Explaining the Minneapolis Body Camera Policy

July 14, 2016

To the residents and communities of Minneapolis:

For a number of years, residents and community have repeatedly asked for Minneapolis police officers to wear body-worn cameras in order preserve video evidence of interactions between police officers and residents. Body cameras are now a recommended best practice for 21st-century policing. They can be a tool for building and enhancing accountability, transparency, and public trust. In other cities, the adoption of body cameras has also resulted in fewer use-of-force complaints.

Officer-worn body cameras are merely a tool for improving police-community relations; they are not a solution in themselves. But body cameras are an important tool, one that will help us continue to transform the relationship between police and community for the better. They are not the final step in transparency, but they are a big step toward it.

We have heard residents’ requests and concerns. For more than three years, we in Minneapolis have been studying, testing, evaluating, and funding body cameras for our police officers. In doing so, we have been in the forefront of cities across the country.
Now body cameras are finally here. Earlier this month, officers in the 1st Precinct in downtown Minneapolis began wearing them. Later this month, officers in the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis will be wearing them, and over the course of the summer and fall, officers in all parts of Minneapolis will be wearing them.

Body cameras can only achieve the goals of accountability and public trust if they are accompanied by clear policy governing their use, accessibility, and storage. Today, we are releasing a detailed explanation of the considerations that went into the key points of interest and concern about body camera policy that community and the public have repeatedly raised. The document attached here lays out the considerations that were brought to bear on these key issues; it explains where the policy landed on them, and why.

We worked to create a policy that strikes a balance between transparency and privacy, while ensuring that accountability remains the central focus. We also worked to balance those goals while complying with new Minnesota state law governing body cameras.We used much feedback from community to draft the policy (which is available here, at section 4-223: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/policy/mpdpolicy_4-200_4-200).

The Police Conduct Oversight Commission (PCOC) held four community meetings to discuss body cameras, and the Minneapolis Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) held six more public meetings earlier this year. We took the public feedback from those sessions and from other public comments, studied body camera policies and best practices from peer cities around the country, evaluated the results of the 2014-15 MPD body camera pilot program, and sought recommendations from The Leadership Council on Civil & Human Rights. We weighed heavily the recommendations of the PCOC and the conclusions of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, took input from the City Council, and made sure that the policy is in line with the goals of the National Initiative for Building Trust and Justice, of which Minneapolis is the leading participating city.

We do owe the community an apology. It was our intention to release the attached document before the body camera policy itself was made public; however, the policy was posted before we were able to explain fully to the community the considerations that went into the policy. We apologize for this mistake.

As body cameras continue to make their way onto officers, the Police Department will be meeting with community and neighborhood organizations across the city to explain the policy and demonstrate how body cameras work. We look forward to continuing to engage with community around this important step toward 21st-century policing.

There are many people to thank for the long-awaited launch of body-worn cameras, including all those officers involved in the body camera pilot program, the Department of Justice, and everyone who has provided feedback on the policy. We thank you as well, and we encourage you to review the policy and the explanatory document attached to this letter. Together, we are entering the age of 21st-century policing, and together, we will transform police–community relations in Minneapolis.


Mayor Betsy Hodges, City of Minneapolis

Chief Janeé Harteau, Minneapolis Police Department


Community concerns raised about body camera policy and explanation of the considerations that went into addressing those concerns

Backgrounder providing overview and history of the body camera program

City of Minneapolis statements regarding federal decision in Jamar Clark case

City of Minneapolis statements regarding federal decision in Jamar Clark case

U.S. Attorney Luger announced results of Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division investigation

June 1, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Today, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger announced the results of the independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) into the November officer-involved shooting death of Jamar Clark. Luger announced that the DOJ will not bring charges against police officers based on the investigation conducted by the Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“Chief Harteau and I asked for this independent federal investigation by the Department of Justice because we believed it would be the best way to build confidence in the process and in the outcome for everyone concerned,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said. “The community wanted a federal review, and so on Nov. 16 we asked the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation. Now that the investigation has concluded, I want to thank the Department of Justice for its independent investigation. At this time, the City will move forward with its own internal investigation.”

“This has been a difficult time for all of Minneapolis,” Hodges continued. “I understand this decision has struck at the heart of a painful tension in the community. What we can do now is move forward together to build a city that is safe and equitable for everyone.”

“Two investigations into the shooting death of Jamar Clark have now concluded, with an internal investigation still ongoing,” said Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson. “Nothing can change the fact that this case is a tragedy for everyone involved. That includes, of course, the family of Jamar Clark, but it’s also tragic for the two officers who have been the subject of the investigations and those officers’ families. It’s a challenging time for our community, and the City will continue to support the safety of everyone as we move forward.”

“Very early in this process, many community members asked for this federal investigation, which the mayor and I supported and requested,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said. “I have full faith in this independent investigation. We have had two thorough investigations into this matter that arrived at the same conclusion. I am satisfied with the thoroughness of these investigations, am confident in their results, and I hope the public will accept their conclusions. I will continue to support the officers involved as the MPD moves forward with its work building trust and legitimacy with the communities we serve.”

Now that the federal investigation has concluded, the Minneapolis Police Department will continue its Internal Affairs investigation into the matter to determine if the actions of the two officers were consistent with departmental policy and procedure. MPD is committed to a fair and thorough investigation. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act dictates the information that the City is allowed to share regarding internal investigations. At the conclusion of the Internal Affairs investigation, MPD will release as much information as State statute allows.

# # #

Celebrating Adoption of Earned Sick and Safe Time

Mayor Hodges Celebrates Adoption of Earned Sick and Safe Time for Minneapolis Workers

Mayor Proposed Earned Sick and Safe Time in 2015; Will Sign Ordinance

May 27, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Today the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would establish a municipal earned sick leave policy in Minneapolis. The ordinance, which the mayor proposed in her 2015 State of the City Speech as part of her Working Families Agenda, will guarantee workers across the city the ability to earn paid leave to care for themselves and their immediate family members, and to protect public health.

“Today, Minneapolis has recognized that no one should have to choose between being healthy and being paid. This is a landmark day for Minneapolis,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges.  “I proposed earned sick and safe time more than a year ago to improve public health for everyone and provide greater opportunity for low income families. I want to thank the Workplace Partnership Group, the diverse group of stakeholders that the City Council and I appointed to listen to stakeholders and offer recommendations to us on this issue. I thank the City Council for their thoughtful work and for passing this ordinance. And I thank the members of our community who fought so hard to get to this day.”

The ordinance passed today reflects a compromise that resulted from the Workplace Partnership Group process. Collectively, the Workplace Partnership Group invested thousands of hours to engage a wide range of businesses, economic sectors, non-profits, and workers. More than 500 people attended their many listening sessions and provided advice, perspective, and feedback.

Paid sick and safe time is intended to:

  • Ensure that workers can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families.
  • Reduce public and private health care costs by enabling workers to seek early and routine medical care for themselves and their family members.
  • Protect workers from losing their jobs while they use sick days.
  • Safeguard the public welfare, health, safety and prosperity of Minneapolis’ residents, workers and visitors.

In Minneapolis, 42% of workers lack access to earned sick and safe time. Research shows that lack of access disproportionately affects women and people of color. For example, 63% of white workers in Minneapolis have access to earned sick and safe time, compared with only 32% of Latino workers.

Every year in the United States, workplaces lose $250 billion in productivity due to illness — but 72% of that amount, or $180 billion, is because people come to work sick. Research shows that on average, one sick employee on the job will create one sick employee.

A 2015 Minnesota Department of Health report shows that 79% of workers in the food–preparation and food-serving sector lack paid sick time – and that from 2004–2013, there were nearly 3,000 cases of food-borne illnesses traced to 200 food workers who were ill or had recently been ill on the job.

The ordinance is posted here.

Preventing Gun Violence in Minneapolis

In my 2016 State of the City Address, I talked about gun violence, especially on the north side. I spoke directly to the people of North Minneapolis, especially those most affected by this violence, and here I say again: I hear you and your city hears you. No resident in any neighborhood should have to endure gun violence. I condemn it. It has no place in North Minneapolis or anywhere else in our city.

We have, over the past few months, released information about what we are doing – proactively and reactively – to combat violent crime. All of this information has been publicly available, and here I want to collect it and share it here.

Chief Harteau and the Minneapolis Police Department are working constantly to prevent violence on the north side. For example:

  • The Minneapolis Police Department has significantly increased police presence and focused enforcement in known hotspots in North Minneapolis. Increased patrols have been happening seven days per week.
  • Joint Enforcement Team (JET) patrols have been in operation on the north side as well, combining MPD Officers, Hennepin County Sheriff Deputies, Metro Transit Police Officers, and Minnesota State Troopers.
  • The MPD Violent Crime Investigations Team, Weapons Unit, Gang Interdiction Team, Safe Streets Task Force, and Shotspotter Investigators have been working together to prevent and solve violent crimes.
  • More officers are joining the police force, and we anticipate being at full authorized strength by mid-year. As that happens, I have supported Chief Harteau’s direction to deploy the lion’s share of new personnel to the Fourth Precinct and the First Precinct.
  • MPD is working with probation officers, the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, and community stakeholders to combat violence.

Chief Harteau has also focused on community policing, which I have supported in my budgets. In North Minneapolis, as across the city, this has meant officers’ spending more time on calls and more time getting to know people. Positive police contacts in the neighborhood are up 63 percent over last year and 231 percent over two years ago. This work of building community trust has a long-term deterrent effect on violence.

