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Random alley News July ’22

Random alley News July ’22

SEIU mental health workers and allies on the picketline in front of Abbott Northwestern Hospital for a one-day strike on May 24, 2022 Credit- SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa Nurses at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and other metro-area hospitals held informational pickets on June 1. / Minnesota Nurses Association Written or compiled by LINDSEY FENNER 100 Percent of Cristo Rey’s Graduating Class of 2022 Accepted Into College: For the twelfth year in a row, the Jesuit High School in Phillips West will be sending all of its seniors to college. The private Roman Catholic school, which was established in 2007, is part of the “Cristo Rey Network” of 38 schools around the US that prepare low-income students of color for post-secondary education. Congratulations graduates! Minimum Wage Increases July 1 in Minneapolis: On July 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Minneapolis is going up to $13.50 at small businesses and $15 at large businesses. The Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance defines small businesses as 100 or fewer employees and large businesses as more than 100 employees. Tips and gratuities do not count toward payment of a minimum wage. The City’s Department of Civil Rights oversees enforcement of the municipal minimum wage and wage theft prevention ordinances, and workers are encouraged to report violations online at www.minimumwage.minneapolismn.gov -City of Minneapolis South Minneapolis Tenants Go on a Rent Strike to Protest Safety and Maintenance Issues: Five families who live at 3100 Bloomington Avenue South announced on May 25 they would be withholding May rent to protest unsafe and unhealthy living conditions. Residents are supported by United Renters for Justice - Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia, a tenant-led housing justice organization. The property was formerly owned by landlord Stephen Frenz, who in 2016 was sued by tenants, lost his rental license, and later went to jail. The new owners of the building say they are not affiliated [...]

Raise Your Voice: Reporting Back In

Raise Your Voice: Reporting Back In

By PETER MOLENAAR June 14… A co-activist with the Minneapolis Regional Retirees Council knew the bus route. We traveled a good length of Bloomington Avenue before ultimately arriving at 4th and Hennepin for a demonstration at Xcel energy headquarters. MN350 and Sierra Club had combined to produce a splendid multi-racial/multiple-nationality gathering. Xcel was denounced in English and Spanish for being a private utility, guilty of “extraction from nature and the public.” Quiz question: When “power to the people” is truly realized, what industry is first on the list to be socialized? In hand that day was an article printout from the PEOPLE’S WORLD with the caption: “Trumpite Postmaster DeJoy sued over huge gas guzzler buy.” The USPS desperately needs to refurbish one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world. However, if DeJoy is allowed to have his way, these will not be modern electric trucks produced in a union shop in Wisconsin. No, they will be gas and diesel vehicles produced in a nonunion shop in South Carolina. Several key activists are now familiar with this article. So, we shall see. From the Clean Transportation website of MN350: “Air pollution caused by vehicles is the United States’ biggest single contributor to global warming. It’s responsible for up to an estimated 4,000 annual deaths in the Twin Cities alone, and disproportionately affects the young, old, low-income, and communities of color.” Sound familiar? Our East Phillips Urban Farm Community Coalition grasps the core truth of the matter. Dear neighbors, the proposition that the concentration of pollution in low-income communities is cost effective is false. Period. Truthfully, our city’s public works fleet would operate with greater efficiency if deployed from three sites: 1) the empty acreage north of the MSP airport, 2) a warehouse in Northeast MPLS, 3) ditto for the Northside. [...]

