Phillips Clean Sweep 2005

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October 15, 2005—The organizers of the Phillips Community Cleansweep would like to thank the hundreds of neighbors who took to the streets of Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, East Phillips and Ventura Village to clean up street litter and help households dispose of large loads of trash. The beautiful autumn morning provided a great backdrop for community action.

Fanning out from Park and Bloomington Avenues, 450 volunteers picked up street and residential trash throughout Phillips West, Midtown, East Phillips and Ventura Village. CleanSweep 2005 marked the second straight year the four neighborhoods have united for a community event.

Phillips Community CleanSweep 2005 was sponsored by Phillips Weed & Seed, Thomson Dougherty Funeral Home and the Phillips Partnership. 



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  • Phillips Weed & Seed
  • Thomson Dougherty Funeral Home
  • Phillips West Neighborhood Organization
  • Phillips Partnership 
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Contributors and participating groups

  • Ventura Village Neighborhood
  • Chicago/Lake Business Association
  • Bloomington/Cedar/Lake Commercial Association
  • Hiawatha/Lake Business Association
  • U.S. Bank
  • Project for Pride in Living
  • Phillips Community Residents
  • Mt. Olive Jobs After School Program
  • Mt. Olive Neighborhood Ministries Program
  • East Phillips Improvement Coalition
  • Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Organization
  • Welna Ace Hardware
  • Hennepin County Sentence to Service
  • City of Mpls./Solid Waste & Recycling
  • Pillsbury United/Waite House
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church
  • Franklin Ave. Safety Center
  • Resource Recovery Center
  • MPRB/Stewart Park
  • Peace Coffee
  • More Value Foods
  • MAD DADS/Minneapolis Chapter
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital 
  • Kaplan Brothers, Inc.
  • Chicago-Lake Liquors

Sergeant Bill Blake and the Native American Law Enforcement Summit

In January 2006 Sergeant Bill Black of the Minneapolis Police Department addressed the Community Crime Prevention Initiative. Sergeant Blake is organizing the first Native American Law Enforcement Summit to deal with the growing problems of crime and gang activity among Native Americans in Minnesota cities and reservations. Below is an article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Sergeant Blake and his efforts. 


A daughter's plea `to do more'

A violent death in the family fueled a Minneapolis sergeant's efforts to improve Indian law enforcement. 

Minneapolis Star Tribune

September 19, 2005 

By David Chanen, Staff Writer 

Bill Blake, a Minneapolis police sergeant who is a member of the Red Lake Nation, took an early interest in preventing violence among Indians, and then he began giving presentations to officers and students across the Midwest about gang problems that cut across all races.

Then came that Tuesday in February 2003. His eldest daughter, Erica Rae Blake, a 20-year-old college student studying to become a social worker, was at a house party on a reservation in Wisconsin. As she came down the stairs, a teenager shot her in the head with a gun he didn't know was loaded. Gang members lived in the house, but the shooting was ruled an accident and the man with the gun got a year in jail, according to court documents. 

For about the past year, Blake has worked on a project to honor his daughter's memory: Minnesota's first Native American Law Enforcement Summit. The two-day conference, starting Tuesday in Hinckley, will provide training for 125 law enforcers and lawyers on issues ranging from Indian prison gangs to substance abuse. The overriding goal is to improve relationships between tribal and non-tribal officers and slow down the crime that cycles between urban and reservation populations. 

"Native American law enforcement can better serve the communities in which they work by having a better exchange of information about who is committing crimes," said U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, who will speak at the summit. "The only way to effectively reduce crime is to coordinate this effort." 

Blake, 41, had to see through some dark days before he could even contemplate that Heffelfinger and other top officials would be weighing in about the importance of his fledgling idea. While he received backing from Chief Bill McManus, Blake said some officers accused him of only doing the summit for a promotion. Tribal officers told him they should be planning such an event, not a city cop. "One officer was afraid we'd put our families at risk because people in the community would be angry," Blake said. "Doing nothing will get your family killed. To not address the situation is irresponsible." 

He went to Bill Means, a longtime Indian activist, who welcomed the summit and sees it as a chance to solve criminal problems involving the Little Earth housing complex in south Minneapolis. Means and Little Earth residents had been concerned about American Indians committing crimes in Minneapolis and hiding out on reservations or taking their criminal activities to the reservations. 

Blake said he hopes to set up a website at his department for all law enforcement with information about American Indian gang members, crime alerts and contacts that help tribal officers find the right officer in the Twin Cities to track a suspect or get information. Sgt. Herb Fineday of the Fond du Lac Tribal Police Department near Cloquet would welcome such a tool. 

