MINNEAPOLIS — Community groups are calling on the Metropolitan Council to approve new recommendations meant to prevent people from being displaced from their homes and businesses for the Blue Line Extension Project.
This multi-billion-dollar project would expand the Blue Line light rail from Lyndale and West Broadway Avenues in north Minneapolis through Robbinsdale, Crystal and into Brooklyn Park.
The new recommendations to prevent people from being pushed out of their neighborhoods come from the Anti-Displacement Work Group. Blue Line project leaders created and funded this group in February last year to ensure protections for communities, including communities of color, living and working along the corridor.
According to the Anti-Displacement Work Group, recommendations include being transparent about project progress and displacement developments, empowering community to be involved in decision making throughout the corridor, granting reparations to Minneapolis' Harrison neighborhood for harm caused by previous work, among others.
Thursday, more than a dozen organizations held a press conference ahead of the Blue Line Corridor Management Committee meeting to urge project leaders to officially adopt all of the recommendations outlined in an April report.
"We are already experiencing [displacement] in Brooklyn Park because of all the prospecting that has been going on," said Nelima Sitati Munene, executive director of African Career Education and Resources Inc. "Some commercial spaces have been acquired and some of our businesses have been displaced and all of those businesses have been businesses of color, owned by low-wealth community members, and so we're appealing to the CMC to fully adapt the work that was done by the anti-displacement group."
The report acknowledges that Hennepin County and the Met Council may view the project as rooted in equity as it involves investment into a historically disinvested corridor.
So, will transit leaders adopt the recommendations, and when would that be decided? KARE 11 reached out to Met Council Thursday afternoon and will update this story once a response is provided.
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