City Council


350 South 5th Street, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Ninth Ward Updates

Update: Powderhorn Park Encampment- August 13, 2020

Dear Neighbors, 

Over the past weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with dozens of Powderhorn residents and encampment volunteers. Learning from their experiences and reducing harm is what compels me to write this message to you today. 


Like many cities across the country, Minneapolis has been facing the pressure of rising rents and extremely low vacancy rates. We can surmise that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated our local economy and likely pushed more people into homelessness. Powderhorn Park became a site for the largest outdoor and unregulated encampment in the history of Minneapolis, but it did not succeed in providing a safe and sustainable housing environment for our unsheltered neighbors. Additionally, the process in which this effort was established was troublesome. Caring voices and sincere concerns about this project were often shouted down or bullied away. Others, who were willing to help or wanted to learn more, were shamed for raising sensitive questions. A culture of silence to repress worries or inquiries was webbed to forge a narrative that seemed to affirm that the end justifies the means. In one instance, a camp organizer maced a woman who was on park grounds asking questions about the rapes against children that had taken place at the encampments. 


I was disappointed. This is not the Powderhorn way. 


Despite this experience, I and many other City leaders remained committed to fighting for dignified housing for all. Our City resources worked quickly with our partners to deploy the help and support our new neighbors needed. I hope you can take the time to learn about these efforts and become familiar with the details of this work on the City’s Homelessness Response website and in this press statement highlighting funding for three new homeless shelters. 


I’ve been humbled and impressed by the immense level of compassion, dedication, and action from Park Board Staff, City Staff, County Staff, State leaders, and neighbors who have worked around the clock to support the hundreds of unhoused neighbors who started to live at Powderhorn Park. Appropriately, Hennepin County’s Homeless Access Team has been out at the park every day last week supporting unhoused residents and connecting them to comparable or improved housing options. I know this work has happened throughout the life of both encampments at the park and it is the type of quiet and steady work that has been able to establish dignified housing pathways for many of our new neighbors.  


Resources continue to prioritize housing of the most vulnerable residents at the encampments, offering reliable transportation and connections to experienced and culturally relevant support systems like the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), St. Stephen’s, and AVIVO. There continues to be open shelter beds for those willing to take them, this includes families and single adults. City, County, Park, and non-profit Staff will continue to talk to every remaining camp resident to work towards connecting them to more sustainable and safe housing options. 


Safety for both unhoused and housed residents in our neighborhood has become a growing point of attention and priority for this situation. I want to deeply thank the women who supported the survivor of a double rape last week, even as they faced threats from camp organizers, they stood their ground and held her up. Overall, we know there have been four reported sexual assaults, two were towards two minor children. What concerns me the most is that these are the reported cases that we are aware of. I worry about how many more have gone undetected. The perpetrators who violated the 42-year-old woman last week are still residing, held unaccountable, at the West camp. Mad Dads, like other groups of people who were providing service and support to the camps including medics and port-a-potty cleaners, pulled out of working at the encampment citing safety concerns. I have received credible reports from residents who have witnessed multiple guns present at the encampments. 


While these challenging themes are not new, they are unique in their scale and size to this location. It is true that violence against women and children is not always preventable, but I cannot stand by to either normalize this level of known abuse (some elected leaders have told me “that’s just the way it is”) or enable it. I believe we hold the responsibility of interrupting this cycle of sexual abuse and gun violence. I have listened to many conversations with neighbors who are working through issues of complicity, accountability, and sorting through the complexities of what it means to take action and say "enough is enough.” 


I stand with confidence in stating that the situation that has been created at the West encampment is not safe, sustainable, or healthy for both unhoused and housed residents. Parks, while attention grabbing, are not a housing solution. I support us in continuing to work in a holistic manner to house unhoused residents while working swiftly to sunset the West encampment. I welcome authentic and consensual discussions that lead to sustainable solutions to provide for our community in ways that do not sacrifice the safety of women and children. 


Please feel free to join me for a virtual community conversation about this learning and journey that we’ve just all experienced this Sunday, August 16th at 8:00 p.m.  


In community, 





Immediate Shelter and Housing:  

There are currently about 50 private rooms available for families at both St. Anne’s and People Serving People. We continue to implore all families with children to contact Hennepin County shelter team at 612-348-9410 so that they can get into one of these safe places today.    


