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: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2006/05/disclaimer.html#links

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Goals & Priorities for 2018 and Beyond

Goals & Priorities
for 2018 and Beyond

Goals

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 place.

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 neighborhoods.

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.  
Strategic Priorities

Environmental Sustainability
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.  

Social Justice
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 rides.
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.

Peace and Nonviolence
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.

Grassroots Democracy
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 and greenspace.
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.

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