Andrea Jenkins: Ward 8 Update

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Hello Neighbors,

We are experiencing some of the most challenging times this City has ever witnessed. The City Council met earlier today to discuss an amended budget proposal submitted by Mayor Frey, which would make some very difficult cuts to programs that will be very painful. We have several growing encampments throughout the city including a very large one at Powderhorn Park. City leaders and staff are responding to the devastation of small businesses and lives along Lake Street, Broadway Ave and Cedar-Riverside. And as many of you know there is an unprecedented amount of violence that is being perpetrated in our communities and communities around the country as a result of the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people. I want to assure folks that the City is working hard to address these issues and some of the measures being taken are identified below.

Any one of these crisis’ would be all consuming and challenging to find solutions, but all of them together can begin to feel overwhelming. I am attempting to approach these challenges methodically; we are developing a community engagement strategy to collaborate with community on the best way to bring stability and safety to the intersection of 38th and Chicago and the surrounding area. We are working with multiple jurisdictions to address the homeless crisis, and my colleagues and I are working to create a Public Safety Continuum that keeps everyone safe in our community. I know there is a lot of consternation and uncertainty about the future, there is a desire for the council to have a “plan”. But that is where community comes in, there is a charter amendment proposal that has been submitted to a Hennepin County Judge appointed Charter Commission. That proposal among other things would replace the existing charter department (MPD) with a Department of Public Safety and Crime Prevention. But this only happens if the Charter Commission puts this on the ballot and then you, the voters determine that we should pursue this. If voters determined that we should, then we would embark upon a year long process with all residents that want to engage to determine what the Department of Public Safety and Crime Prevention would consist of.

I supported this proposal because in my opinion is represents true democracy, it puts the question to the voters and invites the public to be a part of shaping what comes next. Folks, we are at a very pivotal moment in American history. There has been an unequal balance of power for far too long. Some people have been fine with that as they benefit from the ways our society functions. However, many people have not been ok with the status quo for a very long time, now those voices are finally being heard and it has come time for us as a society to determine how we live together in the future. As the councilmember of the 8th Ward, I ask for your engagement, your patience and most of all your humanity as we work to solve these centuries in the making issues.

Sincerely,

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Public hearings set for July 15 and 21 on the proposed charter amendment creating new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention

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I’ve heard from many of you about the proposed amendment to the City Charter related to the future of public safety in our city. The Charter Commission is seeking public comments on the proposed charter amendment and will host two public hearings in the coming weeks. People can submit their comments online or provide them directly to members of the commission at a public hearing on Wednesday, July 15 or July 21.

The proposed amendment, submitted by the City Council, proposes removing the Police Department from the charter and adding a new Community Safety & Violence Prevention Department. Under State law, the Charter Commission is required to review and submit its recommendation(s) on the proposed amendment before a ballot question can be presented to voters.

The virtual public hearings will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21. Participation instructions will be published on the City’s website. If you’re interested in speaking at either or both of the public hearings, you can pre-register using the online registration form.

Other ways to comment:

The City Council voted June 26 to advance the proposal as a ballot measure to be considered by Minneapolis voters.

Under state law, the Charter Commission has at least 60 days to complete its review and submit its recommendation to the City Council. The statutory deadline for submitting questions on the Nov. 3 general election ballot is Friday, Aug. 21. If approved by voters, the changes would become effective May 1, 2021.

For more information about this process, please visit the City’s webpage for the proposed charter amendment as well as the newly developed frequently asked questions section.

You can also watch the Wednesday, July 8 Charter Commission Meeting where the five Council Members that authored of the amendment presented to the commission and stood for questions.


The City’s response to unsheltered homelessness and growing encampments

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Minneapolis has experienced an unprecedented growth in homeless encampments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several large encampments citywide with the largest currently at Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis. There are roughly 100 encampments throughout the city, most of which are small in size.

Response

The City is working with Hennepin County to help connect people experiencing homelessness to housing, shelter and services while preserving dignity and respect. The response includes:

  • The City has placed more than 15 hygiene stations throughout the city including portable toilets, handwashing stations, used syringe containers and trash receptables.
  • The City Health Department is coordinating public health services at large encampments.
  • Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department Homeless and Vulnerable Persons Initiative deliver food and water and help people access resources.
  • The City works with contracted outreach providers to connect encampment residents with services, shelter and housing.
  • The City and County will work with community partners to secure federal COVID-19 funding to expand outreach and rapid rehousing services and expand long-term culturally appropriate shelter capacity.

Affordable housing

Housing ends homelessness, and the City and County have significantly increased investments in affordable housing development in 2019 and 2020, with priority for housing serving people experiencing homelessness.

