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August 25, 2014
Downtown East

Spotlight on Minneapolis Growth

As you walk around Third Ward neighborhoods you see it everywhere - development projects that will increase residential density and spur economic growth for Minneapolis.

To keep you updated, we usually highlight key projects in Third Ward News emails. But this month we celebrate Minneapolis surpassing the $1 billion mark in construction projects for 2014.

With $1 billion in projects approved, and additional development submissions pending, there is a high potential of reaching $2 billion in construction projects approved yet this year. "The Third Ward, and specifically neighborhoods along the central riverfront, are the epicenter for new construction," said Council Member Jacob Frey. "The new Vikings stadium and the Ryan Companies mixed-use development together total nearly half of that billion, and they are just getting started!"

Four of the top five 2014 construction projects are in the Third Ward. They are the new Vikings stadium ($241.425M), Downtown East apartments and offices ($218.823M), Latitude 45 apartments ($53.915M), and 15th Avenue Student Housing apartments ($36.785M). 

The construction boom continues with permits issued constituting a total of 1,488 dwelling units, including single family homes, new rental apartments and apartment conversions, and new condominiums.

Minneapolis elections to increase voter access

It goes without saying that voting is the core tenant of our democracy. As the chair of the Elections and Rules Committee, Council Member Frey has been working with the city's elections department to ensure maximum access to the ballot box regardless of your residence, job hours, and income. Over the years, the number of voting precincts in our city has declined from more than 300 to a meager 117. This decline has resulted in long lines requiring voters to wait for hours before casting their ballot. This year, for the first time in decades, we are reversing that trend by adding eight polling locations, three of which will be in the Third Ward. Your polling location can be found here.
To further increase accessibility, Council Member Frey is working to increase hours for no-excuse absentee balloting. For the two weeks leading up to the election we are taking strides to expand hours of service during the work week, and allow for voting to take place on Saturdays and Sundays. “While budget cuts are often necessary, consistent cuts to elections will undermine the democratic process,” said Council Member Frey. “We want to encourage full participation, and that means expanding hours of service to give everyone a full and fair opportunity to be heard.” Our office will be providing exact hours for operation for no-excuse absentee balloting once they are solidified. 

The Ritz is rising!

The historic Ritz Theater, located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, is thriving. After falling on hard times in prior years, the theater is being
revitalized. The 3rd Ward office helped facilitate the introduction of new management. Management stepped in with a vision for growth and goal of offering a vibrant range of programming, and it is working.

The Ritz has seen an influx of original bookings. 40% of the weekends are already booked for the upcoming season. New Theater companies for the 2014-15 season include the Frank Theater and Theater La De Da, with Theater La De Da moving their offices into the Ritz in October. An exciting two week Holiday Show is also in the works. Stay tuned for more details and exciting news ahead from The Ritz Theater!

2015 budget process underway

On August 14, Mayor Betsy Hodges presented her 2015 recommended budget to the City Council.  This begins a several month process where the City Council will review, amend, and then vote on the final budget by December 10, 2014. The Mayor has proposed a 2.4% increase in the overall property tax levy. The amount approved will vary, but the impact on individual property owners will be minimal because of the significant growth in tax base. 

The budget is expected to be made available to Council Members and the public this week so specific details aren't known. However, in her speech Mayor Hodges proposed full funding of the Nicollet Mall redesign, additional police and fire resources, including a body camera program for the MPD, an extra million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and a network of protected bike lanes. 

The budget is one of the biggest decisions the council makes all year and has the farthest reaching implications. Your feedback is imperative so that your values are reflected in the council's decisions to allocate the city's resources. Please email me and let me know your priorities.

To keep abreast with the latest on the budget, you can visit the city's budget page and also use this interactive tool, developed by the Star Tribune

Please join Council Member Jacob Frey at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, 212 17th Ave N., on Saturday, September 27, 2014 for MACC's annual "I'm in the Dog House" event from 11am - 2pm. Council Member Frey will be "kenneled" to raise money for the animals at MACC. MACC staff and volunteers will be giving tours of the shelter and coordinating fun events such as educational booths in our parking lot, face-painting, "Ask the Vet", food, and much more.

