Goals & Priorities for 2018 and Beyond
1. Fight climate change while sustaining our environment, creating
green jobs and cleaning up our soil, water and air.
2. Dismantle institutional racism and close the racial and economic disparities in health, housing, education, wealth, employment, and the
criminal justice system.
3. Forge a more just and durable local economy that supports small, independent and
cooperative businesses, enhances human dignity and promotes the common
good by providing people with meaningful work, economic security, fair
compensation, decent working conditions and the right to organize at the work
4. Make Minneapolis a safe and healthy city
where we prioritize people’s
well-being and make sure that
our public spaces, housing, institutions and transportation system work for all
ages, birth to death, 8 to 80.
5. Establish an equitable civic participation system that enfranchises everyone and builds
people’s long term capacity to organize to improve their lives and
6. Support and guide growth and development that provides real community benefits and serves the present and
future housing, educational, employment, recreational and cultural needs of our
city while protecting what is best about our communities and improving our
natural and built public assets.
7. Reject the politics of division, bigotry, hate,
and fear, reaffirm our
commitment to be a sanctuary city, and fight for the
rights, freedoms and interests of all members of our community, no matter our
color, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or status
as a refugee, citizen or immigrant.
1. Climate Action. Aggressively fund and implement our
Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to levels that meet or
exceed the goals of the plan for reductions of 15% by 2015 and 30% by 2025 and
define a long-term goal to reach zero emissions by 2040.
2. Healthy Air, Water, Soil and Homes. Continue and expand efforts to measure and
clean air, water and soil. Invest in our tree canopy. Promote cleaner business
practices, encourage adoption of pollinator-friendly- pesticide-free practices
and prohibit the use of toxic and hazardous products and materials. Incorporate
inspection for health hazards more effectively in to home energy audits and
rental license inspections.
3. Clean, Renewable Energy. Leverage the Clean Energy Partnership to
further implement our Climate Action Plan. See the city conserve more energy,
participate in community solar and invest in our own power plant(s) to
ultimately get all of our electricity from clean, renewable sources.
4. Local Foods. Support urban farms, community gardens, and small food
producers. Ensure that every resident and visitor to Minneapolis has access
to fresh, healthy food.
5. Zero Waste. Set a zero-waste goal and adopt a comprehensive,
community supported Zero Waste Plan. Organize and regulate waste from
commercial properties and large apartment buildings to keep it out of landfills
and the downtown garbage burner and expand organic waste collection to
apartment and commercial buildings. Eliminate packaging that cannot be
effectively composted or recycled.
6. Comprehensive Transportation Network. Utilize our Complete Streets policy that
prioritizes pedestrians, bikes and transit users while also making sure the
overall network accounts for and works well for all modes. Keep working to
realize a comprehensive multimodal transportation system with commuter and
light rail transit, streetcars, enhanced bus routes and better standard bus
service. Build out a system of protected bikeways. Improve
pedestrian infrastructure and maintain sidewalk access all year long. Establish
and implement policies to accommodate more car-free streets and zones where
appropriate and desirable.
7. Green Zones. Draft and approve a strong Green Zone Policy to promote
racial equity and sustainably revitalize communities and repair past
environmental injustice. Identify at least 2 Green Zones in communities
that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution and implement
plans and strategies to improve health and support economic development in
those areas using environmentally conscious efforts.
1. Racial Equity. Work to close the racial disparities in poverty, income,
employment, educational attainment and health throughout Minneapolis. Push the
city to lead by example by using a racial equity framework to evaluate all city
decisions. Root out racial bias and end racial profiling in all police,
regulatory and other city practices. Provide implicit bias training for all
city staff and push the city to lead by example in hiring, retaining and
promoting people of color at all levels so that the make-up of our workforce
reflects the make-up of the city as a whole.
2. Economic Justice. Implement our paid sick time ordinance.
Pass reforms that will fight wage theft. Continue efforts for fair scheduling
regulations. Set the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour within 5-7
years and tie it to the cost of living. Strengthen the City’s Living Wage
ordinance and extend worker protections and the right to organize to contract,
gig and on-demand workers. Establish new regulations that create a local Health
and Wefare fund for taxi and for-hire drivers through a small surcharge on
3. Affordable, Fair, Decent Housing for All. Support preservation of existing
affordable housing and construction of new affordable housing and pass other
policies to combat gentrification. Find effective ways to support the
Minneapolis Public Housing Authority that serves those most in need by making
it eligible to receive Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars and restore the
Minneapolis Public Housing levy for targeted rehabilitation and new
construction. Regulate the inclusion of affordable housing into more new
development. Support the establishment of overnight and emergency shelters to
meet unmet needs and carefully monitor recently passed more flexible housing
occupancy regulations that permit intentional communities.
4. Criminal Justice. End “broken windows,” over policing, over
prosecution practices and eliminate racism in the city’s criminal justice
system. Reduce or eliminate altogether the forced detention of juveniles and
invest in anti-racist, community-centered alternatives to incarceration for
people of all ages. Work with our community and county partners to provide more
chemical dependency treatment, mental health support, community healing, trauma
informed care and promote alternatives, like restorative justice, to detention.
