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Racial Equity Impact Analysis (REIA)

The Racial Equity Impact Analysis helps the City consider racial equity outcomes when shaping policies, practices, programs and budgets.
Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guidelines and equitable funding formula (Nov 5, 2020) - REIA (Standard)

Section 1: Background
Public Safety No
Housing No
Economic Development No
Public Services Yes
Environmental Justice No
Built Environment & Transportation No
Public Health No
Arts & Culture No
Workforce No
Spending No
Data No
Community Engagement Yes

Our goal is for the City of Minneapolis to have an equitable civic participation system that enfranchises everyone, recognizes the core and vital service that neighborhood organizations provide to the City and builds people’s long-term capacity to organize to improve their lives and neighborhoods. Neighborhoods 2020's program guidelines reflect the City's goal to maintain a network of neighborhood organizations for community engagement purposes while also providing funding for engagement strategies that are meaningful to all Minneapolis residents.

In addition to Minneapolis network of neighborhood organizations, the city has always had a wide array of CBOs working in historically underrepresented communities that play a crucial role in engaging residents that are not reached by other means. These organizations also play a crucial role in advocating for their communities and are historically not funded by the City of Minneapolis in the same way as the neighborhood network.

About neighborhood organizations

Minneapolis has a network of 70 nonprofit neighborhood organizations covering all neighborhoods of the city (except industrial areas). Neighborhood-level community organizing and the neighborhood organizations that support it play a critical role in keeping residents informed, connected to their community and empowered to guide and influence decisions that affect their lives. Neighborhood organizations have helped improve safety, celebrate diversity, build community, preserve housing stock, promote economic vitality, foster a sustainable environment and improve health throughout the city.

About neighborhood organization funding

The Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines build on the City’s prior investment in the neighborhood system, including the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) and the Community Participation Program (CPP). The program requirements contain programmatic goals and funding allocations for the City's neighborhood organization network and center inclusivity through diverse representation in neighborhood boards, activities and engagement practices. The Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines promote the participation of all Minneapolis residents in the decision-making processes of their neighborhood organizations.

Notable parts of the Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines

Neighborhoods 2020 includes four (4) programmatic and funding areas: the Citywide Neighborhood Network Fund, the Equitable Engagement Fund, the Partnership Engagement Fund and the Collaboration and Shared Resources Fund.

The Partnership Engagement Fund fosters partnerships between neighborhood organizations and community-based organizations to address systemic challenges and historic inequities. The Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines also include standard minimum expectations for neighborhood organizations and an enhanced role and list of responsibilities for the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department (NCR) to assist and support these organizations.

This analysis was conducted utilizing all staff within the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, as well as, the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Office of Community Based Research. 
Section 2: Data
Neighborhoods 2020 will impact the entire geographic area of Minneapolis. The City's network of neighborhood organizations covers all residents and all neighborhoods of the city (except industrial areas).

Population and demographics

Minneapolis is home to a rich and diverse variety of communities. The estimated total population is 429,606 people. According to the 2019 American Community Survey, the racial demographics of Minneapolis are as follows:
  • White: 63.8%
  • Black or African American: 19.4%
  • American Indian and Alaskan Native: 1.4%
  • Asian: 6.1%
  • Two or more races: 4.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.6%

Source: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/minneapoliscityminnesota

Neighborhood breakdown

There are a variety or resources to learn about the diverse makeup of Minneapolis neighborhoods, including:

  • City of Minneapolis neighborhood organization profiles, NRP and CPP reports, activities and bylaws on NCR’s website: http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/links/index.htm.
  • Minnesota Compass, a project by Wilder Research that measures progress in our state and its communities using social indicators. Minnesota Compass provides nonpartisan, credible information and tracks trends in areas like education, the economy, the workforce, health, housing and more. Minnesota Compass uses comprehensive data from the census, the American Community Survey, Minnesota Demographic Center and others to create neighborhood profiles.

Minnesota Compass website: http://www.mncompass.org/profiles/neighborhoods/minneapolis-saint-paul

NCR used multiple data sets to determine funding allocations for neighborhood programs, the partnership fund and the equitable engagement fund. Two major sources of information were the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) racial equity analysis and NCR's neighborhood board diversity surveys.

In 2019, CURA collected both historical and current neighborhood program funding information to produce a racial equity analysis (attached to the Neighborhoods 2020 RCA). This analysis informed the rationale behind funding allocations in the Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines. CURA’s analysis found that neither the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) nor the Community Participation Program (CPP) funding models furthered racial equity, contributing to the disparities between white residents and residents of color (POC).

NCR’s goal is for City-funded neighborhood organizations to have leadership that reflects their community. For the past six years, NCR has tracked eight diversity metrics in neighborhood organization boards to understand how well they reflect the communities they serve.

Since 2014, the neighborhood board diversity surveys show significant under-representation of POC and renters. For both metrics, representation is less than half of what would be proportional to the city's population demographics. These results can be found on our equitable engagement dashboard under Measure 2.2: http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/ncr_about-us.

