Free Covid Testing at Lakes Pharmacy

Seward business, Lakes Pharmacy at 2423 E Franklin Ave. is still offering free rapid/PCR COVID testing Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm. Not sure if you need to be tested? Check out current testing recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Have a happy and safe holiday. 🙂

Use Your Voice!

The City of Minneapolis is asking for your input. As a resident, you have the right to shape the City’s plan for these important issues. Please use the information provided below to get involved, make your voice heard, and share these resources with others.

Climate Action Plan

Hennepin County has released a draft of our first Climate Action Plan (PDF). The county is gathering feedback on the plan through online meetings and a comment form through Wednesday, March 3.

Online community meetings

The county is holding two online meetings where county staff will present core goals and strategies. Anyone interested in the county’s response to climate change is encouraged to attend.

Using online facilitation tools, participants will complete polls about the goals and strategies, offer comments, and ask written questions that will be answered through a moderated process. Meetings will be held:

  • Monday, February 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, March 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Sign up to attend a meeting now by completing the RSVP form.

Both sessions will have the same agenda, so you only need to attend one session. Information about how to access the meeting will be emailed a few days prior to the event.

Comment form

Individuals who wish to offer feedback on the plan but do not want to attend an online meeting may share their comments through an online feedback form

Learn more

County staff will summarize the feedback and made final edits to the plan in March. The board would take up formal adoption of the plan, which will include a final public comment process, in April.

Read more about the plan development and previous community engagement efforts process at hennepin.us/climateaction.

Covid-19 Vaccination

Help the City, State and County plan to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available later in 2021. Your perspectives are vital on:

·         What vaccination means to you.

·         Your concerns, hopes and suggestions

More information and the survey link can be found here.

Public comment period for new MPRB Comprehensive Plan, Parks for All, extended to July 18

At its Jan. 6, 2021 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners voted to extend the Parks for All public comment period by six months. The new deadline to send feedback on the draft plan is July 18, 2021

Parks for All will set MPRB priorities and policy direction for the next decade. Minneapolis community members, park users, MPRB staff and partners are encouraged to review the plan and send feedback before the comment period ends Sunday, July 18, 2021.

Your input is welcome whether you have been deeply involved in the planning process over the past two years or if you are hearing about this for the first time! There are numerous ways to learn about the plan and send feedback using the link below.

Draft Parks for All Plan

Following the public comment period, the draft plan will be revised based on public input and presented to MPRB Commissioners for review and approval. Share the Parks for All draft plan with your friends, family, neighbors or other networks using minneapolisparks.org/parksforalldraft or bit.ly/MPRBCompPlan.

Learn About the Draft Plan

There are number of different ways to dive into the plan, including: 

About Parks for All

The draft document will be the MPRB’s agency policy direction based on shared values with community, agency staff and elected officials.

It will provide guidance in developing policy, establishing or changing programs and services, setting the annual MPRB budget and creating park improvements over the next decade.

It is a tool for communicating to MPRB staff, commissioners and the general public about what the MPRB does and it values.

It will build on what works now while identifying gaps in programs, services and strategies that need to be filled in the next decade. Parks for All focuses on the park system as a whole, not specific recommendations for individual parks.

It will build from master plans, other policies and activity plans, strategic directions and the community input gained during the last two years of engagement across the system, all of which incorporate more specific recommendations.

To learn more about this project and others, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/planning.

Ownership Survey

Answer this ownership interest survey to help direct future SNG initiatives and trainings: respond HERE.

What do you need to reduce food waste?

Take Hennepin County’s survey to share what would help you waste less food

We love food, which is why most of us hate seeing it go to waste. By taking steps to reduce food waste, you can ensure the money you spend on your food and the energy, land and water it takes to grow it and get it to you doesn’t go to waste. Reducing food waste is also one of the most important actions we can take to address climate change.    

Help Hennepin County understand more about food waste so we can work together to reduce it! Take the 5 minute survey to provide insights into how you interact with food – from shopping, storage, cooking, and finally disposal – and how the county can support you in preventing food waste. Your responses will be used to create better resources that help residents reduce food waste.

This survey is open to all Hennepin County residents, with a special focus on getting responses from people living in multifamily housing. So if you live in an apartment building, please share this with your neighbors or ask your property manager to distribute it! Take the food waste survey now.

Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative Small Grant Program Request for Proposals

Young Black woman painting image

CURA’s Artist Neighborhood Partnership Initiative (ANPI) provides small grants to artists of color and Native artists working in neighborhoods in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. ANPI grants recognize the valuable role that artists and the arts play in the work of fostering neighborhood wellbeing, and are intended to support the leadership of artists in these efforts. This grant program is particularly focused on directly funding individual artists or groups of artists working to build a more equitable Twin Cities.

https://www.cura.umn.edu/news/artist-neighborhood-partnership-initiative-small-grant-program-request-proposals

Renter Opportunity to Purchase (OTP) Ordinance

Learn about ongoing ordinance development work and submit feedback to City staff on content of the proposed ordinance.