5. Civil Rights Protections. Fund and strengthen the Civil Rights
department to fight against sexism, racism, hate crimes and discrimination of
any kind while doing more to proactively identify and end discriminatory
housing, employment and business practices in Minneapolis.
6. Socially Responsible Spending. Draft and pass a comprehensive Socially
Responsible Procurement policy that makes an analysis of social and
environmental benefits part of every city spending decision.
7. Immigrant and Refugee Protections. In light of certain actions taken at the
federal level, strengthen city ordinances, policies, programs, and resources to
protect and defend immigrant families and refugees from unfair deportation,
acts of bigotry and hate, and unjust persecution. Support the creation of a
local immigration legal defense fund, and explore litigation strategies to
protect the rights of the City and its residents.
1. Police Reform. Implement an authentic model of community policing that
empowers residents and neighborhoods to direct public safety resources.
Continue and accelerate efforts to diversify the police force at all levels.
Require thorough and ongoing training on implicit bias, procedural justice,
relationship-based policing, crisis intervention, mediation, conflict
resolution, youth development and de-escalation. Require current and
prospective police officers to undergo implicit racial bias testing, and
develop a clear policy for considering an officer's level of racial bias in the
hiring process, performance evaluations and decisions about whether an officer
should be deployed to communities of color.
2. Police Accountability. Reform or restructure our Police Conduct
Review system so that it is an all-civilian entity that receives, investigates
and resolves all civilian complaints against police in a timely manner. Empower
it to question officers and witnesses immediately after an incident where
deadly force is used, access crime scenes, subpoena witnesses, and to make
disciplinary and policy recommendations. Amend the Minneapolis Charter
provision that puts the supervision of the police department solely in the
mayor’s hands, distancing it from the City Council and thus the electorate,
unlike any other City department.
3. Youth Violence Prevention. Fund, improve and continue to implement
the Blueprint to Prevent Youth Violence and reduce overall crime and violence
by using a public health approach, as well as a public safety approach, to
crime and violence prevention. Invest and engage in effective non-police,
public health strategies like the Next Step emergency room program, BUILD
Leaders, the mental health co-responder program, and Group Violence
Intervention strategies as well as a robust system of restorative justice and
efforts to identify and provide resources for children, woman and families at
highest risk for violence.
4. Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault. Build community and City capacity,
expertise, accountability and transparency to effectively combat domestic
violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking in Minneapolis. Use the work of
the Hennepin County Sexual Assault Multidisciplinary Action Response Team, the
Sexual Violence Center, the Domestic Abuse Project, the City’s Coordinating Committee to
Prevent Juvenile Sex Trafficking, and other partners, to bring to scale
identified and new strategies to reduce and eliminate this hidden, but far too
common and devastating violence in our city.
5. Gun Violence Reduction. Push the state and federal governments to
pass, and get the state to allow the City to pass, stronger gun regulations and
identify funding options, like an increased fee on ammunition, to fund anti-gun
violence efforts. Support effective gun by back, or recovery programs and
educational efforts to reduce gun ownership, use and injuries in Minneapolis.
6. Re-entry Policies. Promote and support housing, employment,
education and other social support services for those returning to the
community from prison and other institutions.
7. Youth Opportunities. Support mentoring, programs, career
counseling, out of school activities, the Step Up program and tailored
employment opportunities for high risk youth. Provide youth who are at risk for
violence with case managers and chemical dependency treatment, mental health
support and trauma informed care as needed.
1. Equitable Civic Engagement. Fully implement the Blueprint for
Equitable Engagement plan to enfranchise more people. Support inclusive,
vibrant and durable neighborhood organizations that strengthen a healthy,
open and democratic system of grassroots neighborhood-level planning and
activity. Expand community engagement strategies to get more diverse and
otherwise disenfranchised people involved and ensure that the City Council and
City departments more effectively utilize public participation.
2. Participatory Budgeting. Develop and implement a participatory
budgeting program that provides democratic processes through which community
members directly decide how to spend portions of the city’s budget. Support
strong, vibrant, inclusive and functional neighborhood organizations
3. Ballot Initiative. Amend the City Charter to allow citizen
initiated ordinances to be put before the voters, while not allowing referendum
and restricting its use in some areas, like budget amendments.
4. Improved Voting. Establish more early voting centers,
promote elections and distribute an enhanced Voter’s Guide for each
election to increase voter participation. Continue to use Ranked Choice
Voting, and use our new voting machines to increase voter choice and reduce counting
time in 2017.
5. Public Financing for City Elections. Work to strengthen local campaign finance
and disclosure rules through state law changes and develop a system of public
financing for city elections.
6. Non-citizen Voting. Work to amend the state constitution, and
changes as needed statutes and ordinances to allow non-citizens to
vote in local elections.
7. Better Banking Options. Develop democratically-controlled,
socially responsible public financial alternatives to the current system of for
profit corporate dominated banks. Pursue initiatives like the creation of a
municipal bank, credit union, or investment agency, to prevent public dollars
from supporting socially irresponsible investments in things like fossil fuel
extraction and distribution and increase public investments in community
beneficial things such as affordable housing, public infrastructure, and
targeted economic development.
