Check out this podcast that I did with El Huateque about what it means to serve our communities and use our platform to build collective power to effect change. 
(Photo credit: Ryan Stopera of Ubuntu Media Productions)
Dear Neighbors,

The importance of community voice has been made clear through the public pressure and advocacy of Black Lives Matter, which has produced significant and positive changes for the people of our city, state and nation. We are part of a momentous time in history where those who are directly affected by the injustices we seek to resolve are taking bold leadership to change the way our society perceives, values and honors Black families. I’m proud to stand with the thousands of people who make up the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis movement, who are courageously working to uproot the negative legacies that slavery and colonization have left on the core functions of our current policing system.

As a City Council, the consistent and growing presence of the Black Lives Matter movement has pushed us to reconsider City ordinances that constitute a new era of Jim Crow. An analysis by the ACLU published last year found that Black and American Indian Minneapolis residents are disproportionately targeted by City ordinances dealing with low-level offenses. Last year, I was an early and staunch supporter of repealing our City’s outdated lurking and spitting laws. This year, I am pleased to once again be an early committed vote to support the important work of my Council colleagues Jacob Frey and Andrew Johnson, who have introduced a proposal to decriminalize marijuana.  I am also very supportive of the work Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden and Council Member Blong Yang have begun to repeal a ban on more than three people congregating on streets and sidewalks. These efforts demonstrate a good step in the right direction to address the racial disparities created by our policing system and I look forward to continuing to push for these changes with our community.

Continuing to build this momentum for change is vital to increase the progress we can make on this front. We have deeper work to do to improve our policing practices and make them safe for everyone, not just a few. Looking ahead, I will continue to work to localize and diversify our police force, I would like to improve our training for police officers to include a decolonizing and racial equity framework, and ensure our City’s civilian oversight review process has more influence in bringing justice to our communities.  

I hope you can join us to keep growing this movement for change on Monday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m. for our “Cafe con Alondra” community forum where we will analyze the effectiveness of the grand jury process in cases of officer involved shootings and talk about the next steps for the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis movement. Our panel will consist of local and esteemed leaders Nekima Levy-Pounds, President of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP; Kandace Montgomery and Adja Gildersleve, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis organizers; and Anthony Newby, Executive Director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. This is a timely and important conversation and I hope to see many of you there!

En la lucha,
It is time once again for 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.

Create your own contraption to slide amongst a throng of cheering spectators or bundle up and cheer on the insane creations with a group of friends or family. This is a free and family-friendly event.

Saturday, January 30
2:00 p.m.
Western Slopes of Powderhorn Park


The Green Zones resolution, which I am am proud to be co-authoring, has been delayed one more cycle as Council Members continue to have conversations about this important Environmental Justice Initiative. I am proud to be able to help bring this longtime demand of the EJ community through the council process and look forward to getting to work with the community to develop a robust policy. 

A modified Minneapolis Animal Care and Control policy that is making its way through the Council contains a number of provisions that will make it easier to incorporate animals into Urban farms including doing away with the signature requirement for flocks of six or less chickens, a provision that I have long advocated for. I look forward to seeing more and more sustainable food production happening in the Ninth Ward without onerous administrative requirements. Check out this great article about the changes featuring Ninth Ward residents Rob Czernik and Scarlet Johensson (yes, Scarlet is a hen).

Three long-empty parcels in Midtown Phillips will be getting new homes constructed on them next Spring, creating more opportunities to build wealth in Phillips. One will be constructed by PRG, a stalwart neighborhood nonprofit developer that has supported so many of our residents in the path to home ownership.

Two parcels are being developed by a Somali-owned outfit, Construction Consultants Minneapolis Metro Inc. He is building the homes particularly to accommodate the larger families that our East African neighbors tend to have. We love to see resources staying in immigrant communities and communities of color through entrepreneurship and home ownership opportunities.

The Council is also taking action to make it easier for food trucks to operate in more places, including farmer's markets. Shout out to the Food Council for advocating for these changes and Devon Nolen for coming to testify on behalf of the food council.

Learn more about what's happening in the community, the resources it offers, and how to get involved. Free dinner from A La Salsa, resource tables, community updates, and board elections. All are welcome!
Tuesday, February 23
Anderson School Cafeteria
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Americo Speed: Celebrating the Spirits Ofrenda by Ninth Ward artist and recipient of a 2016 MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, Tina Tavera
CURA’s Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative (ANPI) provides small grants to artists working in communities of color and/or low-income communities in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. ANPI grants recognize the valuable role that the arts and artists play in community revitalization efforts and are intended to support the involvement of artists as key actors and leaders of community building and development. This grant program is particularly focused on directly funding individual artists or groups of artists working to build more equitable communities in the Twin Cities.
A cabaret of puppet shows by the Twin Cities puppet community, with popcorn, beverages and live music. Come see puppets big and small, hairy and smooth, bitter and sweet, intelligent and stupid, war and peace, crude and cruder.

Hosted by Daniel Polnau
Music by The Controversial New "Skinny Pill"
Friday, January 29th 

Learn more at their Facebook event page.
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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.
Catch novelist, winner of the 2015 Mann Booker prize, Macalester professor, and Ninth Ward resident Marlon James in conversation with renowned novelist Dave Eggers. 

Thursday, February 4

7:30 p.m.

Join us for our 5th Annual Mira Mi Corazon art auction and scholarship fundraiser for students of the Dept. of Chicano Latino Studies and El Colegio. 

Mira Mi Corazon is a celebration of the beauty within our Latinx community and the love that surrounds it. Let's celebrate our voices and see how the community has turned wooden hearts into symbolic art pieces that invite you to look into their hearts- Mira Mi Corazon. 

Friday, February 4th

5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

4137 Bloomington Ave

Learn more on the Facebook event page.
Since early November 2015, artists Erin Sharkey and Junauda
Petrus, co­founders of the collective Free Black Dirt, have been exploring the archives of the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota as artists in residence with the Coffee House Press In The Stacks program. 

Learn more at their Facebook page.
This video interview series highlights local artists and culture-bearers with an active relationship to Lake Street. Come watch their short video interview and stay for an intimate conversation with highlighted artists and members of their family! 

Let us hold a conversation of leadership within a family context.

Saturday, January 30th 

Join Harriet for music, food trucks, and of course lots of great beer as Harriet Brewing celebrates 5 lovely years in Longfellow. 

Saturday, January 30th 

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change is hiring Lobbyist and Public Policy Analyst and an Environmental Justice organizer.
Nice Ride MN is hiring a Director, Finance and Business Planning
Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) is in search of a culturally competent Executive Director.
Senator Patricia Torres Ray is hiring a Legislative Assistant
USA Cooperative youth Council is hiring an Organizing Director
Equal Exchange Co Op is hiring a Midwest Customer Service Representative
Applications are now being accepted for the Urban Scholars program, focused on developing leadership capacity in communities of color for people who have completed at least a year of college. Apply today!
14-21 year olds can apply today for step-up internships at the City websiteSTEP-UP is a nationally recognized youth employment program that trains and matches Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 with paid internships. 
Call (612) 673-2209
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