Stakeholder feedback on the draft ordinance

October 2021 – December 2021

Stakeholder feedback on the draft ordinance is important to the City.

Take the survey by Friday, January 7, 2022

Two public information sessions were held online. Recordings of the events will be available.

December 3, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
December 8, 2021
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

From SNG’s President

Dear Neighbors,

As many of you know, SNG’s former Executive Director, Sam Taitel, resigned on March 31, 2021, after five months with the Seward Neighborhood Group. Before resigning, Taitel filed a complaint against two members of the Seward Neighborhood Group executive committee, alleging that certain actions they took that made it impossible for her to do her job. 

At that time, SNG contracted with Tabitha Montgomery, Executive Director of the Powderhorn Neighborhood Group, to investigate this complaint and to assess the situation. Tabitha submitted a preliminary and final report, but given the large number of resignations from the SNG board during the spring and summer of 2021, the board was unable to consider and act on the report until recently.  Because much of Tabitha’s report deals with specific personnel issues that impact the privacy of several individuals, we do not believe that it is appropriate to release the entire report, but we are providing this summary of how the SNG board is responding to the report’s findings and suggestions.

Tabitha met with representatives of the board and our interim executive director in September to discuss her findings. She found that the root of the complaint centered on the board of directors and the executive committee not understanding and following SNG’s bylaws and the fundamental principles of how the governing body of an organization should interact with its executive director. Tabitha’s report also cited gaps in SNG’s governing documents that created ambiguity that contributed to the conflict. Specifically, the report found that the board never reached a clear consensus for determining the executive director’s duties and how to supervise their work. This resulted in unilateral actions by individual board and executive committee members that led Sam Taitel to resign and file a grievance. 

Over the past few months, the SNG board of directors has begun to review the bylaws and several other policies with an eye to amending them to clarify how the executive director will be hired and supervised. In addition, the board has committed to providing initial and on-going training for all new board members so that board members understand the fundamental principles of how the governing body of a nonprofit community-based organization like ours should work with its staff to accomplish the organization’s goals.

Best wishes,

Lisa Boehlke, President
Seward Neighborhood Group

November Board Meeting

The SNG Board of Directors will meet 6:30 – 8:30pm, Wednesday, November 24 via Zoom. Here is the link for the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/415887073

View the draft agenda here.

Notifications Regarding Proposed Reallocations of NRP Funds

Notification One about Proposed Reallocation of NRP Funds

At its meeting on November 24, 2021, the SNG Board of Directors will vote to reallocate $3,023.45 in unspent funds from NRP Phase 2 Strategy 3.1.0.1 Environmental Education, $219.37 in unspent funds from NRP Phase 2 Strategy 3.1.0.2 Environmental Stewardship, and $3,729.33 in unspent funds from NRP Phase 2 Strategy 3.1.0.3 Energy Efficiency (a total of $6,972.15) to NRP Phase 2 Strategy 4.1.0.1 Citizen Participation.  This action will move unused NRP funds from discontinued programs to an NRP strategy where they can be used to support SNG’s community engagement work.  For more information, please send an email to admin@sng.org.

Notification Two about Proposed Reallocation of NRP Funds  

At its meeting on November 24, 2021, the SNG Board of Directors will vote to reallocate $24,035.76 in unspent funds from NRP Phase 1 Strategy 3.4.7.1 Streetscape Improvements to NRP Phase 2 Strategy 4.1.0.1 Citizen Participation.  This action will move unused NRP funds from a discontinued program to an NRP strategy where they can be used to support SNG’s community engagement work.  For more information, please send an email to admin@sng.org. 

Notification Three about Proposed Reallocation of NRP Funds:  ACTION REQUIRED 

At its meeting on October 27, 2021, the SNG Board of Directors voted to initiate the process to reallocate unspent funds from NRP Phase 2 Strategy 1.1.0.2 Home Improvement Program (currently $84,205.56) to NRP Phase 2 Strategy 4.1.0.1 Citizen Participation. This action will move unused NRP funds from a discontinued program to an NRP strategy where they can be used to support SNG’s community engagement work. 

