Increase social connectedness through engagement, capacity building, public investment, and opportunities for economically vulnerable residents to improve their economic prosperity and resilience to climate change.
Generate and download a Populations at Risk report for your city based upon current socioeconomic data (note: sometimes estimated) on Young & Elderly Populations, Race & Ethnicity, Educational Attainment, Language Proficiency, Individuals in Poverty, Families in Poverty, Households Receiving Public Assistance, Labor Participation, Housing Affordability, Rental & Mobile Homes, Potentially Vulnerable Households, Potentially Vulnerable People.
The Racial Equity Toolkit (Government Alliance on Race and Equity: 2016) provides best practices for engaging communities of color, and is being used by the League of MN Cities.
low-income solar or weatherization with workforce development
urban agriculture with workforce development
post-incarceration reentry assistance
culturally-appropriate mentoring and peer support programs
The UM-Extension Model of Civic Engagement brings together experience, information and diverse perspectives in a respectful process, allowing communities to reach decisions that are more thoughtful, broadly supported and ultimately sustainable.
See The National Civic League's Civic Index, a self-assessment tool comprising 32 questions that measure and help discussion of a community’s civic capital – the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities that communities use to make decisions and solve problems.
The Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard was created by Twin Cities, MN community leaders to make sure that the principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are available to all communities as they plan for economic development and wealth creation that benefits everyone.
Resilience hubs are community-serving facilities that coordinate resource distribution and services before, during and/or after natural hazard events to support the resilience of existing residents.
Green Zones focus governmental and local business resources toward transforming neighborhoods overburdened with pollution hotspots into more environmentally and economically just neighborhoods.
Conduct community engagement events specifically targeted to vulnerable and underserved demographic groups in the community; hold meetings in diverse and accessible locations and provide translators and interpreters, childcare, stipends, and/or meals for participants; document input regarding community-identified needs, strategies and recommendations, and take follow-up actions to resolve problems/vulnerabilities brought to the city’s attention.
Implement a program of targeted training, job placement, and/or supportive services specifically designed to meet identified needs of economically vulnerable residents and improve their prosperity while increasing community resilience.
Build local community power and leadership by engaging underserved neighborhoods and investing in grassroots development of community resilience hubs to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services every day, during disruption, and throughout recovery after natural hazard events.
Who's doing it
Brooklyn Center - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Directed by the Cities of Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, BrookLynk is a youth employment program dedicated to addressing our regional talent and workforce needs through a strategy that explicitly supports and invests in young people facing barriers to employment. BrookLynk is a program developed in partnership between the schools, cities, community partners and youth. Launched in 2015 in response to findings that over 60% of youth in the Brooklyns were not participating in summer programming; and that middle and high school aged youth, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, did not have the skills or connections needed for post-secondary and career success. Also combined with a business community that was struggling to attract and retain talent, led to the development of BrookLynk, a youth employment program with three components: 21st century skill building and training, experiential employment opportunities and development of social capital.
The Mayor, City Manager, and Assistant City Manager went door-to-door in two parts of town, asking residents what actions could be taken by the city to improve quality of life. If constituents had an issue, the three took notes and asked the appropriate staff to respond. The City also started a weekly e-newsletter and increased posting on social media.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The newsletter now has 900 subscribers. The City's Facebook following ballooned from 1,400 to 2,700.
The program was also recognized by the Alliance for Innovation
Austin implemented a targeted outreach effort to its most vulnerable residents (primarily immigrant populations), supported in part with a Best Practice 29 Event Sponsorship. Surveys (click on "view file" below to see the survey questions) were administered individually as African, Asian, and Latino clients came to the Welcome Center through late May and mid-June. These were people who typically did not speak English well, if at all. The surveys were read in the client’s language. Some guidance with regard to meaning was provided, but it was suggested that they answer questions to the best of their ability and understanding. A focus group addressing issues of living in the City, availability and quality of City services, extreme weather preparedness, and information sources was held June 30, 2016. Five Karen women volunteered for the focus group out of the groups surveyed, and all of the women participated in the conversation. Five Karen families were represented by one family member.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
There were 54 surveys completed. A major outcome of the focus group was identifying the conflict between participants and their landlords. The interpreter expressed that she had heard similar feedback from other families. The participants related climate change more to seasonal change and how changes in temperature impact their budgets and choices, if any, with regard to housing. The City handed out SMART schedules to identify transit routes that will work for them. An idea for SMART to give a presentation to non-English speakers about how to utilize the system was well received. Information was provided to the interpreter on energy efficiency rebate programs. The fire and police departments were asked to provide the Welcome Center with materials on emergency and weather-related concerns. The Planning and Zoning Administrator will follow up on the housing issues discussed. The City will provide information from the survey and focus group to the City’s consultants to help achieve better communication and participation, improve the delivery of services and create more resiliency by creating better access and a working relationship to address problems when they arise.
