Alondra stands with striking fast food workers organizing with CTUL
for a $15 wage and the right to form a union.
Dear Neighbors,
2014 showed us that the future of Minneapolis is about justice.
During our first year serving the people of the Ninth Ward, our city has committed to bold action to address the racial inequities that plague us. As families, students, and community residents you have organized tirelessly to tackle these disparities head-on. Your actions have ensured that decision-makers stay on course to help transform Minneapolis into the equitable community we all deserve to live in.
I want to you for your engagement with the work of the city this year. I am proud to have fought with you every step of the way. From making a motion to hear your voices at our very first City Council meeting to standing up against the #LatteLevy, which aimed to take budget resources away from investment in fighting climate change and investing in the communities in our city that need it the most in exchange for a tax break for the wealthy, my goal has been to involve you in the decisions that impact you and to engage our communities to help us solve the disparities that are holding us back. 
This philosophy has guided my work on the Council and has allowed us to shape and influence a wide range of policy initiatives, programs and community-based efforts. Below I highlight a few key efforts we strategically took on to ensure we are planting the seeds of racial justice and equity:
Indigenous Peoples Day
From Time magazine to Aljazeera, this powerful resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day received national attention. Even Seattle was jealous. Strengthening our democracy entails changing the narrative of race in our country and we lead this charge at the city policy level. It was an honor to work closely with the Native American Community Development Institute to build on the decades of organizing work in the Native community and create this change. The first Indigenous Peoples Day celebration took place in October at the American Indian Center with thousands of people, community performances and speakers, and a spread of pre-colonial food prepared by Indigenous chefs. Many of you were able to weigh in and share your ideas about how to continue to use this day to push for changes that improve the lives of American Indian families and children. Some may see this as a symbolic gesture but symbols move nations; I am humbled to be a part of the community movement to reclaim our history through this act of decolonization. This effort has opened up more opportunities to empower and elevate the voices of American Indian communities and I look forward to continued work with the Indigenous communities of the Ninth Ward and Minneapolis.

Police-Community Relations
I was listening to your discussions on Ferguson and paying attention to the concerns you shared over the senseless deaths of African American fathers, sons, and brothers. Responding to both the history of Minneapolis policing issues and a burgeoning national movement for improved relations between the community and police we pushed for dialogue and engagement on this topic. Our office sponsored a public session on police-community relations with esteemed leaders Dr. Rose Brewer, Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, author Jason Sole, Titilayo Bediako, WE WIN Institute Youth, and Council colleagues Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden.  We were joined by hundreds of community members committed to  the work of unearthing and uprooting the inequities in our policing system. This action set off additional community forums led by our Mayor and the Chief of Police, marking an unprecedented level of attention and discussion of these challenges from both local government and concerned community members. I welcome all of the work on this issue was pleased to vote for a budget that invests $1 Million in police body cameras but this is only part of the solution. I remain committed to finding long term community-driven solutions that address the challenging relationship between the police and communities of color as well as the deep disparities in arrests in our city.
Midtown Farmers Market
Located next to the third-busiest transit intersection in the state and noted as one of the top ten re-development projects of our city, the creation of a permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market has drummed steadily along with our office’s support and prioritization. We’ve had a strong partnership with the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization who is leading the community vision of this new development and we are excited to be working hand-in-hand with our Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin on balancing the needs of the County, the neighborhood, and public transportation. With a 6.5 acre dream of transit-oriented-development our office has been busy advancing this project and grounding it in the community needs of accessibility, business development, racial equity, and sustainability.
Mercado Central
15 years ago, Minneapolis’ first Latino public market and urban cooperative was established, igniting community revitalization efforts up and down East Lake Street. Today, with our office’s dedicated attention and full support, the Cooperativa Mercado Central has reached a huge milestone – after nearly closing its doors at the beginning of 2014, today it has democratically elected new Board Members, dusted off its management structure, and they have rolled up their sleeves to deepen and improve their membership structure. We’ve invested a lot of time to ensure the continued stability of Mercado Central and we will continue to work with them to ensure that Mercado Central remains a successful immigrant business incubator that anchors the Latino community on East Lake Street. 