Hennepin County has Waypointwhich is an app/mobile platform intended to provide a comprehensive list of resources for people experiencing homelessness or financial hardship.   

Here’s more info about what’s included and how it works: 


Rental Assistance and Resources:  

In addition, the County has provided up to $15 million in rental assistance funding. This application is live and should be sought by those who fear eviction due to financial pressures related to COVID-19. Use this link:  


More information about the City’s homeless response and efforts to create affordable housing can be found here:       



Update: Mayor’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids

September 2019

In April 2018, the Mayor’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids met for the first time and was organized into four Sub-Committees: Prevention; Treatment, Recovery and Peer Support; Community Systems Integration; and Child Protection and Criminal Justice Sub-Committee.  These sub-committees made 18 recommendations including 51 Action Steps. A summary of the recommendations and the Mayor’s Recommended 2020 Budget to address them is included here.
Some of the recommendations from the Task Force are being addressed by Hennepin County’s Opioid Prevention Strategic Framework which you can read at Specifically, the Hennepin County Jail and Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility is helping people inside the facilities who are dealing with addiction.


Includes Primary Prevention such as preventing people from using opioids to begin with). Secondary Prevention is working with opioid users to help them stop. Tertiary Prevention is working with opioid users to make sure they are as safe as can be in their circumstances. All strategies with an eye to youth and cultural relevancy.

Treatment, Recovery and Peer Support

The focus of the recommendations in this area are two-fold: Increase the availability/access to treatment and improve the flow between treatment, aftercare, and recovery services.

Community Systems Integration

This sub-committee was focused on all the systems a person might encounter during their opioid use and in their pursuit of treatment and recovery. The recommendations in this area ensure that these systems communicate with each other and that the user can seamlessly move among the systems. Recommendations are focused on the treatment system, hospitals, public health, enforcement, housing, and corrections.

Child Protection and Criminal Justice Reform

More needs to be done to understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on infants and children.  Informal reports indicate that the opioid epidemic is creating a new set of challenges for the child protective and correctional system.  Who is affected and how they are affected are two questions that need to be answered.  Recommendations here are about asking the questions and seeking the data to answer the questions.  Developing a dashboard, providing cultural training and providing services for pregnant women addicted to opioids are key. You can read the full recommendations of the Mayor’s Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force on Opioids online at:

Mayor’s Recommended 2020 Budget

The Mayor recommends $105,000 in on-going funding and $300,000 in one-time funding to the Health Department to support the City's response to the opioid crisis. Funding will provide resources for the design and implementation of a hospital and community-based program (similar to Next Step) that will be implemented in conjunction with non-profit partners, Hennepin Health, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services. Individuals admitted to the emergency room due to an opioid related incident would be connected to culturally relevant support staff and resources including patient recovery for up to one year. Funding is also being allocated to address the immediate and ongoing public health hazard caused by used syringe litter.

The Task Force action steps the Mayor’s proposed funding would help implement:

The Task Force action steps that Hennepin County is helping to implement:


If you have questions about the City’s work to address the opioid crisis or if you’d like to share feedback on the City’s work on this front, please contact City staff member Suzanne Young at 612-358-4167 or via email at [email protected].

Cleaning Up Syringes in our Neighborhoods

September 2019

Who can I call to pick up used syringes on my block?

There is one community-based group that does syringe litter clean up based on resident requests. There are other non-profit groups in the area that also do pick-ups targeting their neighborhood. You can also call the City for help. Here are the details:

Syringe Disposal Kiosks

The City will be installing Syringe Disposal Kiosks in challenged areas of south Minneapolis by October 18, 2019. Currently, the City is securing permission from the appropriate property owners to install the kiosks. If you have questions about the Syringe Disposal Kiosks, if you want to report a broken kiosk, or if you want to share general feedback on the kiosk program, please contact the City’s Health Department Opioid Team at 612-358-4167.

Neighborhood Needle Sweeps

The City’s goal is to begin doing neighborhood needle sweeps by September 11, 2019 with a company trained in needle pick-ups to conduct the sweeps. The employees doing the pick-ups will wear high visibility vests, so they can be easily recognized by the community. They will also wear safety gloves and carry yard rake tools. Please note, the employees doing the sweeps will not be allowed to pick-up needles located on private property.

Schedule and Pick-Up Route

On rotating days for three days out of the week, the needle sweep team will be picking up needles between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The pick-up route will include sweeps on Bloomington Avenue South between Franklin Avenue and East Lake Street. The route will also include sweeps along the Greenway between Park Avenue and Hiawatha Avenue.