Minneapolis police officers have vitally important jobs to do all across our city, including in North Minneapolis. Chief Harteau has my support in her efforts to ensure that they are as productive and effective as possible in keeping people safe and in building trust. Community policing is an important part of that effort.

The Police Department is not the only City department responding to gun violence. Our Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and Youth Coordinating Board are also spearheading innovative work to help stem it. For example:

  • We are working with Hennepin County Medical Center on a program to intervene with young people treated for violent injuries. Through bedside intervention and post-discharge community-based services, this program will support holistic healing for youth and interrupt the cycle of recurrent and retaliatory violence.
  • The Inspiring Youth program. Upstream, early intervention is an essential strategy for stemming violence in a sustainable way. Funded largely through my budget, Inspiring Youth is a trauma-informed, strengths-based program that connects primarily African American and American Indian youth to the positive aspects of their communities and increases protective factors that shield them from involvement with violence.
  • The city is currently providing funding and training to eight youth serving agencies in Minneapolis communities most impacted by violence. Agencies will utilize grant award from the city to design and implement youth led violence prevention activities in neighborhoods most impacted by youth violence in summer and fall of 2016. Seven of the eight agencies are in North Minneapolis.
  • We are working to keep people out of the criminal justice system to begin with. In the past 18 months, we have increased the numbers of juveniles involved in diversion, which has led to fewer youth entering the system. City Attorney Susan Segal’s office also is innovating to keep people from getting too far into the criminal justice system and prevent more serious offenses.

Many organizations and individuals in our community are working hard to reach the youth and young adults involved in and affected by this violence: faith leaders, community members, advocates, neighbors, and youth workers from Youth Violence Prevention and the Youth Coordinating Board.

The YCB’s Youth Outreach Team is doing particularly good work: whether downtown, in our schools or parks, or at special events, youth workers are reaching our young people where they are, connecting with them in meaningful ways, and making a difference in their lives and ours.

We have seen time and time again that when community comes together to fight violence and lift up peace, safety, and healing, we are all safer. We at the City are continuing to identify ways to collaborate with and lift up this crucial work.

There is more work to be done, and we will do that work. As additional components are rolled out, we will continue to adapt and be flexible and collaborate with all of our partners to prevent gun violence.

The Deep Truths of Minneapolis

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges
State of the City Address
May 17, 2016

“It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth.” — Niels Bohr

“The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth
may very well be another profound truth.”  — Niels Bohr

Deep truths

Nobel Prize laureate and physicist Niels Bohr said this about his idea of a deep truth, a truth whose negation is also true: “The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.”

One of our many undersung assets right here in Minneapolis is the public-radio program and podcast “On Being,” whose offices are on Loring Park. Recently, host Krista Tippett was talking with scientist Dr. Frank Wilczek. He said this about deep truth: “You have to view the world in different ways to do it justice, and the different ways can each be very rich, can each be internally consistent, can each have its own language and rules, but they may be mutually incompatible. To do full justice to reality, you have to take both of them into account.”

This is relevant in science for something like light: it is true that light is a particle. It is also true that light is a wave. But we must research separately the properties of light within each of those truths if we are to fully understand light as a whole.

Deep truth is also a useful construct when thinking about ourselves as a people.

In Minneapolis, we get to take into account two of our own complementary and deep truths:

Minneapolis is a remarkable and wonderful city.
Minneapolis is a city of deep challenges, particularly regarding race.

From this first set arises another set of deep truths about Minneapolis:

We come together for the common good.
We strain to come together as people and we are divided.

And I posit this: that our ability to come together is our greatest strength, that it is the source of the best things about our community, and that when we do come together as One Minneapolis, there is no stopping us.

Nowhere is there better evidence of this than the group assembled on stage here today. Each person sitting here on stage with me is a community leader, a person who has made a measurable, positive difference in the quality of our city. Let’s thank them with our applause for all they have done for Minneapolis.

More important, each leader on stage with me here today has successfully worked to get a good outcome with people with whom they disagree, sometimes including me. Each person on stage has pledged to a brighter future for all of us. Each person was willing to be here, even though we haven’t always agreed, because they share a vision for a bigger, better future for Minneapolis.

We stand here together in the midst of these dualities:

Minneapolis is a remarkable and wonderful city.
Minneapolis is a city of deep challenges, particularly regarding race.


We come together for the common good.
We strain to come together as people and we are divided.

These statements seem contradictory. All of them are true.

This duality? It is the state of the city.

•  •  •

Public safety and gun violence

I must begin by addressing the very serious challenge we are facing in North Minneapolis right now.

Gun violence is up sharply. The intensity of this violence is shocking and entirely unacceptable, and I condemn it. No resident in any neighborhood should have to endure this kind of violence. It has no place in North Minneapolis or anywhere in our city.

To the people of North Minneapolis, especially those most affected by this gun violence, I say: I hear you and your city hears you. In response, Chief Janeé Harteau has increased police presence and focused enforcement in known hot spots in North Minneapolis.

As more officers join the force and we anticipate being at full authorized strength by mid-year, I have directed Chief Harteau to deploy the lion’s share of new personnel to the Fourth Precinct and the First Precinct.

Minneapolis police officers have vitally important jobs to do all across our city, including in North Minneapolis. Chief Harteau has my support in her efforts to ensure that they are as productive and effective as possible in keeping people safe and in building trust.

Chief Harteau has also focused on community policing, which I have supported in my budgets. In North Minneapolis, as across the city, this has meant officers’ spending more time on calls and more time getting to know people. Positive police contacts in the neighborhood are up 63 percent over last year and 231 percent over two years ago. This work of building community trust has a long-term deterrent effect on violence. The fact that we measure it at all is a sign of change in how we approach policing in Minneapolis.

Another long-term way to deter violence is to keep people out of the criminal justice system to begin with. In the past 18 months, we have increased the numbers of juveniles involved in diversion, which has led to fewer youth entering the system. City Attorney Susan Segal’s office also is innovating to keep people from getting too far into the criminal justice system.

Many organizations and individuals in our community are working hard to reach the youth and young adults involved in and affected by this violence: faith leaders, community members, advocates, neighbors, and youth workers from Youth Violence Prevention and the Youth Coordinating Board. The YCB’s Youth Outreach Team is doing particularly good work: whether downtown, in our schools or parks, or at special events, youth workers are reaching our young people where they are, connecting with them in meaningful ways, and making a difference in their lives and ours.

We have seen time and time again that when community comes together, sometimes despite differences, to fight violence and lift up peace, safety, and healing, we are all safer. We at the City are continuing to identify ways to collaborate with and lift up this crucial work.

Police–community relations

It’s been several tough, emotional months in Minneapolis. For all of us.

The death of Jamar Clark on November 15, and the occupation of the Fourth Precinct for 18 days after that, was hard on everyone: family members, demonstrators, neighbors, community members, police officers.

It is true that police-community relationships have been in need of transformation since long before that, especially in and for communities of color. Perhaps on no other issue are we so divided from each other.

It is also true that Minneapolis is leading the country on reforming and transforming policing and police–community relations. We have been coming together with many partners to do much work on this front.

  • Since I became Mayor, I have been working to get body cameras on our officers: in 2016, it will happen. As part of this work, we have sought out meaningful feedback from community about our body-cams policy, which we are taking into close consideration. We will report back to the community.
  • We are close to implementation on an early intervention system. An EIS is not discipline: rather, it is a tool to help officers who may be struggling to correct course before little problems become big ones.
  • One of the best ways to build community trust is for officers to look like the community they serve. To this end, I have funded more permanent classes of Community Service Officers. The most recent class is 61 percent people of color. I thank Chief Harteau for the time she took to interview each candidate in that class personally.
  • We are also significantly adding to officer training:
    • By the end of last year, every Minneapolis police officer had received Fair and Impartial Policing training.
    • In February, police officers began procedural-justice training to improve the interactions between officers and residents; all will complete it this year. I thank Council Member Blong Yang for partnering with me to fully fund the training and accelerate the implementation of it.
    • By the end of this year, all patrol officers will have completed 40 hours of crisis-intervention training, which will help them de-escalate situations that involve a mental-health crisis.
    • In addition, the Police Department is assessing policies and training around use of force to make sure that they are current and consistent with best-practice standards.
  • Finally, as many of you know, Minneapolis is one of only six cities in the country to participate in the ground-breaking National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. The National Initiative has been on the ground for over a year in Minneapolis, working on the three pillars of reducing implicit bias, improving procedural justice, and promoting racial reconciliation. This work involves true partnership with community, and I am pleased that community leaders have embraced it and support it.

It is true that we have done and are doing much. It is also true that there is much, much more to be done, and that in order for this work to succeed, community and government must enter into true partnership. Community-based organizations and advocates have brought forward a number of intriguing proposals for building trust at which I am looking closely and on which I hope we can partner.

In the immediate aftermath of the Fourth Precinct occupation, Chief Harteau and I requested that the Department of Justice conduct an independent after-action review of the City’s response to the Fourth Precinct occupation. We asked for this review because we need to know what went well and what we could have done better. We anticipate that report in the fall.

As we move forward from those 18 days and into the future of transformed police–community relationships, we can be proud that we as a people and a city are sticking with this difficult conversation around policing, community, and race: engaging with each other, challenging each other, challenging me, listening to one another carefully and respectfully. It is hard and it can be painful, but it is necessary and we will be a stronger city and a better people for it. Thank you, all of you, for being part of it.


Much of my State of the City speech last year was about the urgent need for inclusive growth, the idea that everyone must be able to contribute to and benefit from our growth and prosperity if we want to actually have on-going growth and prosperity. It is no less urgent this year.

