Minneapolis Strives to become City that Listens Well and Acts Responsively

The city of Minneapolis, a finalist in the second round of the City Accelerator, is focused on bridging racial disparities through more effective public engagement.
by The City of Minneapolis | March 18, 2015 AT 11:00 AM
(324 ratings)

This summary is a part of Minneapolis’ application to a City Accelerator cohort on engagement. Your feedback on the videos will inform final selection of the cities. Give the videos a star rating and leave comments below!

What is Minneapolis proposing?

The city of Minneapolis is focused on bridging racial disparities through more effective public engagement.

Minneapolis is looking to raise the bar across their administration for community engagement. The goal is for all of the city's engagement efforts to meet people where they are, report back and use what they hear. Support from the City Accelerator would help Minneapolis develop and implement a plan to raise the bar for public engagement across city departments, and to make sure engagement helps to bridge rather than worsen racial disparities in the city. 

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Public response is one of several criteria being used by the City Accelerator to select cohort cities. The number of ratings or comments by themselves do not determine final status or selection.

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The City Accelerator wants your feedback. Ask a question or share your thoughts on the problem and the proposed approach - and we welcome your comment on what a solution would mean for city residents

Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.

Anonymous

On: 04-06-2015

Anything to make our processes more inclusive!

JS

On: 04-06-2015

What's proposed is exactly what Minneapolis needs - increased community engagement is how you start to move the dial on racial equity.

Resident

On: 04-05-2015

As equity continues to receive more understanding and attention, I look forward to continued work to have Minneapolis be a great place for all residents. A more engaged community participating earlier in planning will yield a much better outcome for everyone.

Patricia Nelson

On: 04-04-2015

It is a start, but means nothing unless there is a letting go of status quo, and REAL engagement, not just using buzzwords.

Katie Eaves

On: 04-04-2015

Great to hear mpls is trying to tackle this real problem. I would love for us to become a leader in addressing social issues for our nation.

Anon

On: 04-03-2015

Engagement is useless if the city departments and government bodies do not act on the information received. There have been many attempts at engagement but often they are unfocused, ineffective, and lately only engage one demographic; approximate ages 21-34, white, well educated, low-midrange income, and online (and usually already involved). These are also the only ones being listened to. Outreach to other demographics is often forced by the demographics themselves. If you are younger or older than this demographic, if you are poorer or richer than this demographic, it appears your opinion doesn't matter. We need engagement of all resulting in all being listened to and their ideas and comments acted upon. A few council members are trying in North Minneapolis to engage but they are butting heads with many of the other council members and city departments. NCR has become the yes man to the city council instead of representing the public and NCEC is often ignored and expected to be the same. Engagement out of the box like arts is good but putting so much focus on artists that are not specialists in community engagement seems odd. It is only one piece. What we need most is someone to teach the city departments, the mayor, and several city council members how to listen and to put their constituents first. Their constituents already know how to talk. They just want to be heard. We need help and if this program can do that, we need it. Desperately.

Anonymous

On: 04-03-2015

Great video. Minneapolis needs to develop more community engagement.

christine

On: 04-03-2015

City of Minneapolis!

Denise

On: 04-03-2015

Using data, building on strategies working in other places and seeking new ways of engaging all types of residents all represent ways to enable the city (with grant help) to improve conditions for all residents. The video does an excellent job of explaining the plans and the need for these strategies as our demographics continue to change.

Anonymous

On: 04-03-2015

Slick video. Nice speeches. Creative outreach options. Too bad that in the experience of many residents NCR does not reflect neighborhood empowerment in a collaborative way. NRP was more effective. The leadership at NCR does not model respect; does not model cultural sensitivity; creates negative energy.......I hope that department and others can learn from other cities......

Andrea Reese

On: 04-03-2015

I think all voices are important so I believe that this community engagement is a great way to show that our city cares about everyone's story. Everyone has a story. I see many different races and their ability to thrive through hardship but if everyone came together, knew resources inside and out, hardships would not have to be so hard. I am excited to hear voices and stories!

Danielle Steer

On: 04-03-2015

There are many organizations and businesses in MPLS that would be very interested in this strategy! I look forward to hearing more!

Barb Harris

On: 04-03-2015

Very well done video. Great to see the city's focus on expanding citizen engagement by meeting people where they live. Being part of the City Accelerator program could help develop new approaches to interacting with currently under-represented populations such as recent immigrants and public housing residents.

