Ward 8 Update: City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Hello Neighbors,

August 2020 represents the 55th Anniversary of the passage of the 1965 Voters Right Act. Today, I co-authored a honorary resolution, joining several City Councils’ around the country highlighting this momentous and quite frankly solemn legislation that finally gave African Americans full access to the ballot box. It is even more poignant to offer this resolution in light of the passing of Voters/Civil Rights icon Congressman John Robert Lewis. This resolution reminds us that the most basic tenet of American citizenship cannot be taken for granted. It is a right that has been bought and paid for with blood and sweat, and it is not only Black Americans who have had to fight for the right to vote, 2020 also is the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. If voting was not important it would not be such a struggle to keep people from the polls. The really sad part is that most eligible people in our country don’t vote. We cannot afford for that to be a reality in 2020, the only way to ensure that we overcome the voter suppression that is being employed to limit voter turnout is to show up to the polls en masse, whether you vote by mail, or in person, we must show up, our very democracy depends on it.

I look forward to seeing many of you (virtually) on Wednesday August 5th to discuss public safety, the proposed charter amendment and ways to build community to keep us all safe during these difficult and trying times.

Stay safe and wear a mask, so that we can beat this virus.

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Join us for a Virtual Public Safety Town Hall hosted by Ward 8 CM Andrea Jenkins on Wednesday, Aug 5th at 4:30 pm

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This virtual town hall meeting is an opportunity to engage with Chief Arradondo about the status of MPD and its protocol for responding to gun shots and violent crime in the area and how we transition to other forms of response, particularly for nonviolent offenses and preventing violent crime, that don’t perpetuate further harm in our communities from MPD. We have invited the Director of our Office of Violence Prevention, Sasha Cotton, for this purpose. Sasha’s office is increasing its funding, capacity and work of violence interruption outreach workers.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 5th from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

How to Participate: Join this Virtual event on Wednesday, Aug. 5th from 4:30 pm via Microsoft Teams using the instructions below. You can join online or by phone.


35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Construction updates

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Upcoming I-94 closures begin July 31

Starting at 10 p.m. Fri, July 31, eastbound I-94 will be closed between I-35W and Hwy 280. Ramps will start to close at 8 p.m. The freeway and ramps will reopen by 4 a.m. Mon, Aug. 3. Motorists can use the detour of northbound I-35W to southbound I-35E to eastbound I-94.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Fri, Aug. 7, westbound I-94 will be closed between Hwy 280 and I-35W through 4 a.m. Mon, Aug. 10. Ramps will start to close at 8 p.m.

In two weeks, beginning 10 p.m. Fri, Aug. 14, I-94 will be closed in both directions between I-394 and I-35W through 4 a.m. Mon, Aug. 17. Ramps will start to close at 8 p.m.

Crews will resurface I-94 between Nicollet Ave. and Hwy 280.

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.

Stay connected

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.


Free COVID-19 testing events coming up Saturday, Aug. 1 and Saturday, Aug. 15

Minneapolis is scheduling free COVID-19 testing events Aug. 1 and 15 focused on the Latinx community. All are welcomed. The testing is available to people arriving on foot or by car.

Register onsite. Registration forms are available in English and Spanish. Spanish interpreters will be onsite. If you have medical insurance, please bring your insurance card.

Free COVID-19 testing focused on Latinx community members

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 Incarnation-Sagrado Corazon Church, 3817 Pleasant Ave. S.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 Incarnation-Sagrado Corazon Church, 3817 Pleasant Ave. S.

Testing for other communities

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can 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 at least 24 hours fever-free without using fever reducing medication.

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Next steps for proposed charter amendment that would create new Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention

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The Minneapolis Charter Commission has held three public hearings to gather feedback on a proposed charter amendment establishing a new Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention authored by five City Council members. A decision on whether that proposal will be referred to voters at the Nov. 3 general election must be decided by Aug. 5 to meet statutory deadlines.

The proposed Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention would have responsibility for “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach,” according to the proposed amendment. As a charter department, the director would be nominated by the mayor and approved by the City Council. The director would have non-law enforcement experience in community safety services, including but not limited to public health and/or restorative justice approaches.

The ordinance provides that the City may maintain a division of law enforcement services composed of licensed peace officers subject to the supervision of the Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention.

The City Council voted June 26 to advance the proposal as a ballot measure to be considered by Minneapolis voters. Under State law, proposals to amend the City Charter must first be reviewed by the City Charter Commission. The Charter Commission has at least 60 days to complete its review and submit its recommendation to the City Council but it may take up to 150 days to complete its review. 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. A decision by the Charter Commission is anticipated at its regular meeting on Aug. 5.

