Linea Palmisano Defends Controversial Cuts to Racial Equity, Clean Energy

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Linea Palmisano's campaign website
Palmisano says the city is already doing plenty to move racial equity and energy efficiency initiatives forward

One of the Minneapolis City Council's staunchest supporters of budget cuts says she has an elderly widow in her ward who needs a part-time job to pay for her skyrocketing property taxes.

"Yesterday I received an email from a woman named Lenore who is in her 70s," said southwest Councilwoman Linea Palmisano on tpt's Almanac program Friday night.

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Minneapolis Slashes Funding For Clean Energy Partnership Before Celebrated Initiative is Launched

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Minneapolis Slashes Funding for Clean Energy Partnership Before Celebrated Initiative is Launched

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Thirteen of Clubs via Creative Commons
Is Minneapolis serious about reducing energy use?

On Monday the Minneapolis City Council voted 7-6 to cut funding in half for its new "Clean Energy Partnership" before the award-winning initiative was even launched.

The city sent out a press release yesterday trumpeting its selection as one of the White House's 16 "Climate Action Champions," in large part due to the planned partnership between the city and its two major utility companies. Now a movement to cut property taxes by a few dollars has left it on the chopping block.


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Minneapolis Saves Average Homeowner $3 After Marathon Budget Deb
ate


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Minneapolis Saves Average Homeowner $3 After Marathon Budget Debate

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Minneapolis City Hall

Nothing encapsulates the unfathomable tedium of city government quite like a year-end budget meeting.

On Monday the Minneapolis City Council spent more than three hours picking at the mayor's proposed budget in a mostly fruitless attempt to tamp down property taxes. At the end of the meeting a package cutting $620,000 barely passed on a 7-6 vote, saving the city's average homeowner roughly $3 on his or her annual property tax bill.

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Twin Citians Among Best Budgeters in th Country, Study Says

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Council Member Blong Yang Defends Involvement in Community Action of Mpls

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Yang, a first-term council member, doesn't think he should take heat for a scandal that took place before he became involved with the nonprofit.
On the same day officials raided Community Action of Minneapolis, a nonprofit accused in a state audit of misappropriating $800,000 in taxpayers dollars, Minneapolis City Council member Blong Yang defended his short tenure on the organization's board of directors.

Yang, who was appointed to the board early this year -- the audit in question covered 2011 to 2013 -- told us he agreed to serve on Community Action's board at the behest of City Council President Barb Johnson.

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Sen. Barb Goodwin Calls Out Ellison, Other Prominent DFLers Over Nonprofit Scandal


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Military Violated Agreement with Low-Flying Helicopter Training, Minneapolis Officials Say

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Smiley Hill on Twitter
A helicopter hovers over the Minneapolis Federal Reserve building on August 18.
During yesterday's Minneapolis City Council public safety committee meeting, officials threw the military under the bus for the decried helicopter training that took place over the Twin Cities last month.

Matt Clark, assistant police chief, told council members that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman "needed to approve allowing [the military] to train within both cities." But deputy city attorney Peter Ginder said the military violated the agreement by flying helicopters low over both downtowns.

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Mpls public safety chair Blong Yang says he knew nothing about military exercises


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Minneapolis moves toward deregulating bathrooms, allowing everyone in single-stalls

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An ordinance change that would deregulate single-stall bathrooms in Minneapolis is sailing through the City Council process and should receive final approval next week.

The ordinance, which is the work of council member Andrew Johnson, would leave the choice of whether to have unisex bathrooms to individual businesses. Multi-person bathrooms, such as the ones at McDonald's restaurants, wouldn't be impacted.

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Andrew Johnson's ordinance would ban Styrofoam containers in Mpls


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Mpls public safety chair Blong Yang says he knew nothing about military exercises

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Smiley Hill on Twitter
A helicopter hovers over the Minneapolis Federal Reserve building on August 18.
:::: UPDATE (September 11) :::: Due to lack of quorum at yesterday's meeting, the public safety hearing has been rescheduled for September 27.

Tomorrow, the Minneapolis City Council public safety committee will hold a hearing on the loud, scary military training exercises that took place over Minneapolis a few nights in a row last month.

Ahead of that meeting, we asked public safety committee chair Blong Yang what he knew about the military exercises before helicopters were flying overhead. He tells us he wasn't kept in the loop at all.

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Bad timing: Helicopter exercises rile Twin Cities same day Obama questions police militarization


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Minneapolis officials exploring raising minimum wage in city, à la Seattle

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Frey (left) and Cano (right) support the idea of raising Minneapolis's minimum wage. (The two are pictured here with Rep. Ryan Winkler, who led the legislature's effort to increase the statewide minimum wage.)
The message conveyed by protesters who stormed the Uptown McDonald's last week was heard loud and clear by at least a couple members of the Minneapolis City Council.

Council member Alondra Cano tells us she's working with the U.S. Department of Labor to get a sense of the legal challenges the city could face if officials try to follow Seattle's lead and raise the minimum wage within its borders.

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Hell's Kitchen applauds minimum wage increase


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Minneapolis set to introduce police body cam pilot program this fall

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YouTube screengrab
A body-cam wearing police officer.

Minneapolis officials are on the cusp of rolling out the city's first police body camera program.

Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Mayor Betsy Hodges, tells us she expects the Minneapolis City Council to approve a pilot program this fall that will put cameras on roughly three dozen officers. If things go smoothly, full implementation will follow next year.

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MPD cop isn't in trouble for taking photo of festive U of M women

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Mpls City Council approves Lyft/UberX regulations; Blong Yang casts sole nay vote

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Lyft and its mustachioed cars are now legit in Minneapolis.
This morning, the Minneapolis City Council approved an ordinance regulating so-called Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and UberX .

Council also approved changes to the city's taxi ordinance that deregulate cab companies to an extent in hopes they'll be able to compete with the new TNCs.

See also:
Mpls cab companies not thrilled about impending Lyft/UberX ordinance


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