12/11/14 Email: The 2015 Approved Budget
 
Dear Friend,
 
I am proud that last night, the City Council overwhelmingly passed the 2015 budget for the City of Minneapolis, which I first proposed back in August, that makes significant, intentional investments in equity, public safety, infrastructure, economic development, and curbside organics recycling, among others. I have shared details of this budget's investments with you since I first proposed it.
 
Overall, this is a great budget: the investments that we are making in so many areas are significant steps forward for equity and growth in Minneapolis. I am proud of our success here. 
 
We made these significant investments while still holding the line on property taxes. More than half of Minneapolis homeowners will feel no increase, or will feel a decrease, in the City portion of their property taxes. 
 
The investments in the 2015 budget as passed include: 
  • Two new positions in the City Coordinator’s office to focus exclusively on the City’s racial-equity work, ensuring the best possible equity outcomes in every department and every division.
  • Ten more police officers, for an authorized strength of 860 sworn officers. It also supports more classes of community service officers and an additional police cadet class for 2015.
  • Funding to implement a program of body cameras for the police department over the next two years. A pilot program is already underway.
  • Full funding for the investment in the redesign of Nicollet Mall.
  • Planning dollars for the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal, to ensure North Minneapolis has its own valuable riverfront amenities.
  • $790,000 for a network of protected bike lanes, many of which will be in some of the most diverse and low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis, plus funding for snow management of these lanes in winter.
  • Funding for staff and program resources to demonstrate the City’s commitment to and leverage the new Clean Energy Partnership, a first-of-its-kind City-utility agreement reached with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy earlier this year.
  • Start-up costs and operating funds for the launch of curbside organics recycling, which will allow the City to take the next step forward to a Zero Waste Minneapolis.
 
A few of the equity investments I proposed were cut by 7-6 votes of the City Council. I believe this narrow majority made short-sighted cuts to the budget that will place increased burden on future taxpayers, particularly those who are already paying the most.   
 
However, other cuts that the council made last week were restored Wednesday night, including funding the entirety of my proposal for the City of Minneapolis’ commitment to the Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. This budget is a commitment to this partnership, which is critical to our clean energy future. In fact, last week the White House named Minneapolis a Climate Action Champion, based in part on the groundbreaking Clean Energy Partnership.
 
The Council also restored some of the cuts that it made to racial equity, including the full funding enhancement I proposed for the One Minneapolis fund. I know that the advocacy of Minneapolis residents made a crucial difference in retaining these key equity and energy investments. I am grateful to all of you who put action behind your passion and helped craft a stronger budget for all Minneapolis residents.
 
You can see more details here about what was included in the final budget and how those investments move the dial on growth, running the city well and increasing equity.
 
I am proud of this budget and the investments it makes in our shared community vision.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mayor Betsy Hodges
City of Minneapolis
 

Last updated Dec 11, 2014

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