It is great news to be celebrated that we are fast-growing city. The Metropolitan Council has just announced that Minneapolis’ population stands at 412,517, the highest in around 40 years. This means we have added just under 30,000 residents since 2010, for nearly 8 percent growth in just six years.

The news is just as great that we are a booming city. Last year, for the fourth year in a row, the value of our building permits topped $1 billion. This does not come from just one sector: this is a broad-based boom.

I will speak about three different components of growth: infrastructure, business, and jobs.

First component of growth: infrastructure

It cannot be denied: Our infrastructure is the envy of many cities in the country. I met recently with a delegation from Nashville, a great city itself: to them, our parks and bikeways are a marvel.

And why not? It’s true. We have the #1 parks system in the country. (That’s right, you should applaud.) We are not only the #1 bike city in in America, we are #18 in world — the only North American city on that list. Just look at the city rising up in front of you: the Wells Fargo towers up and open, cranes all over what used to be the dead zone of Downtown East, more construction on Hennepin Avenue that is soon to include the Nicollet Hotel Block, the Midtown Greenway flush with new housing, new hotels going up in the North Loop and Downtown East: the list goes on and on. The built environment of our city and the infrastructure that supports it are growing up and out rapidly.

I look forward to a future Minneapolis that includes things like:

  • The Downtown East Commons. When it opens later this year, it will be a jewel in the transformation of Downtown East. Imagine, in just a few months you’ll be able to walk out of this great venue and over to the Commons to enjoy a walk, a lunch, a game of bocce, or a concert. Thanks to Council Member Jacob Frey and Council President Barbara Johnson for their partnership in turning this complex project into reality.
  • A beautiful new 29th that has been reclaimed for all users, a project that Council Member Lisa Bender has shepherded.
  • A wonderful example of transit-oriented development at 38th and Hiawatha, championed by Council Member Andrew Johnson.
  • A redesigned Nicollet Mall that will be a destination in itself.
  • An Upper Harbor Terminal transformed into a world-class amenity for North Minneapolis, a vision that both Council President Barbara Johnson and I share.
  • A University Avenue Innovation District that is a world-class jobs and research center and urban village, a vision that Council Member Cam Gordon has moved forward for years.

Just weeks ago, the City Council, the Park Board, and I collaborated to pass an historic, once-in-a-generation agreement to fund a good deal of the capital and operating needs of our city streets and bridges, and neighborhood parks, for the next 20 years, transparently and equitably.

It was neither easy nor obvious. I have long supported our parks’ need for long-term capital dollars, but earlier versions of the ordinance would have met the need for parks alone and left our streets for another day. However, we had already clearly laid out the urgent need for significant long-term capital investment in streets, before the cost of repairing them became unaffordable. I stood for a global solution that included one dollar for parks for every two dollars for streets, and for sources of funding that are reliable in the long term. I’m pleased that that’s the agreement that we struck. We can be very proud that we came together unanimously to accept our responsibility to restore our parks and our streets to good shape for future generations.

Many people deserve thanks for this resolution: the City Council, including my co-author John Quincy; the Park Board, and parks advocates, including Mark Andrew, who is joining me today.

Also, more needs to be done: specifically, by the State Legislature. At a time when we here in Minneapolis have come together across jurisdictions and put real dollars on the table to fund our infrastructure needs sustainably, and when even Congress can come together to pass a long-term transportation bill, there is no excuse for the State Legislature not to act, and act this year. I strongly support the efforts of Governor Mark Dayton, Senator Scott Dibble, and Representative Frank Hornstein to pass a comprehensive, long-term, sustainable roads- and transit-funding package that will allow us to meet our residents’ many, diverse needs. Our city’s impressive growth could be choked off if our roads decay and our transit system remains inadequate.

Second component of growth: Business

Minneapolis, we have one of the most thriving business sectors anywhere. From our Fortune 500 companies to our start-ups, from our small businesses to our not-for-profits, from our restaurants, tap and cocktail rooms to our many emerging social enterprises, we are diverse, resilient, and ever expanding.

Our business sector is not only thriving, it is community-oriented. I receive endless compliments from mayors around the country — and no small measure of jealousy — for our business community’s civic-mindedness. They come together for countless acts of good for the city: like the downtown businesses and property owners that come together to invest in the Downtown Improvement District, the business support of Super Bowl LII, the NCAA Final Four, the RiverFirst initiative, or the Downtown East Commons.

It is also true that it is still too difficult to do business here.

Two years ago I launched Business Made Simple in order to make it easier for anyone to start and run their business. We’ve made good progress in that time:

  • As of today, we’ve repealed about three dozen anachronistic ordinances that got in the way of creating successful businesses in Minneapolis. One required a license to operate a jukebox — but I’m pretty sure your very own jukebox is in the phone in your pocket right now. Special thanks to Council Member Andrew Johnson for his persistent focus on stripping away these cumbersome and outdated ordinances.
  • We’ve made a significant investment in our new Enterprise Land Management System that will increase the ability of City departments to review and approve requests and applications faster than ever before.
  • We are developing a new online portal that in 2017, will allow businesses to apply for and renew permits online, submit plans electronically, and better track the approval process.

I have also challenged the City’s Innovation team, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, to focus on how we can help increase businesses ownership in communities of color. In a city that is nearing 50 percent people of color, only 23 percent of small businesses are owned by people of color. Yet we know there is great entrepreneurial vitality in these communities that is ready to be unleashed.

In addition, CPED, led by Craig Taylor, continues to provide needed technical assistance to small and mid-size businesses, primarily ones owned by people of color through the Business Technical Assistance Program, B-TAP.  Last month, CPED added the new Cooperative Technical Assistance Program, C-TAP, to our business-development toolbox. It will offer assistance to groups interested in forming new co-ops in Minneapolis.

In addition to this work to help small businesses thrive, I have convened, with the help of U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis, what we call the Mayor’s Business Leadership Roundtable, a group of leaders from some of the most well-known corporations in Minneapolis and the region, in order to make sure that I can draw on a wide range of business perspectives. I appreciate their willingness to offer their candid experience and advice. Archie Black, CEO of SPS Commerce who is with us today, is one of the members of the roundtable.

This is one aspect of One Minneapolis in practice and it is represented so well here on stage: small businesses, labor, corporations, advocates, social enterprises, and nonprofits, who in some contexts strain to come together, all contributing to the well-being, vitality, and prosperity of our city. Thank you.

Third component of growth: Jobs and employment

It is true that our vibrant, diverse economy makes Minneapolis a top big-city job market. Our unemployment rate is just 3.5 percent, far below the national average. In good news for our immigrant communities, 75 percent of foreign-born residents of the region are working, ranking us tops among competitor regions.

It is also true that we suffer from huge racial disparities in employment. The unemployment rate for African Americans in Minneapolis is higher by about factor of four. Jobs are harder to come by, and harder to keep, for low-income people, who in Minneapolis are also disproportionately people of color.

We have been warned over and over again by everyone — from racial-equity advocates to academics to corporate CEOs — that if we do not close our race-based gaps in skills and employment, our thriving economy will stall, then decline. We cannot say we do not know. We must take action, and we are.

  • TechHire. Patrick Chou is a Loring Park resident. He had been working in the mortgage-servicing industry when he decided to make a career change. He had wanted to learn software development for some time, and found that the 12-week, immersive, web-development course at the Software Guild, a TechHire partner, was a better fit for him than going back to college for a computer science degree. With the help of the Software Guild’s employer network, Patrick will be interning with General Mills as an application developer. Patrick and another TechHire graduate, Chelsea Obey, are here with me today. Congratulations to you both!

   TechHire is an Obama Administration initiative to close the skills gap in the high-          tech economy by training and supporting women and workers of color. It is one of          the great ways we have come together as a community to transform our job market.      Our investment in it is paying off: as of February, 201 graduates have been placed in      full-time jobs that pay well.

  • Cedar–Riverside Opportunity Hub. I was pleased to work with Council Member Abdi Warsame to fund the Cedar–Riverside Opportunity Hub in this year’s budget. I appreciate his commitment to closing the skills gap and seeing young men and women of color getting good jobs through career pathways and other employment programs that are geared especially to the East African community.
  • Earned sick and safe time. In my State of the City speech last year, I proposed a Working Families Agenda that included earned sick and safe time for workers in Minneapolis. I proposed this as a public-health measure: 42 percent of all Minneapolis workers lack access to paid time off to care for themselves or their families, and a large percentage of them are in low-wage food-service or healthcare professions. With more and more jobs opening up in the hospitality, restaurant, and healthcare sectors, this public-health crisis is likely to get worse unless we come together and lead with action.

Earned sick and safe time is a jobs measure as well as a response to a public-health crisis: as I have repeatedly said, no one should have to choose between getting well and getting paid. Racial disparities are at play here, too, with low-wage workers in jobs that lack earned sick time being disproportionately people of color. These are all significant problems.

For these reasons, I am pleased that the City Council is considering the adoption of an ordinance that will allow workers in many businesses to earn sick and safe time. I want to thank the Workplace Partnership Group, a diverse group that the City Council and I appointed to listen to stakeholders and offer recommendations to us. Collectively, they invested thousands of hours to engage a wide range of businesses, economic sectors, non-profits, and workers. More than 500 people attended their many listening sessions and provided invaluable perspective, feedback, and advice: many workers told stories of pain and hardship, and many business owners offered practical solutions. I appreciate them all.

