Friday, February 8, 2019

On Representation within Neighborhood Boards

Image from Wikipedia.

There is an ostensibly noble push to create more diversity on Minneapolis neighborhood boards.  Noble because the premise is sound; community organizations should at least somewhat mirror the demographics of the neighborhoods they serve.  I characterize the current push as coming from a questionable place though, and that leaves me with doubts about whatever policy might come from any changes.

My entire twelve-year connection to north Minneapolis was spent as part of a neighborhood organization, either as a staff person or as a committee and board member - even two years as board chair.  If there is one thing I learned as an absolute truth for community participation during that time, it is this:

Meetings don't make people come to meetings; issues make people come to meetings.

So when city staff, elected officials, or critics and opponents of these organizations make the accurate claim that some don't have enough people of color, renters, or other demographics in attendance or leadership roles, my first questions are...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Time of Sale Energy Disclosure is the New Regulation Nobody Wants



Photo is of my home in Superior, built in 1900 and getting as much rehab as I can do in 2019 and beyond.  Note the amount of insulation.

In an attempt to address energy efficiency, the Minneapolis City Council is poised to consider adding new burdens on the sale of residential homes.  Specifically, a blower-door test and a two-inch hole drilled on the inside of an exterior wall would tell prospective buyers new information about the home they are purchasing.  If implemented, I worry that this will lead to more difficult real estate transactions, lower home values, and possibly even a net loss in energy output.

While my time living in Minneapolis has drawn to a close and my time owning property there also nears an end, that doesn't mean my connection to the city is severed and never to be restored.  A future job, relationship, or investment opportunity could always take me back to the Twin Cities at some point.  And a regulation like this would make me less likely to make that investment in this fair city.

We'll get into the broader market impacts, but first on a personal note...