The Charter Commission also held a public hearing on a separate proposed charter amendment  that proposed to eliminate minimum funding level requirements for the police force. That proposal was submitted by a Charter Commission member. At its meeting July 29, the Charter Commission voted not to submit that proposal to voters in November.

Today, the City Council voted to schedule a Adjourned City Council meeting to conduct a public hearing relating to the Community Safety and Violence Prevention charter amendment ordinance, to be submitted to the voters at the November General Election. The public hearing will take place Monday, Aug 10th at 10 am, more information will shared through our Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) calendar.

Learn more about the proposed charter amendment and submit feedback.


Drive Thru Ballot Drop Off service available at the Early Vote Center days leading up to election day

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Voters will be allowed to drop off their ballots—without leaving their cars—on Friday, August 7; Saturday, August 8; and Monday, August 10. The division of Election and Voter Services (EVS) is setting up a special drive-thru service in the parking lots outside their new headquarters at 980 E. Hennepin Avenue.

Given the uncertainties around return times on mailing in completed ballots, we’re encouraging voters to simply drive by and drop off their completed ballots—quick, easy, and safe (and socially distanced).

NOTE: Return times by USPS usually take a max of up to 10 days; however, this year, our tests of the postal delivery have shown anywhere from between 6 to 17 days for return delivery within Minneapolis. Given COVID and other challenges, our EVS team wanted to address this issue head-on by offering this additional service to voters.


State executive order suspending evictions extended until Aug. 12; rental assistance available through Hennepin County

The governor’s latest extension of the peacetime emergency means that the suspension of evictions and landlord-initiated lease terminations remains in place until Aug. 12.

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.

While the eviction moratorium continues, housing providers can evict a tenant when the tenant violates a lease by endangering the safety of others, engaging in certain illegal activities, or significantly damaging property. Evictions can also proceed if the homeowner or their family member needs to move into the premises or if a writ of recovery was issued prior to March 24 at 5 p.m.

Emergency rental assistance

Hennepin County offers emergency rental assistance for residents with low incomes who have been financially harmed by COVID-19. Residents can learn more and apply at www.hennepin.us/rent-help and find more information here:


City Council approves changes to Minneapolis Homes programs in effort to close racial gaps in home ownership

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The City Council approved changes today to the City’s Minneapolis Homes programs that reflect a citywide strategy to create sustainable homeownership opportunities and make a meaningful impact to close the homeownership gap between white households and Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Immigrant (BIPOCI) households in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Homes focuses on reducing property vacancy, creating new housing units and sustaining homeownership in the city by providing educational, financing and property opportunities to homebuyers, homeowners and developers.

Minneapolis Homes programs are changing significantly in response to market data and community feedback through a long-term affordability housing study led by the City and Grounded Solutions Network. Highlights of changes include:

  • Focusing on lower income households: All homebuyer programs are changing to focus on households that make less than $80,000 a year with meaningful pathways to provide sufficient subsidy for households making less than $60,000 or $40,000 a year. All City-owned land suitable for residential development will be reserved for creating affordable housing moving forward.
  • Diversifying the types of units funded: One- to 20-unit ownership projects throughout the city are eligible. Projects can be on City-owned land or privately-owned land. Acquisition, rehabilitation, down payment assistance, and new construction are all eligible activities.
  • More options for perpetual affordability: The City is launching its own model for perpetually affordable housing, which will sell homes at an affordable price and provide homeowners with a 2% rate of return annually in most market conditions. City of Lakes Community Land Trust partnerships and new perpetually affordable housing models will also be encouraged through City programs.

Learn more about Minneapolis Homes on the City’s website.


Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board parkways reopening to motor traffic

Minneapolis Park and Rec Board

All Minneapolis parkways closed to motor vehicle traffic and open to trail users will go back to allowing motor vehicle traffic by Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Schedule

  • East Bde Maka Ska Parkway: Thursday, July 30.
  • Cedar Lake, Lake Harriet, West Bde Maka Ska and West River Parkways: Barriers and traffic control will be removed starting Monday, Aug. 3.

The funds for parkway closures to allow more space for trail users to follow physical distancing practices and limit the spread of COVID-19 will be exhausted by Aug. 3.

Please continue to follow these safety guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 while using parks and trails:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from people not in your own household.
  • Do not use parks if you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow, don’t cough into your hands.
  • Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park or trail.

Note that most MPRB water fountains are not operational, and most MPRB restroom buildings remain closed.

Keep up to date with Park Board news here.


