Minneapolis Connects – June 2015

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Minneapolis Connects: News and information from Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations

June 2015

NCR employee receives prestigious award from Mexican government

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Mariano Espinoza, with Ohtli Award

Mariano Espinoza, Latino Community Specialist, is a 2015 recipient of the prestigious Ohtli Award from the Government of Mexico. Awarded annually, the Ohtli Award is the highest honor for a civilian living outside Mexico and acknowledges and celebrates the commitment, vision and impact of an individual on the Mexican or Latino community.

Mariano works to support greater connections between the Latino community and the City of Minneapolis. His work not only focuses on outreach, but ensuring broader participation in public policy and service delivery to the Latino community. Mariano successfully supported a partnership between the City of Minneapolis and the Latino community that led to the passage of Minnesota’s dream act, opening access to higher education for hundreds of residents. Mariano has also worked closely with many of the City of Minneapolis’ departments to increase awareness and access to City programs and service for community members.

Previous winners of the OTHLI include: Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis; president and CEO of the National Council of la Raza, Janet Murguia; former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson;  actress Eva Longoria, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta;  U. S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros; and Edward James Olmos.

Neighborhood Stories: Neighborhoods focus on Renters Rights and Advocacy

Powderhorn Park Neighborhood releases report on Latino renters 

On May 18, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) presented a report focused on “Challenging the Narrative: What We Now Know and How We Can Support Latino Renters in the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood”. The report was based on listening sessions and interviews with nearly 50 participants, and cited top renters’ concerns – paying rent, seeing mold and pests. More importantly, the report identified six priorities for renter engagement in the neighborhood as detailed on PPNA’s website:

  1. Change how outreach and organizing is done.
  2. Listen closely, ask often, focus on the critical and make it fun.
  3. Support opportunities for renters to be seen and heard in the city – and lead.
  4. Promote a safer and healthier community.
  5. Build relationships with landlords and managers
  6. Offer more activities that reflect what community members already do and enjoy the most.

For additional information and to read the full report, visithttp://ppna.org/meet-our-staff/renters-outreach/

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Northeast neighborhoods partner to engage renters

Through a partnership inspired by a Northeast Park community member, roughly 30 residents gathered for a tenant’s rights and responsibility forum on Saturday, May 30th, at East Side Neighborhood Services.

HOMEline, a tenant advocacy organization, spoke with residents on topics such as apartment leases, lease violations, security deposits, and tenant and landlord responsibilities. Residents also had the opportunity to have a free one-on-one meeting with an attorney to discuss private matters.  This event was a great collaboration between community members, neighborhood organizations and the City of Minneapolis.

A full list of partners include: HOMEline, City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, Windom Park Citizens in Action, Sheridan Neighborhood Organzation, Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association, Bottineau Neighborhood Association, Beltrami Neighborhood Council and Northeast Community Development Corporation.

 If you’d like to engage renters in your neighborhood, contact yourneighborhood specialist. 

Spring Learning Labs continue; Ride with NCR on the Northeast Ride!

The final NCR Spring Learning Lab will be held on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 pmat the Crown Roller Mill. This Learning Lab focuses on Financial Management; presenters include staff from the Nonprofit Assistance Fund and NCR.

NCR-coordinated Neighborhood Pride Tours will begin in July.  Until then Join NCR staff on the Northeast Ride on Saturday, June 13. The Northeast Ride is a 12-mile creative cycling tour through the neighborhoods of Northeast Minneapolis and is a fundraiser for the Northeast CDC. Learn more and register at  http://www.northeastride.org/rides/2015-northeast-ride/.  RSVPs tostacy.sorenson@minneapolismn.gov or 673-2241 are appreciated

Save the Date – 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act celebration

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On Tuesday, July 23rd from Noon to 3pm a celebration will take place in the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda to honor the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The act was the first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The ADA bans discrimination on the basis of disability in the areas of employment, public accommodation, public services, transportation and telecommunications.

More details  about the celebration will be available shortly.

City officials and East African community members prepare for the month of Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

This year Ramadan is expected to start on June 16th. Ramadan occurs on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and lasts for 29 or 30 days. Every practicing Muslim spends the daylight hours in a complete fast. This means completely abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset. Fasting hours are longer during the summer and are shorter during the winter, depending on the amount of daylight.

One of the key purposes of fasting is to experience how a hungry person feels and what it is like to have an empty stomach. It teaches one to share the sufferings of the less fortunate. For this purpose, throughout the month, Muslims are encouraged to go out of their way to help the needy, both financially and emotionally. Ramadan is also known as the month of forgiveness, charity and generosity.

Community members and City Officials prepare for Ramadan

Abdirashid Ahmed, East African Community Specialist in the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, organized a meeting with community members, Council Member Cano and representatives from the Police and Public Works departments to prepare for the month of Ramadan.

Abdirashid noted that during Ramadan mosques see an increased amount of traffic and parking needs during late evening and early morning hours. Because of this community leaders wanted to be proactive in working with City officials to create awareness and understanding regarding the needs of the East African Community during Ramadan and also to ensure safety for everyone.

