POSTED: April 15th, 2014 • Latest News

The Community Engagement Team (CET) of the Corridors of Opportunity was able to secure McKnight funds to do a third round of Community Engagement grants along transit-way corridors. The previous two rounds were made possible with HUD funding.  The third round was targeted at organizations who had previously received CET grants and had built traction towards achieving specific transitway project related goals and new organizations who were primed to carry out engagement activities to ensure that underrepresented communities are engaged in the decision making, planning, and benefits of transit related development. In total, the third round provides 16 grants along 10 transit-way corridors.

In addition to the funding, the CET will provide technical assistance to the grantees and continue to coordinate bridging meetings between community organizations and Corridor managers.

Grants awarded include:

African Career, Education & Resource, Inc. (ACER), $20,000

The “Making Transit Meaningful” engagement project will engage existing and new business owners, train people who are interested in starting a small business along the Bottineau Transitway and empower underrepresented groups to hold companies that receive public subsidies accountable for community benefits.

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) $5,000

AEDS will engage low income African immigrants to be connected and be part of decision making process through Little Africa, a transit oriented place based development. The primary focuses of this project is to engage with African immigrant residents, business owners, and district council, cities and states elected officials: Transforming the community through civic engagement.

Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), $25,000

AEDA will coordinate a community engagement initiative, the TOD Engagement Project, to ensure traditionally underrepresented low income people of color, refugee, and immigrant stakeholders in Saint Paul’s Frogtown and Summit University neighborhoods play key roles in shaping a major transit-oriented development project at the Green Line Western Station.

African Immigrant Services (AIS), $10,000

The project seeks to organize African business owners in the Northwest suburbs, especially along the Bottineau Corridor, to explore the best option to influence decision making which helps them increase access to economic opportunities around the five nodal points—97 Avenue, 93rd Avenue, 85th Avenue, 63rd Avenue, and Brooklyn Boulevard.

All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC), $5,000

APAC will work with residents, park resident associations, and other partners to conduct information and listening sessions, and resident surveys regarding transit, infrastructure development, affordable housing, job opportunities, workforce development, and economic development along the Rush line.

Asian Media Access (AMA), $16,000

Led by Asian Media Access, Project Sweetie Pie, and the APA ComMNet Collaborative, Project PENN (Places for Entertaining, Networking and Nurturing) is an innovative and effective placed based Initiative that engages underrepresented communities (low-income/communities of color, and refugees/immigrants) in leadership roles to develop an economic development scan/action plan for North Minneapolis.

Intercongregation Communities Association Food Shelf/Blake Road Collaborative $20,000

This project utilizes strategies such as the Corridor Development Initiative to create opportunities for underrepresented communities along Blake Road to create a vision and participate in the decision-making processes for transit oriented development in the Blake Road neighborhood of Hopkins.

CAPI USA, $10,000

CAPI seeks to build its capacity to promote career pathways in demand industries for unemployed/under-employed immigrants living in Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and North Minneapolis. With CET technical assistance, CAPI seeks to enhance immigrant awareness on how to influence Bottineau Corridor decision-making to yield more and better jobs for immigrants.

Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program (CRNRP), $10,000

CRNRP and the West Bank Community Coalition will address the availability and utilization of resources at government and other public and private organizational levels for transit oriented development  adjacent to the two LRT stations located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. The project addresses the challenges facing the numerous immigrant and minority business including the lack of awareness and access to many resources that can assist these businesses.

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), $25,000

The Good Job Opportunities in Corridor Development Project will create a network linking living wage job opportunities to immigrant communities of color in South Minneapolis, and provide job placement support, labor rights education, and leadership opportunities. The project will also do outreach within immigrant communities of color related to Bottineau corridor development, identifying leaders who can participate in decision-making processes.

East Side Prosperity Campaign/Hmong American Partnership, $18,000

The Engage East Side project will formalize the resident leadership network as a body of representation for the East Side of St. Paul in transit development. The project will create a leadership committee, facilitate learning and capacity building for the group, and continue to do outreach to underrepresented communities.

La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, $16,000

La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles will organize Latino immigrant faith communities living and working near the Cedar Ave. corridor to influencing decision-making in order to share in the benefits of these investments. The project will host public forums, provide leadership development training, and build systemic change.

New American Academy (NAA), $15,000

New American Academy and its immigrant stakeholders will work to ensure that the SWLRT project investment should include affordable housing, jobs, business development and accessible public transportation for the Southwest’s low-income communities of color. In order to achieve these goals, NAA formed Southwest Corridor Immigrant Council (SWCIC). The Council is created by the NAA to discuss, advocate and engage the necessary issues, challenges and opportunities for the low-income and historically underrepresented community along the SWLRT.

Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), $20,000

NACDI will engage residents and cultural communities at the Franklin Station in South Minneapolis to design and implement a community public art project as a part of the Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Marketplace, to build community ownership of the station area and increase access and usage of public transportation.

West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBBAC), $10,000

To build the capacity of and consensus among those directly impacted by pending transit investments along West Broadway Avenue to advocate for themselves and ensure North Minneapolis receives the transit investments needed to support healthy, equitable development and job creation.

West Side Community Organization (WSCO), $25,000

Leverage awareness and relationships developed with emerging leaders in underrepresented communities to primarily target improved local bus service and to secondarily target the final planning stages of the Robert Street Alternatives Analysis, including engaging communities to be prepared to effectively respond to the eventual environmental impact and federal funding assessments.