The proposed funding formula uses multiple metrics to identify the communities with the greatest need in the city. The formula prioritizes historically underrepresented residents who were denied a voice in neighborhood organizations throughout the past 30 years.

The Equitable Engagement Fund, the largest of the four Neighborhoods 2020 funding areas, uses a formula that considers three metrics to allocate funding.

Areas of concentrated poverty (50% of allocation):
The Metropolitan Council defines areas of concentrated poverty (ACPs) as census tracts where 40% or more of the residents have family or individual incomes that are less than 185% of the federal poverty threshold. Some census tracts that meet this poverty threshold have a large share of college or graduate students, so we exclude these census tracts from our definition of areas of concentrated poverty. (Source: State of Minnesota Spatial Commons).

Cost-burdened households (30% of allocation):
The cost-burdened household measure comes from the 2018 American Community Survey 5-year average data at the census tract level and is defined as households spending more than 30% of their income on rent or their mortgage.

The funding formula partially allocates funds according to the number of cost-burdened households within a census tract. Cost-burdened renters are weighted twice as heavily as cost-burdened homeowners.

Gentrification (20% of allocation):
Gentrification is a measurement of change in census tracts over time (2000-2015), specifically comparing income, race, ownership status (renter or homeowner), rent cost, and education level.?

Neighborhood with census tracts that were vulnerable to gentrification received the maximum funding available per neighborhood for this category. Neighborhoods in census tracts identified as gentrified received half of the funding amount available.

While the proposed funding model still allocates most engagement funding to neighborhoods, it does substantially increase the amount of funding available to community-based or BIPOC-led organizations through partnerships with neighborhoods as part of the Partnership Engagement Fund.

At this time, the 2020 census data is not available, but it will be used in future formulas. In addition, it should be noted that disaggregated demographic information about race and ethnicity at a local level is not readily available. In addition, Neighborhood and Community Relations does not feel it has reliable data for variables including undocumented and documented immigration status, transgender, queer and gender non-conforming identities or housing stability.

In 2021, depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCR will conduct in-person neighborhood board diversity surveys to gather recent data.

Section 3: Community Engagement
Inform Yes
Consult Yes
Involve Yes
Collaborate Yes
Empower No

NCR has been planning for the reset of neighborhood programming, funding and governance for three years. This next iteration of programmatic goals, community engagement and funding guidelines reaches into the core of neighborhood organizations' work and their relationship with the City. The new programming focuses on addressing racial equity. NCR used multiple engagement methods to ensure all stakeholders were able to participate.

Timeline

Starting in 2017, NCR held preliminary conversations with folks about how they envisioned the next iteration of neighborhood funding. These conversations included:

  • Five NCR-led, citywide ‘Art of Hosting’ events, attended by over 700 people
  • Two culturally specific events, attended by over 150 people
  • A highly publicized online survey from June to July 2017, with 842 comments received

In 2018, the City Council directed NCR to develop work groups to refine the framework going forward.

The Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) adopted three important focus areas for the work: (1) guidelines, funding and implementation; (2) advisory governance structure; and (3) a citywide community engagement policy. The work groups used a racial equity lens throughout the process.

Members of the City Council, NCEC, NRP Policy Board and NCR selected 48 representatives to join the work groups following an open application process. Work group members were selected for their expertise in:

  • Neighborhood organizations
  • Cultural communities
  • Undoing racism and promoting equity

Each work group also had representatives from City Council, NCEC and the NRP Policy Board.

Each work group received equity and inclusion training during their first week. Work groups met 28 times from August-December of 2018. Volunteers donated over 1,020 hours of their time to create the Neighborhoods 2020 framework recommendations. Continuous community outreach during this process included:

  • Frequent email updates on progress
  • Agenda, notes, meeting locations and draft documents made available online and updated weekly
  • 16 community office hours meetings with project lead
  • NCR staff presentations and question-and-answer sessions at 88 neighborhood board and community meetings

Towards the end of 2018, NCR shared final work group recommendations with community members through six meetings in culturally specific locations, three of which were held in a language other than English (Spanish, Somali and Hmong), with 314 participants. Work groups used comments from these meetings to adjust their final recommendations.

NCR presented to City leadership and requested feedback and suggestions, with representatives preset from the City Attorney's Office, Internal Auditor, Finance, the Division of Race and Equity, the Innovation Team, the City Coordinator’s Office and City Council members.

On February 2, 2019, the Community Connections Conference provided a dedicated space for Neighborhoods 2020 feedback and public comment.

In early May 2019, the Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines were presented to City Council. The City Council directed NCR to contract with a third party to further refine the guidelines based on public feedback. The City of Minneapolis contracted with CURA to comply with the City Council’s directive.
As a result, CURA’s work produced:

  • A racial equity evaluation of previous neighborhood funding and work
  • Refined Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines
  • Eight citywide public meetings
  • Four BIPOC-specific community meetings

On Feb. 28, the program guidelines were released for public comment. The official public comment period was extended multiple times to September 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak and civil unrest.

