BRIEFS March 2022


New Leader for the 3rd Police Precinct
In January, Interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman appointed Jose Gomez to be the new inspector of the Third Precinct to replace Sean McGinty who will be moving to lead the Second Precinct. Gomez’s parents were born in Mexico. They migrated to Nebraska where he was raised before coming to Minneapolis, where he went through his police training. He started in the Explorer program and joined the department in 1994. Gomez, who owns a home in the precinct, has worked as lieutenant in the juvenile outreach division, gun violence response and Third Precinct, which covers all of the greater Longfellow and Nokomis area. The headquarters for the Third Precinct is currently in the City of Lakes building downtown. When asked about a future location for the precinct he said, “The priority is finding a location in the precinct. I know it will be a delicate conversation, but I think we need to be in the neighborhood.”

Emergency Shelter to Open in Longfellow
Catholic Charities has a purchase agreement to buy the the Hiawatha Suites senior housing building located at 4140 Cheatham (formerly Dight) Ave. in the Hiawatha neighborhood to relocate their Hope Shelter for young adults. They are seeking a letter from Longfellow Community Council (LCC) supporting their application for a conditional use permit. The Hope Shelter is currently operating at the old St Joseph’s Home for Children campus at 1121 East 46th Street. The facility would have 25 bedrooms for up to 30 residents. It would be staffed 24 hours a day seven days a week and, in addition to fully furnished rooms and community areas, Catholic Charities would provide crisis counseling and support, case management, mental health and chemical dependency counseling, on-site medical care, independent living skills training, and one-to-one educational assistance for the residents.

Redistricting changes
State and local governments are working to meet deadlines for determining new boundaries for districts and wards this spring based on the 2020 census. Once approved, the city will then have until March 29 to approve a map that includes the new ward and park district boundaries. In Minneapolis, The Charter Commission sets the boundaries and recently put forward recommended maps of ward and park district boundaries. On Feb. 24, they will hold a public hearing on their redistricting plan. For more information see

Hiawatha-Lake intersection improvements
The Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street intersection (Hi-Lake) is being redesigned with construction set to begin in 2024. Plans include redesigned intersections, improved pedestrian crossings and widened sidewalks. The public is being invited to share ideas about how added pedestrian area under the bridge and around the intersection could be used. Hennepin County, city of Minneapolis, MnDOT, and Metro Transit said they intend to work with community representatives, serving on a Community Advisory Council, to incorporate public feedback into the final design and identify potential community partners to implement space uses after construction is complete.

Highway 55 Resurfacing
Starting this spring the Minnesota Department of Transportation will resurface Hiawatha Ave. between I-35W and Highway 62, repair three bridges, and update accessibility at intersections. Motorists and pedestrians can expect road, lane, and bridge closures with possible closures of side street access and detours for the duration of the project starting in April and going throughout the summer. Southbound traffic on Highway 55 will be closed for four months between downtown Minneapolis and Cedar Ave. and for two weeks between Cedar Ave. and 32nd St. and northbound traffic will be closed for two weeks between Lake St. and 26th St. For more details. see

Electric Vehicle Network
On Feb. 3, Saint Paul and Minneapolis started a new network of on-street electric vehicle charging stations. The network covers a 35-square-mile service area in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and offers the public access to electric vehicle charging places and a new carshare service called Evie Carshare that is operated by the local nonprofit HOURCAR. Each charging location will have two dedicated parking spaces for personal vehicles and two spaces for carshare vehicles. The first locations available for public use are at Sherburne and Dale Street (Saint Paul), Margaret Street and E. 7th Street (Saint Paul), Colfax and Hennepin Avenue (Minneapolis), Chicago and Franklin Avenue (Minneapolis) and 13th Avenue SE and 4th Street SE (Minneapolis). They plan to add 65 more charging locations in the months ahead and be fully operational by fall. Initially, Evie Carshare plans to operate with 101 cars and adding cars to eventually operate 171 vehicles. To learn more, visit

Seward Vaccine Equity Project
Volunteers in the Seward neighborhood have been working for the past year to bring more vaccinations to the community. They have partnered with Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice as their fiscal sponsor which has allowed them to get funding from the Minnesota Department of Health and Hennepin County Public Health. They use funds for incentives, food for volunteers and medical staff, and activities to keep children relaxed during a potentially anxious time. It costs about $3,000 for each clinic, where they are vaccinating between 45 and 60 people. The funding they receive does not cover all of their expenses. You can support this effort through a tax-deductible donation at


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