Council Member Phillipe Cunningham — Phone: 673-2204
Web page: minneapolismn.gov/council/ward4/index.htm
Contact Form: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/ward 4/contact-ward
Thank everyone for attending the last Quarterly Convening of 2018! We had a great group of residents show up and participate. The meeting was organized into two parts: an overview of the 2019 proposed City budget and its impacts on the Northside, as well as an update on the Ward 4 Action Plan and progress on its goals.
It has been a busy, productive year in our office with leading and supporting some big work! First, the City Council unaminously passed the updated Conduct on Licensed Premises Ordinance, which clarifies the process and provides needed resources and services to tenants and landlords to sustainably address chronic criminal and disruptive behaviors in our neighborhoods. Before the end of the year, we will also pass a pilot program – MFD mobile integrated healthcare – which will provide low-level medical services during emergency calls. It is very costly to send out a $500,000 big fire truck for a strained ankle! This pilot program includes a 2019 budget investment for five new positions in the Fire Department to staff the work. By providing these medical services, the City is saving a lot of money AND research shows this greatly reduces return ER visits for aftercare and reduces the overall costs to the patient and taxpayers.
We are also working with our State Representative Fue Lee to identify how we can more equitably address property/special assessments. While it is great we are finally seeing investments being made at a disproportionate rate in Northside roads, the additional cost burden of special assessments is placed on working people who cannot afford any extra expenses. You can defer the cost with interest if you are 65+ or have a disability; however, this can cause families to lose the ability to build generational wealth. If someone with unpaid assessments passes away, the money becomes due immediately to their next of kin. We are working to determine what we can do to create a more equitable system.
With the recent tragic death of Travis Jordan, many on the Northside have been asking why the MPD’s mental health co-responded program is not in the 4th Precinct (the Police Precinct that serves Wards 4 and 5). Because the 2019 proposed budget to expand only to downtown, I have been pushing for months for a citywide expansion of the program, particularly to cover North Minneapolis. I am currently working with my City Council colleagues to include this citywide expansion, as well as a robust violence prevention investment package in the 2019 City budget.
My approach to public safety is through a public health lens. That means investing in evidence-based strategies for violence prevention, intervention and enforcement, as well as addressing community and childhood trauma and the re-entry needs of formerly incarcerated back into our community. I am wholeheartedly committed to this work. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and out in the community. I am leading the work to create the Office of Violence Prevention and Intervention. It is a national best practice to have such an office for all of the violence prevention efforts the City leads to be more effectively coordinated. Additionally, in 2019, we will be updating the Blueprint for Violence Prevention, which will lay out a roadmap to addressing the aspects of public health approach to public safety.