Lila M Smith

On: 04-03-2015

I agree whole-heartedly with these goals. I love going door-to door seeking feedback from our community and informing them of resources and events available to them through our neighborhood association. I also urge them to become involved in decisions and/or put their names up for board elections. Sometimes it is difficult to get immigrants and busy College students to come to meetings, but they all love being asked what matters to them. Very recent immigrants tend to only interact within their immigrant group. I am very concerned about the re-segregation in Minneapolis Schools. In our comfortably diverse neighborhood we had an elementary school that served everyone. When it closed many families relocated. Then two "Alternative Schools" were put into it: One that serves only Somali students and one that serves only Native American students. I understand the need to know your personal history and take pride in your Heritage, but integration is important. How can we function in an integrated society if we never get to know anyone who is different? We need to work together. Cooperative Education and teamwork are important tools. I have two daughters. The Black daughter chose to attend the Open Program at South High, while the White daughter chose to attend the Drama Magnet at North High. I believe in choice but do not believe in schools that serve only one nationality or gender or religion. Our family and friends embrace diversity. Thank you!

laurie sandoval

On: 04-03-2015

minneapolis is a very pretty and clean city

emmy rush

On: 04-03-2015

keep going.. we can be the best!

emmy rush

On: 04-03-2015

amazing! MPLS for life!! <3

Anonymous

On: 04-03-2015

Good video and commitment that should be put to work.

Joseph Finley

On: 04-03-2015

Individuals need to take personal responsibility and engage with their neighbors and city in a constructive manner.

Anonymous

On: 04-03-2015

We are on the right track. We have to keep these conversation open and not exclude the communties but ask these communities what is it that you need to make your city a better place for all people? We have to keep working on bring the have and have nots togethr.

Roy Taylor

On: 04-03-2015

Very disappointing to not see identifiable American Indians in this video. I know we're not the largest or"fastest growing, and we're certainly not the most vocal, but we we were here first. As someone who has someone who has viewed many versions of strategic community engagement and planning, this strikes me as "warmed over hot dish!" Feel free to contact me if you would like more input. RW Taylor White Eagle Consulting 612-751-6191 rywtaylor@comcast.net

C. Irving

On: 04-03-2015

This is a fine City, and it's leadership have clearly prioritized community engagement and support.

Resident-employee

On: 04-03-2015

forgot to rate...

Rob Hanson

On: 04-03-2015

Good to see that Minneapolis actually takes steps to conduct non-traditional community engagement instead of just empty promises.

Resident/employee

On: 04-03-2015

Hopeful!

Alexis Pennie

On: 04-03-2015

Progressive goals such as sustainability and equity are building the city’s reputation and landing it on the list for several nationwide initiatives.

Exiled artist

On: 04-03-2015

I wish I still lived in Minneapolis. Even though I was homeless and I never could find a home. And all the fixer-uppers that were affordable get demolished or snatched up by suposedly nonprofit insiders. Still, I find the opportunity to be a part of an ultra innovative technology start up, still exists. Maybe all my dreams can come true and I'll move back to Minneapolis.

Allan

On: 04-03-2015

Minneapolis has recognized it has a problem with economic disparity. That is the most important first step to a solution.

Jodi Beckstrom

On: 04-03-2015

New to the city and familiar with public sector innovation, I look forward to seeing how the information is used and whether co-creation occurs as a result. It will be good to collect data on the improvement of authentic cross-cultural relationships. Best of luck in the selection process, Minneapolis.

Vicky

On: 04-03-2015

Engagement is very difficult when life is so busy. Kudos.

Judi

On: 04-03-2015

Loved that they are going out to the people, rather than relying on the people to come to them.

Katie

On: 04-03-2015

Excited for our growing city and state! Can't wait for great opportunities and outcomes.

Great ideas

On: 04-03-2015

I am excited for the city of Minneapolis and what they can accomplish!

Jenny Edgerton

On: 04-02-2015

I am hopeful about the steps that Minneapolis has begun to make to increase transparency and community engagement. I am would love to see city staff out in the neighborhoods talking to residents on a regular basis as at least one of the current city council members does. I would also like to see the city give lessons to citizens about how to access the city to facilitate change.

Rev Meg Riley

On: 04-02-2015

I am excited to imagine what could happen if all of the organizing and arts of Minneapolis were harnessed to become one city with equitable opportunities and experiences for all residents.

Claire W

On: 04-02-2015

The racial disparities here are heartbreaking...anything we can do to improve that situation will make Mpls a better place for all of us.

Resident of Cedar Riverside

On: 04-02-2015

Video is beautiful. But Words do not mean actions. It is time to make sure all neighborhoods are reaching out to all residents. My neighborhood keeps its residents in the dark. We do not know what is going on or how we can effect a decision. Decisions are made without really reaching out to residents in a timely manner. Please hold neighborhoods accountable for reaching out to all.

