Wednesday October 20th 2021

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East Phillips Urban Farm Gets Much Needed Support from Council Vice-President Jenkins

By Grace Pastoor, East Phillips Neighborhood Institute Staff

Minneapolis City Council Vice-President Andrea Jenkins has come out in support of the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s urban farm project.

Jenkins initially voted for work on the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project to continue but, she said, changed her mind due to COVID and other concerns. “2020 happened,” Vice-President Jenkins said on the SouthSide Mpls podcast. “Given the fact that there’s a perception in the community that this facility would increase the amount of pollution in that area…given what we know about the Coronavirus, given what we know about how Native communities have had land stolen, I think this provides us, the City of Minneapolis, an opportunity to say ‘Community: We hear you.’” Jenkins, along with other local leaders, restated her support in a virtual event January 16.

The event featured short speeches by Jenkins, Senator Omar Fateh, Senator Patricia Torres Rey, and more. “After the effects of the Coronavirus that really deeply uncovered the systemic issues of racism in our society, and then the subsequent murder of George Floyd, I declared racism as a public health crisis,” Jenkins said. The East Phillips Urban Farm project is the neighborhood group’s alternative to the City of Minneapolis’ Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project. The City’s project would bring further pollution and environmental injustice to the diverse East Phillips neighborhood.

“I see this project as a way to mitigate some of those harms and begin to really address the inequities that have been foisted upon our communities of color, particularly in the East Phillips neighborhood,” Jenkins said. “I can’t in good conscience continue to support unsustainable, unimaginable policies that continue to disrupt our communities.”

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