Ward 8 Update: Council VP Andrea Jenkins

Early voting has begun for the Nov. 3 General Election; You can still apply to get your ballot in the mail

stay at home. vote by mail.

Early voting began Friday, Sept. 18 for the Nov. 3 general election. Ballots may be cast early by mail or in person at the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave.

The City is mailing 114,873 requested mail-in ballots to Minneapolis voters. Voters who applied early should allow seven to 10 days for their ballot to arrive. Voters who applied this week should allow 15-20 days for their ballot to arrive.

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.

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.

  • If you are registered to vote at your current address you will not need a mail ballot witness.
  • 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.

A voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 3) and is received in the mail no later than seven days after Election Day (Nov. 10). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by Election Day. 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 Nov. 3.

For the Aug. 11 State Primary, a court decision allowed an individual voter to return an unlimited number of other voters’ mail ballots. For the general election, this decision has been reversed, and voters may only return mail ballots for up to three other voters. When returning another voter’s ballot, identification with name and signature is required and paperwork must be completed. 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 E. 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. 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. The center will have extended hours for the final two weeks of voting, including Saturday and Sunday hours. For the last seven days of early voting, the City will open two additional Early Vote Centers. All early voting hours and locations are posted on the Elections & Voter Services website: vote.minneapolismn.gov.

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 minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.
  2. Download and complete the absentee ballot application form in advance and bring it when you go to vote early. Find the request form at 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 minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, 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.

Elections website has a new look

Just in time for the Nov. 3 general election, the City’s Elections & Voter Services website is out with a new look and improved functionality. Check it out at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

The new features include:

  • Simpler design and improved organization make it easier to find what you want.
  • More compatibility with smart phones.
  • Improved search tool.
  • Handles increased website traffic more effectively.

Minneapolis census response reaches a milestone, but we still need everyone to complete the Census by Sept. 30

census 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.
  2. Already completed the census? Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.
  3. Share census information on social media. Post the link: my2020census.gov and tell your networks about the importance of getting counted.

The data that is obtained by the census allows the federal government to determine where to allocate resources for things like schools, parks, roads and much more. Our communities deserve the proper funding for resources that we rely on including programs and services like SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP and Head Start.

If your household misses the opportunity to complete the census this year, the next opportunity to be included won’t occur until 2030, so don’t wait. Complete the census for you and for everyone in your household including all children and all relatives that live with you. Visit My2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020 and get counted before the Sept. 30 deadline.

Free COVID-19 testing and flu shot events coming up sponsored by the City and Community Partners

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

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the East African community Noon-5 p.m. 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.


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.

Testing for other communities

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the Cedar-Riverside community hosted by Pillsbury United 1-4 p.m. every Friday Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S. Note: Double-check with Pillsbury United for possible updates before heading over.

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

Free Covid-19 Tests provided by Heads Up Health USA at the George Floyd Memorial every Sunday 12-4 pm

heads up health photo

Heads Up Health USA is providing Community Health & Safety services at no cost to the Community by offering free Covid 19 Tests every Sunday 12 pm to 4 pm at the George Floyd Memorial at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave S.

Sign Petition: https://www.change.org/GeorgeFloyd-Residents

For more questions about Covid -19 Antibody Testing: https://health.ultalabtests.com/covid-19/

Donate to Heads up Heath Covid Testing George Floyd Residential Zone is.gd/4isO3X

MN Polution Control Agency to Host Air Permitting Engagement Workshops September 21-23

Air Permitting Engagement Workshop promotion

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Environmental Protection Agency are hosting a three-day virtual workshop to provide community members, facilities, tribes, and government employees an opportunity to learn more about what makes for effective engagement in the air permitting process.

The workshop was developed by a planning group of community members, facility representatives, Tribal and city governments, nonprofits, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and U.S. EPA. Each session addresses a different topic that the planning group identified as necessary to engagement work and building understanding with others. Morning (9 – 11 a.m.), mid-day (noon – 1 p.m.), and evening (6 – 8 p.m.) sessions will be offered Monday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 23.

Register now for this FREE and virtual Air Permitting Engagement Workshop!

The workshop includes sessions focused on the needs of multiple audiences, including:

  • Permitting 101 — How permits are issued
  • Environmental Law — An introduction
  • How to Engage — For those engaging with communities
  • Culture Value of Natural Resources —To promote deeper understanding among groups

And so much more! Sign up for any or all the sessions.

Visit the registration page for details on all the sessions and to sign up for this FREE workshop.

Notice: 2020 Fall Street Sweeping will begin soon

street sweeping image

Each spring and fall, Public Works crews sweep every mile of the City’s more than 1,100 miles of streets – curb to curb – to help keep our neighborhoods clean and livable and to protect our waterways. Each spring, crews sweep the nearly 400 miles of alleys as well. Leaves and other debris on the streets can clog storm drains and pollute our lakes and rivers.

Crews from Public Works will be posting the first street signs on Monday, Oct. 19th, sweeping and enforcement will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 20th. Street sweeping usually takes about four weeks to complete. Thanks for your cooperation.

Stay informed – How to avoid being towed

When the Fall 2020 schedule is posted you can view when the plow will come to your street; vehicles parked in violation of signs are subject to a ticket and tow.  

  • “No Parking signs” – City crews will post “No Parking” signs at least 24 hours before sweeping any streets. Parking will be banned from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the day a street is swept. Vehicles not removed will be towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.
  • Phone calls to residents – During the spring and fall sweeps, in addition to the “No Parking” signs that will be posted the day before sweepers come through, the City will make about 3,500 automated phone calls each evening to let residents know their street will be swept the next day. Listed, residential telephone numbers will be called.