Beatty

On: 04-02-2015

See previous comments. Failed to check # of stars.

Beatty

On: 04-02-2015

Excellent! It's refreshing to see leaders go into the community, obtain community input and then take action upon that input while.

Sandra L. Smith - Hale/Field Foundation

On: 04-02-2015

I give it 5 stars. It was a good representation of our city.

Sandra L. Smith, Outreach Commissioner for Minnesota State PTA

On: 04-02-2015

I liked the video because it did show our very diverse population and the things being done to make us the city that matches the logo presented. I travel around our entire state and everyone wants us to be more inclusive of one another as we go forward. I did belong to the board of Field Regina Northrop Neighborhood Group, Bryant Neighborhood Association, and Bancroft Neighborhood Association so I was able to see the efforts being made to make positive changes in our neighborhoods. I was able to work with Elizabeth Glidden on several projects and she is always a good listener and works for a solution that works for all parties. Good Job!

sheldon mains

On: 04-02-2015

impressed that mayor and city coordinator admit to the racial diparity and have a plan to deal with it by involving people of color

Twin Citizen

On: 04-01-2015

Minneapolis has really stepped up it's engagement efforts. Now we need to see results re: declining disparities.

Aroti

On: 04-01-2015

A very attractive presentation . Perhaps we can start with making a real effort to integrate our public schools, Make an effort to integrate housing and increase the use of bus transportation for adults, We need to step out of our cocoons.

Patrick Doss-Smith

On: 04-01-2015

I believe the sincerity is there. I've been to a few meetings on the city level and the general disregard I have for politics is lessened by what I see going on in Minneapolis. The city not only says it cares but exhibits an understanding of the reality that in order for the city to healthy, and a healthy place to live, ALL of us need to be healthy, in all aspects. A healthy environment is a healthy environment. I know that sounds redundant, but in regards to human endeavors we must all succeed or we all suffer.

Betsy A.

On: 03-31-2015

Impressive and inspiring presentation by passionate, capable leaders. I'm excited by the prospect of diverse engagement in the affairs of our city. And the strategies, including using the arts to promote real dialogue, hold real promise.

Emily Moore

On: 03-31-2015

Great things are beginning to happen in Minneapolis.

sanjoy dey

On: 03-31-2015

Great.

Allison Decamillis

On: 03-31-2015

Minneapolis is a great city and the fact that they see the disparities despite the greatness shows how much they care and want to make this a city for all. I love their plan and how they already use creative methods to get folks involved and connected.

Karlie

On: 03-30-2015

Excited about the City of Minneapolis working to better engage everyone and involve those affected in making positive changes in our communities! The video articulates that vision with clarity and purpose.

mary ann

On: 03-30-2015

The plan for facilitating the conversation-- not to mention a strategy for following through-- is terribly vague. I know we would all like to get behind it. . . but please show us the evidence and inspiration that we should not continue to feel discouraged, even cynical, about anything ever changing with respect to the disparities in our community. It is pretty well understood by all that we need to pay for early education, affordable housing, etc.

Gautham G

On: 03-30-2015

This is an exciting program that could be a game changer for the way things are in Minneapolis!

Stella Townsend

On: 03-30-2015

SOUNDS GREAT - If we're able to pull this off, we'll be years ahead of where we are now in terms of making Minneapolis ONE city, that is good for everybody!

macey wheeler

On: 03-30-2015

Excellent presentions

Tim Herby

On: 03-30-2015

I'm passionate about Minneapolis and love seeing our leaders taking a hard look at the disparities and developing a strategic approach to address the issues.

Jane Confer

On: 03-30-2015

The message is clear, concise and compelling.

gina

On: 03-30-2015

Love minneapolis is a very clean city to live!

Lorraine Stavrou

On: 03-30-2015

I liked the enthusiasm of most of the talking leaders in the video. It was very apparent that the city administration people are white. The community leaders are mostly part of the city's minorities. Maybe I missed this piece, or maybe this is not part of this initiative, but I didn't hear anything about making sure our young people are being educated adequately, to keep our future work force up to the expectations of the big businesses that come to Minneapolis FOR our highly educated work force. Keeping our youth engaged in the community is very important, and that should go along with making sure the students are engaged in school.

Nathan Meyer

On: 03-30-2015

I think Minneapolis has great potential and is doing great things to reach that potential.

Donna

On: 03-30-2015

Minneapolis has experienced an historic influx of so many new cultures recently. The city has become home and our efforts

Rita Ayers

On: 03-30-2015

Mayor Hodges' last remark is a great summary of our hopes for the future of MInneapolis! The ability to collaborate with other cohort cities would greatly enhance the ability to achieve this goal.

