Update from the Mayor – June 16, 2006
Containing Juvenile Crime
This week we received another sobering reminder of the public safety challenges we are fighting in our city. An FBI report confirms an increase in crime in Minneapolis that is being fueled by juvenile offenders. The report also confirms that we are not alone in our struggle. Many Midwestern cities are experiencing similar crime up-ticks, as guns and drugs sweep throughout the nation.
While the national numbers are alarming, they are not surprising. We’ve seen crime increasing and we’ve responded aggressively. But we have much more work to do, especially to address increasingly violent young people.
- We are responding to the crime upturn with aggressive initiatives that aim to crack down on gang activity, reform juvenile offenders and turn at-risk youth away from unlawful lifestyles. We’ve also successfully obtained more state and federal resources to put more police on the street now.
- Our Safe City Initiative is now in place working to reduce the number of homicides, shootings, and robberies across the city by increasing the number, visibility, and presence of police officers in high density and high crime areas of the city with as many as 75 more police officers on the street this year.
- This month the City is awarding $250,000 in grants for community-based programs that target the most disconnected youth. These grants will go to new or existing programs that have either proven or promise to literally out-recruit the gangs.
- The Youth Coordinating Board announced this week that they have secured funding to begin the summer youth recreation program Phat Summer on June 19. Phat Summer expects to serve 6,000 youth this summer at 24 sites across Minneapolis with evening recreation and mentoring.
- The police department created a new Juvenile Unit to coordinate youth crime enforcement and work with schools to centralize juvenile crime prevention. The Juvenile Unit investigates robberies, assaults, and family violence involving youth.
Addressing juvenile crime is our most immediate problem. We must keep fighting this battle upstream. We can’t arrest the problem of crime away. There is a time for tough enforcement – and we will do that – but we also need to get at the root causes of crime. We must prevent crime by creating an environment of hope for our youth. Accomplishing this goal takes all of us, creating the kind of community we deserve.
City Exceeds Affordable Housing Goal
Minneapolis’ Housing Policy and Development department reported last month that the city has met and exceeded the affordable housing goals we established in 2001. We exceeded our three year goal (2003-2005) to produce or stabilize 2,100 multifamily affordable housing units by 18% creating 2,470 units. In addition, the City leveraged its 2005 investment in affordable rental housing by almost 2 to 1 with non-City private funds. Finally, we exceeded our goal of producing more new housing units than those that were demolished 28 times over.
City leaders will now focus on maintaining our commitment to building communities that house everyone with affordable housing in all of our neighborhoods, ending homelessness, and developing new tools to help keep affordable homeownership opportunities throughout Minneapolis.
Mill City Farmers Market is Open
Locally grown, seasonal, organic and sustainable farm fresh produce, flowers, meats, homemade pastries, artisan cheeses, and more await you at the new Mill City Farmers Market! The Market is located between the new Guthrie Theater and historic Mill City Museum at Chicago Avenue and 2nd Street South in downtown Minneapolis. The Market is open from 8:00AM 1:00PM every Saturday through Oct. 21. To learn more about the Mill City Farmers Market, click here.
Minneapolis and St. Paul Gear Up for National Political Conventions Site Visits, Democrats Arrive June 26-28
Its official! Minneapolis and Saint Paul are on the short list of cities to host the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. National Democratic leaders who will make the final site decision will be in town June 26-28 for a site visit. These site visits are perhaps the most important opportunity for us to showcase our ability to host a convention, raise the needed financial support, and generate local excitement for the event. Its time to get excited and be on your best behavior! [ Click here to read more.]
Get Ready for National Night Out August 1st
FREE Registration until July 18th
You can do it all at National Night Out (NNO)! Get together with your neighbors at an event you design just for your block. When neighbors know and care about each other, they feel more comfortable reporting crime and suspicious behavior to police. More people watching out for each other will make your block a safer place to live.
NNO is a long tradition throughout the United States. In 2005, more than 34 million people from all 50 states got involved. For the fourth time in five years, Minneapolis ranked #1 in the nation among large cities for our outstanding level of participation in NNO with 46,000 people joining 840 separate events.
Closing your street for NNO is FREE if you apply by July 18. There is a $100 fee for applications taken July 19-27 and no applications will be taken after July 27. To close your street you can call Minneapolis 311 or go to the city’s NNO website.
Mayor’s Health City Awards Announced
This week I announced the 2006 Mayor’s Healthy City Award, an effort to promote and celebrate Minneapolis as a world-class healthy city. Minneapolis is proud to be partnering with Abbott Northwestern Hospital to celebrate these awards and advance the city’s overall well-being.
The Mayor’s Healthy City Award recognized two individuals who have carried out extraordinary work to make Minneapolis a world-class healthy city. This year’s honorees are Dr. Edward Ehlinger and Reverend Billy G. Russell. Join me to congratulate their fantastic work.
See and be Seen: Energy Independence Day
Saturday, June 24, 2:00-4:00 PM
2801 21st Avenue, Minneapolis
Learn more about clean energy technology at the 2006 Energy Independence Day Celebration! This fun, family-friendly event will educate, inspire, and celebrate ways to become independent from fossil fuel resources. See demonstrations of clean energy technologies, hear explorer Will Steger, and eat Izzy’s ice cream!
For more information about this fun-filled free event, visit www.greeninstitute.org
See and be Seen: Guthrie Theater Opening
Join the Guthrie Theater Celebration!
Sunday, June 25, 2006, Noon 2:00 AM
Free and open to the public.
The Guthrie has a new home. And you have a new theater. Three state-of-the-art stages, open public spaces, breathtaking views of the Mississippi. You won’t believe your eyes. More than a theater – a place to gather. Dine. Gaze. Sip. Browse. Learn. It’s all yours. Join us!
818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis
For a complete schedule of Guthrie Opening Celebration events, visit http://www.guthrietheater.org.
Learn More About: Graffiti Removal
Help get rid of unwanted graffiti! During summer and fall, you have two easy options for removing graffiti:
- A graffiti removal product, called Gangbusters, is available free of charge at all City Fire Stations.
- Minneapolis provides free removal or painting over graffiti. Previously painted surfaces, up to 8 feet high, are eligible for cleaning or re-painting.
For more graffiti removal information, click here.
Learn More About: Making Minneapolis a Green City
Minneapolis was recently named the 10th most Sustainable City in America by SustainLane.com, an online resource about how to live a healthy, more sustainable life.
The review highlights our plentiful lakes and parks, clean air, bike trails, community gardens and our commitment to renewable energy. To read more, visit their website.
Learn More About: New Economic Development
Minneapolis has new online maps showing current citywide and downtown economic development. These new maps are precise, easy to read, and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The new maps, accurate as of April 1, 2006, include all development projects with active building permits or completed planning applications (with construction costs exceeding $1 million).
Published Jun. 16, 2006