Community-Based Economics and Development
1. Maximized Public Assets. Make wise investments to preserve and
protect our land, river, lakes, public park system, schools, trails, roads,
bridges and other public spaces, buildings and infrastructure to ensure that
they serve the present and future needs of our city. Reclaim and repurpose
underutilized land taken and used as part of the federal interstate highway
system, and the private railroad network, to spur economic development, housing
2. Multi-jurisdictional Cooperation. Improve the cooperation across
jurisdictions and institutions, especially between the work of the City and the
work of the University of MN, Met Council, County, Schools, and Park Board to
benefit the people of Minneapolis. Improve cooperation within all city
departments and between them and neighborhood organizations. Utilize the city’s
Youth Cabinet, Youth Congress and the multi-jurisdictional Youth Coordinating
Board to make Minneapolis a healthier, better place to raise children that
welcomes and supports all families, children and youth.
3. Small Business Support. Leverage city and community resources,
including the newly created small business navigator division and the Workplace
Advisory Committee, to facilitate the creation and growth of small independent
and cooperatively owned businesses that provide good jobs and serve the needs
of neighborhoods where they are located.
4. Thoughtful Growth and Development – Both locally on a project by project
basis and through the redrafting of the Comprehensive Plan, work to ensure that
development is done in ways that protects what is valued neighborhood
character, history and amenities, prevents and, when needed reverses,
gentrification, preserves a healthy mix of commercial, industrial and
residential uses. Formalize a policy and practices, for incorporating
meaningful Community Benefits Agreements into development project that meet
real community needs for quality jobs, good housing, public infrastructure
improvements and environmental benefits.
5. Complete Neighborhoods. Improve our livable, walkable
neighborhoods and make every neighborhood a “complete neighborhood,”
encouraging local community self-reliance where more needs can be met close to
home while focusing smart density near existing and planned transit corridors.
6. Commercial Nodes and Corridors. Focus on the potential for promising,
community supported, development along commercial and transit corridors, in
Light Rail Station areas and along the Greenway. Work with neighborhood and
communities to revitalize and redevelop commercial corridors and nodes like
East Lake Street, Como Ave., and the Southeast Minneapolis Industrial area
(SEMI) in neighborhood-serving ways.
7. Arts. Value and support creative arts, artist and artistic
expression as essential to our social-emotional well-being and quality of life,
as well as to our economic vitality.
Second Ward February 2017 E-newsletter
News from Cam Gordon
Council Member, Second Ward
State Preemption of Local
Employee Protections. The
Minnesota House has voted for a bill that will, if passed by the Senate and
signed by the Governor, remove all local control over workplace protections. That
includes the earned sick and safe time that the cities of Minneapolis and St.
Paul have already adopted. This bill would remove earned sick and safe time
from about 140,000 workers. It would also remove all possibility for local
action on a minimum wage, fair scheduling, and other locally-adopted workplace
protections. The bill is opposed not
only by the City of Minneapolis, but also Metro Cities, the League of MN Cities,
and countless labor unions and progressive organizations. This is a an attack
on both economic justice and grassroots democracy, both on working people and
on local governments’ right and obligation to protect and represent the people
that elect them. People should not have to choose between taking care of
themselves and their families or keeping their jobs. People working full time should not live in
poverty. If the state won’t solve these
problems – and it’s very clear that they won’t, they shouldn’t stop local
governments from doing what we can to solve them.
State Preemption of Bring Your Own Bag
Ordinance. Some state legislators are also
trying to take away our ability to regulate single use carry out bags. Despite
my testimony in opposition, bills are moving forward (one in the House, HF1504,
and one in the Senate, SF 1196) out of committee that would prohibit local
governments from banning or taxing paper or plastic bags. If signed into law,
this would completely negate all the work we did, in the face of fierce
industry lobbying, to pass our popular Bring Your Own Bag ordinance that is set
to go into effect on June 1 this year. If you support this ordinance, or just
the principal of allowing local jurisdictions to have the authority to regulate
and manage such things, please let your legislators and governor know. The
House committee sent the bill forward and the Senate committee re-referred it
to the Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee (http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/committees/committee_bio.php?cmte_id=3093&ls=90) I am grateful that there is coalition of
organizations forming (Eureka Recycling, Linden Hills Power & Light, Sierra
Club – North Star Chapter, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Nothing Left to
Waste, Alliance for Sustainability, ISAIAH) opposing this legislation. In a
letter the coalition sent out late last week they offered several action steps
including:1) Call the Governor saying you’re opposed to this legislation: (651)
201-3400; 2) Call members of the Senate Environment and Natural Resource
Finance Committee and urge them to oppose SF 1195 which will be voted on
TUESDAY!; 3) SHOW UP to the Senate Environment and Natural Resource Finance
Committee on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30am, Room 1150 of the Senate Office
Building (sign up to testify if you want! email@example.com); 4) Call
members of the House Taxes Committee and urge them to oppose HF 1504; 5) SHOW
UP to House Taxes Committee – TBD; 6) Call your representatives to let them
know you oppose these bills. For more information on why cities should have the
right to ban plastic bags – see Eureka’s fact sheet at http://media.wix.com/ugd/8468e6_45687b4963974591933c7f0b084f412e.pdf
Preemption of Local Action. Yes, this
year many state legislators seem to have declared war against local control
generally. From workplace protections to bag ordinances, they are pushing bills
to take away the authority municipalities have to act in our communities’ interest.
