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Request for Committee Action

A briefing memo explaining the purpose, background, and impact of the requested action.
Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guidelines and equitable funding formula (Nov 5, 2020) (RCA-2020-01107)

Neighborhood & Community Relations
To Committee(s)
# Committee Name Meeting Date
1 Public Health & Safety Committee Nov 5, 2020
Lead Staff:
Steven Gallagher
Presented By:
David Rubedor, Steven Gallagher, C. Terrance Anderson (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs-CURA)
Action Item(s)
# File Type Subcategory Item Description
1 Action Neighborhoods

Approving the Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guidelines and Funding Formula.

2 Action Neighborhoods

Authorizing the extension of current Community Participation Program contracts, with the prorated amount of funding, until July 1, 2021, allowing for time to complete the Neighborhoods 2020 applications.

3 Action Neighborhoods

Authorizing the provisional recognition of neighborhood organizations in the Neighborhoods 2020 Program for one year, or until their application has been submitted and approved.

4 Action Neighborhoods

Authorizing the addition of clarifying language on benefits on recognition status of neighborhood organizations by the City of Minneapolis.

5 Action Neighborhoods

Authorizing the continuation of the Neighborhoods 2020 Steering Committee to review programmatic and legislative adjustments to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) for the purpose of achieving our equity goals and creating greater flexibility for neighborhoods, and reporting back to the Public Health and Safety Committee by July 1, 2021.

Ward / Neighborhood / Address
# Ward Neighborhood Address
1. All Wards
Background Analysis

Since 2016, the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department (NCR)– through the Neighborhoods 2020 initiative - started working with community and neighborhood leaders and elected officials to identify the next generation of neighborhood funding, programming and governance structure needed to better support community and neighborhood organizations in the future. These conversations were centered around meeting the needs of a growing and vibrant city, meeting the goals of the City, and identifying the roles that these organizations play in community engagement.

There are 84 residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis that are served by 70 independent nonprofit organizations (“neighborhood organizations”). Neighborhood organizations engage and mobilize residents to address issues within their geographic areas. The City recognizes that neighborhood organizations are positioned to identify local issues and opportunities and understands that Minneapolis greatly benefits from a robust neighborhood system.

There are also numerous community organizations throughout the city that are focused on serving specific populations within the city. These organizations are especially helpful in engaging with cultural communities in the city. NCR supports both neighborhood and community organizations to carry out both people-based and place-based community engagement.

The Neighborhoods 2020 initiative is focused primarily on neighborhood organizations, which have been funded by the city since 1991 when the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) was established. Currently, the City provides funding through the Community Participation Program (CPP). Many neighborhood organizations also still have funding from the NRP. CPP funding comes from tax increment financing districts and will expire on December 31, 2019. CPP funding available to neighborhood organizations is expected to run out by the end of December 2020.

This next iteration of programmatic goals, community engagement and funding reach into the core work of neighborhood organizations and the relationship with the City. The new programming has a focus on addressing racial equity. The department has utilized all available mechanisms to ensure all stakeholders have their voices heard. Some of the early strategies utilized:

  • 2017: Led five citywide Art of Hosting events attended by over 700 people
  • Two additional culturally specific hosting events conducted with over 150 people
  • June – July 2017: NCR conducted a highly promoted online survey
  • In 2017: 842 comments were received from community members

In 2018, the City Council directed NCR to develop Work Groups to refine the framework going forward. The NCEC adopted three important programmatic aspects to concentrate the work; Guidelines, Funding and Implementation, Advisory Governance Structure and a Citywide Community Engagement Policy. All of the work, by the work groups, were focused using a racial equity framework throughout the process. The process involved:

  • Members of the City Council, NCEC, NRP Policy Board and NCR selected 48 representatives through an application process. Work Group members were selected from their expertise in:
  • Neighborhood Organization Experience
  • Cultural Community Representation
  • Undoing Racism/Equity experiences
  • Representation from City Council, NCEC and the NRP Policy Board were selected for each work group.

Work Groups met a total of 28 times from August-December. Over 1,020 hours of volunteer time was utilized to create the Neighborhoods 2020 framework recommendations. Each Work Group had an equity and inclusion training during their first week. Continuous outreach during this process included:

  • Weekly electronic communications updates on progress
  • Agenda, notes, meeting locations and drafts available online and updated weekly
  • Project Lead conducted 16 community office meetings
  • NCR staff presented/answered questions to 88 neighborhood board and community meetings

Final Work Group recommendations were presented to community member in various locations in the City:

  • Conducted in four different languages and six culturally specific outreach locations
  • 314 individuals participated
  • Work Groups utilized comments from these meetings to adjust their final product

NCR conducted City leadership presentations for feedback and suggestions. Members included the City Attorney, Internal Auditor, Finance, Race and Equity Inclusion and the Innovation Team.

