Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The future of neighborhood revitalization

There continues to be progress being made towards a neighborhood revitalization program in the future. Several important steps have been taken in the passed several weeks and I think there is room for hope and concern. As things progress we will get a better indication of what the future will look like and it will important for to identify areas where there is the potential for making improvements.

The NRP Framework for the Future work group has given its final report and, while many are worried and concerned about the future, I think it is important to note that we’ve made real progress towards ensuring a healthier future of our neighborhood organizations and a continued neighborhood revitalization program.

When I took office a future NRP program was a big priority for me. The fact that the funding for the current program will end in 2009 offered both concern and opportunity. The concern was that there would no longer be a

The most significant recommendations in the report include the creation of a new resident-controlled Neighborhood and Community Advisory Board, and a new Neighborhood and Community Relations Department under the City Coordinator. The report recommends that the City fund approximately $3 million per year to neighborhood organizations to support administrative work. There is also an emerging consensus, made possible by the Legislature’s decision to enable us to continue funding it into the future, that there will be additional discretionary funding for neighborhood priorities.

After a good public hearing with many people expressing concerns about the Framework for the Future the Council met this week as the "Committee of the Whole" and continued the discourse about the future of NRP. On of the more interesting documents to come forward is an alternative proposed by a group of residents know as "neighors4nrp." The proposal makes several concrete proposals that are certainly worth considering.

Today at the Committee of the Whole we moved both the matter of establishing the new department and creating the new board forward without recommendation. Council Member Colvin Roy, who has been working closely with me on this issue, made the motion about the department. When I made the motion to move the resolution establishing the board forward without recommendation I also took the time to present a substitute motion. I developed this my looking at the Framework report, the alternative and the 2007 Community Engagement Task Force report as well as our own Planning Commission. It is my sense for this level of importance the Planning Commission is the most comparable civic board available.

I am hoping that my substitute will generate some discussion both within City Hall and without. When the issue returns to us as a full City Council on the 26th of September I suspect that my strategy will be to introduce some, many or all of the proposed changes in the substitute in separate motions.

If you would like to see the full text of the substitute let me know or look here.

I do hope that you will consider reading it and letting me know what you think.


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