I want to express my gratitude for the honor of doing this work for you and alongside you. My staff and I are excited for a busy year continuing to move policy and projects forward around supporting small businesses, environmental sustainability and energy justice, supporting immigrant communities, economic justice, workers and renters rights, community art projects, and urban agriculture. As always, we are here to help in any way that we can. Please contact us if we can be of assistance or if you have any feedback about our work.
Bring on the iteams! Thanks to Mayor Hodges' dedicated attention to racial equity, Minneapolis has been awarded a Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team grant of up to $900,000 for each of the next three years to ensure equity is a core city service. This is a game-changing investment and I congratulate our Minneapolis organizers for elevating the importance of racial equity and send kudos to the Mayor’s office for securing these resources.
I look forward to supporting the implementation of this work as it brings much needed capacity to help us stop being trapped by the disparities of the past. This grant will fuel our movement for change and make sure we unflinchingly transform into the equitable city our residents demand.
This is big, this is bold – lets work together and make this beautifully effective.
We are thrilled that Minneapolis' very first cocktail room is open in the Ninth Ward!  Building on the Twin Cities’ rich culture of local foods and beers, Minneapolis’ first micro-distillery has planted its roots in the Longfellow Nighborhood. Anchored by husband and wife team Chris and Shanelle Montana, Du Nord Craft Spirits has been cranking out L’etoile Vodka and Fitzgerald Gin for the better part of a year.
As a small batch distillery, Du Nord Craft Spirits has control of every step of their process. Their products are crafted from local grains and botanicals. Emphasizing the motto, “from grain to glass,” Du Nord sources ingredients from Shanelle’s family farm in Cold Spring, MN. All aspects of spirits production occur at the Minneapolis location including milling, mashing, distilling, and bottling. 
Worldwide, the spirits industry, like the beer industry, is monolithic. Over 50% of all distilled products are made by just two companies. “We aren’t trying to be the next Jack Daniels” said co-founder Chris Montana, “our small size means we can build ties with individual farmers and create connections between the farm and the city.”
The cocktail roomis now open to the public. Follow them on Facebook or visit their website to sign up for their newsletter and join us in raising a glass to the newest addition to the NInth Ward!
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Come soak up the wisdom of one of our dear elder artists and organizers, Sharon Day.
Sharon Day, Ojibwe is an award winning artist and writer. She is the co-editor of Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray! Feminist Visions for a Just World and Drink of the Winds, Let the Water Flow Free. She has performed with Illusion Theater, the American History Theater, and Pangea. Her poetry has been included in numerous anthologies including the St. Paul Almanac, Indigenous Women's Network and others. As an environmental activist, she has walked the Mississippi River, the Ohio River, Seneca Lake, Pokegama Lake, and the St. Louis River, as well as the 4 Directions Water Walk from Gulf Port, Mississippi to Lake Superior. In 1990, she created the Native Youth Theater as a program of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force.
Q&A is a series of intimate community conversations with some of the Twin Cities’ most creative, influential and dedicated organizers and artists, covering a limitless range of topics. Hosted by Pangea World Theater and curated by Ninth ward residents Jessica Lopez Lyman and Emmanuel Ortiz, tickets to Q&A are limited so get yours today. See you at Pangea!
Saturday, January 31
7:30 p.m.
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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.
Back yard chicken raisers will meet to discuss upcoming rule change process for back yard chicken licenses and care standards. This will allow people who raise chickens to be a part of the conversation with city hall about pricing for licensing, care standards for birds, and ways that Minneapolis Animal Care and Control interacts with the public.

Come with your ideas so you can have your voice as a licensed chicken owner be heard by the city.
Check out the Facebook invitation for more info and to RSVP.
Saturday, January 24
2:00 p.m.
Thousands of Minnesotans can't vote because of a past criminal conviction--many of them people of color. It's time to change that. We're ready to expand voting rights through the legislature in 2015, and we need your help. Join us for our first meeting to plan next steps and #freethevote in our communities

Food and childcare provided. For more information contact
Saturday, January 24
2:00 p.m.
Ninth Ward Chicana activist-scholar Jessica Lopez Lyman presents the latest in the Lowertown Reading Jam series and takes on the "blue wall" of the milatary/police state.
Featuring: Jessica Lopez Lyman ♦ Roxanne Anderson ♦ "Brandon Allday" Bagaason ♦ Felipe Espinoza-Day ♦ Magdalena Kaluza ♦ Jaméz L. Smith
Wednesday, January 28 
7:30 p.m.
Are Winter’s short days too much for you? Get outside and come to the Art Sled Rally!

The Annual Art Sled Rally, a fun-filled spectacle in Powderhorn Park produced by the South Sixteenth Hijinks. All ages can work with a cadre of artists to make and adapt sleds and sled-like art objects. Bundle up and enjoy the amazingly creative crafts and clever emcees at this popular event.
Saturday, January 31
2:00 p.m.
A Fundraiser to help workers organize for fair wages through CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha). 
CTUL is a non-profit organization of workers who are actively committed to improve low-wage work conditions, fight for fair wages, and gain basic respect and a strong voice throughout Twin Cities workplaces. Since 2007, CTUL has successfully recovered over $1.2 million in back wages, reinstated hundreds of unjustly fired workers and pressured 26 companies into changing corporate policies impacting the lives of over 3,300 low-wage workers. Our success has been possible in part because of the generous donations of people and organizations like you. 

Sunday, February 15 
11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) is hiring an Operations Director and a Communications Coordinator.
Full Cycle is hiring a Shop Manager.
The Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) is hiring a Community Leadership Organizer.
Seward Co-Op is hiring a store manager for their Friendship Store location. Multilingual candidates and those living in the communities around the Friendship store are encouraged to apply. 
The city of Minneapolis Sustainability office is hiring a Program Coordinator 
Call (612) 673-2209
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