  • Staff held weekly meetings with neighborhoods from March 15, 2020 through present
  • One large public informational session was completed on April 2.

Lessons learned throughout the engagement process

Intentionally creating avenues for all voices to feel comfortable and heard is important

NCR worked to bring in as many voices and opinions into the engagement process as possible. At times, this required considering engagement methods that may make some others uncomfortable. For example, hosting spaces to hear from specific communities conflicts with the desire to invite all. NCR received feedback and inquiries about hosting meetings in places and languages that centered BIPOC, non-English speaking residents.

There was an inequity in how much background information people had prior to being engaged. This posed a challenge when recruiting community members to participate and affected how meetings were facilitated.

For residents that were already engaged or paid by neighborhood organizations, information was inherently more understandable, readily available and of interest. Whereas, residents that were not already engaged or paid by neighborhood organizations did not bring as much background information or knowledge to the meetings. This was not a barrier, but it did require intentional facilitation and communication with all residents.

Having all voices heard, equally or equitably, remains a challenge

After residents are engaged, input is brought to the City and leadership is asked to respond. Some residents are more readily interested or able to write letters, call elected officials or advocate to have their voices heard. NCR worked to make sure that residents who are not interested in submitting letters, participating in written feedback methods, or don't have access to their elected officials still got opportunities to have their voices heard. NCR continues to work to ensure that these voices are valued equally – or even equitably in this type of work.

Addressing inequity and racism requires systemic change

Addressing systemic racism or inequity requires systemic responses. These conversations must move from individual work, individual intentions to communal work, communal impacts. Neighborhoods 2020 explored how to address systemic inequities, but there remains a lot of work to do and learnings to apply from these types of programs and engagement processes.

It proved difficult to disentangle programmatic goals from funding goals

It is difficult to talk about programmatic goals without focusing on what resources are available to achieve those goals. Given the context this engagement process took place in, current neighborhood funding was ending and future funding was going to be determined, it was difficult to discuss programmatic goals without also discussing funding.

Section 4: Analysis

The Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines are centered on equity in our community. The guidelines align with the City’s adopted Strategic Racial Equity Action Plan (SREAP) and the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which states that “Minneapolis will have an equitable civic participation system that enfranchises everyone, recognizes the core and vital service neighborhood organizations provide to the City of Minneapolis, and builds people’s long-term capacity to organize and improve their lives and neighborhoods.”

The Neighborhoods 2020 program furthers the City’s goal of addressing racial equity through three distinct recommendations:

  1. First, the funding formula has been updated to center racial equity. CURA looked at multiple data points when considering what formula to recommend.
  2. Second, by separating the base funding formula from impact funding, the City can fund activities that further racial equity. Two of the four funding areas – the Equitable Engagement Fund and the Partnership Engagement Fund – are competitive funds that require an application and are specifically designed to align with the SREAP and the 2040 Comprehensive Plan goals.
  3. Third, the program requires that neighborhood boards reflect the demographic makeup of the communities they represent. While this has been a shared goal of the City and neighborhood organizations historically, the new program requires neighborhood organizations to demonstrate that they have achieved this goal.
Section 5: Evaluation
Neighborhood organizations funded through the Neighborhoods 2020 programs will be required to submit annual reports and participate in a board diversity survey report every other year. Annual reports will collect data about completed activities as well as the impact of funds.

Success indicators and benchmarks will be identified during the program implementation process, be included in the annual reports and can be aligned the SREAP and the 2040 Comprehensive Plan goals.

Using a competitive application process will allow NCR to regularly review funding impacts. The application process also allows for success indicators and benchmarks to be updated to align with the City’s SREAP and Comprehensive Plan goals as the work progresses.

In 2024, NCR will use a third party to conduct another racial equity analysis to compare the effectiveness of historical engagement practices to those under the new program guidelines.
NCR has a robust engagement system which uses both structured and unstructured engagement practices to ensure stakeholders and impacted residents are informed. This engagement style allows the department to constantly receive feedback from the community on the success of this project.

During the last three years, NCR has been using various communication tools to keep all Minneapolis residents informed. These tools have included the NCR newsletter, email communication specifically to neighborhood organization staff and boards, a Neighborhoods 2020 email list, the NCR website, City Council newsletters, in-person meetings, City social media, radio programs, outreach to community partners and one-on-one conversations. NCR will continue to use these outlets as it implements the Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines.

Neighborhood and Community Relations maintains an equitable engagement dashboard on the City's website. Currently, measures 2.1 to 2.4 report on neighborhood organization related activities. Moving forward, NCR can update its dashboard indicators to reflect the new success indicators and benchmarks for the four neighborhood funding areas. NCR reports to City Council annually through the Results Minneapolis process. This report contains the equitable engagement dashboard metrics as well.