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

Guideline Development
In Mid-April of 2019, the Neighborhoods 2020 Program Guideline Framework(s) were presented to City Council. The City Council subsequently directed NCR to contract with a third party to refine the framework into program guidelines based on public feedback, using an equity lens. A subsequent RFP led The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to perform work as defined by the City Council. Work products included:

  • Create a Racial Equity Evaluation of previous neighborhood funding and work
  • Refine, in cooperation with NCR, the Neighborhoods 2020 program guidelines

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).

CURA and NCR presented the Racial Equity Evaluation of previous neighborhood funding and work, to the Committee of the Whole, on February 12, 2020. The results of the analysis are attached to this RCA.

The Neighborhoods 2020 guidelines were developed from the Minneapolis City Council approved Neighborhoods 2020 Framework (May 2019), subsequent staff directives and further engagement with neighborhood organizations and residents. Neighborhoods 2020 provides the policy, programmatic and funding structure to continue to support the City’s diverse and vibrant neighborhood system.

Neighborhoods 2020 builds off the desire of the City to maintain an engagement network of neighborhood organizations while also funding strategies that are significant to all Minneapolis residents. It promotes the participation of all Minneapolis residents in the decision-making processes of our neighborhood organizations. The goal is to 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 to improve their lives and neighborhoods.

The following suite of neighborhood programs are intended to work together in concert. Each funding strategy is important to ensure that all residents receive equitable and high-quality services.

  • Citywide Neighborhood Network Fund: Continuation of the citywide network of independent, nonprofit neighborhood organizations supporting every resident’s ability to engage in grass-roots activities, work on neighborhood-identified priorities and partner with the City.
  • Equitable Engagement Fund: Neighborhood organizations are engaging historically underrepresented residents meaningfully and effectively on policies and programs that impact them and in decision making at the local geographic level, with a focus on furthering equity.
  • Partnership Engagement Fund: Community based organizations are partnering with recognized neighborhood organizations to engage historically underrepresented residents meaningfully and effectively on policies and programs that impact them and in decision-making with a focus on furthering equity.
  • Collaboration and Shared Resources Fund: Neighborhood organizations are provided sufficient resources to support their voluntary consolidation efforts or the sharing of resources.

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.

Steering Committee
From March 1, 2020 to present the City Council authorized Steering Committee met regularly to review processes, timelines and make recommendations for next steps. Members of the Steering Committee included:

  • Council Member Phillipe Cunningham
  • Council Member Andrea Jenkins
  • Council Member Andrew Johnson
  • Mark Ruff, City Coordinator
  • Micah Intermill, Budget Director
  • Andrea Larson, City Coordinator’s Office
  • David Rubedor, Neighborhood and Community Relations Department
  • Heidi Ritchie, Mayor’s Office
  • C. Terrance Anderson, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
  • Brad Cousins, City Attorney’s Office
  • Steven Gallagher, Neighborhood and Community Relations Department

In the middle of this work, a global pandemic (COVID19) and civil unrest after the death of George Floyd, rightly caused the public comment time period to be extended on multiple occasions. Over the 231-day public comment period, ending on September 30, 2020, 245 comments were received. Highlights of engagement during the comment period were:

  • February 28: Program Guidelines released for public comment, public comment period begins
  • September 30: Public comment period ended
  • Staff held weekly meetings with neighborhoods from March 15, 2020 through present date
  • One large public informational session was completed in May 2020
  • Multiple City Council Members held Ward meetings to discuss program guidelines

A Public Comment Review Team (PCRT) was initiated utilizing experts throughout the enterprise. The PCRT met a total of six times to review every comment identifying themes, language and sentiment while using an equity lens. The Public Comment Summary is attached to this RCA.

There were significant changes in the public comments received from the initial framework’s transition into the proposed guidelines. The PCRT noted an overall positive sentiment from the public comments regarding the equity goals discussed in the Neighborhoods 2020 guidelines. Commenters recognize that the equity goals help address some of the issues the City needs to address between the community and neighborhood associations.

Members of the Public Comment Review Team were:

  • Jonathan Williams-Kinsel, Program Manager, Office of Performance & Innovation
  • Gina Allen, Program Manager, Office of Performance & Innovation
  • Nicholas Campbell, Program Manager, Division of Race & Equity
  • Taylor Crouch-Dodson, Planner Analyst, Office of Performance & Innovation
  • Julianne Leersen, J.D., Promise Zone Director, City Coordinator’s Office
  • Nicholas Ngo, ADA-Language Access Coordinator, Neighborhood and Community Relations
  • Michelle Rivero, J.D., Director, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA), Neighborhood and Community Relations Department