After heated meetings that exposed Minneapolis residents’ opposition to the city’s goal of asserting greater control over neighborhood associations this spring, city staff told Minneapolis City Council members Monday that they need more time to research the city’s current relationship with the organizations before making any changes.
David Rubedor, director of Minneapolis’ Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR), told the council’s Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights, and Engagement Committee that his team will miss an original deadline of Oct. 28 to come up with specifics for Neighborhoods 2020, the new program that aims to diversify the Minneapolis’ 70 neighborhood associations, which receive funding from the city. In May, the council approved a preliminary framework for the initiative without any details about how the city should leverage those dollars to accomplish that goal.
“Now we’ve had a chance to kind of rest on this a little bit,” Rubedor said.
The project has moved more slowly than the city originally expected. Rubedor released recommendations for Neighborhoods 2020 in January, with the intention of establishing a new program by the end of 2019, when the mechanism that funds the groups, a tax district, dries up. NCR saw the expiring funding plan as a prime time for changing the city’s relationship with neighborhood groups and establishing new rules for leadership. Historically, white homeowners have made up a disproportionate amount of neighborhood association board members, despite the city’s racial diversity and the fact that most residents are renters.
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