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Funding Focus in Push to Diversify Minneapolis Neighborhood Groups

The leadership of neighborhood associations does not reflect the city’s demographics. In the future, funding of the groups could be dependent on reaching diversity benchmarks.
February 4, 2019, 12pm PST | Camille Fink
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Ron Reiring

[Updated September 18, 2019] An initiative called Neighborhoods 2020 proposes to connect funding of the city’s neighborhood associations to diversity on the groups’ boards. "The tax district that funneled millions of dollars to the associations is set to expire at the end of this year — with $4.1 million earmarked for 2019 and more for 2020 — and the city says the groups need to change if they want continued city funding," writes Miguel Otárola.

The association boards are not hitting particular benchmarks for representation. In 2018, they reached 50 percent of the goal for people of color and just 33 percent for renters. As the percentage of nonwhite residents and renters in Minneapolis increases, the city wants to ensure the leadership of the neighborhood associations better reflects the communities they serve.

But neighborhood leaders want to see their organizations remain independent of the city. Some associations are also struggling with funding gaps or limited staff resources and any clamp downs on funding will make their work more challenging, say leaders.

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Published on Monday, January 28, 2019 in Star Tribune
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