I was heartened to see the community building work happening at Little Earth highlighted by the Star Tribune. I deeply appreciate all of the efforts that the residents are putting forward to build a healthier and safer neighborhood. I believe that this work, being led by Little Earth families, is a clear call to action for policy makers and government. Since government played a significant role in creating many of the challenges our community is grappling with today, government must work more vigorously to address the negative legacies of settler colonialism and violence that our Indigenous communities have endured. I wrote an opinion piece in the Star Tribune aimed at raising awareness about the need for policy makers to take heed to the community's call to action.
Photo above by Ryan Stopera
The countdown has begun to our most beloved community rite of Spring - the annual May Day parade and festival! Each April, the Avalon Theater on East Lake Street, home to In the Heart of the Beast Theater (HOBT), is transformed into a creative laboratory and workshop where the community comes together to build the entire Mayday parade from nothing but cardboard, colorful fabric scraps, hot glue, and love (not entirely true, please see a full Materials Wish List here).
Open workshops are held Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, see the whole schedule to plug in. All skill levels and ages are welcome, stop by and learn about the theme and then make your own creation or connect to a bigger project. Come as much or as little as you like. If you can't make it to the build or you want more ways to support, May Day/HOBT is always in need of volunteers, especially on the day of the festival, and financial support. You can read more about all the ways to participate in May Day at HOBT's website.
It is especially lovely to see the way that so much of the artistic brilliance in the Ninth Ward is leveraged into May Day. Ninth Ward residents Sandy Spieler, Malia Burkart, Ramon Cordes, Jordan Hamilton, Junauda Petrus and Erin Sharkey (collectively Free Black Dirt) are among the full time staff artists who are guiding the creation of this year's parade and festival. 
Note that this month you can 'round up' at the Seward Co-op stores and the Co-op Creamery to support HOBT and May Day as part of their SEED program, which supports projects that build healthy, thriving communities.
I can't wait to see you all in the Park on Sunday, May 1st!
This week, Little Earth received a Public Health Heroes award from the City of Minneapolis' Health Department. Little Earth was recognized for the cultural food reclamation work that they are doing as part of their six year old urban farm. Little Earth led an initiative to evaluate the effectiveness of a biochar compost mix and the Three Sisters Indigenous urban farming technique. This traditional farming method allows the community to be better prepared for climate change and create access to local food and promote environmental health.
On hand to accept the award pictured above were Darlene Fairbanks, Susan Fagrelius, Little Earth President and CEO Robert Lilligren, Urban farm Coordinator Sindy Wright, and Jenny Bruce. Congratulations!
As an early public supporter of the Bring Your Own Bag ordinance, I'm excited to announce that with a 10-3 vote we passed this effort last week. As a human race we've survived for many generations without plastic bags and we can do it again. I thank Council Members Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame for leading on this Zero Waste effort! ‪Read the Minnesota Public Radio coverage of the Bring Your Own Bag ordinance to find out more.
Two weeks ago a proposal was brought to the City Council to fund the parks for the next ten years. However, this proposal failed to identify a solid funding source, did not indicate an expected impact on the tax levy, and most importantly – it did not codify a racial equity plan to prioritize this future investment in the parks of our city that have been left behind.
While I applaud Minneapolis' beautiful park system, it’s no secret that the parks in low-wealth neighborhoods have suffered from a lack of attention and investment. It is true that I am committed to seeing that the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has the resources that they need to maintain and improve our neighborhood parks, but I believe that we must stand up for racial equity and make sure that any future funding gets prioritized to parks located in our Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty (a designation by the MetCouncil). We must not only ensure that any future dollars are spent in a racially equitable manner to lift up the parks in the most challenged parts of our city, but we must also ensure these investments make up for the lack of resources that we have seen our neighborhood parks endure over the years.

My input was never sought out for the proposal that was brought forward to the Council. It was put together outside of our normal budgeting process without an opportunity for our residents to learn about the proposal or weigh in on the details of it, much less to debate it publicly. This means we have had very little to no opportunity to publicly discuss and analyze the impacts that this proposal would have on all of our other budgetary needs and monetary projections.

I understand that Mayor Hodges and the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Council Member John Quincy, are working on a proposal that would resolve the parks funding shortfall while also addressing our other infrastructure needs. I look forward to reviewing their proposal when it is ready to see if it takes a clear-eyed look at the fiscal implications of those commitments as well as their interest in elevating a racial equity framework that determines how these future dollars should be distributed into our community.