May Random alley News 22

May Random alley News 22

Nellie Stone Johnson/ Hennepin County Library Special Collections By Lindsey Fenner The Women’s Environmental Institute Is Offering Free Classes for Phillips Folks: WEI offers a variety of courses and workshops on gardening, farming, herbalism, food preservation and more. People who work, live, play or pray in Phillips can take these events for free. Most classes are at the Amador Hill Farm Campus in North Branch. Check out the class schedule and learn more about the Women's Environmental Institute: w-e-i.org. Contact Jerry at jerry@w-e-i.org for more information on how to get free registration. Urban Farm Veto Upheld by City Council: On March 24, the Minneapolis City Council upheld Mayor Frey’s veto of CM Chavez’ motion supporting the East Phillips Urban Farm by a vote of 7-6. Although CM Chavez said he hoped to bring a new motion forward at the next full council meeting on April 14, no motion was made. According to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute, the community group organizing the Urban Farm, they are in negotiations with the City of Minneapolis with a meeting scheduled for April 26. So far EPNI has rejected various proposals from the City. One would require the organization to come up with $14 million by this summer to purchase the full site. Another proposal would sell EPNI 2.9acre of the site for $1 but would include the demolition of the Roof Depot building. Midtown Farmers Market Opens Saturday May 7 at Renovated Plaza: After three years at a temporary location, the Midtown Farmers Market will be returning to Lake and Hiawatha at a new civic plaza. The project was a collaboration between Hennepin County, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, and the developers of the newly built apartment complex near the plaza. The new plaza is next to the Lake Street/Midtown Light rail station. The Market is open Saturdays May-October from 8am to 1pm and Tuesdays June-October 3pm-6pm. Vendors accept [...]

New Direction for East Phillips Urban Farm Derailed by Mayor Frey’s Veto

Update: On March 24, the Minneapolis City Council upheld Mayor Frey's veto of CM Chavez' motion by a vote of 7-6. At the March 24 City Council meeting, CM Chavez said he hoped to bring a new motion forward at the next full council meeting on April 7. Look for an update on that in the May issue of the alley. By Lindsey Fenner At the March 10 City Council meeting, new Ward 9 Councilmember Jason Chavez put forward a motion that rescinded the council action last fall that gave a green light to the expansion of the Public Works facility at 1901 E 26th Street. Chavez’ motion gave the East Phillips Urban Farm project a new way forward on that parcel. It also explicitly included the public works training facility that had been left out of the last council action, stopped demolition of the former Roof Depot Building, instructed city staff to find funding options to repay the Water Fund, and required community stakeholders to make formal proposals for redevelopment of that city-owned land by June 30 2022. Chavez’ motion passed the City Council with a vote of 8-5, after a series of impassioned speeches by those voting in favor. Voting for Chavez’ motion were CMs Chavez, Chughtai, Ellison, Johnson, Koski, Payne,Wonsley Worlobah, and Council President Jenkins. Voting against Chavez’s motion were Ward 6 CM Osman who represents Phillips West and Ventura Village in Phillips, as well as CMs Goodman, Rainville, Vetaw, and Council Vice President Palmisano. But Mayor Frey’s veto derailed the Council’s action. In his March 11 veto letter to the Council, Frey said he would sign a similar motion with conditions including: changing the word “rescind” to “suspend,” giving clear guidelines for a formal proposal from community stakeholders, and including a clear finance plan for the community redevelopment. According to council rules, Chavez’ vetoed motion would need to be reconsidered at the next City Council meeting, March 24, after the alley goes [...]

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips

By STEVE SANDBERG East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium gathering, where community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th to lift up their ongoing work to bring community-led development to the Roof Depot site. As Minneapolis residents waited to see what change would result from the November 2021 election, 75 to 100 community members gathered on Saturday, December 18th at the East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium to lift up their ongoing work to bring community led development to the 7.6 acre Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood. Led by EPNI staffer Joe Vital, the meeting highlighted EPNI’s work to save the 230,000 square foot Roof Depot building for aquaponic farming, affordable housing, solar development, and a youth-led coffee shop, event center, and bicycle repair and assembly facility. Local BIPOC businesses displaced in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd are also supporting this community led effort. The meeting featured appearances of City, County and State level representatives. Restating their long-held support for the project were State Senator Omar Fateh and Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley. Neighborhood resident Karen Clark, who represented the area for 37 years in the state legislature, presented compelling documentation on disparities of income and wealth, as well as extremely elevated rates of asthma, childhood lead poisoning, and other environmentally related illnesses occurring in our majority BIPOC neighborhood. Her work for environmental justice over many years was the genesis of this project. The greatest interest was in the changing political situation at the City level. This is being led by 9th Ward Councilmember elect Jason Chavez, joined by Ward 1 Councilmember elect Elliot Payne, and 10th Ward Councilmember elect Aisha Chugtai. In the weeks before the 2021 election, a resolution to tear down the Roof Depot building was reinserted for a vote and passed by a 7 to 6 margin, but 4 of those 7 [...]

