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Hennepin County Lead Paint Removal Funding Assistance:

Hennepin County has a program to help eligible homeowners and landlords pay for lead paint removal, which includes a free home test and up to $12,000 for work, including new windows. Visit to see if you qualify. Contact Phone: 612-543-4182.

In 2018, more than 200 children tested for lead in Hennepin County had blood lead levels high enough to damage their health.In young children lead ex-posure can cause:

  • Brain and nervous system damage
  • Slowed growth and devel-opment
  • Learning and behavior problems
  • Hearing and speech prob-lems

The government banned lead paint in 1978. Homes built before then likely have lead paint.

Abbott Northwestern Parking Ramp Expansion Passes City Planning Commission:

As part of their planned Allina/Abbott Northwestern campus renovation (see the February 2021 alley for project details) Allina has been granted permitting, zoning, and variance changes to build a new 8-story parking ramp and expand an existing ramp at 28th St. and Chicago Avenue. Part of a planned “transportation hub”, the ramp will include approximately 1,825 additional parking stalls, a bike center with parking for 200 bikes, electric car charging, and a roof-top solar array. At the public hearing on March 8, community speakers expressed concerns over increased car traffic and air pollution. The project was approved by the Planning Commission with a vote of 7 to 1. The lone “no” vote came from Commissioner Chris Meyer, who expressed concerns that the increase in car parking was not compatible with the goals of the 2040 plan and was a step back for environmental justice and Green Zones. Other members of the Planning Commission called Allina”™s plan “innovative” and believed Allina had justified their need for more parking.

Phillips Pool Lifeguard Classes:

Minneapolis Parks and Rec are offering Red Cross Lifeguard Certification at Phillips Pool this spring. Scholarships are available for Minneapolis youth in need to complete their training. Through American Red Cross certification, lifeguards learn CPR, first aid, and AED (automated external defibrillator). Lifeguards are certified first responders and can provide emergency assistance in a range of situations. Register for classes online at and search for “Red Cross Lifeguard Certification”.

Landmark Voter Intimidation Settlement Reached:

In February, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota reached an agreement with security contractor Atlas Aegis to settle a Voting Rights Act lawsuit. The lawsuit came out of Atlas Aegis”™ plan to hire and deploy armed ex-soldiers to polling sites in the state of MN during the 2020 elections to protect them from “antifas and supporters of Black Lives Matter”™. In the settlement, Atlas Aegis and its chairman Anthony Caudle are prohibited from deploying armed guards within 250 feet of any election-related locations such as polling places, and canvassing or tabulating locations, and from “taking any action to intimidate, threaten, or coerce voters, people aiding voters, or people engaged in tabulating, counting, or reporting votes”.

Minneapolis DFL Caucus Registration Starts April 1:

The Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL Party is holding their Minneapolis caucus online this year. April 1-30, caucus attendees can register, share their preferences for candidate subcaucuses, and mark down if they want to run to be a delegate to later City and Ward Conventions. At city and ward conventions, delegates will endorse candidates for Mayor, City Council, Park Board, and Board of Estimate and Taxation. Delegate elections will be May 12-May 18, and City and Ward Conventions will be later in the summer. Folks can sign up online at, by calling (612) 552-4215, or by texting (612) 712-7461. As of press time, the alley could not find any information about upcoming Minneapolis caucuses for other political parties.

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