News from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
May 17, 2004
1. Project Safe Summer
Last week Police Chief McManus and I announced the City's summer strategy, called Project Safe Summer, to help make sure the streets belong to the people of Minneapolis by preventing crime, solving problem properties and providing jobs and activities for kids. I wanted to provide you more information on the components of this strategy.
What is Minneapolis Project Safe Summer?
Minneapolis Project Safe Summer is a shared strategy between the City of Minneapolis and its community partners, residents and businesses to address the many issues that go into creating a safe, livable city.
What are the strategies of Minneapolis Project Safe Summer?
Police and Public Safety
The cornerstone of Project Safe Summer is the Minneapolis Police summer strategy. The Police goal is to reduce violent crime (robbery, aggravated assault and homicide) by 10% in targeted areas in the city this summer.
It's a proactive plan designed with this in mind: it's better to prevent crime from happening than to solve a criminal case. There will be more officers in areas where they are most needed and resources focused on gangs, drugs, and active criminals.
- More officers deployed where they are most needed.
- Targeting resources. Police will target resources on gangs and drugs, focusing on the most active criminals and the areas where violence is occurring.
- Partnerships with other law enforcement agencies (Hennepin County Sheriff, State Patrol, Metro Transit, ATF, DEA, FBI and the U.S. Marshals) and Probation and Parole officers.
- Continued community involvement and support through the Police Community Relations Council and regular meetings with the community to hear what kinds of issues folks are concerned about.
- Quality versus quantity. The goal isn't necessarily increased arrests; it's to decrease crime, through prevention and quality enforcement and prosecutions.
Solving Chronic "Problem Properties" in Minneapolis
Problem Properties in Minneapolis fracture our neighborhoods, harm our quality of life and drain City government resources. These properties can be an indication of criminal activity and a magnet for crime. That's why Minneapolis is targeting those properties that time and again are the trouble spots in our neighborhoods, generating police calls, housing and other inspection violations and other quality of life issues. The City is:
- Developing criteria to identify the city's most chronic and dangerous problem properties.
- Creating a list of the top 25 worst problem properties and making it a priority to address them.
- Assembling a staff team including Police, Housing Inspections, City Attorney's and Regulatory Services staff to resolve these chronic issues and prevent them from recurring.
Providing Opportunities for Minneapolis Youth
Most young people take a much-earned break from "school work" during the summer. But they still need meaningful, fun and creative things to do to keep them occupied and engaged in our community in a positive way. Youth at loose ends or with no means to earn needed income are more likely to get involved in activities that are harmful to themselves or others. That's why the City of Minneapolis, our businesses and the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board and its community partners are creating summer jobs for young people and providing youth activities throughout the summer months.
Activities for youth include:
- YO! The Movement, a nonprofit youth membership organization that is run and led by young people, offers a range of programs and events organized by and for youth. Upcoming events include an outdoor Hip Hop event focused on voting and a Summer Jam. YO! also coordinates "What's Up?," a youth information phone line that connects young people (ages 7 - 18) with positive programs, events, activities and leadership opportunities. Go to www.whatsup.org or 612-399-9999.
- Phat Summer, a program jointly operated by the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Minneapolis Public Schools, engages
- Libraries, Parks and Schools all offer great opportunities. Minneapolis Public Schools (612-668-5388) offers summer school classes (for grades k-12), Minneapolis Public Libraries (612-630-6000) has a host of reading programs and other activities, and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (612-230-6475) has a range of activities - from nature walks to sporting events.
Employment opportunities for youth:
- Step Up is a City of Minneapolis initiative where up to 200 teens will get work readiness training and summer job opportunities. Public or private sector employers pay 100 percent of the teen's wages for the summer.
- The Summer Youth Employment and Training Program serves nearly 700 income-eligible 14- and 15-year-old teens. Work experiences range from website design to landscaping and Jobs are 100 percent subsidized by the City, state and federal governments. The City of Minneapolis provides payroll and workers comp services.
- The "School-to-Career" Summer Internship Program places income-eligible high school juniors and seniors in public- and private-sector summer jobs and pairs each teen with a career mentor at the worksite. The City pays 50 percent of the youth's wages and provides payroll and workers compensation services. Employers pay the remaining 50 percent of the teen's wages.
2. MOSAIC "Many Worlds. One Night"
Save the date of Saturday, June 5th on your calendar for a really unique celebration that will kick off the 2004 Minneapolis Mosaic season. Minneapolis Mosaic was started by the City of Minneapolis last year to celebrate the rich diversity of arts and culture in our city. On June 5th, the free event "Many Worlds. One Night" will take place along Hennepin Avenue between 6th and 8th Streets. From 6:00 -10:00 p.m. there will be a diverse sampling of film, music, dance, theatre and street performanceoutside along the avenue and inside venues like the State Theatre, Pantages Theatre and Illusion Theatre. Mark your calendars and bring thefamily! For more information check out www.minneapolismosaic.com
Published May. 17, 2004