Dave’s Dumpster

Dave’s Dumpster

City Moves Forward with Public Works Expansion in Phillips; Neighbors Continue Fight for Environmental Justice

City Moves Forward with Public Works Expansion in Phillips; Neighbors Continue Fight for Environmental Justice

By LINDSEY FENNER The Minneapolis City Council voted to continue the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility expansion at the Roof Depot site at 1860 E 28th St on a narrow 7-6 vote. The approved plan, put forward by Ward 1 CM Kevin Reich, is a reversal of the previous Council directive to halt the Public Works expansion project in East Phillips. Community members, led by the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI), have protested for years against this project, putting forward an alternative vision for an Indoor Urban Farm at the 7-acre Roof Depot site. Reich’s proposal came as a surprise to Urban Farm supporters, including Ward 9 CM Cano. The passed proposal, which was “Option B” of four potential plans presented to the City Council over the summer, moves the City Water Yard facility from it’s crumbing building in Northeast to East Phillips, demolishes the Roof Depot building that community activists had wanted to use as an indoor urban farm, removes a proposed training facility for Public Works from the expansion plans, and sells 2.8 acres of the site for “community use.”  The vote to continue the public works expansion in East Phillips came despite a Racial Equity Impact Analysis (REIA) presentation that showed that neighbors near the project already “experience much higher levels of cumulative pollution than residents from majority white city neighborhoods and the average metro area resident leading to hiring levels of asthma and hospitalization for children and adults living in the surrounding neighborhoods.” The Public Works expansion is expected to bring an increase of car and truck traffic into the neighborhood, which will further increase already high levels of air pollution in East Phillips.  Council members Bender, Cunningham, Ellison, Fletcher, Goodman, Reich, and Ward 6 CM Jamal Osman voted in favor of the Public Works expansion in East Phillips. CMs Jenkins, Johnson, Gordon, Schroeder, Palmisano, and Ward 9 CM [...]

City Council Committee Votes to Halt Hiawatha Public Works Expansion, Future of Urban Farm Uncertain

City Council Committee Votes to Halt Hiawatha Public Works Expansion, Future of Urban Farm Uncertain

By LINDSEY FENNER In a confusing and close vote, on August 18 the Policy and Government Oversight (POGO) Committee partially approved a staff directive authored by CMs Cano, Jenkins, Gordon, and Johnson, that halts the planned expansion of the Hiawatha Public Works Maintenance Facility at the Roof Depot Site at 1860 E 28th Street in East Phillips. However, an abstention by CM Ellison on the part of the directive which would have given the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) exclusive development rights to the property tied the vote 6-6, so that provision did not pass. This means the future of the East Phillips Urban Farm project proposed by EPNI is uncertain. The partially approved staff directive passed by a 7-6 vote, with Council Members Reich, Fletcher, Cunningham, Osman, Goodman, and Bender voting no. The POGO Committee is expected to receive a financial report on the city costs of maintaining the Roof Depot site until development, as well as a “racial equity impact analysis” at their meeting on September 9. In a separate vote, the City Council voted to approve the Environmental Assessment Worksheet of the now halted Hiawatha Public Works Expansion Project. EPNI filed a lawsuit in summer 2020 to stop the City from demolishing the Roof Depot building before an environmental review was completed.

Random alley news

Random alley news

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: Online at www.GetEmergencyBroadband.orgThrough the mail by calling 833-511-0311 to get an applicationDirectly 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: [...]

Deep Winter Greenhouse: Tamales y Bicicletas

Deep Winter Greenhouse: Tamales y Bicicletas

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