Minneapolis Has 81 Cases of Covid-19; City Budget Shortfall Projected at $100 to $200 Million

Mayor Frey announced Friday that Minneapolis has 81 confirmed cases of Covid-19. When compared to total confirmed infections in Hennepin County (235 at the time the Mayor spoke Friday morning), the city’s rate of positive test results is proportional to the city’s share of the county population.

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New Speed Limits, Signage, & Traffic Signal Timing Arriving in Minneapolis

With piles of data backing up the idea that slower is safer, Minneapolis and St. Paul are implementing lower speed limits. Both cities are setting lower speed limits using authority newly granted by the state legislature.

In Minneapolis, limits of 25 mph on arterial streets will take effect as the new signs are installed. Streets considered “residential” will have limits of 20 mph limits, but won’t get their own signage. The 20 mph limits will take effect once gateway signs for drivers entering the city are installed in the fall. County and state controlled streets will remain unchanged at 30 mph or greater.

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Robert Lilligren to swing first sledgehammer at Kmart demolition

Before voting to approve the city’s acquisition of the Nicollet Kmart site on Friday, Council President Bender affirmed her promise to former Council Member Robert Lilligren that “he would be the person cutting the ribbon.” This was meant as recognition for his past work on the project. Lilligren was first elected in 2001, and represented the area until 2013, when it was in Ward 6.

Do we do demolition ribbon cuttings?

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Minneapolis Gears Up for COVID-19

Start washing your hands, stop touching your face. Handshakes have been replaced with elbow bumps. Avoid close contact with other humans. While the young and healthy are not at great personal risk once infected, experts are recommending social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. There’s no reason to hoard toilet paper or bottled water. I reacted to the increasingly dire news of a global pandemic by buying three boxes of macaroni (there were four left — you’re welcome, humanity).

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Equity Analysis Makes Some Neighborhood Groups Feel Like They “Suck”

Last year, in the midst of deciding what future funding of neighborhood associations would look like, the City Council commissioned an equity analysis of how these groups function. The report concludes that various funding schemes overseen by the city for the last 30 years reveal “a system of institutional racism.” And, “it’s reasonable to conclude that equity has not been realized or advanced in neighborhood organization work to date.”

The report was presented to the City Council last week by C. Terrence Anderson of the University’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). Council Member Lisa Goodman had the most colorful reaction, repeatedly telling Anderson that the results make “neighborhood folks” in her ward feel like they “suck.”

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What’s the Truth About Public Housing in Minneapolis?

It’s difficult to sort out what’s true about public housing in Minneapolis. Even if you’re a person who keeps up with the news. Just look at all the corrections issued to articles written about the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority over the course of a few weeks last year.

You could sense some frustration about this public confusion from Tracey Scott, MPHA’s interim director, when she came to the City Council’s Housing Policy & Development Committee last week. The committee was about to vote on whether to ask MPHA to delay an action that Scott felt was necessary to bring in millions of dollars a year in desperately needed funding for public housing. Scott spoke forcefully against it. She said the resolution was based on a “deliberate campaign of fear and misinformation.”

Though the resolution failed in committee 5-1, it sparked an important conversation.

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Minneapolis CPED Reappointment Gets Contentious, Despite Unanimous City Council Vote

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to reappoint David Frank as director of Community Planning & Economic Development. Despite the consensus, the issue managed to spark the most contentious city council meeting of the last two years.

Last Wednesday, the Council heard public testimony on Frank’s reappointment. Some, including the Mayor, praised Frank’s performance; others expressed a desire for the department to do even more to address the city’s racial and economic disparities.

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MN House 60A Candidate Questionnaire

Early voting for the special primary election in Minnesota House district 60A has already begun. District 60A is located in Northeast Minneapolis. Primary election day for voters in 60A is January 21, 2020. The special general election for 60A is February 4, 2020.

Read responses from each candidate at the links below. Turnout will be extremely low. Your vote matters!

Mohamed Issa Barre – DFL
Piyali Nath Dalal – DFL
Amal Ibrahim – DFL
Jessica Intermill – DFL
Sydney Jordan – DFL
Sonia Neculescu – DFL
Saciido Shaie – DFL
Zachary Wefel – DFL
Susan Whitaker – DFL
Aaron Neumann – DFL

Aswar Rahman – DFL (no answers submitted)
Marty Super – Legal Marijuana Now (no answers submitted)