In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day on October 12, Hennepin County Library is partnering with All My Relations Gallery to host the "Victory Rally Toy Theater" video contest to teach you basic puppet making skills, story telling, and small-scale theater production. Art kits will be available for pick up at the Franklin Library from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 12. Submit your videos by November 13 and learn more here about the effort.

Public Safety Committee Welcomes Public Comment on October 8 

The Public Health & Safety Committee of the City Council has set a public comment period at the beginning of its next meeting to hear from the public about public safety. 
Public safety public comment period
1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8
A federal judge has ordered the census to continue counting efforts through the end of the month. The Census Bureau will knock on doors as well as continue to receive census response forms until October 31, 2020.
Minneapolis has reached a milestone in its 2020 Census count by meeting the 2010 Census self-response rate of 72.8%. Meanwhile, hundreds of households in Minneapolis remain uncounted. This undercount could leave communities without resources and fair political representation for the next 10 years.
The Decennial Census not only provides important demographic data that informs decision making on how much federal funding is given to states for core amenities and services, but it determines proportionality of the 435 voting House Congressional seats allocated per state. Given that Minnesota is at risk of losing a congressional seat, while we navigate the most severe budget crisis in our City's history as a result of COVID-19, it is even more crucial that everyone is counted. Please fill out a census form online if you haven't already
Projected Census Undercounts by Neighborhood. Go to the City website to learn more.

Office of Violence Prevention deploys "MinneapolUS" to interrupt violence

You may be seeing violence interrupters out in our neighborhoods, wearing bright orange “MinneapolUS” t-shirts. The Minneapolis Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention is developing a new initiative modeled after successful efforts like Cure the Violence. The model complements existing outreach organizations already on our streets, employing a specific approach built on the idea that violence is a public health issue. By identifying and interrupting conflicts and working to promote community healing, the initiative is intended to break the “contagious” aspects of violence such as retaliation.

How does it work?

Using informal mediation, non-physical conflict resolution, and interruption methods the trusted community members will work on our streets to stop conflicts before they happen and as they happen. They’ll also work to foster healing and mobilize communities to reject violence through strategies like awareness building, community gatherings, and peace walks.

These trusted community members in neighborhood-specific teams have themselves experienced violence or are familiar with the impacts violence has on communities. They have strong relationships with young adults, neighborhood members, community leaders, and service providers.

They will also work to connect people to jobs, housing, mental health, and chemical dependency services, and other resources and supports.

Watch the City website for more information about this initiative and the Office of Violence Prevention as it becomes available.

Public safety community engagement timeline approved by City Council

The City Council’s Public Health & Safety Committee has approved an outline for expansive community engagement on how to improve our public safety system in Minneapolis. Under the proposed plan, community members citywide will have opportunities to offer feedback on alternatives to policing and police responses, public health-oriented violence prevention, and law enforcement reforms and/or changes to protocols and practices.

The process is divided into four parts:

Phase One (October-December 2020): A community survey and public forums focused on the current model of community safety and opportunities for changes, with a synthesis of initial themes presented to the City Council in early December along with a draft vision for consideration and adoption by the City Council.

Phase Two (January-March 2021): Public forums for community members to review and confirm the themes and goals established in the first phase plus a deeper dive into ideas for a new public safety model to help inform draft recommendations of action steps to realize the established vision and goals.

Phase Three (April-May 2021): Opportunities to offer feedback on draft recommendations at public forums and online.

Phase Four (June-July 2021): Recommendations will be refined and finalized, incorporating community feedback gathered throughout the engagement process, with a final report to the City Council on strategies for building a new model for community safety.

Referendums on the 2020 ballot

On November 3 voters will have the option to cast a simple "yes" or "no" on two referendums. Both of these ballot measures are attempts to realign our City Charter, or "constitution," with overarching State elections law. The Southwest Journal provides a very informative resource that spells out what these referendums mean for our city, and what the impacts will be on voters, candidates, and our Department of Election and Voter Services.
Black Visions and Reclaim the Block, in partnership with Nexus Community Partners, are distributing funding to community groups at the local level. This fund will work to support Black communities and organizations who are leading on these issues in the Twin Cities.  
Prioritized funding will be allocated to marginalized Black communities and Black people who hold the marginalized identities, including: LGBTQ communities, especially trans communities/people; women, femmes, and children; people with disabilities; poor and working class folks; immigrants, especially those who are undocumented; people who have been previously incarcerated; sex workers; and other criminalized communities. 

To learn more about this fund and how to apply, please go to Nexus Community Partners

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

For questions regarding the application process, check the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.

Mississippi River "drawdown" offers new, temporary perspective of riverfront

During the week of October 5, you will have a rare opportunity to see what parts of the Mississippi River looked like before it was altered by the lock and dam. The river will be at the lowest level on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 6 and 7), and then slowly refill on Thursday until it returns to the normal level later in the week. Learn more about how and why this uncommon "drawdown" is taking place
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