BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Monday, May 21, 2018 – 7:00 p.m., Fuller Park
Board members present: Dan Williams, Briana Daymont, Valerie Hurst, Kathy Kornblum, Gabe Moreno, Joy Gottschalk, Steve Wohlford, Justin Wills, Dick Fiala, Ryan Fisher
Board members absent:
Also present: Sally Bauer (TNA Executive Director), Jeremy Schroeder (Ward 11 Minneapolis City Councilmember), Rachel Hoban (Fuller Park director), Stacey Sorenson (Minneapolis NCR Neighborhood Specialist), Jacob Frey (Mayor of Minneapolis), Rhonda Dean (Washburn Principal), Erin Rathke (Justice Page Principal), Marion Greene (Hennepin County Commissioner District 3), Chriss Joyce (TNA Interim Coordinator), 45 community members
Called to order: 7:00pm
Strategic Planning Overview
Joy gave an overview of our recently completed strategic planning effort, which consisted of a neighborhood survey, six community listening sessions, key informant interviews, and formulation of short and longer term TNA goals. She invited neighborhood members to contribute ideas and passion to the vision elements resulting from the planning.
Beautiful Purposeful Spaces: the committee is looking for ways to enhance neighborhood today, through branding and signage, water tower beautification, improvents to the Nicollet Ave bridge, and alley cleanups.
Innovative Environmental Leadership: the committed is focusing on partnerships with energy companies/other neighborhoods to build robust network of support & collaboration, and making small ripple changes through renewable energy and organics recycling..
Engagement Committee: the committee is working on community engagement and strengthening TNA’s relationships with schools, churches, and business leaders.
Annual Meeting Speakers
Each speaker was asked to briefly address the topic “The Future of Tangletown.”
He sees three core issues. The first is affordable housing, which Mayor Frey believes is a fundamental right. A large amount of which has been lost in the last 10 years. Minneapolis is losing affordable housing subsidies from the state and federal governments. The second is police and community relations. Safety and accountability are intricately linked and he believes we won’t have a safe community unless residents can trust the police. The third issue is economic inclusion. Our region is producing more jobs than there are workers to fill those jobs. There are 100,000 job vacancies in the metro region, up from 74,000 at the end of 2017. He wants Minneapolis to be a beacon of hope, opportunity, and inclusivity.
An audience member asked a question about increased density plans in the Nicollet Ave corridor. Mayor Frey replied that the City’s draft comprehensive plan was released a few months ago and is currently in the comment period, and he asked residents to please send comments to the City (http://minneapolis2040.gov). We cannot accommodate the workforce shortage unless people have somewhere to live. A lot of people want to live in Minneapolis and there’s not enough supply so prices continue to increase, leading to higher property taxes and even less affordable housing; the solution is a gradual increase in housing density.
The last question asked how TNA and the city could cooperate on economic inclusion. He sees Minneapolis as a city of engaged activist culture which is he thinks is great. Neighborhood and city plans don’t always mesh so work is happening to line those up. We need to make sure we give opportunities for advancement/ownership to minorities and make sure the growth of Minneapolis goes to as broad a base as possible. We need to welcome those of different backgrounds into our neighborhoods; we need to push back on Minneapolis’ history of redlining and intentional segregation.
Many people don’t know what the Hennepin County Board does. It manages a $2.4 billion budget. Half of this budget is spent in health and human services as the board provides the regional safety net. Its sources of income are one-third each from the state and federal governments and property tax dollars. They also do what other layers of government ask them to do, such as keeping families whole and making sure kids thrive. Another large focus is how to support immigrant communities. As part of larger mission of keeping families whole the board established an immigration legal defense fund. Another big mission is to ensure everyone is aware of the county and its services. Bike maps and public libraries are perhaps the most visible aspects of the board’s work.
A significant piece of the future for the county, the state legislature, and the city is community engagement. There will be more and more dialog with all levels of the community and how that proceeds will greatly influence future initiatives.
Commissioner Greene sends a monthly newsletter about what she’s doing in the county and each one features a Hennepin county employee who is a resident of District 3.
Ward 11 Councilmember Schroeder
Jeremy holds community conversation events at local restaurants and libraries. His top priorities include affordable housing, environmental justice, and racial equity. The plan for housing calls for pretty substantial resources, not all of which are available. The City will need to leverage state and federal dollars and the private market to be successful. As part of that the City needs to be a good steward and say why the money will help the area. As part of his efforts in environmental justice he is part of the Clean Energy Partnership (which pushes to meet carbon reduction goals) and is proud to co-author a resolution calling for 100% renewables in the City by 2030. As part of racial equity, Jeremy worked with NENA to alleviate food deserts in the area as a strategy to help reduce crime.