"In the past, you may discover through investigation that a suspect or witness fled to Minneapolis or St. Paul. It may take a series of calls before you find that person three or four days later," he said. 

The summit "is great for tribal law enforcement, who don't get a lot of [training] opportunities like this because of lack of resources," said Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Minnesota. 


`Able to help' 

The way the summit has fallen into place makes Blake believe Erica Rae must have been helping him, he said. "She wanted to work with Indian kids in crisis," he said. "Even though she's not here, she will be able to help people." The stories about his first-born child flow easily. There was the drive back from Fond du Lac Community College with his daughter in 1999. Blake had given his presentation and they talked about the emergence of drugs, violence and gangs on reservations. 

`You know, Dad, you have to do more,'-" Blake said she told him. "I thought I was already doing enough being a parent, cop and presenter." While he worked nights, Erica Rae went to live with his parents in Sheyenne, N.D. In high school, she became a cheerleader and was on the varsity volleyball and track teams. It wouldn't be too long before she made Blake a grandfather to Isaiah. 

She went to live with her mother on the St. Croix Indian Reservation, where she attended college. Blake's brother had to deliver the news of her accidental death. 

The officer found it hard to ignore the swirling rumors: Maybe his daughter was actually targeted because she was a cop's daughter. Gang members lived in the house, but Erica Rae had known some of them since childhood, he said. He had Minneapolis homicide investigators review her case, and they also determined her death was an accident. Isaiah, "who is a good boy," is going to hear a lot about the mother he had for only six months, Blake said. Erica Rae would go to the health club with him and could bench 150 pounds, and she favored music by the Dixie Chicks, Garbage and Sheryl Crow, he said. 

Blake misses the runs around Como Lake and her outgoing, sometimes rebellious personality. 

"Erica is my passion and drive," he said. "I miss her terribly." 

David Chanen is at

In Phillips, National Night Out Draws Hundreds of Neighbors

Aug. 3, 2005—Hundreds of area residents and employees jammed four blocks along 27th Street in the Phillips neighborhood on the hot and sticky evening of August 2 to celebrate National Night Out, fulfilling this year's theme of "Building Community One Neighbor at a Time." 


Thirty-three event participants arrayed between Chicago and Portland Avenues offered entertainment that included musical acts, puppetry, pony rides, root beer floats, face painting, and much more. Staff of the Phillips Partnership handed out 300 books to children. 

For the eighth consecutive year, the event was organized by community relations staff of Phillips Partnership member Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Joyce Krook of ANW and Muriel Simmons of the Phillips West Neighborhood Association were co-chairs. 

Other sponsors and participants from the partnership included Wells Fargo, Childrens Hospitals and Clinics, and the Phillips Eye Institute.

Thanks to this year's sponsors:

  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital medical staff
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Childrens Hospitals and Clinics 
  • Thomson-Dougherty Funeral Home 
  • Phillips West Neighborhood Association
  • Portland Avenue Block Club 
  • American Swedish Institute
  • Chicago-Lake Business Association
  • 4th and Lake Business Association
  • City Council Member Robert Lilligren
  • Phillips Weed & Seed 
  • Ebenezer
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • 2615 Park Avenue Associates
  • We Love Kids Daycare
  • Zuhrah Shrine Center 
  • Oakland Square Co-Op
  • New Horizon

Phillips Residents Rally Against Shootings


July 1, 2005—Phillips residents and elected officials marched and gathered for a rally at Chicago Ave. and Lake Street to speak out against the recent rash of shootings in the neighborhood.

In late June, three shootings left four residents injured, including one 13 year old asleep in his bed, and one person dead. This week, as the peace and justice rally was being organized, a fourth shooting left another man dead. The shootings punctuated a recent rise in crime in the neighborhood, residents and activists say. 


"People in our community want peace. We don't want to see kids pulled into gangs, we don't want to see increased violence, we want no more deaths," said one of the rally organizers, Jana Metge of Phillips Weed & Seed. "We are rallying as a community to show support, concern, and options for folks to get out of the negative street life." 

"This community knows how to pull together when we need to," said Metge. 

The rally was sponsored by Phillips West Neighborhood Organization, Phillips Weed & Seed and MADDADS, with participation from the Central Neighborhood Organization, Little Earth Community and the Phillips Partnership.