If you have questions, feedback, or want to report a problem with the neighborhood needle sweeps, please contact the City’s Health Department Opioid Team at 612-358-4167.

Can I pick up and dispose of used syringes myself?

The short answer is, yes. While the City does not expect residents to feel safe picking up used needles, you are allowed to dispose of used syringes that you find on your lawn or property. In Minnesota, the law allows residents to dispose of used sharps in a heavy plastic container with a lid (sealed with tape) and placed into the garbage. Never place loose needles in the trash. 

Before you pick-up any used needles yourself, please take precaution and prepare by reading the City’s Solid Waste website and following these tips from the City of Seattle Department of Health and Massachusetts:

Council Member Cano's Statement on the Release of Video Footage of the Officer Involved Shooting of Mr. Thurman Blevins

July  29, 2018

**Please note that the MPD video footage below is very graphic and may cause deep discomfort or trauma in young people and other viewers.**


Tonight, after hearing the community's request for transparency, Mayor Frey released the body worn camera video footage of the officer-involved shooting of Mr. Thurman Blevins. You can access the video here:

I send my deepest condolences to the Blevins family and feel so much sadness for the painful moments they are having to relive through this release. My heart goes out to the family.

I am thankful to our Mayor for taking this step to ensure more police accountability. Mayor Frey led a careful and sensitive approach to releasing this footage, which involved working closely with Council Members and meeting with the Blevins family. I have to admit that this video was very painful and hard to watch. In the coming days, weeks and months, I want to be here for all of us. I am still processing many of the thoughts and feelings that this incident has caused. As the hours progress, I want to share a few things with you in the hopes we can stay connected, be in community together through this journey, and lead together with fairness, love, and compassion.

As the Chair of our City's Public Safety Committee, I will be hosting open community office hours this Tuesday, July 31st from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at El Nuevo Miramar Restaurant located at 501 E. Lake Street. I welcome everyone that wants to talk with me about the video, the incident, and any questions regarding the investigation process.

This week the Public Safety Committee will meet jointly with the Intergovernmental Relations Committee at 2:30 p.m. in City Hall, we will have a public hearing, this is another opportunity for you to come share your voice on improving police community relations. Additionally, on Thursday, August 23rd at 1:30 p.m. the Public Safety Committee will meet for it's regularly scheduled meeting. We will once again host a public comment period at the beginning of our meeting to hear your voice.

It's my understanding that the BCA has presented their findings to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman who will then need to make a decision on the case. As with any officer-involved shooting, the MPD Internal Affairs Unit will automatically open an internal use of force review. This means the case remains an open investigation for MPD and will thus limit our Chief of Police's ability to comment publicly on the matter. I am hoping to be able to share more about this topic in the days to come so as many people as possible are aware of the process and can share their perspectives and questions about it.

As we continue to engage with one another on this, please know that there are community resources and people ready to support. The video below was produced through ReCAST Minneapolis in collaboration with Resmaa Menakem, Dr. Joi Lewis, and SwayHeavy Productions to help community process traumatic events in the African American community. Please share this link with your friends, family, and neighbors. While we know we have a long road ahead, we do not need to walk it alone.

Con amor y paz,




Council Member Cano's Statement on the Shooting at Little Earth


May 03, 2018


Dear Neighbors,

This past Wednesday night, a shooting took place at the Little Earth community which left six people injured. My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and to our entire Phillips neighborhood during this difficult time. We know that violence at this scale impacts victims as well as everyone around them.

The details of the incident can be accessed on the Minneapolis Police Department website at I am thankful no one has died and that officers from the Third Precinct were already nearby and responded quickly, taking three suspects into custody and recovering a gun. Thank you to the witnesses who were very cooperative and to our Police Chief Arradondo who reached out to Little Earth leadership promptly after the shooting was reported. Deepest gratitude to Mayor Frey for reaching out to me to offer his help and support. 

Below I detail the immediate actions that are taking place to respond to this tragedy. We will continue to update you here on this website about the ongoing work the City will spearhead in collaboration with the community to address this type of violence and promote community safety:

I will be sharing more information on this website about this incident as things progress and evolve. In the meantime, please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and reach out to my office with any questions. You can also call the Minneapolis Police Department Tip Line anonymously at 612.692.8477(TIPS) to share any information that you think is relevant to help solve the current investigation.