They are also pushing to wrest more power over the Vikings Stadium to the
state, despite the fact that local taxes are, unfortunately, its biggest source
of capital. It has been good to see
people pointing this out. One legislator,
Representative Michael V. Nelson
(D-Brooklyn Park), went so far
as to move a symbolic “modest proposal” that would strip all authority from
municipalities and put the state in complete control of every decision at the
local level, to make the point that that is the logical conclusion of the
state’s recent actions. Except in cases when basic civil rights or public
health would be clearly harmed by local laws, I believe that the state should preempt
fewer actions on the local
level. There are unique problems in
Minneapolis on issues that have already been preempted, such as guns, campaign
finance and pesticides to which state level road blocks have been preventing us
from making progress for years. We should be undoing those kinds of preemptions
that are unnecessary and detrimental, not adding more. Cities and counties
should be able to craft our own solutions, to meet the needs and concerns of
our communities. I am hoping that more legislators, like Representative Randy
Jessup (R) District: 42A, who voted against preempting cities on regulated carryout
out bags, will realize the value of letting local government do their job and
will vote down these bills and that, for those that do get passed, Governor
Dayton will stand firm and veto all
of them that reach his desk.
Waste Tires on Playgrounds and Fields. The Council’s Health, Environment and
Community Engagement committee unanimously voted for a resolution I authored to
curb the use of waste tires on playgrounds and athletic fields. Thank you to Play it Safe Minneapolis for
bringing this issue forward, to our Community Environmental Advisory Commission
and Public Health Advisory Committee for looking into it and making recommendations,
and to our partners at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and
Minneapolis Public Schools for their willingness to engage in this discussion.
The resolution that will be considered by the full Council on March 10 prohibits the use of
City funds for the installation or replacement of any facilities using waste
tire and encourages others to discontinue the use of waste tire materials in
Minneapolis. I am You can find
the resolution and more information here http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/legislation/WCMSP-194284
Collective Bargaining Agreement with Police. On March 1 the Executive Committee, with my
support, voted to recommend approval of a new police contract that has already
been ratified by the police union and has the support of the Police Chief and Director
of Human Resources. The police have been working without a contract since 2015
and the last potential agreement was not ratified by the union. This is a one
of our largest and most significant labor agreements and represents a payroll
(in 2014) of $60,224,000. The agreement actually represents two contracts, one
for 2015-2016 and one for 2017-2019. When the 1 to 4% annual salary increase
per year is added up, it amounts to a 14.5% increase over the 5 years. This
will get our officers in the top 1/3 of other metropolitan area police
department salaries, but not at the top. Some of the more interesting changes
to the contract include: giving the Chief more authority over administrative
leaves during investigations and to make transfers due to performance related
issues. Other noteworthy changes will allow officers more frequent
opportunities to initiate transfers; modify “compensatory time” rules to reduce
overtime; and change health club memberships to a strictly reimbursement
program. It also sets in motion the creation of a Critical/Traumatic Incident
work group to review best care for officers who experience a critical or
traumatic incident. Currently the focus in on short term recovery to determine
when officers can return to work, but research indicates that trauma can have
long term impacts on officer well-being and job performance, so looking forward
we will focus on long term, as well as short term care, with ongoing evaluations
and consideration of ongoing impacts from traumatic incidents.
Energy Benchmarking Report. A new report was presented at the February 27
Health Environment and Community Engagement Committee that examined the electric,
natural gas and water use of 264 commercial and 153 public properties in
Minneapolis. This includes 107 million square feet of floor space and accounts
for more than 8.1 million British Thermal Units of total energy use per year,
which is the equivalent use of roughly 60 percent of the households in the city
and represents 15 % of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The report estimates
potential savings of more than 108,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
annually and $27 million per year on energy costs if there was a 15 percent
reduction in energy consumption. Hospitals, places of worship and offices show
the potential for the most savings.
Third Community Solar Garden. In March the City will likely issue its third
solar garden request for proposals. This third garden, one built, will include
options for middle and low income residents to participate. To make this
possible 20% of the subscriptions will be set aside for lower income residents
and the City will guarantee to take on any of those the subscriptions if a participant
Sex Trafficking Grant. In February, the Council took another step to
fight sex trafficking in our city and region by accepting a grant of $117,033
from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that will allow us to hire an administrator
for our recently developed secure sex trafficking web portal program. The
portal provides Minnesota law enforcement agencies the ability to share
information and resources for investigating sex trafficking. The administrator
will approve access, maintain information and provide support to the Police
Department on investigations. At the committee we heard from Sergeant Grant
Snyder, who has been leading this effort at the City, about how interagency
coordination can be critical to breaking cases and rescuing the victims, who
are often young, immigrant and/or runaways.
