City Council votes to ensure Mercado Central on Lake Stree is here to stay.
City Council votes to ensure Mercado Central on Lake Stree is here to stay.
The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center invites residents to participate in Together/apART. This project is a socially distanced collaboration that encourages Powderhorn Park neighborhood folks to add their own designs, imagery, words, and ideas to a mixed material quilt that will stretch across the Fire Arts Center parking yard fence. To learn more about the effort please visit the Fire Arts Center project website.
Dear neighbors,
I recall one of the very first meetings I had as your newly elected City Council Member in early 2014. At this meeting, I was told that the Mercado Central would have to close because of its lack of financial performance.
Well, I wasn't gonna have none of that.
For several years after that meeting, I focused my energy in pulling the right people and partners together to figure out where the story of our state's first Latino owned cooperativa had gone wrong. And most importantly, what we could all do together to fix it.
We began by refreshing and fine tuning the relationships of the partners who owned the project - the Mercado Central Cooperativa board and general membership, the Neighborhood Development Center, Project for Pride in Living, and the City of Minneapolis. I would host monthly meetings at the Mercado to track process and progress and the City was able to furnish resources to hire board governance consultants, financial literacy staff, and cooperative experts who focused on coaching the cooperativa to reach its full potential.
The Mercado began to change. New leaders stepped up to run for the board of directors and board elections were happening in more transparent ways. These leaders got into the healthy habit of hosting regular and publicly noticed general membership meetings to retrace the old lines of collective decision making and communal troubleshooting. One of our most beloved local Latino icons, Juan Linares, served to help carry the mercado through the cathartic pain of its metamorphosis. Later, a brilliant expert and local Latino leader, Eduardo Barrera, was hired by the board to continue to sustain the transformation. The original partners of the project once again began to believe in the possibility of success and new partners like the Lake Street Council and Goodspace Murals joined the ranks of those willing to step up to make sure the Mercado Central was here to stay.
But up until now, when the doors of the Mercado are nearly closed due to COVID19, we still had to reach one tiny, big brain goal which formed the 1996 genesis of the project: that one day the members of the cooperative would become the sole and outright owners of the mercado.
Today, I am beyond elated to share that the City has taken a final action to ensure the market can firmly reach that goal. On April 29, it became official that the City would forgive the primary and sole outstanding loan on the Mercado. This loan forgiveness takes the form of a restructuring of the terms of the loan moving it to a zero percent interest loan, removing monthly payments into perpetuity, and completely forgiving any outstanding balance on the loan debt in the year 2040 as long as the Mercado stays true to its original anti-gentrification mission.
While I believe that this recent City action staunchly supports the stability and permanence of the cultural powerhouse that is the Mercado Central, I want to remind us that this action rests on the strong resiliency of a community who is determined to make it through. They have survived inhumane raids and mass deportations that tear the social fabric of our schools and community. They have prevailed through disruptive road reconstructions, tragic recessions, and trauma. Together, we can keep building on this valuable resiliency and healing. I invite you to add your own "granito de arena," or contribution, by reaching out to the market manager, Eduardo (at) mimercadocentral (dot) com, to ask about how you can buy from and support the Mercado.
Let's work together to ensure Lake Street makes it through,



Despite the negative public health and economic impacts of COVID19, Mayor Jacob Frey delivered a hopeful message to Minneapolis residents as we all work together to navigate this global pandemic. The Mayor highlighted our collective commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and the fundamental need to deliver essential services. You can access his full length speech on the City's YouTube Channel.




Last night, Governor Tim Walz announced that the "stay at home" orders will expire on Monday, May 18th and will be replaced by new "stay safe" orders. This means that nonessential businesses can re-open at 50% capacity with safety plans in place. Minnesotans will be allowed to gather with ten or fewer people at a time. The Governor advises that those who are at greatest risk of contracting the disease should continue to stay home for their safety.
Separately, the "peacetime emergency," which allows the moratorium on evictions to remain in place, has been extended to Friday, June 12. This peacetime emergency extension maintains the Governor's ability to use his executive powers to implement or change orders during this time. On Monday, June 1st, restaurants, bars, and salons will be allowed a soft opening requiring safety plans and reduced operation capacity per State guidelines. 
The State of Minnesota COVID19 Response webpage has all the information you need on following the upcoming "stay safe" orders.



The MN Immigrant Families COVID19 Fund is a vital grassroots effort that everyday people can contribute to. The goal of the fund is to be able to help residents and families who do not qualify for federal stimulus checks, section 8 housing, or state aid. In less than two days, this fund received nearly 2,000 applications for assistance. Half of the applications came from Minneapolis residents.
The fund is inviting Minnesotans across all walks of life to consider contributing to this effort to ensure that all immigrant families who make our state strong can rely on the mutual aid that this global pandemic requires. Our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family need this collective support. If you are able to, please donate what you can.




