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

Task Force issues recommendations for improving Minneapolis’ community engagement efforts

Sept. 21, 2007 (MINNEAPOLIS) After three months of work, Minneapolis’ Community Engagement Task Force has unanimously approved a preliminary report which will go to the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. The report will also be presented for input and feedback at several community forums.

Community forums

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Windom Park Recreation Center gymnasium, 2251 Hayes St. N.E.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
North Commons Park gymnasium, 1801 James Ave. N.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (open house format)
Central Library board room, 300 Nicollet Mall

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Nokomis Park Recreation Center gymnasium, 2401 E. Minnehaha Parkway

Thursday, Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
MLK Park Recreation Center multi-purpose room, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S.

Following the community forums, the task force will reconvene to incorporate the community’s input into its final report, which will be submitted to the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor in mid-November.

The task force’s 21 voting participants represent neighborhood organizations, block clubs, ethnic/cultural organizations, issue-focused organizations, business associations, and community development corporations, as well as a community engagement innovator, civic participation advocate and residents serving as at-large representatives. They were charged with defining roles and funding of neighborhood, community and cultural organizations as parts of the City’s community engagement system.

The draft report includes seven core principles of community engagement, more than two dozen recommendations related to the core principles, and characteristics of organizations that are eligible to receive city resources for activities related to engaging the community.

The task force began by recommending that the City adopt a set of core principles to formally document its commitment to community involvement. The recommendations expand upon the City’s current practices and aim to institutionalize the community input process. They are also designed to broaden the ways the community can be engaged with the City, expanding beyond geographic-based groups to also encompass other community organizations such as business associations, cultural communities, and advocacy groups.

Report highlights include recommendations to:

• Broaden the types of organizations eligible for community engagement resources

• Require increased accountability when resources are allocated

• Create a citizen commission of community engagement

• Allocate resources and staff for administration of adopted Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) action plans and contracts beyond 2009

• Support increased follow-up communication between the City and community members who have provided input during decision-making processes

The task force is a part of a three-track community engagement work plan approved by the Mayor and City Council in May 2007 to address how community engagement is affected by changes in population demographics, financial constraints, and the approaching sunset of legislation that created the funding source for the NRP.

A full copy of the draft Community Engagement Task Force report is posted on the Citys website at Community Engagement.

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Communications Department
301M City Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Published Sep 21, 2007