Anonymous

On: 03-30-2015

Minneapolis is fortunate to have a network of well-organized neighborhood and community groups. Leveraging partnerships with neighborhood and community groups can help make eliminating disparities goals a reality.

Henry

On: 03-27-2015

Good video. I would suggest having some video of the engagement events that are occurring around the city. Perhaps, something showing neighborhood associations work.

shelly damm

On: 03-27-2015

I am on board. I want to clise all gaps and make the city good for everybody!

Nancy Benson

On: 03-27-2015

I'm very glad the arts are a prominent feature of the program,

Madalyn

On: 03-27-2015

Mayor Hodges is the real deal. She has been working on eliminating racial divisions and inequities for years, and if anyone can make progress she (and her team) can. She was elected on a platform of racial inclusion and equity -- even against a big money, big business candidate. It was a proud moment for the city and said a lot about our hopes and dreams. This video, and the vision it relays, captures that. It's clear that Minneapolis is thinking creatively about engaging all cities. They deserve the City Accelerator's support! I'm a 16 year Minneapolis resident, have a graduate degree, work for state government, and believe that government can still be by the people and for the people.

Anonymous

On: 03-27-2015

The plan is ambitious and worth doing, but can only succeed if it's fully funded and embraced at all levels of government, business and community. I've been very proud to call Minneapolis home for most of my adult life. The willingness to tackle difficult issues makes me prouder, but our collective success in achieving the goals laid out in the plan will make me proudest of all.

Allison Sharkey

On: 03-26-2015

The City of Minneapolis has begun to really dig into the hard work of improving community engagement efforts. This is the perfect time to accelerate that work with useful tools like the City Accelerator program.

Jan Morlock

On: 03-26-2015

A great goal for Minneapolis, and the right set of partners and commitment!

E.M. Cala

On: 03-26-2015

Good project and purpose for all elected officials to follow. The elected officials need to get together with their constituents and listen. Also, Minneapolis has some great research institutions that can already help tackle these issues. Reaching out to all of the residents in an equal way an during the city's valuable academic and social resources is the purpose of these officials.

Bottineau

On: 03-25-2015

five stars

Resident

On: 03-25-2015

I think the City is serious and committed to tackling it's equity issues. What I like about this program is the ability to see what others are doing and collaborate with them. This is a serious issue in our city, for which there is no "one size fits all" solution. For our quality of life and economic future, we need to succeed at this. As a tax payer, I hope we are awarded this tool to help us make Minneapolis better for everyone.

MASIAM

On: 03-25-2015

Great to see the commitment to engage the community; more excited to see the follow through. And, even more excited to see results!

Vaman

On: 03-25-2015

The City of Lakes is listening. It is time to speak up, be heard and represented! An engaged city makes for a great city where everyone works, lives and plays on a level playing field. We can make Minneapolis that city. The more we speak up, the more we will be heard.

Ariah Fine

On: 03-24-2015

Much needed in Minneapolis. It'll make a great impact!

David Zaffrann

On: 03-23-2015

As a member of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission that advises the Mayor and City Council on this critical work, I know first-hand how Minneapolis is well-positioned to take full advantage of the City Accelerator to improve our public engagement with underrepresented communities and create One Minneapolis.

Nancy Holt

On: 03-23-2015

I like the video alot but like everything else, it all looks good on paper. I thing Mayor Hodges summed it up very well when she said "IF WE DO THIS RIGHT".

Amanda Vallone

On: 03-23-2015

The City of Minneapolis is working hard to engage the community in creative ways and as an artist and a visual person I appreciate ALL their efforts!

Tessa Wetjen

On: 03-23-2015

Promising project/direction!

anna c. hernandez

On: 03-22-2015

Great idea, and great feeling of trust with the goverment, getting close with community

PJT

On: 03-22-2015

It's great to see the City of Minneapolis working on community engagement and closing the disparities gap regardless if they receive support from the City Accelerator program. Kudos to the Minneapolis leadership (past and present) for holding up a mirror and realizing the image they were expecting to see was not the image reflecting back. Recognition of disparities is the most important step before change can occur, Minneapolis has admitted its failings and has started its journey towards self-actualization with its goal to be One Minneapolis, Minneapolis with the support of the City Accelerator has the potential to be a model for cities nationally and internationally. Let's make it happen!