Neighbors  close to Mosques and Islamic Centers can expect to see heavy traffic beginning at sundown until about 1:00 am. Heavy traffic to the Mosques and Islamic Centers will significantly increase during the last 10 days of Ramadan, from 9:00 pm to as late as 5:00 am. There will also be a significant change to the East African Community’s activities and day-to- day operations during daylight. Some food businesses or coffee shops may close or operate shorter hours.

For more infomration, please contact Abdirashid Ahmed, atAbdirashid.Ahmed@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3958.

The 2015 Community Connections nonConference evaluation is now available

The 2015 Community Connections nonConfernece evaulation is now availble,you can download a copy today.

Overall, the 2015 nonConference was a success! Each year, attendance numbers continue to increase, as well as survey respondents satisfaction with the conference overall.   Looking ahead, the next conference will keep a similar structure with a few improvements based on feedback reflected in this report. Additionally, NCR will employ new and creative ways to get the word out about the Conference so more residents can get involved and connect with their City, neighborhoods and communities.

Planning for the 2016 conference is underway, stay tuned for more information.

City Launches new homeownership program

The City of Minneapolis launched  Homeownership Opportunity Minneapolis (HOM), a new housing program aimed at increasing the number of homeowners in Minneapolis and reducing the racial disparity gap in homeownership. In the City’s 2015 adopted budget, the Minneapolis City Council approved Mayor Betsy Hodges’ recommendation of $940K ($840K for affordability assistance and $100K for outreach efforts) for HOM. It is anticipated that about 125 families will be served by the program this year.

The racial disparity gap in homeownership is defined as the difference between the percentage of white households that own their homes and the percentage of non-white households that own their homes. Minnesota has one of the worst racial disparity gaps in homeownership in the country at approximately 38 percent. In Minneapolis, it is also alarmingly high—at approximately 36 percent (2011-2013 American Community Survey).

The HOM program will provide up to $7,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible Minneapolis homebuyers in the form of a zero percent interest loan, without a monthly payment.  The loan will be completely forgiven after the homeowner lives in the home for five years (all of the funds are repayable if a homeowner moves out before five years).  HOM funds may be used towards any single family home, duplex, townhouse, or condo anywhere in Minneapolis.  Eligibility is based on income.

The HOM program is being promoted in partnership with Minnesota Housing and Minnesota Homeownership Center through the “Own Your Future, Own Your Home” campaign.  The campaign focuses on homeownership as an investment for the future.  The partnership also focuses on providing information about quality, affordable mortgages available through Minnesota Housing. In addition, free, non-biased support is available from a variety of non-profit housing experts.

The City, in partnership with the Minnesota Homeownership Center, has contracted with several community-based organizations to provide culturally specific outreach and communication support to get the word out about the HOM program.  Organizations working on the “Own Your Future, Own Your Home” campaign include: African Development Center, African Economic Development Solutions, Bii Gii Wiin, EMERGE, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, Lao Assistance Center, Neighborhood Development Alliance, and PRG, Inc.

To learn more about HOM, visit the City of Minneapolis’ website.

Help spread the word about the importance of licensing your pet

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Minneapolis Animal Care & Control is reminding our residents of the requirement to license all dogs and cats over four (4) months of age. When a pet is lost and is brought to the animal shelter, 98 percent of pets go home alive because of identification through the license tag. More information is on our website –www.minneapolismn.gov/animals.

Please consider helping Minneapolis’ lost animals by requesting a handsome lawn sign. It’s free and easy. Simply email Jeanette.Wiedemeier@minneapolismn.gov and we will get a sign for you to display in your yard.


Upcoming Events

June is:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender PrideMonth

6/3: Twin Cities Scam Jam

6/3: Cinema & Civics (& every Wednesday in June)

6/6: ECCO Super Sale

6/6: CANDO: Black Films Matter

6/6: CARAG Plant Swap and Pollinator Event

6/7: Open Streets: Lyndale Ave. S.

6/11: Live on the Drive

6/12–6/13: Longfellow Garage Sale Days

6/13: Northeast Ride

6/13: Corcoran / Standish Ericsson Garage Sales

6/13-6/14: Wedge Weekend! Garage Sales, Swap and Ice Cream Social

6/13: Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic – includes bike repair

6/13: Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival

6/13: Somali Independence Day

6/13: Lyndale Fish Fest

6/18: Eastside Minneapolis Rail Safety Forum

6/18: Kenny Summer Solstice Ice Cream Social

6/20: Juneteenth

6/20: Nokomis East Neighborhood Garage Sale

6/20: Linden Hills Little Homes Tour

6/20: Windom Park Windyfest

6/24: Victory Ice Cream Social

6/25: Seward Garden Tour

6/27: Prospect Park Garden Walk & Plant Sale

6/27-6/28: Twin Cities Pride Festival

6/30: Longfellow Summer Celebration Party and Fundraiser

6/30: NCR Learning Lab: Financial Management

6/30: East Isles Ice Cream Social

Visit the Community Calendar for full event details.


Share city videos in Hmong, Spanish and Somali

Residents who speak Spanish, Somali or Hmong can get information about City services and programs in those languages on the City YouTube channel.  The YouTube channel provides a series of short informational videos on a range of topics, spring videos include: Organics Recycling, Lead paint safety, Bonfires in the City and Street Sweeping.


Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

Director, David Rubedor
Crown Roller Mill, Room 425
105 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 673-37