  • Since 2006, the City has provided more than $68 million to help develop more than 900 units of supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
  • About 290 new units for people experiencing homelessness will close on financing from City and County, State and/or Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) funding programs and start construction in 2020.
  • We are working with partners to prevent evictions during this time of crisis. The City made $3 million available for Emergency Housing Assistance for people who have lost income due to COVID.
  • The County has made $15 million available for Emergency Housing Assistance through CARES Act funds. Applications for County housing assistance are currently being accepted.

Find out more on the City website.


Public hearings scheduled for July 14 and 22 on the revised 2020 City budget

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The City Council’s Budget Committee will hold two public hearings, July 14 and 22, on proposed revisions to the City’s 2020 budget. The City is facing approximately $156 million in projected revenue losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revised budget proposal

Mayor Jacob Frey presented the second phase of his revised budget proposal to the City Council’s Budget Committee on Thursday, July 9th. The proposal avoids mass layoffs of City employees by relying on existing spending freezes, use of cash reserves, program cuts and furloughs. The budget also prioritizes preserving housing, economic development and racial equity work that will benefit the communities of color who have been hit hardest by COVID-19.

Frey’s Phase 1 response to the impact of COVID had included spending and hiring freezes and has saved approximately $58 million to date.

Public hearings

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

The City Council is scheduled to hold a budget markup July 17 and vote July 24 on a revised 2020 budget.

You can watch the online meetings and participate in the online public hearings.

For more information about the City’s budget, visit minneapolismn.gov/budget.


Public hearing set for Monday, August 3 to establish 38th and Chicago with the commemorative street name “George Perry Floyd Jr. Place”

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Image Description: proposed mock up for the commemorative street sign in honor of Mr. George Perry Floyd Jr.

In collaboration with Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano, we have directed staff to bring forward an application to commemoratively rename the intersection of 38th St. and Chicago Ave “George Perry Floyd Jr Place” at the request of the community. This is a small action that we can take now to ensure that the life and tragic death of Mr. George Floyd will never be forgotten.

This application will go before the City’s Planning Commission for an initial public hearing on Monday, Aug. 3rd at 4:30 pm. Upon approval, it will be sent to the Council’s BIZ committee on Tuesday, September 8th and then for a final vote at the Friday, September 18th full City Council meeting. More information will be shared as the application is finalized.


Voters are encouraged to vote by mail this election year; Horn Tower Polling site relocated to Lyndale Community School

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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging voting early by mail, and Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports this and other CDC and Minneapolis Department of Health recommendations to make sure every voter in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year.

One Ward 8 poll has been relocated

With concerns surrounding coronavirus, several polling sites have been relocated in Minneapolis; either due to a poll being located in a residential building, or due to distancing limitations at a site. The following polling place relocation for Ward 8 is in effect for the Aug. 11 Primary and Nov. 3 General Election:

Ward-Precinct

New Polling Place

8-1

Lyndale Community School, 312 34th St W

MOVED FROM Horn Towers Highrise, 3121 Pillbury Ave

What’s on the ballot?

Minneapolis voters will cast ballots for the following primary races:

  • U.S. senator.
  • United States representative (District 5).
  • School Board member at large.
  • Council member (Ward 6 only).

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots, and the sample ballot is the best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Find sample ballots for all 134 Minneapolis precincts here: vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

To minimize direct contact with others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends voting by mail if possible. All Minnesota residents are eligible to vote early by mail. Should you wish to avoid going to your polling location on Election Day, you can apply now to receive a mail ballot for both August and November. It’s an easy process online or by paper application.

For the online application:  vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail

For a paper application, please call 311 to request a copy.

We recommend you apply for a mail ballot no later than 10 days before Election Day. For the State Primary only, your ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day (August 11) and is received in the mail no later than two days after Election Day (by August 13). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by Election Day. Please note that if you deliver your ballot in-person to the Elections office, it still must be returned by 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Currently, for the November 3 General Election, your mail ballot will not count if we receive it after Election Day, even if it was postmarked on or before Election Day.

Changes to voting by mail

Any Minnesota voter can vote early; no reason is needed. However, due to a recent court action, some of the requirements for voting by mail have changed. These affect witness requirements and the deadline for returning your ballot. Currently, these changes only apply to the State primary.

  • If you are registered to vote at your current address you will not need a mail ballot witness for the Aug. 11 State primary.
  • If you have moved, changed names or need to register for the first time, you will need a witness to sign your mail ballot envelope.

For the State primary, a voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before the day of the primary (Aug. 11) and is received in the mail no later than two days after the primary (Aug. 13). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by the day of the primary. Please note that if voters deliver their ballot in-person to the Elections & Voter Services office, it still must be returned by 3 p.m. on the day of the primary.

More information on how to vote by mail is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.

Voting at the Early Vote Center

The Early Vote Center, 980 East Hennepin Ave., makes early in-person voting more convenient for Minneapolis voters. It’s especially helpful to people who need language support or other special accommodations, such as curbside voting. And while we are in a pandemic, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on the day of the election.