Council Member Alondra Cano



Statement on planned Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids

May 25, 2016


I staunchly stand with the immigrant rights community locally and across the country in demanding that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids planned for this month be immediately stopped. These raids – focused on deporting mothers and children fleeing war and violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala as well as young people who crossed the border as unaccompanied minors – are wrong and inhumane. Despite public statements to the contrary, the Obama administration is planning to conduct these raids to break up immigrant families who are more accurately defined as refugees given the violence taking place in their country of origin.

I support our Minneapolis immigrant rights groups and our human rights community as they call on Senators Klobuchar and Franken to take action to stop these unnecessary, violent, and archaic raids and deportations.



May 3, 2016 Update on the Sandpiper and Line 3 replacement pipelines.

Ward 9 image 03232016

Check out the letter that City Council colleagues Cam Gordon, Andrew Johnson, Lisa Bender, Jacob Frey and I sent to the Environmental Quality Board adding our voices to those of the many Tribal Nations and environmental groups, including MN 350 and Honor the Earth, who have asked that the Environmental review for the Sandpiper and Line 3 Pipelines be transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Pollution Control Agency and the MN Department of Natural Resources. Click here to view

Update regarding Parks Funding


Like many of you, my kids and I have played at Cedar Field Park next to Little Earth and Powderhorn Park. Although these parks serve the most diverse and low-income parts of our city, these parks have seen little improvement over the years. Slides have bullet holes, outdoor drinking fountains stay clogged all summer, sidewalks seem like they've survived an earthquake, chipping paint instead of bright colors is the norm, and outdated equipment goes months in a broken state as children incorporate the malfunction into their play.

So when the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board approached the City of Minneapolis to request a $15 million investment per year for the next 20 years, I've been standing up with our Ninth Ward residents to say - how will this funding improve ‪#‎RacialEquity‬ in our parks?

Today at 10:00 a.m. the City Council's Committee of the Whole will host a public hearing to hear from residents about the Park's funding request. I hope to see many of you here in the Council Chambers so we can hear your views about this matter.

Mayor Hodges has released a statement about her funding proposal as issues of "where will this money come from" and "what will it fund" become points of debate. Please read our Mayor's position in the link below to learn more.

I am still very concerned that there has been little or no attention to how we must incorporate a racial equity funding mechanism into any future investments we make into our parks and street improvement funding plan.

In today's Committee of the Whole meeting I plan to elaborate on this #RacialEquity need and one I have consistently raised with our Mayor. It is not enough to hope that these future dollars will be spent in an intentional way to prioritize our most diverse and low-income areas. Addressing the parks that have been neglected and under-invested in over decades takes intentional and public commitment. It is extremely important that we as a City Council promote and advance a racial equity funding formula in any moneys we allocated towards improving our parks and streets. I've already written to the Park Superintendent Jayne Miller asking for a list of the neighborhood parks located within the city's Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty, which is a designation by the MetCouncil, so we can begin to think about zeroing in on some priority parks.

Any process to fund the future of our parks and streets must fully engage and be guided by the community. Rushing into any plans to quickly inject moneys into our parks will only leave the people who have always been left out behind yet again.

A completely public, intentional and officially documented process to fund the future of our parks and streets through a racial equity lens is a key element to building a ‪#‎OneMinneapolis‬ - the city so many of us in elected office have promised we would build with and for you.

In other words, a racial equity funding formula must be "baked into the bones" of any funding mechanism the City of Minneapolis puts together for the future of parks and street improvements. Racial equity is no longer a question of "should we do it?" - it is a moral responsibility that demands we simply figure out how to do it.

Although this process might take a little longer time to craft a city ordinance funding the parks and our streets, it is necessary and our community should not accept any excuses for a delay or lack of racial equity language in any Council action we take on this issue.

Please check out our official Ninth Ward City of Minneapolis page to view a map of the city's Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty and a copy of my statement on this issue:

I look forward to hearing from you on how we can help craft a funding package that will prioritize and uplift our city's parks and street improvement projects who have beared the brunt of multiple social vulnerabilities and historic dis-investment. The time to deliver for #RacialEquity is now.

If you aren't able to come to the hearing but want to stay informed. You can also watch it livestream here:




2014 Reflections

Dear Neighbors,

2014 showed us that the future of Minneapolis is about justice.