To complete this action, the board needs the affirmative support of at least 25 members of the community who are NOT members of the SNG Board of Directors.  To voice your support for this action, please send an email to admin@sng.org with the subject line:  “Support for Reallocation of NRP Funds,” and text in the body of the email that reads:  “I support the reallocation of unspent funds from SNG’s NRP Phase 2 Strategy 1.1.0.2 Home Improvement Program to SNG’s NRP Phase 2 Strategy 4.1.0.1 Citizen Participation. I understand that this action will move unused NRP funds from a discontinued program to an NRP strategy where they can be used to support SNG community engagement work.” Also, please include your address and/or your affiliation with the Seward neighborhood.

For more information, please send an email to admin@sng.org.

Annual Meeting & Board Election Postponed Until Early 2022. Please Stay Tuned.

At its meeting on October 27, 2021, the SNG Board of Directors unanimously approved a bylaws amendment to allow for a postponement of the annual meeting and board election until sometime in early 2022.  Currently, every member of the SNG Board of Directors, except one, was elected in either late July or late September.  It is clear that SNG’s bylaws did not anticipate the possibility of a nearly 100% turnover in Board members within one year. 

This amendment allows the current board to continue its work to stabilize the organization after a period of significant disruption.  It also allows for the possibility of SNG aligning its board elections with an effort by the City of Minneapolis Department of Neighborhoods and Community Relations to have a citywide neighborhood board election day in May, 2022.  For more information, read this document or send an email to admin@sng.org.

October Board Meeting

The SNG Board of Directors will meet 6:30 – 8:30pm, Wednesday, October 27 via Zoom. Here is the link for the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/415887073

Letter to the Neighborhood

September 23, 2021 

Dear Seward Neighbors:

As many of you know, Seward Neighborhood Group has been experiencing a difficult and trying time. At the end of March, 2021, our Executive Director resigned citing difficulties working with the board leadership. In April, a majority of the board was blocked in its attempt to change board leadership, after which eight board members resigned, including several women of color. This left the board with fewer than the minimum of twelve members required under SNG’s bylaws.  The board essentially ceased to function, hindering its ability to hire new staff, oversee current projects, take on new initiatives, or generally do the things that a community-based nonprofit like SNG needs and wants to do. 

A special board election was held on July 28, 2021 in which approximately 180 SNG members participated. They elected eight new members to the SNG board. Upon being elected, the new board members discovered that the organization had fallen into deep disarray. Normal, routine administrative tasks had been neglected. Bills were not paid. Urgent correspondence was not read and was not responded to. SNG committees had largely ceased to function or report their activities. There was virtually no communication from the board’s leadership with the community-at-large explaining the situation or evidence of any plan to correct it. In addition, the City of Minneapolis’ Department of Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) initiated a special policy review of SNG, in part in response to its organizational turmoil. 

Having discovered this situation, on August 20, 2021 the new Executive Committee asked Tiger Worku to resign as President of SNG due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead.  Tiger did subsequently resign as President, and from the board.  Several other board members also resigned, some for personal reasons, others in protest of the Executive Committee asking for Tiger’s resignation.  This again left the board with fewer than the minimum twelve members. Consequently, SNG held another election on September 22, 2021, and an additional five members were elected to the board, bringing the current board total to fourteen. 

In the meantime, board members have been working to sort through and correct organizational issues. Check signing responsibilities have been brought into order. Overdue bills have been paid. Financial records have been brought up to date. Office keys have been accounted for. Some committee meetings are once again being held. A draft community engagement plan required for continued city funding has been completed and submitted to NCR.

Also, after a search and interviewing three candidates, the board hired Michael Jon Olson as Interim Executive Director to help manage the organization until long-term staffing issues can be addressed. Michael Jon is familiar with neighborhood organizations in general and SNG in particular, and is helping to bring its affairs into order. 

The board has also received a written report from an organizational consultant who was engaged in March, 2021 to evaluate concerns expressed by the former Executive Director regarding board-staff relationships and other organizational dysfunction. The board has discussed the report with the consultant and will begin to carry out many of its recommendations.

We understand that formal communication from SNG has been sporadic, inconsistent, and unsatisfactory for many months. We pledge to do our best to keep the community apprised via several channels of the progress we are making.  Look for updates on the SNG website, NextDoor, and the e-democracy listserv.

The work of rebuilding our neighborhood organization will be slow, and there will likely be setbacks as well as forward progress. But we are committed to doing the hard work and we invite your support and assistance — as committee members, board members, financial contributors, and in other ways — as we move forward.  Thank you for your patience and support.

The Board of Directors
Seward Neighborhood Group

SNG September Board Meeting

September 22, 2021 at 6:30 PM

Agenda for the Meeting

More information on the board election is is here, including the nomination form to run for board.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/74594971769?pwd=Uys3bUlENU9LOU44L2dES1l5VWJidz09

Meeting ID: 415 887 073

You can download Zoom for free on your computer, laptop, or smartphone here:
https://zoom.us/download