I particularly would like to thank my appointees to the group: Jim Rowader of Target Corporation and Liz Doyle of TakeAction Minnesota, both of whom served as co-chairs, and Danny Schwartzman of Common Roots Café, all of whom are here on stage with me today. I would also like to thank U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Pérez for his and the Obama Administration’s support.

Here again, people from different backgrounds and sectors who do not always agree have come together to take a stand for the health of the public and to transform the workplaces of tens of thousands of low-wage workers.

I know that this measure would prove an adjustment or a challenge for many in the business community. I hear that and appreciate it, which is why a year-long runway before enforcement is proposed. I am confident that Minneapolis’ experience of this policy will be as positive as that of other cities and states. We at the City will do everything we can to help the transition be successful for everyone.

Children and Youth

One of the best parts of being Mayor is that I get to meet and be inspired by the amazing youth of our city. I’d like to introduce you to one such young man.

I met Payton Bowyer just three weeks ago at South High, where Superintendent Michael Goar and I co-hosted Minneapolis’ first College Signing Day, an event launched by First Lady Michelle Obama. The event is meant to celebrate all our youth for choosing the college that they will attend, not just star athletes. There, Payton told me his story.

When he was just four years old, his family moved him and his brother from Chicago to Minneapolis to seek a better, safer life. His family had struggled with homelessness for most of his life until then. Payton struggled a lot when he was younger, until he connected with the Boys and Girls Club, where staff invested in his success and inspired him always to drive for excellence.

This fall, he will attend University of Northwestern – Saint Paul on a full scholarship to pursue a degree in youth ministry. He told me that he wants to be able to change lives the way that staff at the Boys and Girls Club, along with pastors, teachers, and coaches, changed his.

He is here today with South High Principal Ray Aponte and his mentor from the Boys and Girls Club, Stephanie Siegel. Congratulations, Payton. We are all so proud of you.

Stories like Payton’s remind us that we need to hear more positive stories of boys and young men of color in the media: I highlighted this need in my State of the City speech last year, when I encouraged all of us to share these stories, and I encourage us again to do so. I know firsthand the level of genius these boys and young men of color offer our city. As I said in last year’s State of the City, we cannot afford to leave any genius on the table.

Another place that we get to lift up boys and young men of color and transform employment and opportunity for them is in our groundbreaking BUILD Leaders program. BUILD Leaders is an innovative, community-based, job-training program for youth of color who are facing the most systemic barriers to educational and economic opportunities. Our $362,000 ongoing investment in it is supporting cohorts in South Minneapolis at the American Indian OIC and Little Earth, and in North Minneapolis at EMERGE. I am very excited about the transformative potential of this approach. Please join me in saluting my friend Isaiah Hudson, one of our BUILD Leaders, who is here today.

Young men like Payton and Isaiah, who face long odds and have shown they can succeed, are sometimes called opportunity youth. So I say to everyone in this room: hire an opportunity youth. We know that our region is poised to run out of workers: we may be 100,000 short in five years, and nearly 200,000 short by 2030. Attracting workers from other states is a fine, albeit expensive, strategy, but when we have youth here who are ready to succeed but have not yet had the opportunities to do so, let us include them in our growth and prosperity. Or more accurately, we will not have growth and prosperity without them.

Our youngest residents are just as important. Securing their futures is the work of my Cradle to K cabinet.

I formed the Cabinet to develop a plan not only to eliminate, but to prevent, racial disparities from before birth to age 3. Last summer, the Cabinet released its final recommendations. I thank Cradle to K Cabinet chair Carolyn Smallwood and then-co-chair, now-State Representative Peggy Flanagan for leading this groundbreaking work. I am pleased to report progress on all three recommendations.

The first recommendation is that all children will have a healthy start that will prepare them for successful early education and literacy. To address it, we are targeting the “Word Gap.” Research shows that by age 4, children from middle- and high-income families hear 30 million more words than children from low-income families. I am very pleased that the Clinton Foundation is supporting and partnering with us to launch our “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” initiative this summer. “Talking is Teaching” is a public-awareness campaign designed to get parents and caregivers talking, reading, and singing to very young children.

All of us can participate. We instinctively already talk and sing to babies and small children, all of them. Now science has told us that by doing so we can make our kids smarter.

The Cabinet’s second recommendation is that all children will be stably housed. I am proud to have worked with the City Council and housing advocates to invest $1 million for large affordable units for extremely low-income families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Thank you to Council Member Goodman for helping make sure this investment is positioned well to get the results we need.

The third recommendation is that children have continued access to high-quality, early-childhood education. To that point, allow me to acknowledge Chad Dunkley, CEO of New Horizon Academy, who joins me on stage today. New Horizon operates three facilities in Minneapolis, all nationally accredited and rated four stars by Parent Aware. Last November, I toured their newest facility on Penn Avenue North. I got to see firsthand what child development centered care looks like: it has all the attention and love you expect, and it has a focus on words and learning and singing at every age. It was fun to see.

Here is one more place that we in Minneapolis can come together to support our children and youth: supporting the Minneapolis Public Schools referendum on the ballot this November. I am proud to announce today that along with Congressman Keith Ellison, I am co-chairing the campaign to pass it. The referendum funds 40 percent of Minneapolis teachers. Without it, class sizes would balloon up to 48 students per class. At a time when our public-school students are 70 percent students of color, when our economy is facing a workforce shortage, and when graduation rates are rising, pulling the plug on our 36,000 students is pulling the plug on the future of our city. Please join me in supporting our public schools in November.

Our city’s deep truths — that we are awesome and we are challenged, that we come together for the common good and strain to come together through our divisions — are nowhere more evident than in the lives and prospects of our children and youth. It is an inspiration to me to watch our city put aside our adult divisions and fears and come together to support our children and youth.

And I must take a moment to acknowledge especially our trans youth and, frankly, all of our trans Minneapolitans.

There are politicians right now who seem to take perverse delight in finding false pretexts for discriminating against you. I am disgusted by it. Those are not Minneapolis values.

Rather, in Minneapolis, we started the Trans Issues Work Group in 2014. It has been quietly leading the country in building City-led work that seeks to confront the discrimination that the community faces, and tackle topics like healthcare and employment. This year, we will be holding the third annual Trans Equity Summit.

Thank you to our community partners in this work: Roxanne Anderson of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Andrea Jenkins, trans oral historian at the University of Minnesota, here with me today, and Phil Duran of Outfront Minnesota. And thank you, Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, for your ongoing leadership in this work.

To lift a powerful line directly from Attorney General Loretta Lynch: “We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you.”

And to our Muslim young people – to all our Muslim brothers and sisters.

For some people in this country right now, questioning your humanity is a pasttime.

Not in Minneapolis. Here in Minneapolis, we know you are a strong, valuable part of our community. We know we aren’t great without you. And we know Islamophobia is wrong – we will not stand for it, and we will stand with and for you.

Coming together in the Promise Zone

Nearly everything that I have talked about up until now related to youth, growth, and safety comes together in our Promise Zone, a group of nine neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. The Promise Zone is a 10-year commitment from the federal government to help align public, private, and nonprofit efforts in high-poverty and high-opportunity neighborhoods by providing preference for federal funding, as well as staff assistance. I thank HUD Secretary Julián Castro for all the support he has provided for our Promise Zone.

In our first year of full operation, we have already brought in $3.8 million in federal grants due to the Promise Zone designation, and are tracking $11 million in applications for federal funding.

The Promise Zone is designed to be a marathon, not a sprint. I am hopeful that the next White House Administration will continue and expand upon the Promise Zone. We look forward to the next nine years of this work.

Climate change, sustainability, and resiliency

2015 was the hottest year on record since record-keeping began more than 115 years ago — and 2010, 2013 and 2014 are all in the top five with 2015. As climate change continues, our city will feel its effects more keenly than most other cities: our summers and winters will be warmer, heavy rains will happen more frequently and be more intense, and allergy season will last longer. The Weather Channel ranked Minneapolis second among American cities likely to feel the greatest impact of climate change — after only New Orleans.

We are doing everything we can as a city to make sure that we are part of the solution — and that we are resilient to whatever change may come.

For example, we have now completed the first full year of our Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy; appointed a community-led Energy Vision Advisory Committee; and adopted a work plan and metrics to move in concert with the utilities toward the City’s climate goals. We will also soon launch a pilot to help more residents benefit from utility energy-efficiency programs — especially renters, low-income families, and communities of color.

Climate change is not our only risk. Air pollution is one of many components of the cumulative health impacts that disproportionately affect communities of color and lower-income neighborhoods. In some zip codes in Minneapolis, the hospitalization rates for children with asthma are four times higher than the statewide rate.

Minneapolis is a leader in addressing air pollution. We conducted a neighborhood-level air-quality study so we can better understand our air-quality challenges.

Finally, we are moving forward on our commitment to Zero waste. I thank Council Members Kevin Reich, Cam Gordon, Alondra Cano, and Linea Palmisano for their ongoing work to help us craft a Zero Waste plan. We are already making great progress.  The rollout of the residential curbside organics recycling programs will be completed early this summer. As of yesterday, 37,000 households, including mine — or 35 percent of the city — have signed up for the service. This program, along with our single-sort recycling, once again makes us the envy of our neighbors.

Coming together through the arts

Minneapolis has, bar none, the best arts scene anywhere — I mean anywhere — and we come together through the arts in unique and powerful ways.