The Early Vote Center’s hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (closed Friday, July 3). The center will also have Saturday hours for the last two weekends before the primary. All early voting hours are posted on the Elections & Voter Services website: vote.minneapolismn.gov/events.

Election judges needed

Election judges are needed for the State primary Aug. 11 to serve voters in local polling places. Election judges are paid $17.15 per hour for their service, which includes training. Depending upon schedule and preferences, people can choose which elections they work in, and whether they want to be at a polling place close to where they live or anywhere else in Minneapolis.

Serving as an election judge provides an opportunity to learn about the election process and is an important service to our community. Judges who are fluent in a second language are especially needed to provide additional language support in the polling place, including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Lao, Vietnamese, Russian and American Sign Language.

Find out more about this opportunity at vote.minneapolismn.gov/judges or call 311.

Voters can save time by taking these three steps

  1. Make sure you’re registered to vote, or pre-register at least 21 days before the election. Voters can register or check the status of their registrations at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.
  2. Download and complete the absentee ballot application form in advance, and bring it when you go to vote. Find the request form at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.
  3. Look at a sample ballot ahead of time; even bring it to refer to when you go to vote. Find your sample ballot at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

The City’s 911/MPD Workgroup is seeking input on Non-Emergency Crime and Mental Health Crisis Calls to 911

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In November of 2019, The City Council directed the City Coordinator’s Office to convene a work group comprised of internal City staff and community members to analyze dispatch 911 call categories and determine whether there are opportunities to expand the City’s ability to respond to those calls beyond the Minneapolis Police Department. (Full staff direction can be found on page 4 of this presentation.)

Recommendations from the work group focus on two call areas: 1) Mental Health Crisis calls to 911 and 2) non-emergency report-only calls to 911. Surveys have been created to learn from the experiences of those most impacted and the City is looking for your feedback.

The primary purpose of the surveys is to gain insight from individuals who have experience calling 911 for either a mental health crisis or non-emergency crime calls. A team of residents and staff are redesigning the way calls are handled by the city and they want to hear your perspectives and uplift your voices to make real change in our communities.  Both surveys are open to all and responses are anonymous.

Help redesign the system for reporting non-emergency crimes to the City of Minneapolis

We are looking to hear from residents who have experienced and reported a non-emergency crime.  Such situations include theft, property damage, or parking issues.  Who did you talk to?  Were your needs met?  What was the experience like?

Click here to start the survey now

If you have questions, please email the Office of Performance & Innovation at innovate@minneapolismn.gov

mental health crisis survey

Have you experienced a mental health crisis?

We are looking to hear from residents who have experienced or witnessed a mental health crisis.  Who did you call?  Who showed up?  How were you treated?  Did you feel safe?  Were your needs met?

Click here to start the survey now


City launches a new webpage for the Office of Violence Prevention

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The City of Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention has a new web presence describing its work within the City’s “transforming public safety” content. The office uses a community-focused public health approach to address the roots of violence, intervene at the first sign of risk, and lead healing in its aftermath.

The Office of Violence Prevention approaches violence prevention with this these things in mind:

  • Violence is not inevitable. As with other health conditions, we can prevent and treat violence, and we can heal from it.
  • Violence has roots in social, economic, political and cultural conditions. These can include:
    • Oppression.
    • Limited economic opportunities.
    • Community disinvestment.
    • Community disconnectedness.
    • Poor housing conditions.
    • Harmful norms around gender and masculinity.
    • Classism.
    • Racism.
  • Violence takes an unequal toll on communities of color and on specific neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Violence prevention must include work to dismantle structural racism.
  • Everyone has a role to play in creating communities that don’t include violence. It takes all of us to make our communities safe, healthy, hopeful and thriving.

Participate and learn more

The Office of Violence Prevention formed in 2018 building on Health Department violence prevention work since 2006. The work has been a national model for other cities across the country.


City reimagining public access television with new vendor BFRESH Productions

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The City is transforming its public access television services. As media consumption has evolved, it has become clear that the City should transition from a public access programming approach to explore new initiatives that support local storytelling and content creation and encourage community engagement.

The City has contracted with BFRESH Productions to reimagine public access television as community media. BFRESH will manage the City’s three public access channels and provide community media services to Minneapolis residents. Community media content will continue to air on Comcast channels 16, 17 and 75 and CenturyLink channels 8007, 8008 and 8009. Community media services and cablecasting will begin in July 2020.

Transitioning from public access to a community media approach will open new doors for public collaboration. This new vision seeks to:

  • Take a multimedia approach to developing, creating and distributing stories and content.
  • Provide the training skills necessary for residents to compete in the current and future workforce.
  • Create additional opportunities to build connections between communities.
  • Provide resources for hyperlocal media organizations to tell their stories.