Midtown Exchange on Schedule for Opening Late 2005

Construction on Schedule for Late '05 Opening 

Midtown Exchange Update

Construction zone: Lake Street and the Midtown Exchange

Construction zone: Lake Street and the Midtown Exchange

June 2005—Significant progress can be seen at the Midtown Exchange site as construction and restoration work moves forward, with more than a man-year
of construction work happening at the site daily. 

On the 1928 former Sears building, the brick exterior work continues, and more windows are being removed to make way for their energy-efficient replacements. Interior cleanup activities are quickly being replaced by electrical, HVAC, plumbing and fire protection rough-ins as more residential units and office space are framed and prepped for drywall.

The 1964 warehouse that spanned the Midtown Greenway is now gone, and work has begun on the north wall of the 1928 building to add more windows and bring more natural light into the building’s interior.

The new Sheraton hotel is on schedule to open in December 2005.

The parking ramp will be completed shortly before Project for Pride in Living breaks ground on the “Midtown Exchange Condos on the Greenway” townhomes that will ring the structure. 

Allina Hospitals & Clinics announced it would move an additional 500 employees to its Midtown Exchange offices
(bringing its total to more than 1,500), and Sherman Associates reported that 50 of the 89 condominium units have been
sold, including all four in the 13- story tower—the most costly of the units available.

“Allina’s commitment has been a catalyst for bringing energy and investment to the Midtown Exchange project,” said Rick Collins, Vice President of Development, Ryan Companies.

He also noted the enthusiastic response of the surrounding smallbusiness community, which has continued to spur Lake Street revitalization.

“We’re excited to see such strong interest in the Midtown commercial area, which is quickly becoming a hotbed of job growth and urban renaissance in the Twin Cities.”

Midtown Safety Center Planned at Chicago-Lake

Hopeful for Fall '05 Opening 

Midtown Safety Center Planned at Chi-Lake

Concept for the Safety Center's facade by Midtown Community Works

Concept for the Safety Center's facade by Midtown Community Works

June 2005—The Phillips Partnership is working with Minneapolis’ planning and police departments, neighborhood leaders, and Chi- Lake landlord Peter Boosalis to locate a new safety center in Boosalis’ renovated building on the northeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Lake Street.

“This safety center is a very important part of the overall safety plan for the Chicago-Lake area, as it will provide an active law enforcement presence in the area, with strong ties to businesses and community residents,” said Eric Eoloff, public affairs director at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

This would be the second time a safety center occupied a storefront in the Chicago-Lake building. In the mid-1990s, MPD located a safety center there for two or three years, said Boosalis. 

He and Minneapolis are working out an agreement that would place the new Midtown Safety Center in the storefront at 2949 Chicago Ave. South for at least three years.

“This is a deal I’m happy to make because it will be good for business in the long term, and I am in this community for the long term,” said Boosalis, whose family has owned the building since 1909.

On the north side of Phillips, the Franklin Avenue Community Safety Center in the Ancient Traders Plaza has proved a highly successful venture for law enforcement and citizen advocates. It will serve as a model for the Midtown location, said Inspector Scott Gerlicher of the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct.

Gerlicher has championed the creation of a Chicago-Lake safety center since hearing concerns about rising crime at such community venues as the Community Crime Prevention Initiative sponsored by the Phillips Partnership. The Phillips West Neighborhood Association has also pressed for the safety center, said board chair Muriel Simmons.

“A safety center gives police a regular presence in the neighborhood and a welcoming place off the street for citizens and police to interact,” said Gerlicher. “Being closer to Lake Street businesses builds the kind of relationships and trust that make the difference in community policing.”

Gerlicher said the safety center could be in operation as early as this fall.

The center will facilitate coordination between police and other law enforcement personnel, including transit police and county probation officers. This interagency coordination, said Gerlicher, has been indispensable to the success of anti-crime initiatives in the area.

The Midtown Safety Center will also serve as a hub from which security for the Midtown Exchange and neighborhood policing can be coordinated, speeding response time to safety incidents. Further, it will provide community meeting space.

The center will be staffed by a civilian crime prevention specialist, a police employee who will manage law-enforcement programming and serve as the pointof- contact for community concerns.

The Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association will act as the safety center’s fiscal agent. Elena Gaarder, PPNA’s director, says funding would come from the business community, the public sector and foundations. While most financial arrangements are still to be finalized, Gaarder says she is optimistic about raising enough funds to have the center open this fall. The annual budget for staffing and rent is estimated at $135,000, said Gaarder.

