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New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips | the alley Newspaper
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New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips | the alley Newspaper

New Council Brings New Hope for Environmental Justice in East Phillips | the alley Newspaper


East Phillips Cultural Center gymnasium gathering, were community members gathered to support their ongoing work to bring community-led developments to the Roof depot site.

Minneapolis residents waited to see if there would be any change from the November 2021 elections. 75 to 100 community members met on Saturday, December 18, at the East Phillips Cultural Center to celebrate their ongoing work to bring community-led development onto the 7.6 acre Roof depot site in East Phillips. Joe Vital, EPNI staffer, led the meeting. It highlighted EPNI’s efforts to save the Roof Depot building, which measures 230,000 square feet, for aquaponic agriculture, affordable housing and solar development. The Roof Depot building also houses a youth-led coffee shop and event center. Local BIPOC companies that were left behind by George Floyd’s death are also supporting the community-led effort. The meeting featured appearances by representatives from the City, County, and State levels. Angela Conley, Hennepin County Commissioner and State Senator Omar Fateh both reiterated their support for the project. Karen Clark, a neighborhood resident who represented the area for 37 year in the state legislature, presented compelling evidence on the disparities in income and wealth as well as the extremely high rates of asthma, childhood poisoning and other environmental illnesses that occur in our majority BIPOC neighbourhood. This project was born from her many years of environmental justice work.

The changing political environment at the City level was of greatest interest to the majority. This is being led in part by Jason Chavez (9th Ward Councilmember), along with Elliot Payne (1st Ward Councilmember) and Aisha Chugtai (10th Ward Councilmember). A resolution to demolish the Roof Depot building was put to a vote in the weeks leading up to the 2021 election. It was passed 7 to 6, but 4 of the 7 council members are no more on the Council. With optimism and anticipation, East Phillips presents the Minneapolis City Council in 2022 with the opportunity to reverse decades worth of neglect in favor Green investment and Environmental Justice.

Urban Farming is not toxic Harm!

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