Contact: Matt Laible, Communications Department, (612) 673-2786

Community Engagement Task Force
begins work

July 12, 2007 (MINNEAPOLIS) Minneapolis’ Community Engagement Task Force has begun meeting to discuss how the City should engage the community in the future.

The task force used its first meeting, held on June 27, to talk about the current level of community participation in Minneapolis and identify issues it hopes to study over the coming weeks. The meeting began with remarks from City Coordinator Steven Bosacker, who asked the group to "think ‘fresh’ and think ‘future’" as they formulate recommendations for enhancing opportunities for resident participation in local government decision-making.

During the meeting, task force members brainstormed lists of organizations that currently participate in City decision-making and organizations that could possibly participate in the future. They also talked about ways to include voices missing from the current community engagement process by building upon the existing neighborhood-based process and reaching out to people who rally around a specific issue or gather together through cultural organizations rather than geographically-based groups.

The task force, which has been asked to submit its recommendations to the City Council by mid-August, is being asked to define:

§ How the numerous neighborhood, community, cultural and business organizations in Minneapolis should participate in the local government decision-making

§ What these organizations should expect from the City in terms of funding, staff resources and opportunities for input

§ What role the City should ask these organizations to play in City decision-making

The 22 members of the Task Force represent neighborhood organizations, block clubs, ethnic/cultural organizations, issue-focused organizations, business associations, and community development corporations as well as residents serving as at-large representatives. The Task Force is co-chaired by City Council member Robert Lilligren and East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association Chair Matt Perry.

Minneapolis faces several issues that have spurred this review of the City’s overall community engagement system. That system includes the City’s relationships with community, business, and neighborhood organizations, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). Among the issues we face are changes in population demographics, tight financial constraints, and the approaching sunset of legislation that created the NRP. Recognizing that input from residents, neighborhoods and community organizations leads to better decision-making, City leaders hope that the effort will result in a more meaningful and accessible community involvement process.

To view meeting minutes or sign up for e-mail updates on the process, please visit Community Engagement.

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Communications Department
301M City Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Published Jul 12, 2007