If I started a litany of the Minneapolis artists, arts organizations, and spaces that enrich us, we would never leave here. That said, I am going to take the risk of mentioning at least one: our hosts today, the MacPhail Center for Music. MacPhail, born and headquartered right here in Minneapolis, is the largest community music center in the country, with 14,500 students. Founded by Minneapolis resident William MacPhail in 1907, the Center teaches students ranging from 6 weeks old to over 100 years old. More than half of those students participate in programs supported by financial assistance and program subsidy.

Please join me once again in thanking CEO Kyle Carpenter and the entire MacPhail family for welcoming us today. And thank you to my friend, Timothy De Prey, for his beautiful piano playing.

The arts make us stronger as a people: they are where the best of us as human beings shows up. They also make our economy stronger: our just-released Minneapolis Creative Index shows that creative sales pumped $4.5 billion into our economy in 2015. Creative jobs are 5 percent of all jobs in our city. Our arts scene is one of the most vigorous in the country: Minneapolis ranks 6th in the country in creative vitality, with a score 3.6 times higher than the national average.

It is also true that artists and arts organizations in our neighborhoods and communities are sometimes struggling, especially in communities of color. We can acknowledge and be grateful for the incredible artistic and musical institutions that we have, and recognize that not all artists are benefitting equally or equitably.

We recently suffered a big loss in our community with the tragic death of Kirk Washington. Kirk was a gifted poet who co-authored the One Minneapolis group poem that was written for and performed at my inaugural. He also served Minneapolis as a member of our Energy Vision Advisory Committee. He was passionate about our city, our people, our challenges, and our strengths, and about making art out of all of it. His passing leaves a hole in the life of Minneapolis.

Kirk’s wife, Aster Nebro — a City of Minneapolis employee in Business Licensing — and their two daughters, Azalea Washington and Keah Spurgeon, are with us today. Please join me in honoring them and Kirk’s life.

It is wonderful that our creative economy is so strong and growing. It is a testament to who and what Minneapolis is that one of the most elemental ways human beings have of coming together as people is something in which we excel so much. We sometimes do strain to come together — but when we do it, we do it beautifully.

For me personally, experience of the arts is a daily flow and habit in my life. I read poetry every morning and every evening. I listen to music throughout the day. I read novels, mostly written for young adults; for that matter, I have written a young adult novel. I am on the board of Mia, and when I go to meetings I take an extra 20 minutes to walk through a gallery or two. When I bike or walk or drive down our streets in Minneapolis, I appreciate the beautiful murals our artists have painted in so many places.

And I make sure to find ways to laugh: laughing is a requirement for happiness, and as an art form, comedy helps us jump over dividing lines faster than almost anything else.

Stand-up comedy is itself an undersung art form. Here in Minneapolis, Acme Comedy Company is an undersung arts gem. In the last 25 years, Louis Lee has created a venue that treats comedians as artists rather than product, artists who are doing good and interesting work and help expand our notion of what comedy is. Usually when I buy tickets to go to Acme, I don’t even ask who the headliner is. I just show up knowing I will see some good and interesting and very funny work. I have never been disappointed.

I asked comedian Cameron Esposito — her special “Marriage Material” is now streaming online — what she thinks about Acme. Here’s what she said: “As a city, Minneapolis has an open-minded nature that is hard to beat. Not that everyone has experienced all things, but that folks seem open to learning, changing and connecting as a unit. That’s what Acme offers a comic: the close seating, the audience facing one another and surrounding the stage on three sides. It’s a feeling of unity and being in it together to muddle through life that makes that place a special venue for stand-up.”

That feeling of being in it together to muddle through life: exactly. Comedy is great at that, and Acme Comedy Company is especially great at it. Minneapolis is great at it, too.

I will say, though, that the best part about comedy is that it is funny.

•  •  •

Today I have been talking about the deep truth of Minneapolis: that we are a remarkable and amazing city, and that we are a city of deep divisions. I have been talking about the truth that we are strong when we come together, and the truth that even so we struggle to come together. I have been talking, again, about One Minneapolis — that to which we aspire, and that which, when we head toward it, makes all our other aspirations possible.

I talk about these things often. I am guessing no one is surprised by the theme.

The history of race would have us white folks believe that the issues we face as a city — disparities in education and employment, rifts between the police and the community, opportunity for young people — are issues of and about people of color. The history of race often leaves us white people thinking that this isn’t about us.

As a result, when I speak about it — today, or any other day — it is a challenge to speak of it in a way where we white people can see we are in this picture, that this is about us, too.

It is about us. Race and racism is a system that we are part of, like it or not. To carry on in the face of a world set up so differently for us than for people of color, at some level we have had to shut down our awareness of that difference. As a result we are less present to our own humanness, we are less connected to the real web of interconnections that bind us all to each other, and we are diminished as a result. The price of our continued participation will be our children’s futures, and their children’s futures.

Is there a deep truth here? Perhaps. The deep truth is, we must be fully dedicated to our neighbor’s humanity in order for us to achieve our full success. The negation of that truth is also true: we must be fully dedicated to the fullness of our own humanity in order for us to achieve our full success. The end point of that is One Minneapolis, and we are in that picture.

•  •  •

Minneapolis, it is profoundly true that we are a great, wonderful city. It is also profoundly true that we are a city with many challenges, especially regarding race.

The deep truth, Minneapolis, is that we are divided and strain to come together. The deep truth is also that we come together for the common good. But what is the ground on which we come together? How do we do it through the division and strain?

In the poem printed on your program, the wonderful poet Elizabeth Alexander, who read at President Obama’s first inaugural, asks a simple question: “Are we not of interest to each other?” (Gratitude and respect to another artistic gem of Minneapolis, Graywolf Press, for their kind permission to share this poem with you today.)

Are we not of interest to each other? I submit that fundamentally, we are. That fundamentally, to be human is to be curious about each other’s humanity, to share openly the depth and complexity of our full humanity with one another. That exploration is what we all recover when we seek, even a little bit, to create an equitable city.

I submit that in this amazing city of great challenges, we have everything and we are everyone that we need to come together through the strain of doing so. We have everything and we are everyone we need to hold our profound truths in deeply creative tension. We have everything and we are everyone we need to undertake the work of transformation. Looking at and moving out from this stage we can see that it’s true.

When we acknowledge our profound truths, when we come together through the strain of doing so, when we encounter each other’s humanity, and show true interest in each other — in that moment, we are able to take what Kirk Washington called at my inaugural “a unified breath that electrocutes fear and misunderstanding.”

Let us show interest in each other. Let us come together. Let us take that unified breath. Let us do the good, hard, and necessary work, together, to transform Minneapolis into One Minneapolis. We have everything and we are everyone that we need. That is our profound truth.

Celebrating the 35W & Lake Transit/Access Project – Putting Transit in the Fast Lane

Today, the Transportation & Public Works Committee voted unanimously to provide municipal consent for the 35W & Lake Transit/Access Project.  After years of work, we are putting transit in the fast lane and serving the communities along Lake Street who were overlooked for too long.

This is a huge step forward toward completion of the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which will provide high speed access from Minneapolis to Burnsville in phase one and will be extended to Lakeville in phase two.  I thank the City Council for this historic vote. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/legislation/WCMSP-178919

Controversy to Consensus

For decades, this freeway was a source of controversy and division.  Like I-94 in Saint Paul, it was routed through black neighborhoods that lacked the political power to resist. To add salt in the wound, the freeway was designed to partially bypass Lake Street, which would have served those neighborhoods. Like most freeways built at that time, 35W was also designed with almost no thought for transit and the people who depended on it.

Not having transit service or road access to Lake Street divided local residents from the larger community and from access to jobs.  It also denied local businesses access to a larger base of potential customers.  Since many of the residents and business owners were and are people of color, this exacerbated already pervasive disparities.

As the freeway filled up to capacity in the 90s, residents of Minneapolis wanted changes.  They wanted to add LRT to 35W and access to Lake Street. Others outside Minneapolis rejected that in favor of  a dramatically wider freeway for cars – which would again have had disproportionate impacts on communities of color. It was a stalemate where there seemed to be no room for compromise or innovation.

But not anymore. Today, we have built a bipartisan, urban/suburban consensus for a limited and smart expansion of the freeway to construct the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project in a tolled center lane. This required compromise and heavy lifting on all sides to overcome a.) opposition to transit, b.) opposition in Minneapolis to any kind of freeway expansion and c.) opposition to the synergy of putting transit service in a tolled lane.

Instead of being passed by, residents along Lake Street will be served by a new Lake Street BRT Station. This will be dramatically better for transit riders than the current facility which is, bleak, inaccessible, and an insult to the current ridership (within a ten minute walk of the Lake Street station, the population is 46% transit dependent and 73% minority).

Innovation Was the Solution

The I-35W Transit/Access project is the next step towards building Orange Line BRT, a $150 million project that will carry 26,400 riders in 2040, making this the best value large transit project in Minnesota. By running BRT in toll lanes extended to downtown Minneapolis, we will maximize lane capacity like nowhere else in Minnesota.

Orange Line BRT will have far more riders than any other BRT line in Minnesota, setting a new standard for what is possible when you put high quality, high frequency transit in the fast lane.

True Multi-Modal Design at Lake: Transit, Cars and Bikes

  • Transit Access to Jobs. The neighborhoods served are low income households who will get transit access to jobs – both in downtown and in the suburbs. Between BRT and other buses on the freeway level and local buses on Lake Street, there will be over 100 buses an hour coming to this station.
  • Roadway Access to Big Institutions and New Immigrant Businesses. The project includes two new freeway exit ramps to bring more customers to both big institutions like Wells Fargo, Abbott and Children’s Hospital as well as the new immigrant businesses that have revitalized Lake Street. This will right a historic wrong and provide direct access for several diverse Minneapolis neighborhoods that were denied freeway access when the freeway was first built.
  • Busiest Bikeway in Minnesota. The new Lake Street Station will have a beautiful “green crescent” connection to the award-winning Midtown Greenway, the busiest bikeway in Minnesota. There are more bike riders on the Midtown Greenway than total users on 90% of City streets.  It’s time to connect this bicycle freeway to high speed transit.