The mission of MACC is to work with residents to create safe and healthy communities for people and animals. Each year they handle more than 16,000 field service calls ranging from dog attacks to barking complaints. Just this month MACC announced that p
et owners who adopt “power breed” dogs will now be able get two months of dog training, free of charge, thanks to a new agreement between Minneapolis Animal Care & Control and Animal Humane Society.

CM Frey's goal is to raise $1,000 in order to be "adopted" so come on down to the event or visit the MACC page to sponsor Jacob now!
Candidates for Minneapolis Public School Board At-Large will join Council Member Frey at September's Wake-up with Jacob! The candidates will answer your questions and share their vision for our schools. Minneapolis Public School Board Vice Chair Jenny Arneson will also join us to talk about her work on the school board and introduce the new Webster school principal, Ginger Krantz (see profile article below). 

The event will be held at Mattie's on Main at 43 Main Street NE (just next door to Wilde Roast Cafe) on Wednesday, August 6th from 7:30 to 9:00 am. Bottomless coffee and a pastry item will be available for $4.00. Please RSVP to help us plan. 

Webster school welcomes new principal

We are pleased to welcome Ms. Ginger Kranz as principal of the new school at Webster, which will open for the 2015-16 school year. Ms. Kranz brings over 20 years of experience as an innovative, results-oriented teacher and leader. She recently served as an instructional leader for Minneapolis Public Schools, supporting principals and teachers and serving as a steering committee member for the new Ramsey Middle School.

Ms. Kranz is currently pursuing her doctorate in organizational leadership, policy and development at the University of Minnesota. She also has certification in the AMS Montessori Middle School Program and the Chicago Urban Education Program, which focuses on bringing cultural and global awareness into the classroom setting.

Pole vaulting comes to Brits pub!

The Brits Pub lawn is hosting Brit' Pub Vault, a competitive pole vault event on Saturday, August 30th from 11am-1pm. Come watch world-class, Olympic pole vaulters compete while you sip a beverage of choice with downtown Minneapolis as your backdrop. For athlete bios and complete spectator information, check out the link above or the facebook event page

City seeks input on Accessory Dwelling Unit proposal

In June, Council Member Lisa Bender introduced a proposed ordinance that would allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in residential areas. ADUs are smaller dwelling units that are attached to or on the same property as existing homes. 

ADUs are currently allowed with a conditional use permit in parts of South Minneapolis. Many cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Austin allow ADUs, also known as granny flats or mother-in-law apartment.

The city will host several community meetings and allow for public input. For more information on the public meeting or to submit comments electronically, visit the city's ADU information page. In Northeast Minneapolis the public meeting will be Wednesday, August 27th from 5-7pm at Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St NE.

Civil Right department to host Affordable Housing forums 

On Wednesday, August 27 from 6-8pm the Civil Right Department will host a community conversation with residents, policymakers and community advocates in housing to talk about the issue of concentrated affordable housing in Minneapolis. The forum will be held at Pillsbury House, 3501 Chicago Ave S.

Panelists include Myron Orfield from the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, Gretchen Nichols from the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Wes Butler from the City of Minneapolis CPED, Libby Starling from the Met Council, Anthony Newby from Neighborhoods Organizing Change, and Sue Watlov Phillips from the Metropolitican Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing. 

Welcome new neighbors, Pack & Give Back

As fall semester gets underway many new neighbors will be moving into the ward. To help ease the transitions of students moving into off campus housing, welcome packets to student renters will be distributed by volunteers. Coordinated by the U of M’s Student and Community Relations department, the door-knocking and distribution will occur in the Marcy Holmes, SE Como, and Prospect Park neighborhoods. For more information, please email or call 612-626-5301.
In addition, the student and resident free store and Pack and Give Back program is returning again this year. It will be held at the University of Minnesota ReUse Program warehouse. On August 25th, the free store will be open for all U of M students to shop at before the start of the semester.

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