John Jones

On: 03-21-2015

Minneapolis is lucky to have as many neighborhood organizations as it does, and I believe those smaller groups are key to engaging residents in neighborhood AND city-wide issues. If the city administration wants an effective (broad as well as intensive and efficient) path to the thoughts of citizens, it should work not towards reaching citizens DIRECTLY, but rather by encouraging participation in these local community groups. Local neighborhood organizations can formulate more concentrated plans and act with greater force than a loose ad hoc group of people. They are also easier to get involved in on a regular basis, rather than just participating in a random street survey once. I fully support the City of Minneapolis, especially in their efforts to bridge gaps in service between different racial and socioeconomic communities. This video, as well as other efforts, shows that the conversation is not only started but is being fostered by a thoughtful administration which hopefully gives them a chance to be a part of this group.

Bruce McLean

On: 03-21-2015

I live in San Diego and I spent MOST of my life in MPLS!!

Maia Mahowald

On: 03-21-2015

Great to see stuff like this exists

Pam

On: 03-21-2015

Great images to start showing vibrance of city. Clearly shows need for collaboration with community members to develop a plan. Statistics and hearing short clips for many leaders is a plus. Shows they are on board.

Elise E

On: 03-21-2015

It's good to hear racial equity being discussed at so many levels in Minneapolis. We need to do better and we can if we keep the real conversations going and work bravely together.

Anonymous

On: 03-21-2015

Great

Edward

On: 03-21-2015

When I tell people I moved back to Minneapolis from California, they think I'm crazy. But Minneapolis really does have it all.

Beth

On: 03-21-2015

Great!!!

Anonymous

On: 03-21-2015

Like the diversity of disparity

Lizzie Temple

On: 03-21-2015

The coolest thing about this, I think, is the possibility of integrating the arts into this as in the Creative Placemaking initiative. Art really can reach out and encompass diversity and give people a voice who otherwise might not be heard. Also because Minneapolis and St. Paul is huge into the arts scene (2nd in nation in theatre seats, best arts district in the nation, massive music scene, etc.) it is just so fitting that the arts could be integrated here.

Anonymous

On: 03-21-2015

There are great things happening in Minneapolis, yes. But Mayor Hodges is right—for the most part, the great things are primarily benefitting the upper-class at this point. It's important to reach out to every individual. You never know what people can do until you let them try.

Ross Joy

On: 03-21-2015

So mention of participorty budgeting? We're not serious about equitable engagement endless we start talking about control over money. City of Minneapolis is also not talking about the 52% of city residents who rent their housing. This is of note because the vast majority of people of color, low income folks and immigrants are renters. Yet, protections and resources for renters are scant, and evictions by landlords are at all time highs. Its not that "underrepresented communities" don't get involved, its that our municipal institutions were built and are run to serve well to do white property owners and homeowners. More renter rights please.

Bill W.

On: 03-20-2015

To many uneducated Liberals destroying this city!

Barbara

On: 03-20-2015

We will soon be dividing our time between the mountains in northwest Montana and our home in Minneaopolis. What decided us to spend part of our time in Mpls are all the things you talked about so well as well as the familiarity of having grown up there.

John

On: 03-20-2015

One of the first bullets is "neighborhood organizations," which sounds good until you realize that neighborhood associations are dominated by people who've lived in the community a long time and hence are older, who own their homes, and who are relatively well off. Often they are all about the NIMBY. Getting more transient, younger, poorer renters involved is the key, and that won't happen via neighborhood associations.

Elisa Dvorak

On: 03-20-2015

The repeated mentioning of engagement struck me as overly buzzword-centric. I feel that particular segment should have kicked off with a specific tactic for increasing participation instead of having the broken record tone of a single word repeated in the first 15 seconds. Speaking of engagement, I feel the city should consider the fact that there are still sizable chunks of the population that aren't even aware of the equity disparities, especially natives. I tried to explain this issue to my husband (a white Patrick Henry alumnus), and that took some effort because he still believes that mobility in the city is possible for everyone. While getting minority community members more involved is definitely a worthwhile goal, I think the city may need to at least entertain the possibility of giving the vast majority of the population a reality check and to do so bluntly.

Collin

On: 03-20-2015

The city needs to dig deep within its own infrastructures, practices, and habits to find ways in which it could improve services for minority residents. Not only that, but it must be willing to change how it interfaces with residents and delivers these services, perhaps even at a very fundamental level. If any city can commit to that, it's Minneapolis. So long as this proposal comes from an authentic place of care for all residents of this city and not just from a place of viewing minority achievement as a blemish on an otherwise very good civic report card that needs to be fixed then this is a proposal I can get behind.

Heather Hunt

On: 03-20-2015

As a city resident I think it's important to meet people where they are. Engaging people to inform decisions and policy is key.