Neighborhood representatives elected to city’s community engagement board

Eight community representatives were elected last night to serve on the city’s Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC) board, which will oversee the next phase of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP).

The Minneapolis City Council voted in the fall of 2008 to form the NCEC to transition from the existing NRP structure, due to end this year.  

NRP is the city’s system of community engagement and funding, developed through legislative action in 1990. It was funded through large tax-increment-financing (TIF) districts and split into two 10-year phases. During that time, the program allowed neighborhoods to revitalize their housing stock, invest in crime-prevention initiatives, create and enhance public spaces and do much more for the benefit of their communities.

Tax legislation in 2001 destabilized NRP funding, which started dwindling before the program’s scheduled end. Prospects for continuing NRP as it existed were grim, so the NCEC was developed and positioned under a newly formed Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. The NCEC will be responsible for the management and allocation of NRP funds and advising city staff and elected officials on community engagement issues.   

Electors representing each neighborhood organization in Minneapolis voted last night to elect community representatives to the NCEC board. Each of the newly elected board members will represent a district of the city — districts developed based on population and neighborhood synergy.

Except for Bryn Mawr, which is in district five, Southwest was split in half. District six to the north includes Kenwood, Lowry Hill, East Isles, Lowry Hill East, Stevens Square, Whittier, East Calhoun, CARAG and Lyndale. District 2 to the south is made up of Cedar Isles-Dean, West Calhoun, Linden Hills, East Harriet, Fulton, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, Armatage, Kenny and Windom.

Longtime community activist Mark Hinds, a Kingfield resident who serves as executive director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, was elected to represent district six. John Finlayson, another community stalwart who serves on the Fulton Neighborhood Association, was elected to represent district two.

District representatives will join eight board appointees from the mayor, City Council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The commission will meet as a whole for the first time June 23.