From Latinx Heritage Month to 38th and Chicago.
From Latinx Heritage Month to 38th and Chicago.
September 15 was the first day of Latino Heritage Month, it is significant because it marks the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18. Visit the Meet Minneapolis website for a list of ways you can uplift and celebrate Latino Heritage Month.
Dear Neighbors,
It's hard to believe that we're already in the middle of honoring Latinx Heritage Month. As the first  Latinx to have been elected to serve on the Minneapolis City Council, I couldn't let this stone go unturned.
This month I wanted to take some time to pause and reflect on the significant contributions that Latinx and immigrant families have bestowed upon our local community by highlighting a few stories, acts of communion, and togetherness. I hope you can lend me your ear.

Las Mujeres de Mercado Central
It's not a new thing that Latinx womyn hold it down. But this time, they put out the fires before they even started. In the days of civil unrest following the cruel killing of Mr. George Floyd, a handful of Latina youth and mujeres stayed up night after night guarding and protecting their life's legacy at Mercado Central. Some as young as 16 years old, some as old as the hands that helped to birth us. Over the span of several nights and weeks, the mujeres were able to fend off every attempt to hurt the Mercado including turning off all of the gas ranges in the various kitchens of the restaurants that an intruder had turned on to light the Mercado on fire. While this story is no secret, it surely will take a while to be captured in a bronze statue or the history books of our children. In the meantime, if you walk into Mercado Central, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of it all in the ojos cargados and resolute smiles of the mujeres who carry Lake Street.

La Palabra
Early on since the beginning of the pandemic, my office began convening a large group of Latinx leaders, organizations, and individuals to gather every Monday via Zoom to ensure that public policies were not neglecting the needs and experiences of undocumented families who were also being negatively impacted by the coronavirus. This organizing infrastructure we built together over weeks served us well to mobilize and document the needs of the people of Lake Street the days after the civil unrest. Working with Latino Lead, we were able to write and publicize a demand for $1 Billion dollars in State recovery aid for Lake Street. These powerful and centering voices helped us all to collectively stand when we fell down, reminding us that our palabra is the auditory pragmatism of the corazón.

La Comida
Hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Latinx families and children have been able to rely on a healthy and steady source of nourishment throughout the summer thanks to the dedication of a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Second Harvest, and the Twin Cities Food Group. The City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood and Community Relations Latino Liaison Mariano Espinoza has boldly spearheaded this consistent effort with the help and support of the City's Homegrown Minneapolis and Health Department teams. This moment of Friday togetherness helps connects community members to organic, nutritious, and regular access to food. We are thankful for this abundance and the kind generosity of the partners who continue to make this one of the largest and longest standing food-distributions of the pandemic summer.
This Friday's food drop-off will be extra special as members of the City's Latinx Employee Resource Group join us at Powderhorn Park to honor Latinx Heritage Month by helping to provide food for families while filling out the Census, I hope you can join us! Set up begins at 10:00 a.m., meet us at the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center parking lot.
For Latinx Heritage Month, we stand with every one of these luchadoras y luchadores.
Seguimos en la lucha,

Safety for East Phillips

Council Member Cano and the Ninth Ward Staff have been nose-to-the-grindstone to provide public safety measures for neighbors throughout the East Phillips neighborhood by working hand in hand with residents and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's Office, Mayor Frey's Office, City Public Works Staff, the Minneapolis Police Department's Crime Prevention Specialist, City Regulatory Services, and the City's Office of Violence Prevention.
As a result of months long of engagement and community meetings, Public Works has installed speedbumps and will be converting two-way traffic routes into one-way streets. Additionally, Public Works is proposing adding stop signs at the intersection of 17th Avenue South and 29th Street to crate an all-way stop. Violence interruption trainings as well as business regulatory measures are being explored and will also be implemented throughout the Fall and early Winter.
The goal of these changes is to create a more conducive environment for safety and harmony in the neighborhood. Residents support many of these efforts to welcome resident traffic in the area, while making it less friendly for fast-speeding cars who may not be connected to the neighborhood. These changes are expected to be implemented this Fall.
If you have feedback on the new operations are street function, please call 311.

Beloved 38th and Chicago

It has been an honor to work side-by-side Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins to hold and support our beloved 38th and Chicago area. I'm keenly aware of the trauma, struggle, love, healing, transformative, and diverse energies this space carries. In the days and weeks to come our work is deep and great. I am here for it.
As a nod to this work, I and Council Vice President Jenkins worked together to establish a fund for memorial art work at the George Floyd Square and also allocated resources to hire healers and artists to help our city with the cultural and economic recovery efforts we are all undertaking. You can learn more about these efforts and related items by visiting the City's 38th and Chicago webpage.
By regularly visitng this webpage you can stay tuned to the racial justice work the City is doing for and with the communities of 38th and Chicago. On this website you'll be able to find the latest updates about the City's work here and sign-up for a newsletter specific to information about this area.
Additionally, this Wednesday, September 23rd at 1:30 p.m. you can tune in to a Public Works Staff presentation at the Transportation and Public Works Committee to hear how we as a community can choose to healthily maintain and protect George Floyd Square during the winter and beyond. You can livestream the event by logging in to the City's Live TV webpage during the presentation or watch it later on the City's YouTube Channel.

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.

Early Voting Begins!

Early voting for the 2020 General Election has begun! Yes, you heard us correctly: polls are now open for you to cast you ballot for President, U.S. Senate, Congress, and local races. For the first time in the history of Minneapolis, more people voted early in the Primary Election (whether by mail or in person) than did on August 11, primary election day.
This means early voting is convenient and that Minneapolitans want to vote early and safely. The City of Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services Department has launched a new website to make voting this year as easy and as safe as possible for Minneapolis residents.
The City has launched the 45-day comment period for the public to review draft “built form” regulations that will oversee the scale of new buildings and additions throughout Minneapolis. The regulations are critical to achieving the goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2018. The plan will shape how the city will grow and change over the next two decades so all residents can benefit. Under consideration now are technical aspects of Minneapolis 2040 implementation.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations, which will govern issues such as: building height, floor area ratio, lot sizes, and setbacks from property lines. The new built form regulations will resolve some of the major conflicts between Minneapolis 2040 and the City’s current zoning regulations. They are also intended to make the scale more predictable for new buildings and additions in different areas in the city including neighborhoods, downtown, production and employment areas, and areas served by high-frequency transit. 

Minneapolis 2040 went into effect January 1 following more than two years of community engagement. The plan guides growth and change with 14 key goals, including eliminating racial disparities, promoting climate change resiliency, and increasing access to jobs and housing.

You can attend an online open house on the proposed regulations to learn about the proposed changes and ask questions:
Tuesday, September 25
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Facebook live event

Wednesday, October 7
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Facebook live event

Learn more about how to comment on the proposed regulations
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