Section 8 Anti-discrimination Ordinance. Council Members Warsame and Glidden are
moving forward with their ordinance proposal to prohibit discrimination against
Section 8 voucher holders. Their proposal includes an incentive fund for
landlords serving Section 8 voucher holders, and support for many changes
recommended to the Section 8 program. I
am supportive of this proposal because affordable housing choices are limited
in our rental market and too many landlords refuse to accept Section 8 voucher
holders. There will be a public hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, March 22,
10:15 am in City Hall, Room 317, 350 S 5th Street at a joint meeting of the
Community Development & Regulatory Services Committee and the Public
Safety, Civil Rights, and Emergency Management Committee.
City Trees. This year, the city will use a lottery in our City Trees program.
Any Minneapolis property owner can
register to order a tree to plant this spring. Registration will go from March
13 to 20. Lottery entrants will hear back by March 22. About 1,000 property owners,
selected by lottery will be able to order a $25 five- to eight-foot tree to
plant on private property in the city. Fifteen varieties available this year
include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees.
Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery. Trees must be picked up May 20,
21 or 22. Enter the lottery at www.treetrust.org. In the past 11 years, the City Trees program
has provided more than 12,000 trees for planting on private property to help
build the city’s tree canopy.
Clean Energy Partnership Work Plan Approved. The Clean Energy Partnership has approved a
work plan for 2017. I thank the Energy Vision Advisory Committee and our staff
for helping develop the plan and was glad to see the city taking the lead on so
many initiatives aimed at reaching our Climate Action goals. In
the future I hope we can see more balance among who the lead organization is
for action items. I also hope to see more focus on creating ways to get more energy
from clean, renewable sources. You can find the work plan here https://mplscleanenergypartnership.org/
Plant “Becker” Bill.
I was very disappointed to learn that Governor Dayton (despite the City
Council’s formal opposition) signed the Xcel “Becker” bill that ignored the
Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) role and invest millions of dollars in new
fossil fuels. When Xcel decided - with the strong and vocal support of the City
and environmental advocates - to close the Sherco coal plants it was a big a
win for the environment. But, when they approached the PUC to get permission to
build a new natural gas plant in Becker, the City, environmental advocates and
advocates for low-income people fought this idea. The PUC agreed with us, and
ordered Xcel to go through the normal process in which they study alternatives,
including renewable sources like solar and wind. Unfortunately Xcel decided to
try to circumvent that process to go around the normal PUC process. This is a
loss for the environment. It's also bad for ratepayers, because we will bear
the costs of this plant - which has not been proven, through the normal
process, to be the most cost-effective option in the long term. It's bad for
the PUC process, because it's now clear that elected leaders will undermine it even
when it provides an effective voice for ratepayers and the environment. It is
also, in my opinion, a failure by Xcel to meet its commitments to help the City
of Minneapolis reach our climate action goals. If the people of Minneapolis had
a democratically controlled electric utility, I'm pretty sure it would not act
this way. For more on this, see: http://cubminnesota.org/provisions-to-protect-ratepayers/.
Workers Day at City Hall. March
8 will mark what I hope will be our first annual Worker’s Day at City
Hall. Modeled, partially, after what has
been an annual event for years, Business Day at City Hall, this event will give
council members, city staff and the Mayor the opportunity to meet with and have
focused discussed on worker issues and needs.
I thank Council Member Bender’s office for taking the lead on this and
look forward to a participating in a productive series of meetings on the 8th.
Minimum Wage and a Tip Penalty. In February I joined a meeting with Saru
Jayaraman, from the Food and Labor Research Center at the University of
California, Berkeley (http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/topic/food-labor-research-center/), and author of “Forked: A New Standard for
American Dining.” She made a powerful
case for why tipping should not be considered in any minimum wage law, just
like it is currently excluded in 7 states that have minimum wage laws,
including Minnesota where we have a healthy and thriving restaurant industry.
Studies have shown that tipping creates an environment in which people of
color, young people, old people, women, and foreigners tend to get worse
service than white males, and where nonwhite servers make less than their white
peers for equal work. She also encourages us to consider the power imbalance
between tippers, who are typically male, and servers, 70 percent of whom are
female, and the fact that the restaurant industry generates five times the
average number of sexual harassment claims per worker. It has made me only more
convinced that I cannot support a tip penalty as any part of a City minimum
wage ordinance. I do, however, support a
gradual phase in, with technical and other supports for smaller businesses. I
am committed to finding a solution that will support and lift up all low wage
workers while also protecting our independent and small businesses from undue
hardship. For more, see: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/07/abolish_tipping_it_s_bad_for_servers_customers_and_restaurants.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/18/i-dare-you-to-read-this-and-still-feel-ok-about-tipping-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.8598aa083547.
