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The purpose of the meeting was to inform city staff about Hmong families, culture, religion and gatherings: tell them about problems North Minneapolis Hmong have with strong-arm bike robberies and other crimes: and explain how these impact Hmong families’ view of the proposed bikeway.
They described how a dozen or more people may be living in a typical Hmong household, ranging from babies to grandparents: Hmong households may have 6 or more cars because many family members use them to go to work and school, and many of these cars get parked in front of the house. They also explained that many Hmong households have religious ceremonies and family gathering that pull in 75 people, and the guest’s cars pack the block. All reasons why Hmong families do not want to lose their parking to the bikeway.
Several of the Hmong youth talked about how they, and their family and friends have been the victims of strong-arm bike thefts and other crime. One youth described how his bike was stolen by a drunken man, and when his brother came out to get the bike back, the drunken man fought him.
Another Hmong youth described how he was riding his bike when a group of youth ambushed him. They were pulling him off his bike when a Hmong friend in a nearby house came outside and pulled out a gun. The ambushers ran away, and the Hmong youth kept his bike, but now he will not ride his bike in his neighborhood.
Minneapolis police officer Kou Vang explained that strong-arm bike thefts are a major problem for North Minneapolis Hmong youth and that often Hmong are reluctant to call the police. Minneapolis Community Relations’ Michael Yang explained that large house gatherings are important to Hmong families and Hmong religion and culture.
City staff said that a mockup of the bikeway would be put up on several blocks along the Irving Humboldt route in the Spring