Walk the Talk: Local Meetings, Regional Governance

Editor’s note: Walk the Talk is Streets.mn’s carefully curated, highly partisan collection of both serious and fun-loving events, community meetings and opportunities for engagement that we think will interest our readers. Email your ideas to Hawken Habig, one of our daily editors, at hawkenhabig@gmail.com.

Metropolitan Governance Public Meetings — Through January 2024

The Metropolitan Council is currently facing a restructuring at the behest of the state Legislature, where officials are considering ditching the governor-appointees model and adopting another option, such as an elected board or a council of governments. To determine the appropriate approach, the Metropolitan Governance Task Force will be hosting a number of public hearings across the Twin Cities to gather citizen input on the Met Council’s organization. A full list of times and locations may be found below or on this website:

  • TODAY, Friday, December 8, 2 p.m., at the Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway N., St. Paul
  • Thursday, December 14, noon, at Lake Elmo City Center, 3800 Laverne Ave. N., Lake Elmo
  • Friday, January 5, noon, at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis
  • Tuesday, January 9, 6 p.m., at Scott County Government Center, 2400 Fourth Ave. W., Shakopee

If you wish to speak at one of the meetings, RSVP here! This is an important development for the Met Council’s regional planning abilities, including the operation of our regional transit system, so consider voicing your thoughts on the future of the governing body.

Minneapolis Documenters Orientation — Saturday, December 9, noon to 2:30 p.m.

If you love immersing yourself in the ecstatic highs and tormenting lows of local public government meetings, then the Minneapolis chapter of Documenters may be for you! Documenters is a network of journalists that covers meetings in local governance: In Minneapolis, that means meetings for the City Council, boards, advisory groups, and other governing bodies within the city and beyond. Documenters head to these meetings (for pay!) and take notes for the public and others unable to attend; the notes are published and cataloged online. If this interests you, check out the Minneapolis Documenters website. A training session is planned for Saturday, December 9, where the work of the organization will be presented.

2023 Metropolitan Council Regional Solicitation — Open Through January 31

On another regional governance note: Conducted every two years, Regional Solicitation is the Metropolitan Council’s method for deciding upon and distributing federal grants for transportation projects across the Twin Cities. As part of an effort to gauge public opinion on the types of projects that the Council’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) should promote, the group has published a brief online exercise, where participants determine where to hypothetically direct grant dollars. Not only is the exercise informative and thought-provoking, but completing it will also help direct TAB policy for distributing grants. The exercise may be found here; and for more information on the mechanisms of the TAB grants, head here!

Lake Street Loyalty Challenge — Through Friday, December 15

The Lake Street Council is challenging holiday shoppers to spend their dollars at home, where the money counts. (No Amazon! No chain stores!) Spend at least $15 at a small, locally owned business in the Lake Street corridor and then upload your receipt to the council’s Lake Street Loyal website. They’ll mail you a $15 gift card to one of the following Lake Street businesses: Arbeiter Brewing Co., Corazon, La Carreta Restaurant & Bar, Lake and Bryant Cafe, La Michoacana Purepecha or Merlins Rest Irish Pub. The council’s work includes ongoing recovery efforts (“Restoring Lake Street“) from the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder in May 2020.

About Hawken Habig

Hawken is a student of Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a copy editor at Streets.mn. He also composes Streets.mn's bi-weekly event listing "Walk the Talk;" email any ideas for events or opportunities to hawkenhabig@gmail.com!