Homes Hummel & Pay as You Save. I worked
with advocates from Community Power and the Clean Energy Partnership’s Energy
Vision Advisory Committee to bring Dr. Holmes Hummel to Minneapolis to talk
about inclusive financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The way that these kinds of projects – from
insulation and furnaces to small rooftop solar installations – are currently
financed makes it impossible for many people to participate. If someone rents, has poor credit, or can’t
or won’t take out debt, they are effectively turned away by the current
model. This is a problem because it
limits our capacity to make energy efficiency upgrades everywhere, and because
it means that only relatively wealthy homeowners can take advantage of most
efficiency programs. The “Pay As You
Save” model solves many of these problems by paying for the energy upgrades as
part of the energy utility bill.
Customers pay no more than 80% of the savings generated by the upgrade –
meaning that they start saving money immediately. I am very interested in this model, and will
be pushing both Xcel and CenterPoint to implement some version of it as part of
the Clean Energy Partnership. For more
information, go here: http://cleanenergyworks.org/blog/pays-financing/.
Equity Council. The Council, with my strong support, has approved the establishment of a permanent
Transgender Equity Council to serve as an advisory board to the City Council and
Mayor on matters of importance to the Transgender community. You can find the details at http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/legislation/WCMSP-193269
Rights. In response to proposed state legislature that would fine protesters in
order to recover costs and the chilling effect this could on free speech, the
city strengthened its legislative agenda to include a provision that states
“The city of Minneapolis supports the rights of all people to engage in
protected first amendment speech, assembly and protest without the burden of
risk of civil liability for public safety response costs.”
2016 Resident Survey. The results of the 2016 Resident Survey are now available at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/coordinator/rm/Monitoring/ResidentSurvey/index.htm. While generally positive it was interesting to see how some rankings
varied depending on the area of the city respondents lived in, and also the
demographic make-up, especially the race/ethnicity and income of the
respondent. For example, African Americans were much more likely to report
being victims of housing discrimination compared to respondents overall and people
with household incomes are less than $35,000 a year were somewhat more likely
to report that they had been discriminated against in housing.
Final Neighborhood Revitalization Plans Approved. In February the City Council approved the
last 2 Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) NRP Phase II Action Neighborhood
Action Plans, from the Nicollet Island-East
Bank and West Calhoun neighborhoods. Since NRP began in 1991, all Minneapolis
neighborhoods and thousands of residents have participated in planning processes
to help meet their neighborhood's housing, safety, economic development,
recreation, health, education, social service, environment and transportation
needs. A report and presentation at the Health Environment and Community
Engagement Committee provided a high level look at the impacts of this 26 year long
program. Please check it out at: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/legislation/WCMSP-192726
Restored Neighborhood Organization Funding. On February 10 the Council unanimously
approved a motion that I have been working on for months to restore $9,141,951
to Phase II Neighborhood Revitalization (NRP) plans over the next four years.
This represents the $10 million frozen by the City Council in 2010 less the
$858,049 returned to neighborhoods in 2012-2013. This is possible, in part,
because the revenue from the specially approved “Common Project” Tax Increment
Financing District has been higher than expected, and is expected to be higher
than projected for the next few years, before it expires in 2020. In 2016 in
yielded over $10 million more than projected or needed. Over the next four
years the Second Ward neighborhoods organizations can expect to get the
following additional amounts to support their NRP Phase II plans: Southeast
Como - $122,372, Cedar Riverside - $211,372; Prospect Park - $91,225; Seward -
$44,639 and Longfellow Community (including Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha)-$ 691,943. You can find the full staff
report and payment schedules for all neighborhoods here http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/legislation/WCMSP-193147.
Re-elected to Chair Youth Coordinating Board.
I was honored to be re-elected as
chair of the Youth Coordinating Board in January. This group works to coordinates the efforts of
the four largest Minneapolis Public Jurisdictions - the City of Minneapolis,
Hennepin County, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation and the Minneapolis Public
Schools - to champion the well-being and healthy development of Minneapolis
children and youth. For more information about the work of the coordinating
board see http://www.ycb.org/
Youth Coordinating Board and Youth Congress
Response to Anti-Immigrant Actions. I will be
joining members of the Youth Congress, and the Youth Coordinating Board to
release joint Statement of Welcoming on Thursday March 9 at the Minneapolis
Youth Congress meeting at approximately 5:30pm in the Doty Room of Minneapolis
Central Library. The statement says, in part, “We find the new Executive Order
about immigrants and refugees to be paralyzing.
Even though the Executive Order has been delayed through judicial
action, the effects of these policies are still damaging. They are tearing
families apart, instilling fear in children, adults, schools, businesses and
communities. The ripple effect of these policies has a significant impact on
our children, leaving them afraid and isolated.”
Youth Violence Prevention Report. The
2016 Youth Violence Prevention Results Report released late last year, was
presented to a Council Committee in February with some updated, 2016, date. The
report tracks 26 indicators over 10 years related to youth violence. Those
measures that specifically track youth who reside in Minneapolis show more improvement
than those measures that track incidents based on their location. Youth
homicides went down to 17 in 2016, from the disturbing spike of 24 in 2015.
