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Alliance For Metropolitan Stability

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Economic Development, Environment

Mission: The alliance for metropolitan stability is a coalition of advocacy and community organizing groups formed in 1994. We work together to advance racial, economic and environmental justice in urban growth and development in the twin cities region. The twin cities region is rich with resources. We want all people to be able to access them, and we believe everyone in our region will benefit when all communities have access to opportunity. We believe the people and places of our region are deeply connected and interdependent. We work to ensure that our regional investments like housing, transit and economic development benefit everyone - especially low-wealth communities and communities of color, people who are often left behind when resources are allocated. These communities have been historically excluded from land-use and project decision making tables, and we are working with public sector leaders to change that. The alliance brings grassroots organizations together to build more power a

Programs: Affordable housing: our work to elevate awarenes about the current housing crisis being experienced across our region is helping to drive important policy and investment discussions among public officials. We have organized this work under 3 "pillars:" preservation, production, and tenant protection. The purchase and conversion of apartment buildings to market rate housing by local and national real estate developers has contributed to a severe shortage of available, affordable housing units. (see schedule o for additional information) there is a growing sense of anxiety among renters and housing advocates about our rental housing trends. Emerging cases of racial discrimination, revelations of sub-standard living conditions, and restrictive rental application practices are contributing to the shortage. We worked with coalition partners to support efforts by the city of minneapolis to require apartment managers to accept applications from prospective tenants who carry section 8 vouchers. A number of cities across hennepin county are examining new policies to grapple with these pressures. They are looking for new ways to address severe management abuses towards tenants, protect renters from displacement and unlawful evictions, support remedies for fixing health and safety code violations, and help preserve existing affordable rental apartment buildings. The alliance is lifting up policies for creating new affordable housing production that center around inclusionary zoning, density bonuses, varience requests, leveraging publicly held land and targeted up zoning. A robust affordable housing policy in all neighborhoods is the best remedy for building a bulwark of housing options for communities facing gentrificaiton and displacement pressures. The alliance is supportive of coalition efforts to expand available funding to address all the pillars of affordable housing needs. We have been active supporters of efforts like the "make homes happen" coalition, which held multiple candidate forums in minneapolis in 2017 to educate the public and policy makers about our housing needs. Mhh will be advocating for a large increase in the minneapolis affordable housing trust fund in the coming years. In early 2017, the alliance began to build a deep partnership with multiple local and regional housing advocacy groups to form a powerful coalition in the sw suburb of eden prairie, mn. The alliance provided capacity building and technical support to this effort and helped make new connections to other like-minded groups. The somali community in eden prairie has worked for many years to persuade city leaders to embrace their economic and social priorities. Affordable housing concerns are at the top of the list, and in april of 2017, over 300 residents from multiple faith and cultural communities in the city came together at a housing forum sponsored by the coalition. This served to jump start local conversations between renters and city officials and allowed the coalition to intervene and force needed changes by apartment managers when reports of tenant's rights abuses surfaced at the forum and other community meetings. Ultimately, new commitments have been bade to site affordable housing in the city, and local advocates have rallied around several new proposed developments, some that would connect residents to major public transit hubs. The alliance also successfully persuaded the city of st. Paul to include affordable housing requirements in their final zoning plan for the historic ford auto plant redevlopment site in the highland neighborhood. We convened a coalition campaign table that united community-based organizations, neighborhood residents, pro-density activists, environmental, transit and housing advocacy groups that secured significant commitments for affordable housing in the fall of 2017. Knowing the city was building a new neighborhood from scratch at the 130 acre site, we advocated that low-wealth people of color could not be excluded from the opportunity to live in this new community. City officials agreed and passed a plan that requires 20% of all residential units to be affordable - that's 800 units at maximum density. Half fo those units (400 apartments) will be affordable at 30% of the area median income. That means housing opportunities for people making the minimum wage of 9. 50 per hour, for persons with disabilities, for seniors on a fixed income, and for people carrying section 8 vouchers. The other 400 units will be affordable at 50% and 60% of the ami. The victory in st. Paul will serve as a model for future large-scale development in the twin cities region. Places like the upper harbor terminal development in north minneapolis, the towerside development in the prospect park neighborhood, future lrt station areas like the bassetts creek valley master plan, the former tcaap site in arden hills, mn and others.