Leadership from Minneapolis

It is hard to overstate the influence that Minneapolis has had on the new 35W design. For over a decade City leaders have taken courageous votes on behalf of a new vision of the freeway.

First, the City of Minneapolis voted to deny municipal consent for the Crosstown Project and from that process secured an agreement from MnDOT to put transit in a center tolled lane with near term stations at Lake and 46th Streets and a potential future additional station at 38th.  Our efforts were validated by good planning. Rep. Frank Hornstein, a Democrat from Minneapolis and Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, a Republican from Lakeville secured funds for a study of BRT on 35W which showed what could be possible for the whole corridor from Minneapolis to Lakeville.

Second, the City of Minneapolis voted in 2007 to “reboot” the design of the “Access Project” (which did not include a transit station) and start development of the “Transit/Access Project” which would include a high quality inside lane multi-modal BRT station at Lake Street, a high quality bike and pedestrian connection to the Midtown Greenway, and ultimately two new exit ramps to provide access to Lake Street. By focusing on these key priorities, we dramatically reduced the overall project cost, eliminating unnecessary components like the controversial relocation of four ramps at 35th and 36th Streets to 38th Street.

Third, after the 35W bridge collapse in 2007, the City of Minneapolis insisted that the new 35W bridge over the Mississippi River must accommodate transit in the fast lane. As Mayor Rybak said then, we must build the new bridge “for the next 50 years, not the last 50 years.” By insisting the new bridge be built right, and not just fast, we have laid the ground work for Orange Line BRT to be extended to the northern suburbs.

It is highly unlikely that what we now call Orange Line BRT could ever have happened without insistent leadership from the City of Minneapolis.  By establishing the principle that the freeway should be designed from the inside out starting with transit in the fast lane we have laid out a path that can lead to success as we rebuild Interstate 94 and a future Orange Line extension on 35W north of downtown.

Too Many People to Thank

In all these efforts, we must acknowledge the leadership and hard work of many people. In addition to Rep. Hornstein, then-Rep. Holberg and then-Mayor Rybak, we must acknowledge Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, and then-Council Member Robert Lilligren for their leadership. Senator Scott Dibble has been a tireless advocate for this project and his leadership remains essential as he works to pass a comprehensive transportation bill that funds both roads and transit. Special recognition is well-deserved for Public Works Director Steve Kotke, Jeni Hager and the all the City staff who have worked on this for so many years.

This final product is the work of many agencies working to build a common vision, including Hennepin County Commissioners Peter McLaughlin, Gail Dorfman and Marion Greene, Hennepin County Engineer Jim Grube, MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and MnDOT staff, and Met Council Chair Adam Duininck and Met Council Staff.

We must also thank all the many citizen volunteers who participated in the Project Advisory Committee and in other ways contributed to the design moving forward.

Finally, thanks to all the support from the business community, and all the other cities along 35W who appreciate that a new multimodal 35W can bring all our communities close together.  Our coalition of 35W cities secured $133 million from the Bush Administration through the Urban Partnership Agreement.  Now, it’s time to finish what we started together.  I am very proud to have been a leader in this and I am committed to seeing this completed all the way to Lakeville

The Last Hurdle

There are three inter-related projects on three segments of 35W planned to be constructed during the same four year period (2018-2021). MNDOT must begin construction on the northern segment in 2018. If the sections to the south including the 35W Transit/Access Project are delayed due to state inaction on transportation, the cost of delay is extremely high:

  • Direct Financial Cost. If MNDOT has to use different contractors on the same site, economies of scale will be lost.  This will be compounded by inflation.
  • Additional Year of Traffic Delays Due to Construction. These projects need to overlap if we want to avoid additional years of construction beyond the planned four years. Each year funding is delayed means at least a year longer of construction. With the northern segment starting construction in 2018, we know when traffic delays will begin.  We just don’t know when those delays will end.

Please join me, Governor Dayton and Senator Scott Dibble in pushing for a comprehensive long-term transportation funding bill that will build this worthwhile project, the rest of Orange Line BRT, and many more like it across the region.

Working to End Racial and Economic Inequality in Minneapolis

I strongly endorse the African American Leadership Forum’s comprehensive 5-Point Plan to Address Economic Inequality for African Americans. For several months, I have been in close communication with AALF, and last month, I wrote a detailed reply in support of the plan, which I’ve posted below.

It is very important to note that my support is not meant to convey, “We are doing all of this already,” but rather, “Here is a foundation of activity from which I hope we can move forward together.” There is much to do, and much to be done differently. I look forward to doing it in partnership with the community.



March 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Hassan and Mr. Belton,

I am writing to endorse the African American Leadership Forum Five Point Plan to End Economic Inequality, to commit myself to doing work at the City to meet those goals, and to commit to meeting with you to talk about where we can go together from here. Ending racial and economic inequity has been, and remains, the foundation of my administration. It is the reason I ran for mayor, and it is imperative for the successful future of Minneapolis.

Your letter and the plan eloquently lay out the biggest threat to Minneapolis’ people and our collective future prosperity: racially-based economic inequities and the systems that support them. When, in a time of overall economic recovery, African American median income falls by 14% in the state of Minnesota, we know that we as a community are in crisis, and that it must be our systems that are failing to serve African American people. When African American students in our public schools face worse outcomes than their peers in Mississippi, we know we have a crisis and that our education system is failing African American young people. The Greater MSP region is on track to be majority people of color by mid-century, Minneapolis sooner than that. If we as a region and a city do not make sure that people of color are prepared well to create and take the jobs of the future, our economy will falter. If we do not make sure that everyone can contribute to and benefit from our growth and prosperity we will stall out economically as well as socially.

I share AALF’s goal not just of change, but of transformation. It has been and will remain the work of my administration to enact policy that will not only change current practice, but to transform how the city does business from the DNA outward. The future of our city and our people depends on it.

I have attached a detailed analysis of work already underway at the City relevant to the points of the plan. In the attached memo, which addresses each of the five points in AALF’s plan, I cover the following areas, among others:

  • The City’s enterprise-wide equity and inclusion work;
  • Our efforts to develop a workforce, both within the City of Minneapolis and the city writ large, that looks like the residents we serve, with a particular focus on youth;
  • Racially and socially responsive recruitment and retention of City employees;
  • Work to expand capacity and opportunity in African American-owned businesses;
  • City support, and my personal support, for legislation and budgets that champion racial equity and African American economic equity in Minneapolis and statewide;
  • Coordination with foundations and the federal government to improve economic opportunities and outcomes for African Americans;
  • The City’s commitment to sharing data for the purpose of advancing economic equity for African Americans.

I know that you are also working with City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden on the Council’s adopting a resolution in support of AALF’s plan. I would be pleased to sign such a resolution and am happy to offer Council Vice President Glidden and you any assistance in this effort.

Please understand that this communication is not meant to convey, “We are already doing all this already,” but rather, “Here is a foundation of activity from which I hope we can move forward together.” I look forward to your feedback on what more we can do, what we can do differently, and how we can do it with more and more intentional partnership with you.

I am grateful to you all for elevating this crisis across sectors, and for holding government and business leaders accountable to address it. I want to thank you for reaching out to me and for all of your work on this urgent need.

My staff will reach out to you to set up a time when we can meet.


Mayor Betsy Hodges

City of Minneapolis


Mayor Betsy Hodges detailed response to AALF Five Point Plan

1. The public and private sectors must institute aggressive hiring that reflects the racial diversity of the state, county, cities and school districts.

A goal of mine is for the City of Minneapolis to become a model on how to increase the recruitment and retention of diverse talent. With colleagues on the City Council, notably Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, I have worked with City staff to increase access for people of color to City jobs as well as create a work environment where employees of color can grow their careers and thrive professionally. This work is showing promise: the percentage of new City hires that are people of color has risen from 23 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2015. We continue to explore policies and practices that will advance racial equity and build our workforce to reflect the communities we serve.

Highlights of our efforts in this area include, but are not limited to:

a. Hiring of two Equity and Inclusion Managers

In my 2015 budget, I allocated resources to create an Office of Equity and Inclusion in the City Coordinator’s Office. Staffing this new office are two Managers of Equity and Inclusion. They lead the City’s racial equity work inside the City enterprise and externally in the Promise Zone. This concrete racial equity work is being done in very few cities around the country.

i. Joy Marsh Stephens manages the City enterprise work. She identifies opportunities to move the dial on racial equity in City policies, practices, and procedures in all levels and areas of City operations. She also works across jurisdictions and with the non-profit and private sectors to share best practices and bring effective strategies to scale for greater regional and statewide impact.

ii. Julianne Leerssen manages the City of Minneapolis’ Promise Zone. This target area encompasses the majority of North Minneapolis. She builds strategic partnerships to address education, public safety, economic development, housing, and employment needs, all through a racial equity lens.

b. Equity and Equal Opportunity Workforce Planning

The City has recently hired a Workforce Planning Manager to identify existing department progress in hiring and promoting people of color.  We are assessing our effectiveness of our efforts and maximizing opportunities to expand them.

c. 21st Century Workforce Development

Addressing the City’s growing workforce needs means investing now in the next generation of employees. The City leads with nationally-recognized internship programs for high school and college students, as well as targeted youth development programs. Each of these programs supports young people of color, invests in their leadership, and introduces them to careers in City government, youth work, and other public service.

