Ward 8 Update from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Hello Neighbors,

I want to acknowledge these extraordinary challenging times. We are all seemingly living on the edge of uncertainty and varying levels of uncomfortableness. We have a serious uptick in violence, we have many of our neighbors sleeping in ours parks because they don’t have access to safe and affordable housing, and we are still in the throes of a global pandemic.

Today my colleagues and I, along with Mayor Frey had the unenviable responsibility of amending the 2020 budget to address the $158 million-dollar gap created by the response to the pandemic. While this work is never easy, I am proud that we were able to stick to our stated values to emphasize and demonstrate equity. We invested $1.1 million dollars in our Office of Violence Prevention to help address public safety. We increased funding for legal support to prevent evictions and we restored funding to youth programming that was proposed to cut be cut from Mayors proposal.

It is important to note that we were able dedicate $100,000 to begin the community engagement process to determine how best to memorialize that tragic murder of George Floyd and the events that followed. A part of this process will include community plans to determine how best to begin a partial reopening. The goal is to work with artists, healers and community groups to lead this process.

Additionally, I will be hosting a “Virtual Public Safety Town Hall” in the coming weeks, we will promote this event through neighborhood organizations, phone calls, the Ward 8 Facebook Page and e-newsletter. This meeting will be joined by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Stay Safe,

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City Council adopts revised 2020 City budget

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The City Council has approved Mayor Jacob Frey’s revised 2020 City budget proposal that addresses roughly $156 million in projected revenue losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor and City Council have trimmed the budget through a combination of spending freezes, use of cash reserves, program cuts and employee furloughs. The revised City budget is approximately $1.5 billion.

The first phase of the response to the economic impact of the pandemic included spending and hiring freezes that saved approximately $58 million. The revised budget plan adopted today includes plans to offset approximately $100 million in additional revenue losses.

As part of the Council’s budget markup process, approximately $1.1 million has been shifted from the Minneapolis Police Department to the Health Department for violence prevention efforts. In addition, the City added $100,000 to the budget to support initial community engagement in the co-creation of a vision for a permanent memorial for George Floyd.

The mayor will present a recommended 2021 City budget to the City Council later this summer. Learn more about the City budget at minneapolismn.gov/budget.

View Council members proposed amendments to the mayor’s revised budget proposal.


City leaders provide updates on response to homelessness, COVID-19 and ongoing recovery work

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City of Minneapolis leaders provided updates on the City’s response to the increase in homelessness, efforts to enforce COVID-19 safety protocols in bars and restaurants, and ongoing recovery/rebuilding work during a news conference July 22.

Watch the news conference.


Rental Assistance available through Hennepin County

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Hennepin County has up to $15 million available to help low-income renters who can’t afford their housing costs 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.

Apply

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

If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.


Next steps for proposed charter amendment creating new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention

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The Minneapolis Charter Commission has held two public hearings to gather feedback on the proposed charter amendment establishing a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention authored by five City Council members.

The Minneapolis Charter Commission is also planning a public hearing 5 p.m. Monday, July 27 on a separate proposed charter amendment eliminating minimum funding level requirements for the police force. The proposal has been submitted by a Charter Commission member.

The proposed Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention would have responsibility for “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach,” according to the proposed charter 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 and 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, 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.

Learn more about the proposed charter amendment and submit feedback.


COVID-19 Testing Sites and Information available on the Minnesota Department of Health’s Website

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Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing facilities are located across the state of Minnesota. To find the nearest testing location in your community, click on the MN COVID-19 Testing Locations web page. PLEASE NOTE: This site changes on a daily and sometimes hourly basis based on testing demand and supply availability across the United States. This website is updated regularly, but may not immediately reflect changes at a particular clinic throughout the day.

To view all Minneapolis testing locations refer to the MN Department of Health webpage for testing here. 

Is testing free?

Federal law requires health insurance plans to cover diagnostic and serological or antibody testing AT NO COST to patients. There may be charges associated with the visit to obtain the testing, but most health insurance companies in Minnesota have waived copays, coinsurance, and deductibles associated with these charges. Check with your insurance company for more details.

What should I do if I don’t have health insurance?

If you don’t have health insurance- you may be eligible for coverage. Contact Mnsure or the Minnesota Department of Human Services to learn more about coverage options.


35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Construction Updates

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Eastbound I-94 overnight closure July 26

MnDOT will need to move some barrier on I-94. To do this safely, they need an overnight closure of eastbound I-94. From 10 p.m. on Sun, July 26 through 5 a.m. Mon, July 27, eastbound I-94 will be closed between I-394 and I-35W.

Stay connected

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


Notice of Planning Commission Public Hearing to add a commemorative street name of George Perry Floyd Jr Place to Chicago Ave between 37th St E and 39th St E.

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The City Planning Commission will meet on Monday, August 3, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. to consider designating a commemorative street name of “George Perry Floyd Jr Place” to Chicago Ave between 37th St E and 39th St E.

During the declared local public health emergency, Minneapolis has transitioned to an electronic format for its public meetings and hearings, authorized under Minn. Stat. Section 13D.021, to minimize the risk of exposure to or potential spread of COVID-19. The public may view the public hearing using the following options: Watch on Comcast Channel 14 or 799, CenturyLink Channel 8001 or 8501, or live on www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/citycounciltv.   

In accordance with the Zoning Code, all property owners within 350 feet of the subject property are notified of this public hearing.  The public may submit comments or participate by phone in the meeting by using the following website: www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/index.htm.

