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Posts Tagged ‘East Phillips Urban Farm’

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

Kudos: Little Earth Urban Farm

Kudos: Little Earth Urban Farm

By Harvey Winje The May 2010 KUDOS is the Little Earth of United Tribe Urban Farm Project for its ambitious conversion of vacant land into many raised beds for growing food locally. Last year a busload of people went to Milwaukee to see Will Allen”'s farm project. The group came back excited about the possibilities for growing food, developing jobs and even preserving traditional culture. Last year 40 residents of Little Earth of United Tribes signed up as did 25 people from other organizations. This year on Earth Day the Little Earth Urban Farm project began the growing season by clearing stones and unwanted objects from the very large plot between the Hiawatha sound wall and the road east of Little Earth. People of all ages hauled wood chips, mixed in compost, and thus made rich one-foot beds of soil. They also planted lilacs along the wall and other plants and seeds in the beds. A sign of pure enthusiasm and optimism was carried in on the shoulders of several adults; a wooden picnic table brightly painted by pre-school students and placed beneath a nearby tree ready for the first harvest picnic.