transit equity: our transit equity work is driven by the goal of including community-based leadership in regional planning, project design and infrastructure investment decisions. Organizing efforts have had both a west metro and east metro focus and promote strategies to improve metropolitan level planning, expand our regional transit and active transportation systems, and create an unprecedented network of connectivity to economic and social opportunity. (see schedule o for additional information) much of the alliance's programatic activities in this area in 2017 revolved around employing equitable development tools and strategies along transit cooridors, including promotion of the "equitable development principles & scorecard. " the scorecard is a tool that helps communities evaluate current and future development in their communities using an equity lens. We heard that the value of this tool for communities is to provide them with a starting point to secure predictable community benefits. We heard from government there is value in having specific indicators of equitable development. We heard from developers that it is good to have specific targets to aim for when the community or public sector asks for equitable development. The metropolitan council has adopted the scorecard into the workplan for the office of transit-oriented development and included it in its toolkit for local planning. Agencies like metro transit and the city of saint paul planning and economic development department are evaluating the use of the scorecard in their future development decisions.

equity in place: working with the center for urban and regional affairs, the alliance co-convened the equity in place coalition table, a collection of organizations representative of and led by communities of color that are coordinating efforts with the metropolitan council to identify and engage community efforts to increase economic and social opportunities in the region. The goal of this effort is to shape equity- driven investments, policies and plans; and we are working to change the dynamics of community engagement by leading with community voices and with a race and class analysis. (see schedule o for additional information) equity in place is a diverse group of strategic partners from place-based, housing, and advocacy organizations. We believe that everyone in the twin cities region deserves to live where they wish to live and have access to opportunity. Our region benefits from many assets, but we continue to be unable to translate these benefits to everyone, specifically to communities of color. Equity in place engages community-based organizations in influencing planning and investments that will shape the future of the twin cities region. Hud has asked the twin cities to re-do its regional analysis of impediments (rai), finding that the one most recently submitted failed to adequately address rcaps, segregation and access to opportunity. Alliance staff and other equity in place members have been working with local and regional hud staff about this process as well as other aspects of the fair housing complaints filed last year. Hud wanted to construct a new rai process here that emphasized inclusive community engagement and can serve as a national model. The agency offered equity in place 4 (of 12) seats on an advisory committee of stakeholders for this process. At the decision making table, we advocated for fair enforcement of committee rules, and secured a much more equitable analysis of fair housing in our region. Our partners elevated the need to construct community revitalization policies with the meaningful involvement of people of color, countered negative narratives and deficit-based theories regarding communities of color, and challenged efforts to focus on desegregation rather than targeted investment that creates opportunity for all residents. This has been a rich body of work that has changed how community expertise is valued in fair housing discussions, and how decision-making about important housing decisions are made.

2. Hire minnesota: the alliance provides core staff support to hire minnesota, a campaign to end employment disparities in minnesota. Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in employment in the country. But hire minnesota has set an ambitious goal: to bring our state from worst to first in employment equity. Hire minnesota has helped large public agencies like the minnesota department of transportation and the metropolitan council increase the number of people of color and women in the workforce that builds our state's roads, bridges and transitways and other . Major construction and infrastructure projects in the state. Hiring goals on public projects: on the vikings stadium, hire minnesota, the project's employment assistance firm (eaf, which is led by summit academy oic), government agencies and the contractors have worked together to exceed the 32 percent goal for hours performed by people of color. As of december 2015, people of color have worked 37 percent of the hours on the construction of the stadium and the related construction projects being managed by ryan companies. We estimate that this has created well over 1,000 jobs for people of color. More than 800 people have been recruited into the eaf, including 165 who are ready to work. To date, 74 eaf enrollees have been hired to work on the stadium. This work has brought an estimated 33 million in wages to communities of color. Equitable hiring and workforce systems change: hire minnesota connected with several members of mspwin to coordinate efforts to build the political will to implement the recommendations of its white paper on snap employment and training improvements. Through a variety of public and private meetings and testimonies, hire helped secure the attention of the governor's office, as well as deed and dhs leadership.

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