NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday May 24th 2022

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By LINDSEY FENNER

City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County make Juneteenth an official holiday: They join a growing number of municipalities making June 19, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, an officially observed holiday. Because Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, City and County offices will be closed on Friday, June 18 in observation of the holiday. 

Check hclib.org and www.minneapolisparks.org for Juneteenth celebrations and events.

Free membership is coming to Quatrefoil Library: Quatrefoil Library, the community center and resource for LGBTQ+ materials at 1220 East Lake Street, is offering free membership starting June 1. Quatrefoil Library has over 30,000 books, thousands of DVDs and movies, podcasts, and countless other pieces of media. The library has been open for curbside service only during the pandemic, but will start offering in-person hours this summer. Visit their website to learn more: www.qlibrary.org.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Now Open: The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a new federal program designed to reduce internet costs. The program will provide discounted or free internet to many households.

If you qualify, you can receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards your internet service. There are three ways to apply for the program:

  1. Online at www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org
  2. Through the mail by calling 833-511-0311 to get an application
  3. Directly with a participating internet service provider

You can also contact the Emergency Broadband Support Center hotline at 1-833-511-0311 or EBBHelp@USAC.org.

Rita Ortega drops out as Ward 9 City Council candidate: The Little Earth resident and community organizer announced on her facebook page that she was ending her campaign due to medical issues. Remaining candidates seeking the Ward 9 City Council seat are: Jason Chavez, Al Flowers, Jr., Carmen Means, Mickey Moore, and Haji Yussef.

Midtown Greenway crossing work this summer: Hennepin County will be making safety improvements at intersections along the Midtown Greenway this summer. Updates will be made at 6 intersections: James Avenue, Irving Avenue, 5th Avenue, 28th Street East, Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55), and Minnehaha Avenue.

American Swedish Institute (ASI) Community Fund Recipients: ASI has started awarding grants as part of its new Community Fund Initiative. The Community Fund offers short-term aid to service-oriented organizations located primarily in the Phillips and adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. The first round of recipients were Tamales y Bicicletas, Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts, and the Somali American Women Action Center. The next deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 30.  www.asimn.org/communityfund

East Phillips Urban Farm Wins Major Victory: After years of community activism, the Minneapolis City Council passed a staff directive to suspend the City”™s proposed Hiawatha Public Works Facility expansion and to recommend ways to sell the Roof Depot property back to the East Phillips Community. The staff directive was approved by the City Council on April 30, with a vote of 12-1. Councilmember Steve Fletcher, Ward 3, was the lone “no” vote. The pending Environmental Assessment Worksheet approval will be delayed until August, when the staff recommendations will be presented to the City Council. The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute has been advocating for urban agriculture, affordable housing, and retail space at the Roof Depot building at 1860 E 28th St.

Photo by East Phillips Neighborhood Institute
Neighbors and Allies celebrate at the Roof Depot site on May 15, 2021

Midtown Greenway Apartments project receives City approval, County funding: A new 5-story affordable housing complex between 11th and 12th Avenues along the Greenway was cleared by the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission on May 10. Greenway Apartments is being developed by Reuter Walton, a St. Louis Park based developer, and would have 86 units of affordable housing. On May 11, the project developer was awarded up to $800,000 for the project by the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board as part of a record $17.1 million approved for funding affordable housing. 

More ’20 is Plenty’ speed limit yard signs available: Speed limits in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are 20 miles per hour citywide unless otherwise posted. To help get out the word about the new speed limits and the importance of slower speeds for safety, the City again has yard signs available for community members. You can pick up your “20 is Plenty” yard sign at the Hiawatha Public Works Facility at 27th Street just east of Longfellow Avenue near the Public Works gate. Signs will be available 24 hours a day for no-contact pickup while supplies last. Signs come with metal stands.

City of Minneapolis
Slower speeds on local streets make travel safer for everyone no matter how you get around.

Bike with a Naturalist: Join a Naturalist at East Phillips Park to bike the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway! This program for 12-18 year olds  will provide the opportunity to develop overall bicycling skills, explore the local trail systems, hands-on learning experiences, and education on how to explore the green spaces in Minneapolis. Minneapolis Parks staff will include activities such as nature exploration, developing safe riding habits, and learning about biking as a form of travel. Participants can bring their own equipment or bicycles and helmets are available to borrow from MPRB. Tuesdays, 5-7pm, starting June 15. Register online at https://apm.activecommunities.com/minneapolisparks/Home.

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