If you have questions about the project, please contact the City staff person listed below.  If you would like to submit comments, you may submit them via the link above or by emailing:

Matt Hanan – 309 2nd Ave S #200, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone (612) 673-3607 E-mail: Matt.Hanan@Minneapolismn.gov

Planning Department staff will issue a recommendation to the Planning Commission. After hearing from the public, the Planning Commission will make a determination based on required legal findings of fact. Please visit www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/planning for the agenda with staff reports (web page will be updated by the end of the day Wednesday prior to the meeting date).

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact 612-673-3710. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.


State Primary Election Tuesday, August 11; Polling places changing due to pandemic

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To help keep voters and Minneapolis residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, 50 of 125 polling places in Minneapolis are moving for the 2020 primary and general election. The changes will help protect people living in residential facilities and provide more space to keep voters a safe distance from elections staff and each other.

Of the 50 polling places being relocated, 16 were in senior homes, high-rises and other residential sites. Another 32 were in areas with limited space that would make it difficult for people to keep at least 6 feet from others inside. Two were moved due to on-site construction.

Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation board to find new locations for voting during the pandemic. In total, 94 buildings will be open for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections, with 35 in schools and 22 in park buildings. Some buildings will have more than one voting precinct.

Registered voters will receive a postcard in the mail indicating their new polling locations. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s polling place finder can also provide voters their new polling places. These locations will be the same for the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections. All voters choosing to vote in person on Election Day should check the online polling place finder or call 311 to verify their polling place.

Keep safe and vote by mail

Though polling locations will be open for the primary and general elections, the City encourages voting early by mail to minimize direct contact with others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages voting early by mail, and Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports this and other CDC and Minnesota Department of Health recommendations to make sure all voters in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year.

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

For those going to the polls on Election Day, we will have COVID-19 protocols in place to provide a safe and healthy environment for all voters and election judges. The polling place protocols follow best practices from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the protocols follow Emergency Regulation 2020-12, which requires people in Minneapolis to wear a cloth face covering when they are in an indoor public space.

Voting at the Early Vote Center

The Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave., makes early voting in person 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. 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.


The Division of Race & Equity’s BIPOC Trans and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) Data Narrative Phase 1 RFP is open until Friday, July 31

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The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) transgender, gender non-conforming (TGNC) Data & Narrative Project will acquire data and narratives that have not been recorded on this scale due to erasure of the community. The Project attempts to respond to demands for data and narratives about BIPOC TGNC folk to shape policymaking, organizing, and culture in support of the community. The Project will center Black Trans Women & Femmes as the most marginalized and leading organizers in transgender/gender non-conforming equity. The data and narratives drawn from the Project will provide another opportunity for agencies and organizers to center and support BIPOC TGNC people in different areas of work. The data will strengthen awareness about the status, conditions, and experiences of the local BIPOC TGNC community in terms of equity relative to the following:

  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Employment
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Disability
  • Sex Work
  • Migrant Status
  • Policing/Incarceration
  • Community Safety
  • Physical/Mental Health
  • Education

Often, data about TGNC people is conflated which fails to recognize the ways in which intersectionality affects the community. The Project intends to emphasize the intersecting experiences of the BIPOC TGNC community regarding marginalization and inequities. Furthermore, the Project hopes to collect enough data to be able to disaggregate data further – separating by race, ability, gender, etc.  The disaggregated data about BIPOC TGNC folks reinforces the demand to advance equity in support of the most vulnerable groups in the community.

The data is also an opportunity to show the importance of already existing leadership and organizing that supports BIPOC TGNC folk. Leaders and organizers center the experiences and narratives of BIPOC TGNC folk to shape work and efforts in support of the community. The data collected as part of the narratives will also push agencies to collaborate with BIPOC TGNC leaders and organizers already doing work to advance equity in the community.

The full RFP can be found on our website. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 31, 2020. Questions around the RFP can be directed to track.trachtenberg@minneapolismn.gov.


Minneapolis Foundation Funding Opportunity: OneMPLS Rebuild Grants

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The Minneapolis Foundation’s next round of OneMPLS grants will provide flexible resources to organizations that support BIPOC-led Minneapolis businesses that were economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and which are now facing additional financial distress as a result of the civic unrest following the killing of George Floyd. These grants will support work performed in the next 1-6 months by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), technical service providers, and collaboratives that serve businesses in the Lake Street, North Minneapolis, and University Avenue areas of Minneapolis.

Purpose

Funds will be deployed to support immediate and short-term (1-6 months) strategies to assist Minneapolis BIPOC businesses as they navigate challenges related to financial crisis, damage, and destruction due to public unrest after the killing of George Floyd and longstanding injustice in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Foundation will fund:

    • Direct financial support for the immediate relief, transition, or closure of BIPOC-led businesses.
    • Technical assistance, immediate support, legal consultation, and protection from predatory practices.
    • Organizational capacity of intermediaries and technical assistance providers as they manage the added financial and physical challenges of supporting businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Questions? The Minneapolis Foundation is hosting a Zoom meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 30 to share information and answer questions about this grant round.

Register for the grant information session >>


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.


Gov. Walz issues statewide mask mandate for indoor businesses, public settings

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Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order requiring Minnesotans 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 mandate goes into effect on ​Saturday, July 25.

Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering are exempt from the order. Children ages 5 and younger are also exempt. Children under 2 should never wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.

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


Use online forms for non-emergency requests to 311

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When 311 is closed, use our online forms to file non-emergency requests:


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

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