Great voter turnout, future city council vacancy, neighborhood change discussions & more
Greetings! Here’s city-related news for residents of Ward 1 and beyond.
SLP Voted! Seventy-four percent of voters in SLP turned out for the midterm elections, compared with a statewide turnout of around 61%. A total 24,976 people voted in our city this election, including 8,534 who voted early, most in person at City Hall. Shout out to Ward 1 which had the highest turnout of all the wards, at 76%! Citywide, 1,965 people registered to vote on election day. The hard work of our city elections staff shows in these numbers. Thanks to our citizen poll workers too, who worked long hours on Election Day (and for weeks before) to help us vote. Well done, SLP!
Related: Council received a resignation letter last week from our colleague Larry Kraft, who has been elected to serve in the MN House, representing District 46A which encompasses all of St. Louis Park and a little bit of Edina. I’ll miss Larry a lot on council, and the same time am thrilled to have such a competent, energetic, and hardworking individual representing SLP values and leadership at the state level. Congrats Larry! Watch city communications for information on how Larry’s seat will be filled for the remainder of his term, which runs through the end of 2023.
Share your views on Minnetonka Boulevard redesign: A public hearing is set for Monday, Nov. 21 for the redesign of Minnetonka Blvd. between France Ave. and Hwy. 100. While this is a Hennepin County-led project, the City is a partner and has been involved from the beginning, including soliciting resident input which deeply influenced the proposed final design. You can view that here. Public input is valuable at every stage of the process so if you have concerns or questions, I encourage you to attend the public hearing. You can also email your comments to engineering project manager Joe Shamla here. The Nov. 21 hearing meeting starts at 6:30 pm at City Hall.
Managing change in residential neighborhoods: Single-family neighborhoods can be lovely places to live, but the legacy behind them is in fact pretty ugly. Single-family zoning was deliberately created to keep Black Americans separate from White Americans, and in combination with other racist housing policies that goal has been achieved across America including in SLP. Most SLP residents of color live in multifamily rental housing, and most residents of single-family neighborhoods in SLP are white. Council recently participated in a workshop/exercise to explore ways our single-family neighborhoods can be more aligned with our strategic priorities around racial equity, environmental stewardship, neighborhood-oriented development, and more. You can watch a recording of the workshop here. The outcome of this important discussion will guide us in future policymaking.
Related: Council will be discussing additional topics related to housing and neighborhood development at upcoming meetings, including our Inclusionary Housing Policy (Nov. 14) and Limiting single-family rental properties to retain affordable homeownership opportunities (Nov. 21). You can watch these sessions live here or watch recordings here. Do you have thoughts to share on these topics? Please email me here.
Electrification survey: I’ll admit I’m just starting to understand the how and why of home electrification. And what I’ve learned is that home electrification reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates cleaner indoor air, reduces energy costs, improves safety, and creates jobs. The UN Secretary General’s recent declaration that we are on a “highway to climate hell” exemplifies the urgent need for cities, states, and countries to work faster on solutions, and home electrification has been identified as a key part of the solution to climate change and reducing emissions. The City is collaborating with the Center for Energy Education to survey residents on this topic to establish a baseline of community understanding and inform the design of incentive programs to promote electrification of residential heating/cooling, water heating and appliances in our community. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take the survey here. Takes two minutes and is open through Nov. 15.
Toys & Coats wanted: The SLP PD is hosting a both a Toys for Tots campaign and Coat Drive. Drop new & unwrapped toys at the SLP Police Station, AAA Minneapolis, or Parkway Pizza through Dec. 8. Drop new or gently used coats at the SLP Police Station through November 30. Thanks for helping others!
Fern Hill neighborhood newsletter: I just received Issue #2 of the Fern Hill neighborhood newsletter in my inbox and it’s pretty cool! Well done Fern Hill. If you live in Fern Hill and would like to receive it, email here.
Here’s a select list of upcoming events in SLP:
SLP School Board Listening Session, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6:30 pm, Aquila Elementary School, Media Center. All are invited to speak to school board members.
Birchwood neighborhood Happy Hour, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4:30-6:30 pm, Parkway Pizza. All ages are invited to come & socialize!
St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts Fundraiser, Thursday, Nov. 17, 5-7 pm, REM5 Virtual Reality Laboratory. Support our community arts nonprofit!
Minnetonka Blvd. Reconstruction Public Hearing: Monday, Nov. 21, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers, St. Louis Park City Hall.
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, Tuesday, Dec. 13, train scheduled to arrive around 6 pm. Designed to raise money, food and awareness for local food shelves including our own STEP. Food, beverages & entertainment before the train arrives, in the Historic Walker-Lake area. Come with a cash and/or food donation for STEP!
Thanks for reading and please stay in touch!
I send out a monthly summary of city-related news to Ward 1 residents and interested others, posted here. If you’d like to receive it via email, let me know here.