In the meantime, I invite constituents to contact me with their thoughts and questions at or 612-673-2209.

This week I joined Phillips residents working with Tamales y Bicicletas, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, Waite House, Stone's Throw Urban Farm, and the Hmong American Farmers Association to offer testimony in the Minnesota State House Agriculture Finance Committee to support a piece of legislation that would contribute money to an urban farming project in East Phillips. Check out the language for HF 2818, which was developed by the community and State Representative Karen Clark in response to the City's water yard proposal for the Roof Depot site. Please feel free to contact members of the State House Agriculture Finance Committee to seek their support for this effort.
For anyone who has an interest in health care, this is a great chance to enter the field. The Minneapolis Fire Department is now accepting applications from people ages 18-30 for a certification course in emergency medical services (EMS). The Fire Department offers the EMS Pathways Academy with Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) to train Minneapolis residents from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as emergency medical technicians.  There is no cost to apply. Participants are paid $14.93 per hour. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.
Check out the City website for deadlines and qualifications.
The Minneapolis Teen Job and Opportunity Fair is an opportunity for teens ages 14 to 19 to connect with businesses and organizations for information about jobs, employment training, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Some of the employers will be accepting applications and interviewing at the job fair. Others will require an on-line application. Attendees will be welcome to use computers at the library to complete applications.
The Teen Job Fair is free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required. Parents, guardians, counselors, and teachers are welcome to attend the event.
Saturday, April 30
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Central Library
Join Tamales y Bicicletas (TyB) on an environmental justice solutions bike tour! Depart from their bike shop and head on a small tour of local polluters in the neighborhoods in south Minneapolis and ending at the TyB urban farm with light refreshments and conversation about urban solutions to pollution.
Saturday, April 22
2:00 p.m.
1501 East Lake Street
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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.
Check out this space for information about the movement to raise the wage locally and across the country!
Plug into local efforts to raise the wage with 15 Now Minnesota. This Sunday they are kicking off weekly signature drive efforts for their ballot intiative which would raise the wage to $15/ hour in Minneapolis. Find details on Facebook.
I was deeply sorry ot hear about the death of Raul Marquez. I spent some time with his family after their loss. Raul leaves behind his wife, Gloria and their five children. 
We wanted to offer folks the opportunity to support the family as they face funeral expenses and other unexpected costs due to the untimely passing of Raul. Please click on the GoFundMe page here if you wish to donate. 
If you are interested in learning how to create a co-op in Minneapolis this free eight week course will help you learn the process. 
You can get more information and register at the city's registration page.
If you are looking to start a career in construction, this is a good opportunity to learn about pathways into the field. 
Tuesday, April 12 
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Join the 2nd Avenue Block Club, Council Member Alondra Cano, MPRB Commissioner Scott Vreeland, and Park Board staff for a meeting about all issues related to Green Central Park and Gym!
Tuesday, April 13 
5:30 p.m. 
Green Central Park
3416 4th Ave South 
Learn more information at the Facebook event page.
Residents are invited to an open house to hear and comment about the Environmental Review on the 35W Transit Access project. 
Tuesday, April 19
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Colin Powell Center
2924 4th Avenue South 
Critical Conversations in Chicano and Latino Studies: Cafe, Pan y Plática is an intellectual space for scholars to workshop new research, to discuss pedagogical strategies, and contemplate new issues within the field. Everyone on and off campus is welcome to attend.
No Más Bebes 
Film screening co-sponsored by Women's Center’s Feminist Fridays 
Friday, April 22nd 
7:00 p.m. 
Learn more about the series and upcoming speakers on Facebook.
The City of Minneapolis wants to help boost the capacity of women and people of color small developers. This course will take place over two days in May. It is limited to 25 participants. 
May 12 and 26
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Register for the course here.
The One Minneapolis Fund is designed to support the development of diverse leaders and community engagement in the City of Minneapolis. Community or cultural organizations that are actively working toward building an inclusive Minneapolis are invited to submit proposals.

Learn more about the grant cycle and application on the City's website.
Hennepin County is hiring a bilingual (English/Spanish) teen (ages 16-19) to work as a part-time teaching assistant in various libraries.
Take Action is hiring a Communications Director.
SEIU is hiring a Minnesota Political Organizer.
CTUL is hiring a Capital Campaign Leader.
There are lots of great jobs available at the City of Minneapolis, including a Bicycle/Pedestrian Transportation Planner, a Sustainability Program Coordinator, and a Youth Development Coordinator. These and more available on the City Jobs site.
Call (612) 673-2209
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