs of the virus can still spread it without knowing they have it.
Businesses will not be required to provide masks to customers or employees themselves, though employers shall be required to mandate the use of masks by their staff.
Watch and share these videos about how to use and make masks:
Non-compliance should be reported through 311.
Find more information here.
Donate homemade face masks at Minneapolis fire stations for Mask Drive Mondays
Minneapolis residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday for Mask Drive Mondays.
Remember to stay 6 feet away from others when dropping off your donation. Note: fire stations are not equipped to take any other donations at this time.
The City plans to distribute the donated masks throughout Minneapolis to residents, organizations and businesses that are most in need, including food shelves, congregate living facilities, small corner stores and shelters.
The Minneapolis City Council has approved a resolution declaring the intent to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.
The council resolution acknowledges that George Floyd joins a “tragically long list” of people killed by Minneapolis police and his death has set off a “wave of protests and uprisings across the United States and across the world and has led to thousands of voices asking for change.”
The City Council has committed to starting a year-long process of community engagement, research and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis. “The City Council will engage with every willing community member in Minneapolis, centering the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm, and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system. Together, we will identify what safety looks like for everyone,” the resolution reads.
The resolution also expresses support for Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and his efforts and the need to work cooperatively with all willing partners, including Mayor Jacob Frey and other community institutions in this effort.
The City Council is establishing a Future of Community Safety Work Group, which will include staff from the Office of Violence Prevention, the Department of Civil Rights, the City Coordinator’s Office, in coordination with the 911 Working Group, the Division of Race and Equity, Neighborhood and Community Relations and other relevant departments.
The City Council has directed the work group to report back to the Council by July 24 with a set of preliminary recommendations for engaging with specific cultural and stakeholder groups, the community at large and relevant experts that can partner with the City to help Minneapolis transition to a transformative new model for cultivating community safety, including budget and resource need estimates for the process.
The work group is also directed to provide regular reports to the City Council on advancing this work, including intermediate policy changes that center a public health approach to community safety and research and engagement to inform the potential creation of a new City Department of Community Safety with a holistic approach to community safety, among other things.