Department of Homeland Security issues memorandum restricting DACA program

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new memorandum on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The memorandum represents a first step in changing DACA processing while the DHS decides how it will move forward after the June 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that the way the government terminated the DACA program was unlawful.

This memorandum instructs DHS personnel to:

  • Reject all pending and future first time requests for DACA and refund filing fees for new applications received.
  • Reject all pending and future requests for advance parole.
  • Cut the DACA renewal/work authorization validity period from two years to one year.
  • Make decisions to end or deny deferred action in the exercise of discretion.

It is important to note that this memorandum does not end the DACA program immediately. Nevertheless, as the memorandum firmly closes the door on the possibility of new DACA applicants, and for many other reasons, the memo is likely to result in renewed litigation.

Free legal services

In the Minneapolis area, 2.5% of the immigrant population (1,625 people) are DACA eligible. DACA and DACA-eligible residents who cannot afford a private attorney should know that there are competent free legal services available in the Twin Cities area.

Find a list of trusted immigration legal service providers here.

The Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA), operating remotely, is also a resource for residents. Please contact OIRA at 612-394-6018 or oira@minneapolismn.gov or visit the OIRA web section on the City website.


Census Takers to Start Follow Up With Nonresponding Households in Select Locations

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The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will begin following up with households in select areas that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.

Starting August 6, census takers from the Minneapolis area census office will begin interviewing households in the city. The majority of census offices across the country will begin follow-up work on August 11. Learn more here.

Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.

What Households Can Expect

The Census Bureau will provide face masks to census takers and requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work. They will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.

Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.

If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. People are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.

How to Identify Census Takers

Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

How are these Offices Selected for the Early Start to Deploying Census Takers?

Career Census Bureau operational leadership makes the decision on when and where area census offices will begin following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. As part of the selection criteria, we ensured these offices offered a variety of situations to help roll out the systems. We also followed a thorough review of the operating status of a state, locality or tribal area; the key data that support that operating status as identified by federal, state and local guidance; and the ability of Census Bureau staff to safely resume operations, including the procurement of personal protective equipment.

About the 2020 Census

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.

For more information, visit 2020census.gov.


National Night Out recommended date changes to Sept. 15 for 2020

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The Minneapolis recommended National Night Out date for 2020 is Tuesday, Sept. 15. Residents can find out if their block is already signed up by emailing crime.prevention@minneapolismn.gov. Registered block leaders received notices directly about closing their streets to hold their event, but a block without a block leader could still hold a COVID-19 safe event by spreading out across three or four yards to make enough space for physical distancing.

Event safety in a pandemic

A safe event during a pandemic follows guidelines from the Minneapolis Health DepartmentMinnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Events are outdoors.
  • People keep their masks on when they’re not eating or drinking.
  • People keep at least 6 feet from others not in their household.
  • Households bring their own food, beverages, utensils, tables and chairs.

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, holding block parties and getting to know their neighbors to prevent crime. It’s a great way to promote community-police partnerships and enjoy a Minnesota summer evening surrounded by friends and family.

Find out more about National Night Out at www.minneapolismn.gov/nno.


Mark your calendars for CANDO’s ReImagine 38th St. events every Saturday Aug. 8 – Sept. 5 from 11 am to 5 pm

ReImagine 38th St.

Join the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) for their ReImagine 38th St. Event series.

When: Every Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm  between Aug. 8th to Sept. 5th

Where: George Floyd’s Memorial – 3759 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN, Minneapolis, MN 55407

More information can be found through CANDO’s Facebook Event link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/3795527157142345/.


Minneapolis youth leaders produce mental health videos to help peers navigate stressful times

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Youth leaders with the Minneapolis Youth Congress collaborated with Minneapolis School-Based Clinics on two new videos about anxiety given all of the stress so many young people in Minneapolis are coping with right now.

Watch the videos

The Minneapolis Youth Congress is made up of students in eighth through 12th grades. The group advises local leaders on issues impacting young people in Minneapolis.


Save the Date for the City’s 7th Annual Trans Equity Summit September 13 – 15

Trans equity Summit Save the Date

More information will be posted on the City’s Transgender Equity webpage as additional activities for the summit are finalized, stay tuned!


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 who aren’t in your household.
  • 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.

Statewide mask mandate in effect

Minnesotans are required to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The State regulation reinforces Mayor Jacob 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.

Businesses are not required to provide masks to customers or employees themselves, though employers shall be required to mandate the use of masks by their staff. Non-compliance should be reported through 311.

Watch and share this Minnesota Department of Health video.

For information and resources on the mask mandate, including frequently asked questions, visit mn.gov/COVID19.

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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