Best of Neighborhoods News 05/21/2019: UMN student government reaffirms push to rename campus buildings

UMN student government reaffirms push to rename campus buildingsThe Minnesota Student Association released a letter in the wake of a decision that came after nearly a year-long contention over four University of Minnesota campus buildings named after figures with racist, anti-semitic pasts. The state university’s governing body, the Board of Regents, voted 10-1 against the renaming of Coffman Union, Coffey Hall, Nicholson Hall and Middlebrook Hall, names which go as far back as 1851. In pushing back against this decision, the MSA-issued letter reads, “We strongly believe that renaming is the first step of reckoning with our University’s [history]. That is why, to us, renaming is a when, not an if.” MSA will meet with the newly-appointed regents, as well as the incoming University President Joan Gabel, to continue conversations about renaming. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhoods News 05/15/2019: ‘Missing Middle’ housing pilot program

Wanted: ‘Missing Middle’ housingThe city of Minneapolis’ draft plan, Minneapolis 2040, includes a currently dubbed “Missing Middle” pilot program. The pilot will finance the cost-effective development of affordable housing inside new 3-to-20 unit buildings. Its aim, among other things, is to provide an important housing stock to meet the local housing needs of “single people making $32,000 or families making $45,000, the area median income.” The pilot program derives from the Minneapolis 2040 plan, “which would allow triplexes citywide and concentrate multistory development along transit corridors.”

While the plan has not yet been formally adopted, city officials are moving forward with an allocation of $40 million towards affordable housing, $500,000 of which will launch the “Missing Middle” pilot. The city is currently collecting feedback on the pilot, and will vote on its specific guidelines in June. Check out the story on Southwest Journal. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 2/12/19: Change is coming to racist murals in St. Paul City Hall

Change is coming to racist murals in St. Paul City Hall

Four racist murals hung at St. Paul City Hall are at the center of a countywide kerfuffle going as far back as the 1970s and now re-emerging as part of the national debate about the place of public art. They were first installed in 1931, shared originally by the Ramsey County Commission and the St. Paul City Council. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 1/2: University of Minnesota names its first female president

University of Minnesota names its first female president

The Board of Regents voted to confirm Joan Gabel with a five-year contract as the next president of the university. Gabel visited all five campuses during the interview process and answered questions about her vision of higher education. When asked about student debt, Gabel said, “We really need to be thinking about clever ways to make sure students can afford education and I think it’s very clear that we are starting to inch up on what the marked can bear, even for students who don’t have fiscal constraints.”

While she ultimately earned high praise from stakeholders, the appointment process was not without controversy, as she was named as the sole finalist, which has drawn criticism in terms of transparency. In addition to the process, there were questions about her non-traditional background; Gabel has a JD not a PhD and she was a dean of a business school. Find out more at MNDaily. Continue Reading