BFRESH will build on the City’s commitment of promoting a local focus; diversity of voice; and independent, non-commercial media content created for and by the people of Minneapolis. BFRESH will provide community media services such as training, access to production equipment, space and provide and manage free airtime on the City’s public access channels. Programming for the channels will consist of community-produced TV shows, shorts, films and other hyperlocal storytelling content.

About BFRESH Productions 

BFRESH Productions is a media production and communications agency based in north Minneapolis. The collective experience of its diverse, multi-generational team spans broadcast, media training, journalism, program management, data insight, technology and public access television.

Share your feedback

BFRESH invites the community to provide feedback by taking a survey as BFRESH gathers data and opportunities to best serve Minneapolis residents. Ideas for content and partnerships in the evolving community media access model are encouraged. BFRESH will also host several virtual conversations in July and August for residents to help shape the future of community media in Minneapolis.

To contact BFRESH Productions, email info@bfreshproductions.com.


Pay-what-you-can trainings provided by the MN Peacebuilding Leadership Institute

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Introduction to Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience for Cultural Competence – 2 hour online training

When terrible things happen, like COVID-19, racism, police brutality, our peace is stolen from us. Most people want to build peace back into their lives and community. These 2-hour online trainings are partially funded by the City of Minneapolis’ Office of Violence Prevention to promote racial trauma healing, resilience, and restorative justice for all who live, work, and/or play in Minneapolis. Pay-what-you-can up to $30

Click the date/time link to register:

This 2-hour online training teaches basic concepts, models, and strategies of the 5-day Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – STAR Training. STAR is a research and practice-supported community education training integrating neuropsychology, trauma healing and resilience, restorative justice, nonviolent conflict transformation, and broadly defined spirituality for increasing cultural competence. All are welcome to join us. Space is limited to 30.

Minnesota social workers, teachers, and nurses can earn 2 hours of continuing education for $45. These trainings are in high demand. Register early. Sponsored by Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute.

Online STAR-Lite Training: Learning Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience in a Single Day for Cultural Competence – 8-hour online training

This training is being partially grant-funded by the Engelsma Family Foundation for those who live, work, and/or play in Minneapolis. Pay-what-you-can-up-to $40.

Click here for details and to register:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST

STAR-Lite is a single-day, evidence-based online training integrating neuropsychology, trauma healing and resilience, restorative justice, nonviolent conflict transformation, and broadly defined spirituality. STAR-Lite is for professionals, paraprofessionals, and laypeople. All are welcome to join us. This training is partially funded by the Engelsma Family Foundation. Space is limited to 60. Optional 6.5 CEs and 5.5 CLEs available for an additional $35. Please register as soon as possible and at least by 9am the day before the training.

Free Monthly Racial Healing Circle: Coming to the Table

Join Peacebuilding Assistant Executive Director and CTTT facilitator Crixell Shell and others invested in transforming racialized trauma into nonviolent power with positive productive alternatives to revenge to make Minneapolis a peacebuilding power city for all. 20 people maximum per circle.

Register for these free monthly online talking circles at: https://www.mnpeace.org/events.html

Introduction to Restorative Justice for Community Healing and Transformation   2-hour online training

Relationships are ruptured by harm and violence. Restorative justice heals and repairs individual and community relationships to prevent violence.
Pay-What-You-Can-Up to $50. This training is for everyone who wants to learn the basics of Restorative Justice.
Details and registration:  
Friday, July 24, 2020, 10am – 12noon

Training objectives:
1. Learn the basic Restorative Justice philosophy, principles, and practices.
2. Learn the differences between Restorative Justice and other types of justice.
3. Discuss how to apply Restorative Justice concepts through a trauma-informed lens for community healing and transformation.


“20 is Plenty” speed limit yard signs available at Minneapolis fire stations

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are in the process of implementing new, lower speed limits to support safer streets. Slower speeds on local streets make travel safer for everyone no matter how you get around.

The new speed limit starting this fall will be 20 mph in both cities unless otherwise signed. To help get out the word about the new speed limits and the importance of slower speeds for safety, the City has yard signs available for community members.

You can pick up your “20 is Plenty” yard sign at any Minneapolis fire station. Signs will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through July 24 while supplies last. Due to COVID-19, signs will be available outside the stations for no-contact pickup. Signs come with metal stands. Find your nearest fire station here.

You can learn more about new speed limits here.

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Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

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We’re working hard to slow the spread of the coronavirus to save lives. Social exposures and contacts are increasing as more places open back up, and young adults now account for more than 50% of cases.

  • Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties” – Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

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. The City’s Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and the donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.


Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

Central • Bryant • Bancroft • Field • Regina • Northrop • Lyndale • Kingfield

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.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

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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