Photo credit: Adja Gildersleve
We missed our dear Mayday parade in south Minneapolis, but the spirit of Mayday was alive and well with protests across the state demanding pandemic-related relief for working families. The physically distant actions highlighted the calls to action to cancel rent and mortgage payments due to the negative economic impacts of COVID19.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (CD5) authored a federal relief bill that seeks to achieve rent and mortgage cancellation nationally. This would forgive rents, mortgage payments, and debt accrued during the pandemic, and creates a relief fund for landlords and owners who would might lose this revenue.
In the Minnesota legislature, State Representative Aisha Gomez has introduced House File 4611 to make state cash assistance available to residents and families who have been left out of federal and other state supports. A separate state proposal originally introduced by State Representative Alice Hausman aims to provide rent and mortgage relief, it is now amended as House File 1507.
The City of Minneapolis has awarded $200,000 from the COVID19 Emergency Mental Health Fund to 29 community organizations providing mental health care to the community. Of these organizations, more than 80% of the people receiving services are from under-represented groups.
The City’s Division of Race and Equity established the fund to strengthen the capacity of mental and behavioral health providers and community cultural healers to provide services to those who may be experiencing increased stress and trauma related to the Coronavirus pandemic.


The City is closing eleven miles of roadway in residential areas across Minneapolis to accommodate and encourage residents to get outside and exercise during COVID19. Car access and parking for residents is retained, but physical barriers are positioned at the intersections of these streets in order to encourage thru-traffic only and slower speeds. Learn more about the Stay Health Streets initiative.
Welcome to our #MplsVotes newsletter segment. This is where you can get the latest City of Minneapolis information regarding the August Primary and the General Election in November of 2020.
Absentee Voting
Starting May 13, voters can use the Secretary of State’s website to request an absentee ballot for both the August and November elections. The State's online portal is now operational. 
Key Election Dates for 2020 
City Council: A special election to fill the Sixth Ward vacant City Council seat is set for Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
State Primary: Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
General Election: Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
For more information on all things related to the elections happening in 2020, visit the City's Elections and Voter Services website.
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Alondra Cano represents the Ninth Ward on the Minneapolis City Council. The Ninth Ward consists of the Central, Corcoran, East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods along with a sliver of Longfellow. Our diverse and vibrant communities boast beautiful parks, a number of thriving small business corridors, the Midtown Exchange, world class hospitals, and an informed and engaged community of changemakers, artists, and activists.
Track the impact of COVID19 on Minneapolis by accessing the City's COVID19 dashboard.
Be sure to check the City's Coronavirus webpage for all updated information related to Minneapolis and COVID19. You can also sign up to receive newsletter updates from the City.
If you have a question or concern about COVID19, you can email your questions to COVID19 (at) minneapolismn (dot) gov.
Sign up to recieve newsletters from the City of Minneapolis Arts, Culture and Creative Economy (ACCE) department. They offer a wealth of resources on how to stay engaged in the arts community locally and how to access support as a working artist. 
Nonprofits are eligible to apply for "One Minneapolis Fund" grants up to $25,000. The deadline is May 25. Click here to apply
A Virtual "Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival" runs Friday, May 15- May 23. Click here to learn more and view films. 
Midway Contemporary Art is  shifting $60,000 of its Visual Arts Fund to provide $1,000 grants to 60 visual artists living within the 7-county Twin Cities metro region with a high level of financial need. Learn more and apply here
Americans for the Arts has created a $10 million dollar fund to administer $5,000 no-strings-attached grants to artists. The deadline is May 21. Click here to apply
The City of Minneapolis is working with Springboard for the Arts to provide $500 grants to artists who have lost gigs due to the pandemic. 
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is working to significantly reduce the technology gap for families. Families who do not yet have their technology needs met should reach out their schools and make sure their contact information is up-to-date so that MPS Staff can follow up and work to meet the students' technology needs on an individuals basis. 
You can access MPS' full Distance Learning plans on the MPS Distance Learning webpage.
Farmers markets are considered essential grocery providers by the State of Minnesota and can stay open under specific conditions that help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Customers should plan ahead, go as one person rather than a family, wear a mask, pre-order if possible, and stay six feet away from others shoppers. 
You can find a map for farmers markets on the City's Homegrown Minneapolis webpage.
The City is managing donations of food, cleaning supplies, handmade masks, and other items. No personal protective equipment is being taken.
Note: The City will not warehouse or store actual items. City Health Department staff will help catalog what is available and needed and connect partners.
The City is expanding opportunities for residents to submit public comment on significant City efforts for 2020. 
To submit comments to the Neighborhoods 2020 Draft program, visit the Neighborhood and Community Relations webpage Deadline is July 15.
To submit comments to the Draft Transportation Action Plan, visit the Draft Plan webpage. Deadline is May 22.
Pillsbury United Communities is hiring an Urban Agriculture Specialist, Bicycle Mechanic, and a North News Editor.
Juxtaposition Arts is hiring a Managing Director.
North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) is hiring an Indigenous Education Director
The Asian American Organizing Project is hiring a Gender Justice Organizer.
Parents in Community Action is hiring an Infant Toddler Assistant Teacher - Head Start and a Bus Driver
Metro Transit is hiring Bus Drivers.
St. Stephen's is hiring a Shelter Worker.
Hennepin County is hiring a Benefits and Employee Well-Being Manager.
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