About ten months ago the Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) closed its office at its long term location at 38th and Pleasant moved in with the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) at 35th and Nicollet. This was both out of necessity, and opportunity. Working side by side (with masks and 6’ apart!) provides both organizations the opportunity to increase our successful collaborations on civic engagement projects, fun events like Nicollet Open Streets, but also assuring food security, engaging environment projects, and communications like this newspaper. In the face of shrinking resources from the city, there was also a financial necessity to consolidating offices.
Together we are rebranding the space as the South Nicollet Action Center and we had an extensive schedule for events and activities planned to reinvigorating the Nicollet Avenue storefront throughout 2020. About nine months ago, COVID-19 was recognized in Minnesota and we closed our doors in accordance with the health mandate and shelved our event plans. Not working in the space, however, has not stopped either neighborhood associations’ work in our community, both independently and together. Both KFNA and LNA have spent the nine months providing vital communications to our constituents regarding COVID, curfews, food access, Census 2020, safety recommendations, encampments and housing, as well as passing on communications for the City and the State. Through the last nine months KFNA and LNA have also partnered on projects to advance anti-racism and organizing weekly food drives for our neighbors and providing adult basic education programs.
This is work that our organizations planned and wanted to do together, but it is not at all being done in the way that we expected or wanted to do it. But then in 2020, what is happening as we expected or planned for?
On top of the increased need within our communities, and adjustments in how we work to build community and connect neighbors without being able to physically gather, we are also facing a major reduction in funding from the City. These proposed cuts to neighborhood funding impacts neighborhoods across the city. Kingfield is facing a 65% reduction in support from the City and Lyndale and 18% cut. These cuts not only impede our ability to do the work that you’ve come to expect, it stops us from investing in new, marginalized, and vulnerable communities that call our neighborhoods their home.
If you care about the work that we do, we ask that you be a part of our work and support it. The best way for us to plan for our future is for neighbors to make monthly reoccurring donations of any amount to either of our organizations. This allows us to balance the ebbs and flows of funders, including the City the Minneapolis. Reoccurring gifts, and end-of-year donations, can be made as follows.
KFNA will continue to advocate for our residents throughout this pandemic, including pushing the City to provide the resources and services that our residents need. And we will continue to educate and empower neighbors to take action and be leaders both in our neighborhoods and in the City, creating a fair and just community for all residents.
We do look forward to the day when we can invite you into our shared space to plan actions and mobilize our community together. Until then find us at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Linnes-Robinson, Director, Kingfield Neighborhood Association