COMMUNITY VOICES | Minneapolis police officer Abdulkadir meets with Somali Families at 2909 Bloomington Ave. S. in Minneapolis

On June 12,  50 family members living at 2909 Bloomington Ave S. met with Minneapolis police officer Mukhtar  Abdulkadir to find solutions to crime and safety problems that have been plaguing their neighborhood and their building.The people living at 2909 Bloomington Ave. S. are predominantly Somali, and many residents speak limited English.  In the past the  language barrier has often meant that some residents have not contacted the police to report crime problems, and when they do they often feel the police do not understand them and are slow to respond adequately.Meeting with officer  Abdulkadir was the first time many of the residents have talked in their native language about their crime and safety problems with a police officer.  They explained  in detail to officer  Abdulkadir what was happening in their neighborhood and in their building.  Their biggest complaints were about intruders who on a daily basis get  into their building and:*Sleep in the front lobby and stairwells overnight*Sneak  into the underground garage and break into cars*Sell  drugs in the building*Urinate in the hallway*Kick in windows in the middle of the night*Smoke in the stairways*Sneak downstairs*Knock on people’s doors in the middle of the nightResidents also said that prostitutes regularly walk  the sidewalk outside their building, and even get into the building and ply their trade downstairs and in the stairways.Families also talked about concerns they had for the safety of  their children. Scores of children live at 2909 Bloomington, and every day dozens play in the  open space out back.  Their play often spills out into the alley.  Parents said that many drivers speed through the alleys at 30 mph+, and suggested that their children would be safer with a fence separating the play area from the alley traffic.  After hearing the lengthy and passionate descriptions of the intrusions and problems, Abdulkadir  offered some  advice.  He said that the problem with the intruders was so huge and endemic, he thought that security inside the building was necessary to get them out.  He also said that working security cameras were a must.Abdulkadir  also said he was ready to continue working with them to successfully deal with their crime problems.Officer Abdulkadir encourages soccer players, thanks soccer coachOfficer Abdulkadir  also told the families about how he became a Minneapolis police officer, and encouraged the youth to consider a career in law enforcement.  He praised  youth involvement in the East Phillips soccer team, and thanked the soccer coach for his efforts.While frustrated by the crime problems in their neighborhood and building, the families felt heartened after their meeting with Abdulkadir, and appreciated having a police officer they knew who could speak their own language.  They looked forward to working with officer Abdulkadir  and the Minneapolis police department to solve their problems and help make the Phillips neighborhood safer for everyone.The families also hope to meet with councilmember Alondra Cano Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Hmong families tour Minneapolis bikeways, vote to keep streets as is

 To learn more about the possible impact of the proposed North Minneapolis Bikeway, On May 16, North Minneapolis Hmong families packed a van and went on a tour of Minneapolis bikeways.All the participants live on one of the proposed routes for the North Minneapolis Bikeway.The Hmong families toured four Minneapolis bikeways: Milwaukee Ave., Midtown Greenway, Bryant Ave. S., and 37th Ave. N.During their tour, the families saw all three major types of bikeways as described by the city of Minneapolis:Bike boulevard. Bicycle symbols and traffic calming features, parking and street remain. Seen by Hmong families at Bryant Ave. Continue Reading

Breakfasting with Alondra Cano: Lots of work ahead on racial and environmental justice in Minneapolis’ 9th ward

In January, Alondra Cano officially started her new job as the council member representing the 9th Ward of Minneapolis. She said the work actually started the evening she was elected. Her phone began ringing and people began asking her to listen to them. As she started to make decisions she thought a lot about the responsibility and opportunity she had worked so hard for, and the trust so many people had put in her.

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The story of MayDay – 39 inevitable miracles

Is the MayDay Parade and Ceremony an unlikely miracle, or is it inevitable that something like this would emerge from this particular community? Most of the people I asked this replied with some variation of “a little bit of both!” On the one hand, it’s unique, and so powerful compared to the perceived resource and power of this poor-to-middling cluster of neighborhoods, but on the other hand, people in South Minneapolis have a hard time imagining their lives without it.

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Concerts and march to celebrate golden jubilee of Phillips neighborhood’s historic St. Paul’s Church

Marching from their old building to their new site on March 22, 1964, St. Paul’s Church committed themselves to the Phillips Neighborhood. Seven years before, St. Paul’s Church had faced its biggest decision. They learned that the projected I-94 freeway was going to take their building. The congregation had been located at 18th Street and 14th Avenue South. A decision had to be made. Would they, like hundreds of congregations in Minneapolis’ core city, move to the suburbs, or would they stay in the city? Already they had members living in Bloomington, Richfield, St. Louis Park and Plymouth. Moving to the outskirts of the city might make sense. In a crucial meeting, one sentence was uttered that would determine the future of the congregation: “Where is a church more needed than here?”

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La visión comunitaria | The community vision

Ernestina Garcia shares her vision for her part of Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. Ernestina Garcia comparte su visión para el parte del barrio de Phillips, Minneapolis donde ella vive.***This story is part of a series of audioslideshows about the Mujeres en Acción y Poder, a leadership training group at Corcoran Neighborhood Group in Minneapolis. Click here to see more audio slidesshows.Esta historia es parte de una serie de historias digitales acerca de la Mujeres en Acción y Poder, un grupo de liderazgo en el Corcoran Neighborhood Group en Minneapolis. Emprima aquí para ver mas historias digitales.  Continue Reading

TTT DEC 30: Media Mess: Censored Stories/Future of Broadband?

Year-end recaps are de rigueur and we’re no exception. This week, we present a pot pourri of topics – mostly on the status of our ever-shifting media landscape around here and elsewhere. A year – a decade – of stories censored by mainstream media, a battle between consumers and providers of cable, television and broadband Internet services (who’s in charge here?); a merger that could add to the glut of vertical ownership of media carriers and content producers, plus highlights of 2009’s major stories will be dissected by some local and national observers of the passing scene. Whither go the big guys around here? Newspapers, broadcast, cable and online journalism continue to collide over costs and consumers. Continue Reading