There were 11 in 2014. The total number of violent crime victims went up, and
the number of youth involved in violent crime was up to 2,342 in 2016,
including 243 children under the age of 10. The number of assault injuries and
firearm-related assault injuries among residents went down but the total number
of people under age 25 who were victims of gunshot that occurred in Minneapolis
went up from 104 in 2014 and 130 in 2015 to 170 in 2016. Youth violence, and
youth gun violence in particular, is a growing, significant and preventable
problem in our city. I am glad that put additional resources into its
prevention in this year’s budget. You can find the report and presentation here
Support of Lawsuit Challenge U.S.
Deportation Practices. With my strong support, the Council has voted to join the local
government amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Jennings v. Rodriguez.
The case is a class action lawsuit challenging the United States government’s
practice of detaining immigrants facing deportation proceedings without
providing individualized due process hearings. The County of Santa Clara,
California, has drafted an amicus brief on behalf of local governments which
are home to large immigrant populations, arguing that such mandatory detentions
without individualized hearings violate constitutional norms, harm immigrant
families and communities, and impose unnecessary costs on local governments.
Amicus Brief Supporting Transgender
February the Council voted to join the local governments’ amicus brief in
Gloucester County School Board VS G.G. pending before the Unites States Supreme
Courts in support of the argument that Title IX requires that transgender
students be treated consistent with their gender identity for purposes of
access to facilities like school bathrooms.
No Ban No Wall. To respond to the disturbing Presidential
orders related to immigration and refugee resettlement, the Council took comments
and action in February and passed a resolution condemning the January 2017
Presidential Executive Orders. We also approved establishing a Sanctuary City
Task Force that will make recommendations by March 31, to strengthen city-level
policies, programs, and resources to better protect and defend the rights of
refugees, immigrant families, Muslim residents and others from unfair
deportation, acts of bigotry and hate, and persecution. We will also begin work
to create a local immigration legal defense fund, and review the President’s orders
for potential litigation and defense strategies to protect the City and our
residents. I support these actions and will continue the fight against what I
see as this administration's cruel and likely illegal behavior towards some of
the most vulnerable people in our communities and our world. For a more of my
thoughts on this see: https://www.facebook.com/camgordonward2/posts/722858671209828.
Immigration Ordinance. I am grateful to Council Member Cano for
introducing amendments to the city ordinances relating to Administration:
Employee Authority in Immigration matters to clarify policy intent and adding
further provisions to strengthen this important ordinance, sometimes called our
“separation ordinance” which makes it clear that out staff, including out
police, may not act to support federal customs, immigration or homeland
security enforcement. You can find the current law here https://www.municode.com/library/mn/minneapolis/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_TIT2AD_CH19EMAUIMMA
Community Connections Conference. Registration is now open for the sixth
annual Community Connections Conference – Your Voice, Your City: CommUnity – at
the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday, April 1. The conference features
three tracks: one -- your city – focused on the writing of the new 20 year
Comprehensive Plan for the city, another -- your neighborhood --- focused on
the future the future of neighborhood organizations and their roles in
communities beyond 2020, and the third --- your voice --- focused on ways
residents can connect with City leaders, find out how to serve on City boards
and commissions, and engage Minneapolis’ diverse communities. To learn more and
register for this free event visit http://minneapolismn.gov/ncr/communityconnectionsconference
Northern Metals. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
(MPCA) and Northern Metals have reached a court approved settlement agreement
that includes all operations at the Minneapolis facility being shut down and
moved out by August 2019, fines totally $2.5
million dollars that includes a payment of $600,000 to the city over
three years to mitigate health problems in the area. The city funds will go to
projects that identify and educate at-risk residents on asthma triggers; enroll
families with children suffering from poorly controlled asthma in a new asthma
trigger mitigation program; implement community blood lead level screening
events and follow-up as needed to help reduce environmental exposure to lead.
While I would have preferred to see all operations moved out of the city
sooner, I consider this a big victory for the city and commend the MPCA for
their diligence and persistence.
2017 One Minneapolis Fund Request for
Proposals. The Council has approved issuing a request for proposals for the 2017
$182,000 One Minneapolis Fund to promote leadership development and civic
participation. The Fund is intended to support
organizations serving under-represented communities in the city. Organizations
eligible for the program cannot receive funding through the traditional
neighborhood funding programs. For 2017,
$157,000 is available for programs that prepare leaders to serve on
neighborhood and City boards and commissions and $25,000 of the funds will be
designated for City-initiated projects where organizations are asked to assist
with outreach on departmental project where extra outreach seems needed. The
Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission and Neighborhood and Community
Relations staff will review proposals and determine the projects to be
recommended for funding.
Arts Commission Appointments Congratulations to Second Ward resident Vincent Moniz, who has been
appointed to the Minneapolis Arts Commission for a three-year ending December
Getting City Data. The City is hosting a session requesting
public data from the City on National Freedom of Information Day, Thursday,
March 16, from 4:30-6pm in Room 319, City Hall 350 S. Fifth St. There, staff
will explain how to make data requests and hear from the people who make data
requests about how the data requesting process works for them.