Eoloff said that the Phillips Partnership will play an ongoing advisory role that includes fundraising.

State Decision on Crosstown Rebuild Advances I-35W Access Project

Ramping Up

Decision on Crosstown Advances I-35W Access Project

June 2005—When the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Transportation resolved their differences over the Crosstown/I-35W interchange this spring, they also announced a comprehensive vision for the I-35W Corridor that includes bus rapid transit (BRT) and improved freeway access at Lake Street.

In 2004, Minneapolis withheld its consent on Crosstown for multiple reasons, including a position that the Crosstown project include a more explicit commitment to bus rapid transit accommodations. City, County, and regional leaders, along with State Representatives Frank Hornstein and Mary Liz Holberg, are promoting BRT along I-35W to connect Lakeville to downtown Minneapolis.

The I-35W Access Project, sponsored jointly by the Phillips Partnership and Hennepin County, focuses on improving freeway connections for commercial thoroughfares and major employers in and around the Phillips neighborhood. Improved freeway access is considered absolutely essential by many South Minneapolis businesses and residents, including those who are investing in the new Midtown Exchange. The Access Project includes new ramps between 28th and 38th Street and mulitple accommodations for BRT.

At the close of 2004, the design process for the Access Project had come to a halt, awaiting resolution of the larger I-35W Corridor discussions and implementation of Governor Pawlenty's commitment of $1 million in state funding for the Access Project design activities.

In March, a special panel recommended that a BRT station at 46th Street be included in the Crosstown project. The panel’s report made several references to the Access Project as part of plansfor the freeway corridor. LieutenantGovernor and Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau agreed to the recommendations, ending the stalemate.

Molnau simultaneously announced agreement on how to utilize available funding, including Governor Pawlenty’s October 2003 commitment of $1 million for Access Project design activities.

The Corridor project is likely to include reconstruction of the connections between I-35W and I-94 in the commons area, based on further study.

Molnau also announced that MnDOT will lead the freeway design, while Hennepin County will lead context-sensitive design elements.

The $240-million Crosstown project will begin on schedule in 2006, placing the probable start of Access in 2009.

Health Careers Partnership Wins National Award, Expands Relationships with Local Healthcare Providers

Health Careers Partnership Wins National Award, Expands Relationships with Local Care Providers

Health Careers Partnership earns Minneapolis Community and Technical College the Bellwhether Award.     From left: Jane Foote, Academic Dean Nursing Program, MCTC; Dr. Josephine Reede-Taylor, Sr. Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, MCTC; Dr. H. James Owen, National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges.

Health Careers Partnership earns Minneapolis Community and Technical College the Bellwhether Award. 

From left: Jane Foote, Academic Dean Nursing Program, MCTC; Dr. Josephine Reede-Taylor, Sr. Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, MCTC; Dr. H. James Owen, National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges.

June 2005—On the heels of winning a national educational award for workforce development, the Health Careers Partnership has spent 2005 expanding its programs that connect aspirant healthcare workers with employers.

In January, Minneapolis Community and Technical College won the prestigious Bellwether Award in the category of workforce development. MCTC provides curriculum and instruction for the HCP. Considered the Heisman Trophy of community college education, the Bellwether Award recognizes cutting-edge, trendsetting programs nationally.

Organized in 2001 by the Phillips Partnership to fill employment gaps in at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, the HCP has grown into one of the largest and most successful hospital-based workforce development programs in the United States. More than 1,000 students have participated in the program. Thus far in 2005, 17 existing hospital employees have been sponsored to prepare for nursing and other health careers.

Initially focused on training unskilled workers in the Minneapolis Empowerment Zone for entry-level healthcare jobs, the initiative now includes a variety of accredited continuing education programs helping employees advance along career ladders. Its curriculum varies based on closely tracked market demand in the Twin Cities metro.

Jane Foote of MCTC says new offerings put the responsiveness of the HCP model into finer focus, addressing a range of hiring needs.

One new program, dubbed “Paving a Way,” has enrolled 20 HCMC employees since 2004 to ladder from an MCTC associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree in nursing with Metro State University. The BSN degree is the gateway to management, says Foote, adding that current enrollees in Paving the Way range in experience from non-nursing support employees to one LPN.

A second new program planned for later this year will groom HCP alumni for health care management, says Cindy Bloom of Project for Pride in Living, the Minneapolis nonprofit that administers the HCP. “Career Climber” will prepare former Health Careers Partnership graduates now working at Abbott Northwestern Hospital for stafflevel leadership positions. As many as 12 students will compose the first cohort, says Bloom.