Examples include:

i. STEP-UP: STEP-UP is a nationally-recognized youth employment model, in partnership with AchieveMinneapolis, that trains and matches Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 with paid summer internships. Interns gain experience across private sector businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits, which expands their imagination of possibility for their future. Since 2004, STEP-UP has created over 21,000 internships and continues to certify interns in Work Readiness Training through the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

In 2015, nearly 2,000 Minneapolis youth participated in the job skills training program, and 727 interns were employed at 147 corporate and organizational partners. Ninety-one percent of participants were youth of color; 62 percent identified as Black; 43 percent were from North Minneapolis. Interns earned a combined $2.6 million in wages. STEP-UP has become the model for City-led youth employment programs and has been replicated in cities across the country.

I have made a pledge that the City of Minneapolis will hire 50 STEP-UP interns throughout the enterprise this summer.

ii. Urban Scholars: Urban Scholars is a City-created professional and leadership-development internship program that provides college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with distinctive professional experience.Over 70 percent of interns in the program are people of color. The City of Minneapolis has taken significant steps to hire Urban Scholars once they graduate from college, as well. In its fifth year, the program has shown to be effective in creating a pathway for diverse City employees. Fourteen percent of all Urban Scholars are now full-time City employees.

In my 2016 budget, I increased investment in this program by $92,000 to increase cohort size, as well as targeted recruitment.

iii. BUILD Leaders: In my 2016 budget, I also invested $362,000 ongoing to scale a program specifically for the most disenfranchised youth in our community. This is the first of its kind for the City. BUILD Leaders is an innovative job-training program based in the community with wraparound case management for Opportunity Youth ages 18-24. The program is for youth of color experiencing the most systemic barriers, such as not being in school or having a diploma, as well as experiencing unemployment. The participants teach a youth-violence-prevention curriculum to children ages 9-12 through afterschool programs. They complete the program with job experience and multiple certifications that can lead to careers in youth work. The program specifically has cohorts for African Americans in North Minneapolis.

iv. Two EMS Pathway Programs: Becoming a certified Emergency Medical Technician opens the door to many career paths. It is the first step to becoming a Minneapolis Firefighter. According to the National Registry of EMTs, 74 percent of paramedics and EMTs currently serving in the emergency medical workforce are white, and 76 percent are male. This is a rapidly expanding field and as more jobs for EMTs are created it is necessary to fill these positions with qualified candidates that reflect the multilingual and culturally diverse communities they serve.

The Minneapolis Fire Department is partnering with Minneapolis Schools to offer a two year Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and certification for juniors and seniors at Roosevelt and North High School.  This is our second year working with Roosevelt and our first year working with North High School. Ninety percent of students in our classes are from communities traditionally underrepresented in the field.

The EMS Pathways Academy will provide low-income, minority, and female young adults of Minneapolis between the ages of 18-25 free, paid Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training to create a pipeline of diverse candidates for the Minneapolis Fire Department and the emergency medical workforce of our community. Participants receive wraparound supports, as needed. After students graduate with their EMT certification that is recognizable in 32 states, they are eligible for preference points in the firefighters entrance exam.

v. Community Service Officers: The Community Service Officer Program (CSO) serves as an alternative pathway to become a police officer. This program expands the applicant pool to include more candidates from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that reflect of our community.  This program blends training in law enforcement and real-world experience within the Minneapolis Police Department.  In addition to their salary, the CSOs are given the opportunity to participate in an Education Assistance Program where the MPD provides up to education benefits for a law enforcement degree.

In my 2016 budget, I invested $1M ongoing into the CSO program to be a secure pathway for diverse candidates and to ensure officers reflect the communities they serve. The 2015 class was 61 percent people of color.

vi. TechHire: The mission of TechHire, an initiative of Obama White House in which Minneapolis is one of the first participants, is to close the workforce skills gap in the high-tech economy by creating a path for diverse workers to access training, support, and tech jobs. The $350,000 that the City Council and I invested in the City’s 2016 budget is largely focused on women and communities of color, as they have traditionally faced barriers to accessing alternative technology education and training opportunities.

As of February 2016, 285 trainees have completed accelerated programs and 135 graduates have been placed in full-time positions averaging $48,364. So far, graduates are 24 percent people of color, a number which can and must improve. For this reason, an outreach and marketing plan that meets people where they are has been implemented. As a result, 32 percent of applicants for the upcoming women-only class in North Minneapolis are African American.

vii. Earned Sick and Safe Time

In my 2015 State of the City address, I said that we must not only prepare for the equitable workforce of the future, we must also prepare for the equitable workplace of the future. That is why I proposed introducing earned sick and safe time for all workers in Minneapolis, which 42 percent of all Minneapolis workers lack. And here again, we see racial disparities: while 37 percent of white workers lack access to earned sick and safe time, 49 percent of African American workers do. The City Council and I jointly appointed a Workplace Regulations Partnership Group to study the issue. The group held 14 listening sessions around Minneapolis that focused on a wide variety of workers and economic sectors, and has come forward with recommendations (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@clerk/documents/agenda/wcmsp-175374.pdf). Access to earned sick and safe time will help create better working conditions for African American workers and their families.

d. Racially and Socially Responsive Recruitment

I recognize that building a diverse workforce requires innovation and responsiveness to the needs of the people we seek to recruit. We cannot build our city’s workforce by waiting for our changing community to adapt to our traditional means. We have started the work of examining ways we can expand access and have taken the following steps:

i. Promote Development of Pathways Programs for City Departments: As a City enterprise, we recognize that systemic barriers faced by people of color make access to education, work experience, and professional networks more difficult. Therefore, many experience greater challenges in competing for traditional City jobs. As a response, departments now collaborate to create pathway programs for well-qualified people of color and other underrepresented groups to gain employment with the City of Minneapolis.

ii. Review Position Descriptions – Remove Artificial Barriers: Related to the Pathways Program effort is the Human Resources Department’s commitment to supporting departments in reviewing job descriptions for barriers to communities of color and other underrepresented groups in the workforce. The objective is to update job specifications to more accurately reflect position responsibilities. Doing so enables us to gain a broader, more diverse applicant pool.

Public Works took up the opportunity to increase diversity in their department by reviewing job descriptions. They discovered they had a less diverse candidate pool for the “Service Worker” position because it required a commercial driver’s license. This requirement disproportionately disqualified potential candidates of color. As a response, Public Works created a new position, “Service Worker 1,” which does not have that requirement. This allows employees to gain paid work experience while they obtain commercial driver’s license. Twenty-nine percent of new hires for this position are African American.

Public Works’ hiring efforts have overall shown remarkable progress. In 2013, they had 36 Black applicants for job positions. They took the lessons learned and improved outreach in 2014, which resulted in a 650-percent increase, to 276 Black applicants.

iii. Review Testing and Selection Procedures: Broadening the applicant pool is just one step in building a more diverse and representative workforce. We act to ensure that our interview selection panel and testing procedures are racially equitable and do not present barriers to people of color gaining employment with the City of Minneapolis. In doing so, we broaden access for well-qualified candidates of color.

As an example, the Minneapolis Police Department shifted their interview panels to include community members to diversify perspectives in the selection process.

iv. Workplace Policy Review: As our workplace policies directly influence the ability of people of color to feel welcome and grow in the employment with the City of Minneapolis, our Human Resources Department targets 25 percent of our workplace policies for review on an annual basis. Where necessary, these policies are amended to ensure we are not inhibiting a diverse workforce. This focus also includes a review of and response to potential state and federal legislative barriers.

v. Implementation of Team Minneapolis (NeoGov): Our new online application system provides a simpler application process. For applicants who seek consideration for multiple positions over time, the system retains essential information, thereby expediting application for future positions.

Additionally, our IT Department takes laptops out into the community to facilitate the job application process with people who may otherwise face barriers in applying. They are leading the City’s work to close the digital divide in Minneapolis.

e. Racially Inclusive Workplace Culture Promotion

i. Cultural Intelligence & IDI Training/Coaching: Professional and leadership development programs are offered to City employees and supervisors that include cultural intelligence and implicit bias training. An intentional focus in these areas enables us to invest in our senior leaders and City employees who play a direct role in hiring decisions. These individuals are then able to promote the importance of a racially equitable culture within the workplace and in hiring, promotion, and retention decisions. To date, over 100 employees and supervisors have gone through the programs and we expect 60 more to do so by the end of 2016. In addition, all sworn Minneapolis police officers have participated in mandated implicit bias training.

ii. Enterprise Collaboration on Racial Equity: A key component of our Enterprise Equity and Inclusion work is providing City staff with space to build their capacity and skillset relating to racial equity. In 2016, the Office of Equity and Inclusion began introducing enterprise engagement opportunities that give employees the space and time to work with colleagues across the enterprise and deepen our culture of racial equity in the City. Employees already report an increase in collaboration to address issues if equity within and between departments.

iii. Department-Level Equity & Inclusion Teams: In 2008, City Council Resolution 2008-184 created the Equity in Employment Task Force. In that time, as a response to the disparities our community faces, various City departments began developing internal-facing teams to build their racial-equity capacities. The success of these teams has become the foundation for this next stage of the City’s equity and inclusion work. These teams have been the source of significant innovation in how City employees and teams can strive to advance racial equity in hiring, purchasing, and community-engagement decisions.

