Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council are seeking applications from community members and others to serve on a 21-person anti-displacement task force for the extension of the Blue Line light rail line, which will connect downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park.
The application deadline is January 14th.
The aim of the working group is to ensure during construction that existing residents and companies along the route are not displaced. It will have 21 founding members made up of community members, government officials, and staff from foundations and philanthropic organizations in the project area.
The Metropolitan Council has engaged the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to work with communities in northern Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park “to plan the potential for current and future evictions , Construction and operation of the Blue Line light rail “, it says in a press release.
Community members joining the working group are asked to commit for twelve to eighteen months as needed.
Jeff Lunde, County Commissioner of Hennepin, whose district includes all cities through which the extended line will pass, with the exception of North Minneapolis, said in a statement that anti-displacement efforts will be critical to the success of the project, and added: urged this initiative together with Commissioner Fernando. Even if our districts are confronted with different challenges and different development landscapes, we share the goal that this project benefits the current residents. “
Commissioner Irene Fernando’s district includes northern Minneapolis. She said in a statement that the working group is giving the community the opportunity “to shape the policy and to use their experience in programming that will ensure that current residents of the corridors experience the lasting benefits of the light rail system”.
Reva Chamblis, a Metropolitan Council member who lives in Brooklyn Park, said the long-term success of transit projects depends on strong community support.
“While planning the METRO Blue Line Extension project, I heard community concerns about the negative impact of the project on neighborhoods and fears of being evicted from their homes and businesses. I appreciate the willingness of the project to hear and address these concerns, ”said Chamblis.
Apply to join the working group
You can apply online at https://mybluelineext.org/anti-displacement or by calling CURA at 612-625-1551. The application deadline is January 14th.
About Tom Gitaa
Born and raised in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the founder, president and publisher of Mshale. As the founder, he did a lot of coverage during the newspaper’s humble beginnings. While he still reports occasionally, he is now concentrating on the journalistic side of the news business. Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs program on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), available nationwide in the United States via the Dishnetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel Prize winners such as the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the Peace Prize, and heads of state such as the President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, at the State House in Banjul. Tom has served on and led various boards, including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. Previously, he was President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest book donor to Africa. He also serves on the boards of the New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. Tom also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the United Nations. After turning 50, he retired from running full marathons and now focuses only on half marathons.