PPL also has undertaken a new contract with the Minneapolis Employment Job Training Program to broker between area healthcare providers and educational institutions. This effort, says Bloom, will also expand the employment opportunities for graduates of the HCP’s core training programs. Bloom describes the broker role as working with healthcare providers to identify both shortand long-term staffing needs, then leveraging HCP’s existing training model to improve the pipeline between providers and the potential labor pool. She said the scope could grow to include providers and schools throughout Minneapolis  and the surrounding area.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital Opens New Heart Hospital

At Abbott Northwestern, the Beat Goes On
New Heart Hospital Opens in Phillips

Abbott Northwestern’s new Heart Hospital opened in May. The building, located on the east side of the Abbott campus along 10th Avenue, adds 256 beds.

Abbott Northwestern’s new Heart Hospital opened in May. The building, located on the east side of the Abbott campus along 10th Avenue, adds 256 beds.

June 2005—Abbott Northwestern Hospital has expanded its 120-year presence in the Phillips neighborhood with the completion of its new Heart Hospital.

The $145-million facility opened in May after three years of construction. The 388,000-squarefoot building is located on the east side of the Abbott campus along 10th Avenue. It adds 256 beds, expanding space for cardiovascular services and providing new inpatient space for neuroscience, orthopedic and spine services.

“Abbott Northwestern has done more than build a new facility,” said Richard Sturgeon, MD, Abbott’s interim president and its representative to the Phillips Partnership. “It has deepened its commitment to building up the Phillips neighborhood as a regional destination for state-of-the-art community care. This means better community health, more community jobs and a larger market for local commerce.”

Abbott Northwestern Hospital has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cardiac care for the past three years. It has also been ranked as one of America’s Best Hospitals in the specialty of neurology and neurosurgery, which includes spine surgery.

A founding member of the Phillips Partnership, Abbott Northwestern Hospital is part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, a nonprofit network of hospitals, clinics and other health care services. Allina will further expand into Phillips in 2006 when it consolidates its regional corporate operations within the new Midtown Exchange. This move will add more than 1,500 mostly professional employees to Phillips.

Job Programs: 2004 in Review

Jobs Program Summaries, 2004


Health Careers Partnership 

  • In 2004, 174 individuals took Health Careers courses.
  • Course titles offered in 2004 were: 10 nursing classes, 2 nursing assistant courses, college English and Speech, 2 Biology courses, Phlebotomy, Chemistry and English as a Second Language.
  • Of the 174 students, 76 individuals were sponsored by the partnership. 
  • Of the 76 sponsored students, 49 individuals were eligible for Empowerment Zone dollars based on their residence, and 27 were funded in coordination with partner hospital tuition reimbursement programs.
  • In 2004, the Project for Pride in Living staff placed 32 Health Careers participants in jobs. (Note: a number already have jobs and attend school, and a handful attend school full-time).
  • The average wage of those placed was $11.02/hour.
  • Of the 32 individuals placed in jobs, 9 of them were placed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 1 was placed at Hennepin County Medical Center and 22 were placed at facilities outside the partnership.
  • In 2004 the partner hospitals had fewer training and hiring needs. In addition, restructuring and hiring freezes occurred at two of the hospitals. 
  • Program expansion and outreach efforts have included talks with University of Minnesota Health Services, American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), Summit Academy OIC, North Memorial Medical Center, Park Nicollet Health Services, Care Providers of Minnesota, Ramsey County health pilot and Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development.


Train To Work

  • Six training sessions completed. 

  • We have graduated 48 trainees and placed 31 of those graduates. The total number of placements to date this year is 47, including 16 graduates from last year. The most recent of hires have been in Nursing Assistant, Environmental Services, and Dietary Aide, positions.
  • The partner hospitals have absorbed 90 percent of our recent new hires. More than half of the placements in the third quarter quarter were at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics Minneapolis. This is a very significant increase from previous quarters.
  • Demographics: Ethnicities - TTW Graduates of 2004

    African 13
    African American 26
    American Indian 1
    Asian/SE Asian Pacific Islander 1
    Caucasian/White 5
    Hispanic/Chicano/Latino 2
    Total 48 – Graduates YTD
  • Over the past seven years, Train to Work has placed 500 individuals. 
  • Forty-four TTW graduates have gone on to take courses at the Health Career Partnership.


Train to Work, Health Careers Partnership, and Financial Careers Institute personnel relocated to 810 E. Franklin Avenue in December.