An audience member asked how, if some neighborhoods are just more expensive, does affordable housing access work. Jeremy talked about inclusionary zoning policy. Any time something is built in Minneapolis the developers need to talk about affordable housing and how it might work in their development. This could perhaps be financed by affordable housing fees on new developments even if the area can’t support affordable units.
Another member asked how to balance increased density with the impact on the environment. Jeremy replied that we have a great opportunity with the 2040 plan, and he is looking not just where housing could go but where it makes sense. They are looking to ensure gradual stepped growth, which means no 6-story buildings next to one-story houses. Accessory dwelling units (“granny flats”) can also help keep people in the city and live here later in life.
The next question was what to do about the schools since more density means more children. He replied that funding is already a big issue and the schools don’t get adequate funding from the state. We need to make sure that the City is invested in the schools. He knows the school board is looking for other funding and perhaps the city could be a partner here.
The last question was how to keep property taxes affordable for current residents on fixed incomes, and if there are there other places the funding can come from than property taxes. Jeremy replied that property taxes are one of his biggest concerns and that we need to balance needs with ensuring the taxes that fund those needs don’t do more harm. Land values in the city are inflated which is a product of the market so we need to find some way to balance that out.
Rhonda began by stating that strong neighborhoods start with strong schools and Washburn is a strong community school. Enrollment has doubled in the last 8 years and is now well over 1600 students. There will be construction happening at Washburn this summer, which will be the last for construction at Washburn for a while. The project includes building science classrooms and labs. Washburn’s three focus areas are Academics, Arts, and Athletics. The average GPA for student athletes is 3.29. Previously neighborhood residents chose a different school for their students but over the last four years the neighborhood has come back to Washburn. The International Baccalaureate program is strong (40 candidates), the language program is probably the best in the city and now offers ASL and Arabic. The student body is 50/50 white and children of color which provides a better real-world experience.
An audience member asked about her approach to school safety. She replied that building cooperation between police and community is crucial. There is currently lots of controversy about having SROs but as principal she wants an SRO in the school if only to deal with adult issues (non-contact orders, restraining orders, etc).. Her number one goal is to keep kids safe She believes the best defense is the kids, in terms of hearing/seeing/knowing what’s going on and having the personal relationships that allow kids to say something to an adult if anything is wrong. They have had issues before but have been able to address them because kids “step up”. The school must provide mental health support, give children general support, make what kids do every day feel like it provides future value, and help our kids see there is a future.
Justice Page wants to be a welcoming school. It doesn’t have an SRO so safety is their primary focus. That includes bullying, which legislatively they are required to handle reports of within 3 days. Staff must be present with kids and engage with them to build trust with families and kids which mitigates violence.
Erin also focuses on providing consistency for the neighborhood. They have a great relationship with Washburn and plan to create a great pathway for students from Justice Page to Washburn. South Minneapolis schools are also the most diverse in the city. They focus on social/emotional learning (eg educating whole child to have social awareness and relationship skills) and STEM (including sending kids to national competitions and constructing a makerspace). They also received a grant for $10,000 to paint murals outside of the school to represent the pillars of their community.
Kathy and Justin are not returning to the board, and Joy and Dan’s terms have expired and their seats are up for election. There are a total of nine open seats on the board. Nominees from the outgoing board members and neighborhood residents were Joy Gottschalk, Dan Williams, Helen Chu Hamman, Carl Arrell, Kellie Hanson, John Dukich, Brian McDonald, Erik Brenna, and Pat Collins. Joy made a motion to elect all nine candidates to the board rather than follow the ballot process. Voice vote from all present (including audience), all in favor, none opposed. Motion carried.
Steve gave a branding update. The committee started with the current “T” logo but looked in some other directions too. The committee eventually finalized a new logo and format to print newsletter, updated the e-newsletter, completed a revamp of the TNA website, and will have T-shirts for sale at 4th of July event. An audience member asked if the logo and identity is tied to the association or also used for the neighborhood itself. Steve replied that it will be used for both. There are two versions of logo: one with “Tangletown Neighborhood Association” and one with “Minneapolis, MN”. TNA is not replacing existing logos like those on Nicollet Ave bridge.
Secretary – Steve made a motion to approve the March minutes, Valerie seconded. Voice vote, all in favor, motion approved.
Minutes submitted by Dan Williams, TNA Secretary