2022 is just around the corner, which means a whole different looking City Council in Minneapolis is about to take over, albeit with a little less power. That does not mean that their voices won’t be heard. With all the new faces and perspectives, now is the perfect time to listen and discover fresh ways to make all residents feel that their voices are being heard in the City of Lakes. One of the many things on their list should be to revamp services and amenities that support the 11% of residents with disabilities that currently live in Minneapolis.
With that being said, the City Council should look at making the Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities more prominent and rejuvenate it so that the group can be more useful. In addition, they should consider enhancing services to improve the lives of all residents with impairments: create more recreational activities, transportation and housing options, job opportunities, and improve the city’s pathways for those who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Now would be a great moment to start anew and really listen to all residents to see what they need to thrive in everyday life.
One of my projects that I started this year was founding the Minneapolis Sidewalk Repair Hunters (mplssrh.org). The community-led effort asks residents to locate sidewalk and curb cut deficiencies and then report them to the city for repairs once every month or so. The newly elected City Council should find a way to improve city paths without having residents pay the bill for new sidewalks.
This is the opportune moment for Minneapolis to go in a better direction. This must involve council members communicating with all their constituents to find out what is important to them!