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.

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

September 2021 Board Election Information

Note: please see below for nomination form and spreadsheet of current nominees!

Click here to join the meeting via zoom:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/415887073

Why an Election: SNG currently has seven (7) board vacancies, with nine (9) board members, and a minimum of twelve (12) board members needed to operate according to our bylaws.

When will the election take place: With vacancies on the board announced and nominations opened at the August meeting, in accordance with SNG’s bylaws, the election shall be held at the next board meeting on September 22nd at 6:30pm.

Who can vote in the election: anyone who lives, works, or owns property in Seward can vote. Specifically, all SNG members can vote in board elections, and per SNG bylaws, anyone can be an SNG member who is a (1) resident of the Seward neighborhood; (2) owner of property in the neighborhood; (3) acting as the sole representative of a business in the neighborhood; (4) working within the neighborhood. New member registration will be provided at the meeting.

Who can run for the board: anyone who lives, works, or owns property in Seward can run for the board. In other words, any SNG member can run, including sole representatives of Seward businesses.

Nomination procedure: August 26-September 22: after nominations are opened at the August 26 board meeting, community members will be able to nominate themselves through an online form and the nominations will be publicly viewable as they are submitted. As per bylaws, nominations will continue to be accepted through the September 22 board meeting.

Nomination form:
https://tinyurl.com/sngnominations

Candidates will be posted publicly as their nominations are submitted at:
http://tiny.cc/sngelection

Voting procedure for September 22:
In accordance with previous board decisions and past practice since the Covid-19 pandemic, the September 22, 2021 meeting and election will be held online.

How long are the terms for the vacant board positions? As per bylaws, any person(s) elected to fill a vacancy will stand for election at the next annual meeting, November 2021.

SNG bylaws are located here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t3gjOeg_BuKSEaEhSE12cUbqJWGhWP-M/edit

Community Development Committee meeting 9/14 at 7pm

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88666142391
Link to CDC materials

Agenda for 8/25/2021 Board Meeting

Here is the agenda for the board meeting on August 25, 2021. It might change before the meeting so make sure to get the latest version.

SNG August 25 Board Meeting

Seward Neighborhood Group is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Aug 25, 2021 06:30 PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/415887073

Meeting ID: 415 887 073
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,415887073# US (New York)
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Meeting ID: 415 887 073

SNG Hiring Interim Executive Director

The Seward Neighborhood Group is seeking an Interim Executive Director to help us make our neighborhood more vital, equitable, liveable, and sustainable – by building relationships, engaging ALL community members fairly, promoting equitable and accessible development of the built environment, and to help us act as stewards of our natural environment. If you meet the qualifications and this interests you, please see the “How to Apply” section at the end of the attachment.

Review of applications will begin immediately and interviews will be conducted shortly. *Please address any questions to apply@sng.org.

July Election Results

Winners of the July 28, 2021 election are Cheryl Robertson, Doug Hicks, Lisa Boehlke, Mary Pumphrey, Paul Landskroener, Ron Schlatter, Sara Rothholz Weiner, and Terry Barnes.

Vote Totals:
180 cast ballots.

Cheryl Robertson 151
Crystal Quinn 28
Doug Hicks 102
Greg Klave 66
jim scheidt 25
lee fahy 95
Lisa Boehlke 141
Mary Pumphrey 144
Paul Landskroener 154
Ron Schlatter 148
Sara Rothholz Weiner 154
Terry Barnes 135

SNG July 28 Board Meeting

July 28, 2021 at 6:30 PM

6:30 Record Board Attendance
6:40 Introduction by Chair
6:35 Councilmember Osman Update
6:45 Councilmember Gordon Update
6:55 Board Election (Note: 30 minutes will be allotted for voting)

(New board members will be seated)
7:55 Meeting in-person vote
8:00 Board votes on all executive ctte members
8:20 SNG audit
8:25 Bills that are due
8:30 CDC meeting
8:35 Faysal Motion
8:40 Adjournment

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: 745 9497 1769
Passcode: 12345

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

Three History Walks for July

by Rick Musser

Return to a bit normalcy with Seward History Committee’s summer walks in July. All walks begin at 7 p.m. All walks are on Wednesdays —with the exception of July 28 in order to allow Seward residents to participate in the voting for new SNG board members. All Seward residents are encouraged to vote on that Wednesday, as well as visit the Franklin Avenue walk on July 29th. This walk will give us an opportunity to strongly support the East African Business community.

The walks begin at various locations and are free. At the end of each walk a car will be available to take you back to the starting point.
 
July 14 Learn about the wide variety of housing styles built in the early years of the Seward neighborhood, including some houses that have special histories. Bob Mack, retired adjunct professor at the U of M and co-founder of McDonald and Mack Architects, will lead the tour. This walk will allow you to see some of the oldest and most unusual houses in Seward. We will meet at the small park at Milwaukee Avenue and East 22nd Street and walk east to 27th Ave.
 
July 21 Join us for a Garden tour in Seward East lead by Master Gardener Lou Ann Keleher. Visit special, unusual, and beautiful flower gardens created by passionate gardeners and meet some of them. We will assemble at 23rd Street and 33rd Avenue where it meets Minneapolis Ave.
 
July 29 Franklin Avenue past and present. What did Franklin Avenue look like in the past and who are today’s owners? We will walk the Avenue, learn about the past, talk to current owners, and taste some Eastern African Foods. Leader for this walk will be Hillary Oppman along with history committee members. We will assemble at Franklin Ave. and 31st. Bring some money to treat yourself and help Seward Businesses.