Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council are seeking applications from community members and others to serve on a 21-person anti-displacement task force for the extension of the Blue Line light rail line, which will connect downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park.
The application deadline is January 14th.
The aim of the working group is to ensure during construction that existing residents and companies along the route are not displaced. It will have 21 founding members made up of community members, government officials, and staff from foundations and philanthropic organizations in the project area.
The Metropolitan Council has engaged the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to work with communities in northern Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park “to plan the potential for current and future evictions , Construction and operation of the Blue Line light rail “, it says in a press release.
Community members joining the working group are asked to commit for twelve to eighteen months as needed.
Jeff Lunde, County Commissioner of Hennepin, whose district includes all cities through which the extended line will pass, with the exception of North Minneapolis, said in a statement that anti-displacement efforts will be critical to the success of the project, and added: urged this initiative together with Commissioner Fernando. Even if our districts are confronted with different challenges and different development landscapes, we share the goal that this project benefits the current residents. “
Commissioner Irene Fernando’s district includes northern Minneapolis. She said in a statement that the working group is giving the community the opportunity “to shape the policy and to use their experience in programming that will ensure that current residents of the corridors experience the lasting benefits of the light rail system”.
Reva Chamblis, a Metropolitan Council member who lives in Brooklyn Park, said the long-term success of transit projects depends on strong community support.
“While planning the METRO Blue Line Extension project, I heard community concerns about the negative impact of the project on neighborhoods and fears of being evicted from their homes and businesses. I appreciate the willingness of the project to hear and address these concerns, ”said Chamblis.
Apply to join the working group
You can apply online at https://mybluelineext.org/anti-displacement or by calling CURA at 612-625-1551. The application deadline is January 14th.