Access and Outreach
The Access and Outreach team provides community relations services to create access to the decision making processes for under-represented communities; removing barriers of race, cultural norms and practices, disability and language in order to foster full civic participation while ensuring that the Core Principles of Engagement guide the relationship development.
One of the largest barriers to participation can be through language. The Access & Outreach team work to remove those barriers through the City's Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan. The department has an Access & Outreach specialist that speak Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
Access and Outreach Team in Action:
The Latino Engagement Task Force (LETF) and the Passage of the DREAM Act
For the first time ever in Minnesota, undocumented students who attended high school in for at least three years and graduated from a Minnesota high school are eligible to receive in state tuition and student state financial aid in any public college or university. The measure passed by legislators and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in May took effect this school year. This will allow hundreds of Minneapolis students to receive in state tuition beginning in September 2014.
This effort was led by a historic collaboration between the City of Minneapolis and the local Latino community. The City of Minneapolis and the Latino community gathered together to find ways to address several major equity issues. Mariano Espinoza, the Spanish Access and Outreach Specialist for the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department worked with the community to shape how they wanted to engage with the City. The community created the Latino Engagement Task Force – an informal community group comprised of community leaders.
The new law was part of the legislative agenda supported by the City of Minneapolis and it will benefit hundreds of residents and their families in Minneapolis. According to the Office of Higher Education, in Minnesota 160 students applied this school year. For more information, see the MN DREAM Act.
A major focus for the LEFT in 2014 will be to continue work at the State level to expand Driver's License eligibility to undocumented residents.
Minneapolis Language Lines
Spanish Line: (612) 673-2700
Somali Line: (612) 673-3500
Hmong Line: (612) 673-2800
American Sign Language Line: (612) 673-3220
TTY Line: (612) 673-2157
Access and Outreach Manager: Lance Knuckles, (612) 673-2919 or email Lance.Knuckles@minneapolismn.gov
The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in a different format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.
Last updated Jan. 16, 2014