I was thinking about this newsletter today, and was considering all the things that I wish I had time to write and share. Better yet, I wish I had the capacity to talk to you personally about what we've accomplished this year.
Each month, I try to find new pictures to share in our photo collage at the top of the page.
This month's collage is a fabulous snapshot of what is happening in our district. We have an image of one of our volunteer food distribution teams, along with our Somali translators at Shamrock Plaza; then, we have a picture of staff member Shaquonna Jackson (left) with Michaela Jones and June Blue outside Bradley House Apartments where they were speaking with residents (both Michaela and June are board members as well!); and finally, a team of St. Paul Ambassadors outside Sun Ray Shopping Center. The Ambassadors' job is to connect with young people in community and share resources.
These images perfectly depict the momentum we've kept up through 2020. This December, we're doing all we can to wrap up the year AND to keep up with the projects we're working on each day. So, despite the challenges of the pandemic, 2020 has been a very successful year for our organization.
In this time of uncertainty, know that SECO staff, board and volunteers will continue to do our best to provide resources, support and information in our efforts to keep our community as healthy and safe as possible. Let's hope for a better year in 2021!
--Betsy Mowry Voss, Highwood resident and Executive Director
SECO Workplan and Budget
Each year, our organization creates aworkplan of goalswe hope to accomplish the following year. The plan primarily references work we do funded by the City of St. Paul, and not the other grants (money from foundations) that we apply for to do special projects such as the Youth Organizers project, the Highwood Performance Series or food distribution. It is not all-encompassing, and it can change and evolve throughout the year. It's attached above. Please contact me email@example.com you have questions.
The Board of Directors has also approved our budget for next year. You can see a copy of it by clicking this link. The budget is not completely set in stone. We have different funds come in throughout the year, which change the numbers. We are also able to move money between accounts as needed, and unexpected expenses often crop up during the year. However, this is a solid draft of what our funds will look like next year.
What is your definition of family?
Saint Paul uses adefinition of the term "family"tohelp name the number of unrelated occupants allowed in one residential dwelling unit. Planning staff have proposed three updated options for the Planning Commission to recommend to the City Council for adoption.
Some residents don't believe the proposed options capture all types of families. Others are wondering why a "defined" term for family is needed. What do you think?
Our Land Use Committee will be again discussing this topic at our December 7 meeting starting at 6:00 pm on Zoom. If you would like to join us - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link, orsee our website for the link.
A public hearing on the study will be on Friday, November 13 at 8:30 a.m. Comments will be accepted for Planning Commission review via the form on theCity's websiteuntil Monday, December 14.
Eastside Housing Summit
Southeast Community Organization has been playing an active role in housing justice over the past two years. We were active participants in the work to get the Tenant Ordinances passed in St. Paul. We work to educate renters about their rights, and to work to build power with them. You can learn more about the coalition we partner with atHousing Equity Now St. Paul.
SECO has also partnered with a group to focus on the housing needs and issues on the eastside of St. Paul. Join us at the upcoming Housing Summit on December 10 from 6:00-8:30 pm.Register by following this link.
MN Redistricting Blueprint Convening Although MN is not as gerrymandered as other states, we can do better for our communities by informing and participating in the 2021 redrawing of our political boundaries, rather than let the politicians and judges divide us up. Like the census, let us be seen and visible in our political boundaries so that we can elect officials that will truly represent us and feel connected to community issues.
Many of you may still just be learning about what redistricting is and how it affects your communities. With only a month left before the start of the next legislative session, there is some positioning that our coalition needs to do around identifying who can do what and when.
Join the MN Alliance for Democracy, Common Cause MN, and League of Women Voters MN on Thursday, December 17 from 10:00-1:00pm for this important workshop and discussion. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program
Deadline is Monday, December 7 at 11:59 p.m.
The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. The program is designed to cover expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities or other housing-related expenses that were incurred after March 1, 2020 and are past due.
Individuals and families interested in applying can:
The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, 8am-8pm Monday through Friday.
Visit the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency’s website to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements. The webpage also has COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program Information and FAQs in Español, Hmoob, and Soomaali.
Last call! Provide your input on our
In our efforts to learn more about resident feelings regarding our local parks, the various District Council partners in this project have created a survey to collect information to share with each other, Parks & Recreation and other departments and officials.