During our first year serving the people of the Ninth Ward, our city has committed to bold action to address the racial inequities that plague us. As families, students, and community residents you have organized tirelessly to tackle these disparities head-on. Your actions have ensured that decision-makers stay on course to help transform Minneapolis into the equitable community we all deserve to live in.

I want to you for your engagement with the work of the city this year. I am proud to have fought with you every step of the way. From making a motion to hear your voices at our very first City Council meeting to standing up against the #LatteLevy, which aimed to take budget resources away from investment in fighting climate change and investing in the communities in our city that need it the most in exchange for a tax break for the wealthy, my goal has been to involve you in the decisions that impact you and to engage our communities to help us solve the disparities that are holding us back. 

This philosophy has guided my work on the Council and has allowed us to shape and influence a wide range of policy initiatives, programs and community-based efforts. Below I highlight a few key efforts we strategically took on to ensure we are planting the seeds of racial justice and equity:

Indigenous Peoples Day

From Time magazine to Aljazeera, this powerful resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day received national attention. Even Seattle was jealous. Strengthening our democracy entails changing the narrative of race in our country and we lead this charge at the city policy level. It was an honor to work closely with the Native American Community Development Institute to build on the decades of organizing work in the Native community and create this change. The first Indigenous Peoples Day celebration took place in October at the American Indian Center with thousands of people, community performances and speakers, and a spread of pre-colonial food prepared by Indigenous chefs. Many of you were able to weigh in and share your ideas about how to continue to use this day to push for changes that improve the lives of American Indian families and children. Some may see this as a symbolic gesture but symbols move nations; I am humbled to be a part of the community movement to reclaim our history through this act of decolonization. This effort has opened up more opportunities to empower and elevate the voices of American Indian communities and I look forward to continued work with the Indigenous communities of the Ninth Ward and Minneapolis.

Police-Community Relations

I was listening to your discussions on Ferguson and paying attention to the concerns you shared over the senseless deaths of African American fathers, sons, and brothers. Responding to both the history of Minneapolis policing issues and a burgeoning national movement for improved relations between the community and police we pushed for dialogue and engagement on this topic. Our office sponsored a public session on police-community relations with esteemed leaders Dr. Rose Brewer, Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, author Jason Sole, Titilayo Bediako, WE WIN Institute Youth, and Council colleagues Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden.  We were joined by hundreds of community members committed to  the work of unearthing and uprooting the inequities in our policing system. This action set off additional community forums led by our Mayor and the Chief of Police, marking an unprecedented level of attention and discussion of these challenges from both local government and concerned community members. I welcome all of the work on this issue was pleased to vote for a budget that invests $1 Million in police body cameras but this is only part of the solution. I remain committed to finding long term community-driven solutions that address the challenging relationship between the police and communities of color as well as the deep disparities in arrests in our city.

Midtown Farmers Market

Located next to the third-busiest transit intersection in the state and noted as one of the top ten re-development projects of our city, the creation of a permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market has drummed steadily along with our office’s support and prioritization. We’ve had a strong partnership with the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization who is leading the community vision of this new development and we are excited to be working hand-in-hand with our Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin on balancing the needs of the County, the neighborhood, and public transportation. With a 6.5 acre dream of transit-oriented-development our office has been busy advancing this project and grounding it in the community needs of accessibility, business development, racial equity, and sustainability.

Mercado Central

15 years ago, Minneapolis’ first Latino public market and urban cooperative was established, igniting community revitalization efforts up and down East Lake Street. Today, with our office’s dedicated attention and full support, the Cooperativa Mercado Central has reached a huge milestone – after nearly closing its doors at the beginning of 2014, today it has democratically elected new Board Members, dusted off its management structure, and they have rolled up their sleeves to deepen and improve their membership structure. We’ve invested a lot of time to ensure the continued stability of Mercado Central and we will continue to work with them to ensure that Mercado Central remains a successful immigrant business incubator that anchors the Latino community on East Lake Street. 

I want to express my gratitude for the honor of doing this work for you and alongside you. My staff and I are excited for a busy year continuing to move policy and projects forward around supporting small businesses, environmental sustainability and energy justice, supporting immigrant communities, economic justice, workers and renters rights, community art projects, and urban agriculture. As always, we are here to help in any way that we can. Please contact us if we can be of assistance or if you have any feedback about our work.






Last updated Aug 13, 2020



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