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

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
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Meeting ID: 415 887 073