2. African American businesses in Minnesota must be awarded a share of public and private contracts commensurate with their representation among Minnesota businesses.

Estimates based in the best available data are that African American-owned business are only 10.4 percent of all businesses in Minneapolis. At the same time, data show that both nationally and locally, businesses owned by people of color are growing at a significantly higher pace than white-owned businesses. Like our efforts in hiring and retention, City leaders and staff have established goals aimed at increasing contracting opportunities for minority business across the enterprise.

Some highlights include:

a. Disparity Study

The City of Minneapolis is conducting a new Disparity Study that will be completed in 2017.  This study determines whether an agency, either in the past or currently, engages in exclusionary practices in the solicitation and award of contracts to minority‐ and women‐owned businesses. Knowing the vital information this study will produce, I invested $300,000 in it over two years.

The most recent City of Minneapolis Disparity Study thoroughly examined the City’s procurement process, as well as the locations and ownership of companies that do business with the city. The study also analyzed the overall marketplace and experiences of women-owned and minority-owned businesses that seek contracts in both the public and private sector. This information is being used to drive targeted policies and investments to close disparities facing many business owners from underserved communities.

b. Small and Underutilized Business Program

The City adopted a Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP) in 2005 and subsequently adopted aspirational goals for contracting in 2011 at 25 percent for all minority and women-owned small businesses. There has been progress, but we are still not at our goal: the City achieved 19 percent in 2014 and 22 percent in 2015. Aggressive efforts continue to push forward on these goals to ensure economic growth is achieved throughout all of our communities.

c. Supplier Diversity Work Plan

Earlier this year, City staff led by the City Coordinator’s Office moved forward a comprehensive one- and five-year work plan to more actively push forward our supplier diversity efforts.

Among the efforts expected to be completed are:

  • Comprehensive data analysis of historic spending and definition of commodity categories to better identify available opportunities for vendors within each category.
  • Implementation of additional certification options to broaden the ability of qualified small and minority vendors/firms to work within the City of Minneapolis.
  • Development and implementation of a target-market program aimed at enhancing contracting opportunities for all small businesses.
  • Expansion of technology strategies to include alerts to interested vendors, as well as a purchasing portal by which vendors can more easily access and submit bid documents and information electronically.

d. Expansion of Business Technical Assistance Program

The City of Minneapolis’ Business Technical Assistance Program (known as “B-TAP”) has been a very successful tool in helping new and small businesses start and grow in the City of Minneapolis.  Created in 2012, B-Tap contracts with non-profit organizations that focus on entrepreneur training and economic development in communities of color to provide technical assistance to businesses on matters such as business planning, marketing, loan proposals, and leasing space. This year, I included an additional $350,000 in my budget proposal for B-TAP to provide bonus payments to its service providers that assist disadvantaged business owners in obtaining DBE certification. B-TAP can further assist disadvantaged businesses in helping them compete for new business once their certification is in place. Seventy-seven percent of the 144 beneficiaries of this program are people of color, out of which 20% are African American. B-TAP can claim to have helped create more than 40 new businesses and 140 jobs. These numbers speak to the need of continuing to promote entrepreneurship in communities of color.

e. Minority and Women-Owned Business Opportunities Fair

In 2015, the City hosted its first Minority and Women-Owned Business Opportunities Fair where small and medium-sized businesses had an opportunity to meet with City departments across the enterprise and find out more about possible contracting and service openings within each individual department. With over 330 registered participants, the Opportunities Fair was a huge success, and we are already planning the next networking event.

f. GARE Best Practices in Certification Committee

As one of the founding partners in the Government Alliance for Race and Equity, the City of Minneapolis convenes with jurisdictional partners from across the Midwest on a variety of topics including equitable procurement strategies. A Best Practices in Certification Committee was formed last year among leaders at the Metropolitan Council, the City of Saint Paul, and the City of Minneapolis to discuss how to increase contracting opportunities for certified businesses. We are exploring collaborative regional opportunities that may further our efforts even more.

g. Business Made Simple

If we conduct business as usual without taking into consideration the needs that entrepreneurs have as they invest in the City, we are halting economic growth — and this is especially true for entrepreneurs of color. When I took office, I asked City Attorney Susan Segal conduct a review of the City business regulations, with a view to identifying strategies that can simplify the process entrepreneurs go through as they invest in the city. After meeting with entrepreneurs from all across the city, recommendations were made to: simplify and streamline regulations, but also to provide special assistance for small businesses; make things easier and faster; improve coordination and eliminate consistence within and between departments; and deliver better customer service with continuous improvement.

Since the implementation of Business Made Simple, Business Licensing and Consumer Services has modernized, updated or eliminated approximately 39 ordinances. At the same time, the City is working on modernizing its land management system that will provide consolidated data for all the departments engaged in the development review and business licensing, enforcement and inspections. The new system will be ready by the end of 2016. An interface for entrepreneurs to easily navigate the City’s process is expected to be launched in 2017.

3. The Minnesota legislature must pass and the governor sign comprehensive legislation comprised of strategies of both proven and innovative approaches to end economic inequality.

The City of Minneapolis annually adopts legislative policy positions and agenda. The positions include numerous policies in a variety of areas. We have adopted policies related to equity and have included them in the 2016 Legislative Agenda.

Initially adopted in 2013 and revised annually the Fostering Equity policies support state level policy and funding that are intended to eliminate racial disparities.  The policies address early childhood education; public health; housing; building wealth; workforce development; employment access and workplace policies; capital investments; and certification, procurement and business development.

Alongside other public and private entities, we advocate for legislation to accomplish our City goals. A successful collaborative effort was with the “ban the box” legislation, which now prohibits employers to request information regarding criminal history as part of the initial application for employment. Additionally, the City has been successful in securing State funding for youth and adult employment and training programs.

On a personal level, I applaud Governor Dayton’s proposal to invest $100 million in equity. I appreciate Senator Champion’s leadership in bringing people to the Capitol to testify about what policies and programs could help achieve increased racial and economic equality.

 4. Minnesota-based philanthropies, private, corporate and community foundations must make investments in the African American community commensurate with our representation in the population.

I firmly believe partnerships with philanthropy, as well as the public, private, and non-profit sectors, are essential to address the economic and racial disparities we face as a community. I have increased my efforts to partner with national and local funders to support the work we are doing in many of our affected neighborhoods and commercial corridors.

Highlights of existing work include:

a. Minneapolis Promise Zone

In 2015, a large portion of North Minneapolis was designated a 10-year, federal Promise Zone through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I spent significant time and effort lobbying the Obama administration to win this designation, which allows the City to leverage preference points for certain competitive federal grant programs and for technical assistance from participating federal agencies. As the result, Minneapolis has already won a $3.4M grant to remove harmful lead from homes in low-income communities, including North Minneapolis, and another grant for $400,000 for increasing access to healthy food in North Minneapolis. Our community-driven plan within the Minneapolis Promise Zone includes six goals, including increased job creation and economic development. Additional information on our Promise Zone efforts can be found at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/promisezone/index.htm.

b. Minneapolis Innovation Team

In 2015, the City won a three-year, $2.7M grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to fund the creation of an exciting in-house consultant team within the City. The Minneapolis Innovation Team works with departments to dig into how our policies, services and service-delivery mechanisms contribute to racial and place-based disparities. They then develop strategies and responsive new interventions to fix these problems and deliver measurable results. Currently focused on rental housing initiatives, the Innovation Team is expected to take on issues relating to spurring equitable economic growth and development as their next challenge later this year.

c. Northside Funders Group and Living Cities

Last year the City joined the partnership efforts led by the Northside Funders Group and sponsored by Living Cities that are aimed at developing targeted strategies for economic and workforce development in North Minneapolis.  Bringing together public, private, philanthropic and community-based partners, the group has formed a collective Opportunity Neighborhoods for Regional Prosperity agenda that will use quantitative and qualitative indicators to address issues such as the employment gap, capital investments in North Minneapolis, and commercial and workforce growth.

d. My Brother’s Keeper

In 2014, I, along with Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Trista Harris, CEO/President of Minnesota Council on Foundations, were among the first to sign onto President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. It is an initiative focused to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color. With the City of Saint Paul and Minnesota Council on Foundations, I have focused local efforts on the goal areas of ready-for-K, high school graduation, employment, and safe and second chance. My office leads the MBK Data Task Force, which focuses on making boys and young men of color visible in the data to ensure the adoption of culturally-specific strategies and practices.

What is unique to our local community action plan is that it focuses on inputs. Twin Cities My Brother’s Keeper puts boys and young men of color at the core as assets to our community and seeks to change systems to reflect that.

5. Public, private and philanthropic enterprises in partnership with African American organizations must publish an Annual Report Card on the status of efforts to achieve these results.

I fully support efforts to use data in monitoring, tracking, and evaluating the success of public, private and philanthropic initiatives. The City strives to be a leader in innovation and data transparency.  Results Minneapolis is the primary management tool we use to systematically track performance toward achieving the City’s vision, values, goals, and strategic directions. We also recently added another tool that aligns performance measurement with community priorities.  Our new City Goal Results Minneapolis consists of cross-sector reports that assess our progress towards City goals through community indicators. The City goals were developed through a year-long process with input of over 1,500 community members. Additional information on our Results Management work can be found at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/coordinator/rm/index.htm.

Additionally, initiatives are currently underway to better track our workforce diversity efforts, our contracting efforts, and our progress towards meeting our additional racial equity goals, including the establishment of a website focused on our racial-equity efforts expected to be online later this year.

I am willing to work with you to make sure City data are available for this project.