Informational Street sweeping videos

Street sweeping is explained in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish as part of the City’s  “Did you know…” series. These videos and others can be viewed at www.YouTube.com/cityofminneapolis and on City cable channel 14.  Residents who have friends or neighbors who speak these languages are encouraged to share links to the videos.

  • English:  See how and why Minneapolis sweeps streets and what you can do to help keep streets and waterways clean in this video from the Minneapolis “Did you know…” series.
  • Spanish: Vea en este video de las series “Sabia Usted” como y porque Minneapolis barre las calles y limpia las vias fluviales.
  • Somali:  Ka daawo fiidyowga taxanaha… ee Minneapolis ee loo yaqaan “Ma Ogtahay” siyaabaha iyo sababaha minneapolis jidadka ay u xaaqido oo ogow sidii aad uga caawin lahayd ilaalinta nadaafada jidadka iyo biyo mareenada.
  • Hmong: Yog xav paub ntxiv, sais nroog Minneapolis cov tshooj xov xwm hu, “Koj pos paub.”

We will be sure to share more updates and information about the Fall 2020 Street Sweeping as it becomes available.

Public comment period for the Neighborhoods 2020 deadline is approaching on Sept. 30

neighborhoods 2020 graphic

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.

The equity and inclusion recommendations outlined in this document form the cornerstone of the City’s commitment to have an equitable neighborhood funding program for all of its residents.

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.

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.

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 centered on building equity in our community. The City Council directed that staff work with a consultant 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.

New research informs immigrant-inclusive COVID-19 relief measures

new american economy graphic

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter highlighted new research for Minneapolis and Saint Paul from New American Economy (NAE) as part of Citizenship Day on Sept. 17.

The results underscore how immigrants are both essential to the Twin Cities’ COVID rapid response efforts and have been made especially vulnerable due to gaps in federal relief packages, language access barriers, and increased risks of infection associated with front-line and essential work.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are among just 12 communities that received NAE research to inform culturally sensitive emergency response measures that ensure all residents are included, regardless of immigration status. Both cities’ customized research report highlights the demographic nuances of the region’s immigrant population and will inform the advocacy, development, and implementation of inclusive local emergency responses.

Key findings from the Minneapolis report:

  • Immigrants serve in essential industries and carry out vital roles that keep Minneapolis functioning but put them at higher risk of infection. Despite making up just 15.4% of the city’s residents in 2018, immigrants comprised more than 20.2% of all food sector workers and 16.5 percent of all healthcare workers in Minneapolis.
  • The COVID-19 economic upheaval has highlighted the need for stable housing in Minneapolis for all residents regardless of immigration status. Among the city’s immigrant households in 2018, just 25%, or 7,332, owned their own homes and 75%, or 21,980, were renters.
  • Culturally sensitive and language accessible emergency materials are in demand. In 2018, over 29% of immigrants, or 19,053, living in Minneapolis had limited English language proficiency. Among them, the top three languages spoken at home other than English were: Spanish (44.2%) Somali and related (34.3%) and Miao, Hmong (10.1%).
  • Access to healthcare and medical services remains critical for all Minneapolis residents during this pandemic. In 2018, 28,144 Minneapolis residents were without insurance, over 42%of which were immigrants.

Learn more about the key findings.

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. Visit www.newamericaneconomy.org to learn more.

Public comment period open for zoning code updates to reach Minneapolis 2040 goals until Oct. 19

zoning changes for MPLS 2040 public comment graphic

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, which was approved by the City Council in 2018. The plan will shape how the city will grow and change over the next two decades so all residents can benefit. Under consideration now are technical aspects of Minneapolis 2040 implementation.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations, which will govern issues such as: building height, floor area ratio, lot sizes and setbacks from property lines. The new built form regulations will resolve some of the major conflicts between Minneapolis 2040 and the City’s current zoning regulations. They are also intended to make the scale more predictable for new buildings and additions in different areas in the city including neighborhoods, downtown, production and employment areas, and areas served by high-frequency transit.

Minneapolis 2040 went into effect Jan. 1 following more than two years of community engagement. The plan guides growth and change with 14 key goals, including eliminating racial disparities, promoting climate change resiliency, and increasing access to jobs and housing.

How to comment on the draft regulations

The deadline for written comments on the draft built form regulations is Oct. 19. Submit comments online.

Learn about the proposed regulations and ask questions at an online open house hosted by City staff.

The public comment period closes Oct. 19 with a public hearing before the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, which will forward a recommendation to the City Council. The Council is expected to vote on built form regulations in November. Learn more about draft built form regulations and sign up for updates at minneapolis2040.com.

Food, Housing, and Income Support Resources currently available

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Resources for job seekers

Dislocated Worker services are designed to help workers who have been laid off get back to work as quickly as possible. Eligible workers may receive counselor-approved training, placement services and more. Visit Minneapolis Dislocated Worker Resources for more information.

Need help figuring out your next career step? Thinking you might need training to prepare for your next job? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you for help. Visit Minneapolis Employment and Training for locations and assistance in Minneapolis.

Learn more about federal paid sick leave for COVID-19

In addition to the City’s Sick and Safe Time ordinance, the U.S. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ensures that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat COVID-19.

In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are entitled to (up to) two weeks (of fully or partially paid) sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. Additional partially paid leave is available to care for a child, including during school closure or virtual learning. Private employers that have fewer than 500 employees are reimbursed with tax credits for the cost of providing their employees with paid leave.

For more information, call 1-866-4-US-WAGE and check out the following resources: informational videoeligibility toolposter and FAQs.

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program opens to help with housing expenses

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

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, 211unitedway.org or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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

Rental assistance available through Hennepin County

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:

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.

Most sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with some sites open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit the Minneapolis Public Schools website for more information.

Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

mask up minneapoli smesage with Napheesa Collier

  • 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.

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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