In February of 2017, the City hosted two focus groups to gather feedback from the community for the development of its first Resilience and Sustainability Plan. The subject of one of these focus groups was supporting vulnerable populations in Golden Valley. The attendees of this focus group were all professionals who work to provide services to vulnerable populations in Golden Valley. Feedback provided by participants was incorporated into the objectives, policies, and strategies outlined in the City’s Resilience and Sustainability Plan, which was completed in July 2017. The City intends to continue this conversation and initiate actions to address the needs of vulnerable populations.
The City of Inver Grove Heights participates in Night to Unite, which is focused on in-person community engagement with residents by City Staff. During this event, the City's department heads visit neighborhoods throughout the city to have one-on-one conversations with residents. Staff answer residents' questions and listen to their complains, suggestions, or concerns. Staff also spread news regarding the city's goals and projects. The information collected from the community conversations is used to inform the city's planning of future goals and projects.
Lexington along with the Centennial Police Department participates in Night to Unite to focus on meeting our residents in person and opening communication with them. During this event officers and other city employees attend block parties, visit neighborhoods and listen to residents concerns , suggestions and complaints. They answer questions and update them on what is happening in our city.
The Lexington Fire Department also holds an open house in September of each year to allow residents an opportunity to learn how to help protect their homes & family and see what innovations have been adopted that make our community safer.
Our web-site has a news section where residents can see current events as well as access past newsletters. This site is connected to our Facebook page and all current & upcoming events are posted there as well.
1. The City of Maplewood's Nature Center holds workshops and educational opportunities to teach residents practical skills in urban agriculture as part of the Edgerton Community Garden programming; trees as part of the City's requirements as a Tree City USA; and raingardens as part of our ongoing efforts to improve water quality through stormwater best practices.
2. In 2016 Maplewood began a partnership with Ramsey County to promote and offer space for monthly Fix It Clinics. The free events allow residents to get items repaired such as small equipment (such as a lamp or desktop radio) and small sewing projects (such as mending ripped pants). This allows residents to save money and reduces waste.
3. In 2015 Maplewood held a series of workshops at the Maplewood Community Center designed to build partnerships with local businesses. One of the workshops help in the spring of 2015 was a career day. Students from local high schools and collages were offered an opportunity to meet with local business staff to discuss their career goals, and get advice on moving forward with their education and career paths.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Number of events and attendees at workshops, educational opportunities, Fix It Clinics, and Career Day events.
Starting in 2017 and continuing thru today and into the future, the City Council has taken deliberate and intentional actions to increase community engagement. With the hiring of a new police chief, outreach was defined as a primary goal. From a singular event – Nite to Unite, Mounds View PD now engages in 10 separate outreach events, including the highly popular Daddy Daughter Dance.
In addition to the 10 events (Cone with a Cop, Climbing Rockwall, Shop with a Cop, Street Hockey, Bowl with a Cop, Nite to Unite Pre Party Veterans Day Memorial, Daddy Daughter), MVPD launched a “New Americans Academy” to work with ELS students in educating them about public safety and the judicial system and building trust as part of that effort.
Since 2019 we have the host of Ghana Fest and just prior to the onset of COVID, hosted the Ghana Independence Festival. Also in 2019, MVPD created a Neighborhood Resource Officer to lend particular assistance to multi-family jurisdictions and in partnership with Code/Fire Enforcement, addressed and worked to resolve tenant-landlord disputes. The vast majority of residents are economically vulnerable.
In January of 2021, the City will operate their own Parks and Recreation program after a 21 year partnership with the YMCA. While our partnership was fruitful for both, all programming was Y oriented with a new direction in which we continue the best programs, but also embark on new ones. Examples of this include a partnership with Quincy House for teen activities in our Center and a new program targeted specifically for seniors.
Investments made by council include upgrades to the community center and construction of a new city hall park with a splash pad. The Community Center daily fee is set at $1 for residents to encourage community engagement while the splash pad has no fee associated.
Lastly, the Council continues to make public investments in critical infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, parks) but also in workforce housing with one project opening fall of 2019 and a second project under development.