Short Term Food Permits. Council Member Palmisano and I have given
notice of our intent to introduce an ordinance amendment that would streamline
the permitting process for short term and seasonal food sales at public and
Technology Fix-it Clinics. If you have a computer or laptop that is
running properly you can bring it in for free tech support to the upcoming Fix-It Tech events Friday,
March 10 from 1-5 pm at the Takoda Institute – American Indian OIC, 1845 E.
Franklin Ave. or Wednesday, April 5 from 10am-4 pm at the University of
Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. SE.
Designation for the Armory. In March the Council will consider approving the
designation of the Minneapolis Armory located at 500 6th St S, as a local
historic landmark with the condition that the Secretary of Interior’s Standards
for Treatment of Historic Properties will be used to evaluate alterations to
the property. I support this, especially as it is being renovated to serve a
new purpose as an event center, which I am also glad to see.
Nicollet Mall Art. Between now and next December, eight
artworks will be installed on the Mall, including three new works and five
returning works. The statue of the late Mary Tyler Moore will be returned to
its original home at Nicollet Mall and 7th Street S. With seven additional works
coming in 2018, there will be 15 total artworks installed. Some works, like the
90 sewer covers, are a series, so there will actually be 111 total individual
pieces in all on the Mall.
Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center Grand
Opening. There will be a grand opening
celebration for the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center, at 515 15th
Avenue South on Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. The Cedar Riverside Opportunity
Center will serve as a pipeline to public and private sector job opportunities.
Resources will focus on the neighborhood’s East African community, reducing the
neighborhood’s unemployment rate and increasing access to educational programs.
Riverside Homes Preservation Project. I learned in early March that the West Bank Community Development
Corporation is working to secure funds to renovate and preserve 191 units, in
74 different buildings, in its Riverside Homes project on the West Bank. The
homes are in a variety of locations in the neighborhood, in Ward 6 and Ward 2, including
several near Riverside Park and all of the Riverbluff Townhomes that are near the
Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge on the northeast corner of the neighborhood. They are
requesting a $20 million tax exempt bond allocation, which would allow funders
to use the investment to reduce their tax obligation. According to the
proposal, work would be done on both the interiors and exteriors of the
buildings and no residents would be displaced.
Glendale Weatherization. I have heard from the MPHA that that are
working diligently to make the weatherization project happen. There were
apparently many issues that needed to be resolved with the Department of
Commerce, and contractual agreements to go through between MPHA and SRC. I have
been assured that there will be signatures in coming days, and commencement of
work to follow shortly.
Malcolm Yards. Wall Development Company has submitted an application to amend the
Comprehensive Plan for the Malcolm Yards development. The application requests that the Comprehensive
Plan be amended to remove a 9.44 acre site bounded roughly by Malcolm, the
University Transitway, the 29th Ave SE corridor and the 5th
St SE corridor from the SEMI Industrial Employment District, and change the
guidance of the Site on the Future Land Use Map from Industrial to Transitional
Industrial. I have received a formal
letter of support from the Prospect Park Association. I look forward to seeing the staff
recommendation soon, and having a final City position within the next few
Green 4th Grant. The City is poised to accept a grant, at our
next Council Meeting, from Hennepin County Transit Oriented Development Program
for the 4th St SE (29th Ave SE to Malcolm Ave SE) Reconstruction Project. This $485,000
grant will allow us to incorporate some of the “above standard” improvements
into the project. This grant was
originally applied for and received by the Prospect North Partnership.
Afro Deli. I was happy to participate at the grand opening of Afro Deli at their new location in Stadium
Village at 720 Washington Ave SE. I am glad they are still in Ward 2 and that
the City has been able to help with a $75,000 low interest loan to help make
Openings on Boards
and Commissions. A number of
board and commission positions are open for City Council and mayor appointments
this spring. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and
experiences to strengthen the work of the City. Translation and interpreting
services are available upon request to ensure all residents have the ability to
participate. Applications will be reviewed beginning April 14 unless otherwise
marked. There are 89 open positions on 15 City boards and commissions: Advisory Committee on Aging.
Advisory Committee on People With
Disabilities,Animal Care and Control Advisory Board, Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee, Commission on Civil Rights, Community Environmental Advisory Committee, Neighborhood and Community Engagement
Commission. Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Public Housing Authority (MPHA), Telecommunications Network (MTN), Transgender Equity Council – application reviews will begin
Thursday, March 9, Workforce Council, Workplace Advisory Committee, Youth Violence Prevention Executive Committee, Visit http://www.minneapolismn.gov/boards/openings/index.htm for more
information and to apply.
Open Office Hours in the Ward. I usually hold open “Office Hours” in the
ward every Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 am. Please feel free to call the office at
673-2202 to reserve some time when I will be there or just stop by.
First Thursdays at the Oren
Gateway Center, Nabo Café, 2211 Riverside Avenue;
Second Thursdays at Black: Coffee
and Waffles, 1500 Como Ave SE;
Third Thursdays at T Rex Cookie
Café, 3338 University Ave SE;
Fourth Thursdays at Blue Moon
Coffee Café, 3822 E Lake St.
Minneapolis City Council Member,