For the latest news from Cam Gordon, see the Second Ward e-Update.
The Second Ward occupies the Eastern-Central part of Minneapolis and straddles the East and West banks of the iconic Mississippi River gorge. It includes a diverse mix of residential, institutional, industrial and commercial land uses with some of the highest density housing outside of downtown, flourishing low density residential neighborhoods, thriving and underutilized industrial areas and major commercial corridors like University Ave and East Lake Street. It is also home to several significant institutions including the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. For more information about the people and places of Ward 2, see our Ward 2 Planning Department Profile and our Regulatory Services 2016 Report.
Working with Council Member Glidden and building on research our offices had been doing as well as a recommendation from our Capital Long-range Improvement Committee (CLIC) the Council voted in December to direct staff from the City Coordinator and City Clerk’s offices to develop a plan for a participatory budgeting program in Minneapolis. They will use input from community stakeholders and City advisory committees such as CLIC, the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission, and cultural and community organizations, as well as neighborhood organizations to draft a plan (by June 2017) for a participatory budgeting program. I am very excited about this initiative and expect the plan to include best practices form other cities’ existing participatory budgeting process and those cities’ metrics for evaluation of success of the program, recommendations for the participatory budgeting process including number of participants, methodologies of voting, and organizing structure, strategies for outreach to the City’s 70 neighborhood organizations, cultural and community organizations, and under-represented groups, including youth, recommended ranges of dollar amounts and components of the budget, preferably one-time capital or operating expenditures that could be delegated to a participatory budget process, sample timelines, potential public, non-profit, and private partners, and an outline of City administrative dollars and potential funding sources for an annual participatory budgeting process.
Better Banking Options
In response to growing questions and concerns about who the City contracts with for financial services, Council Member Cano and I moved, and the Council approved, to have Finance staff explore alternatives that would allow us to stop doing business with financial institutions that invest in the fossil fuel industry and projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline and the possibility of establishing a municipal bank or participating in a publicly-owned banking operation (like a credit union). Staff has been instructed to report recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee by July. I am currently researching this. If you would like to learn more about public banking options for cities, you might want to read this.
Some state legislators are trying to take away our ability to regulate single use carry out bags. Despite my testimony in opposition, bills are moving forward (one in the House, HF1504, and one in the Senate, SF 1196) out of committee that would prohibit local governments from banning or taxing paper or plastic bags. If signed into law, this would completely negate all the work we did, in the face of fierce industry lobbying, to pass our popular Bring Your Own Bag ordinance that is set to go into effect on June 1 this year. If you support this ordinance, or just the principal of allowing local jurisdictions to have the authority to regulate and manage such things, please let your legislators and governor know. The House committee sent the bill forward and the Senate committee re-referred it to the Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee I am grateful that there is coalition of organizations forming (including so far: Eureka Recycling, Linden Hills Power & Light, Sierra Club – North Star Chapter, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Nothing Left to Waste, Alliance for Sustainability, and ISAIAH) opposing this legislation. In a letter the coalition sent out late last week they offered several action steps including:
1) Call the Governor saying you’re opposed to this legislation: (651) 201-3400,
2) Call members of the Senate Environment and Natural Resource Finance Committee and urge them to oppose SF 1195 which will be voted on TUESDAY!
3) SHOW UP to the Senate Environment and Natural Resource Finance Committee on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30am, Room 1150 of the Senate Office Building,
4) Call your representatives to let them know you oppose these bills.
Last updated Mar 6, 2017