North Minneapolis

Recent Articles

City of Mpls committed to Northside economic growth projects

Jobs, housing, support services for local residents is top priority for CPED
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The City of Minneapolis has recently committed to help businesses and affordable housing growth in North Minneapolis, according to their Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) office. The MSR spoke in-depth with CPED Director Cathy Polasky, who described their level of financial investment. “We actually spend a lot of time and resources in North Minneapolis. During the recession and following the [2011] tornado, we were making a lot of small loans to help people stay in business or fix up damage, and now we are seeing [Northside] businesses at the point where they are expanding.”

CPED last year “invested” almost $4 million or 45 percent of the department’s total budget in Northside services as Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) and nearly $3 million dollars in housing projects as well, Polasky announced. “We are looking at developing properties, and we also are looking to businesses that are likely to have job opportunities for Northside residents,” she explained. Continue Reading →

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Alarming ‘retirement racial divide’ could leave millions of Black elders at risk

AARP pushes for state retirement savings plan to bridge the gap
By Charles Hallman Staff Writer Are working-age Blacks and other people of color preparing themselves for retirement? A new study by the National Institute of Retirement Security (NIRS) claims a “racial divide” exists in establishing retirement savings. The nonprofit NIRS, based in Washington, D.C., released last month “Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States.” In a press release, report author and NIRS Research Manager Nari Rhee said, “I’m alarmed by the severity of the retirement racial divide. It’s well documented that regardless of race, the typical working-age American household is far off-track toward accumulating sufficient savings to meet their basic needs in retirement. “We find an even worse situation for Blacks, Latinos and Asians,” continued Rhee. Continue Reading →

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Mayor-elect looks ahead to new job: ‘I’m very, very excited’

First order of business: addressing the racial achievement gap
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Betsy Hodges remarked last week that she doesn’t recall ever before meeting in the small den-like room on the third floor of City Hall. However, the room and the area it’s located in will become hers in a couple of weeks. The soon-to-be-former city council member will be sworn in on January 2, 2014 as the city’s second-ever female mayor. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to talk to you and the community through your newspaper,” said Hodges during a December 10 interview with the MSR. “I campaigned consistently on two main things. One of them is building this city, and the second is closing the gaps that divide us racially and economically.”

Hodges said her “two main pieces of business” include the seemingly widening achievement gap between Blacks and other students in the city’s public schools. Continue Reading →

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Can foreign investors rescue North Minneapolis?

New proposal would match Asian employers with Black workforce
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Is foreign investment the key to economic development in North Minneapolis? The jointly created Twin Cities Regional Center (TCRC) by Asian Media Access and Project Sweetie Pie hopes to attract private foreign capital to the city’s North Side that would create a global cultural and technology district to create jobs. The TCRC proposal was introduced October 29 to a mostly Asian audience last week at the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community Summit at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). It includes the federal employment-based (EB-5) investment program by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which allows foreigners to come to the U.S. and invest at least $500,000 to a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). North Minneapolis has been designated as a TEA, declared Asian Media Access Founder-Executive Director Ange (pronounced An-gee) Hwang, who pointed out last week that 35 foreign investors would be needed to raise $16.8 million dollars

in TCRC’s first phase. Continue Reading →

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Mayoral Candidate Bob Fine: 16-year Minneapolis Park Board commissioner

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

“I’ve grown up in Minneapolis my entire life,” says mayoral candidate Bob Fine, who pledges to reduce property taxes by five percent. “I’ve always been a big promoter [of North Minneapolis, where he grew up]. My intention is that [West Broadway] be a major focus of economic development because if you are going to bring jobs, you have to change what Broadway is today. You are not going to change the climate in North Minneapolis without providing a better environment and a place where there’s businesses and jobs.”

The Southwest LRT and Bottineau LRT both “are hitting through North Minneapolis, which is on the edge of downtown,” explains Fine. “Light rail is important hopefully for economic development for the city. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities Black Film Festival 2013 local filmmakers

 

(Part one in a series of articles about the Twin Cities Black Film Festival)

By Charles Hallman

Staff writer

 

Local filmmakers were featured at this year’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF).  The MSR was in attendance at the four-day event held September 26-29 at St. Louis Park’s Showplace Icon Theaters. “We had 11 [local] filmmakers, and his was the only one that sold out,” proclaimed TCBFF Founder-Director Natalie Morrow on Ménages, a two-hour film directed by Edith Rene Tchuichoui.  It was part of her “Celebration of Minnesota Filmmakers.”   The movie’s main characters are Samantha, a U.S. citizen and Joseph, a Cameroon immigrant are brought together who are forced to make choices based on emotions or interests. “I started working on this movie in ’09,” said the filmmaker, who added that it was originally filmed as a short, but later lengthened it after audience reactions that saw it were positive. Continue Reading →

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U of M takes on Minnesota’s school achievement gap — Community organizations collaborate on Northside research

 
First of a two-part story
 

By Lauretta Dawolo Towns

Contributing Writer

Last spring’s edition of Connect, a quarterly newsletter of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), announced a major initiative to reduce the Black-White achievement gap in Minnesota. Since it was not apparent in the story what role African Americans were playing in this effort, we decided to inquire further. Our question: Given that African American children are least proficient in reading and math (grades 3-12), where are African Americans involved in the U of M’s efforts to close one of the worst achievement gaps between Blacks and Whites in the United States? We began our look into the U of M’s response to the achievement gap with a leadership profile. Professors Michael Rodriguez, associate professor of educational psychology, Campbell Leadership Chair in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and Misty Sato, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair for Innovation in Teacher Development, were featured prominently in the Connect story as initiative leaders. Continue Reading →

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Run & Shoot League ‘catches’ kids to grow future leaders

 

 

 

The idea for the Run & Shoot High School Basketball League came about three years ago, says its founder-director. He didn’t know at the time where it would lead. When Dunwoody Academy moved into North High’s building in 2010, Minneapolis Public Schools ruled that two high school sports programs couldn’t run out of the same location. “But we still had a lot of kids at the school who wanted to play [basketball],” recalls Jamil Jackson, then the school’s boys’ JV coach. As a result, he assembled a traveling team to play in local and regional AAU and youth basketball tournaments. Continue Reading →

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Project Sweetie Pie: Teens get fresh food in North Minneapolis

 

 

By Stephanie Fox

Contributing Writer

 

It began in 2010, with sweet potato pies and a new idea. The new idea was to create sustainable agriculture in the heart of the city, letting kids learn to grow vegetables and then (the new part) to show them how to sell what they grew to local businesses. Project Sweetie Pie is the brainchild of community organizer Michael Chaney and Rose McGee, the owner of Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts. Their idea was to train high school students in North Minneapolis to plant, maintain, and harvest food from gardens as a commercial enterprise. “We started with five gardens in 2011.” said Chaney. Continue Reading →

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All-Star hype offers little for Blacks

 

 

The Minnesota Twins last week kicked off the team’s apparent year-long promotional blitz on their hosting of the 2014 All-Star Game. It is their third time being hosts at three different venues: the old and gone Metropolitan Stadium (1965); the old and soon-to-be gone Metrodome (1985); and, a year from now, at their present edifice located on the North Minneapolis-downtown border. “We dreamed of hosting this incredible event,” said Twins Owner Jim Polhad in a team release. After reading this and the media-distributed fact sheet, my curiosity got the best of me and I came up with some Roberta Flack-Donny Hathaway-Billy Preston-type questions:

Where were the Blacks then, and will there be any Blacks next year? Willie Mays and Bob Gibson were among 12 Blacks who played here in the 1965 game, and seven Blacks played in the 1985 dome game. Continue Reading →

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