Neighborhood Association Funding at Risk for Reduction

Statement on importance of city continuing to fund Victory Neighborhood Association:

Some of you may be aware that the City Council is considering significant changes to the way it supports neighborhood organizations like ViNA. Neighborhoods 2020 would dramatically reduce the amount of funding provided to these important organizations that do the day-in and day-out work of improving our neighborhoods.  We thought it was important that before the City Council makes a final decision, you as residents and property owners in the neighborhood, understand what those changes could mean to you and the types of programming we provide. We ask that if you value this programming and representation, you make your voices heard at City Hall.

The Victory Neighborhood Association, or ViNA, is a non-profit organization that has represented the Victory Community since 1992, where resident voices are heard. Through the work of the Board of Directors, Committees, and the ViNA Administrator, and with the current funding provided by the city, ViNA can:

  • facilitate programs, events, services and monthly gatherings that build community and meet the needs of residents
  • assist residents and property owners in navigating city services
  • build relationships with community members, shown by people stopping into the office to chat, reaching out to us when they are seeking information and resources for themselves and their families
  • coordinate youth employment opportunities through Victory Youth Corp that provides yard services like mowing, raking, and shoveling to seniors and persons with various abilities year-round
  • provide home improvement grants for residents to assist in costly improvements as well as small business matching grants to assist our local business owners improve their businesses
  • host events such as the annual Ice Cream Social, Neighborhood Garage Sale, photos with Santa during Holiday on 44th event
  • engage residents in Environment, Livability, Business or Events committees or as Community Connectors
  • link people in need with people who have volunteered to meet needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • coordinate the Block Ambassador program welcoming residents into the neighborhood and serving as a resource to new residents

We need your help to continue our mission to be responsive to community needs and promote inclusion, fairness, and wellness. We are starting a community food garden to give residents who do not have access to land to grow food an opportunity to do so. We have also debuted an anti-racism initiative in response to neighborhood requests.

Much of the funding supporting these programs and activities comes from the City, which in 2020 was about $48,000. That funding supports our part-time administrator, part time livability coordinator, community building expenses, and our office space at 44th and Osseo Road. The draft proposed funding changes would significantly reduce our operating budget – to about $19,000 by 2023 – and would greatly impact our ability to continue our programs, activities and dedication to meeting our neighborhood needs. With reduced funding, we would not be able to provide the necessary services and programs our neighborhood depends on.

We ask that the proposed funding changes take into consideration how important neighborhood associations are to the vitality of each neighborhood and are necessary to meet the needs of thousands of households in our neighborhood and other neighborhoods across the city. Without the appropriate funding, our community will be greatly negatively impacted. 

You can learn more about the proposed changes to city support of neighborhood associations and submit your comments at http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/ncr/2020. Comments must be submitted by September 30, 2020. 

Suggestions for comment to city

Describe your connection to Victory Memorial neighborhood. How long have you or your family lived here? What drew you to the community? What do you value about the neighborhood? What services, programs, or events do you utilize that are sponsored by ViNA (see bulleted list above)? If you have concerns or ideas for future projects, describe how funding changes could potentially limit ViNA’s ability to carry these out.

Sample Statement

I/We have lived in Victory Neighborhood for __________ years. As residents of Victory, I/we support and value the work done by Victory Neighborhood Association (ViNA). I/We regularly participate in__________ and take advantage of_______________ programs sponsored by ViNA (see bulleted list above for ideas). 

With reduced funding, I/we are concerned that ViNA would not be able to provide the necessary services and programs our neighborhood depends on. I/We ask that the proposed funding changes take into consideration how important neighborhood associations are to the vitality of each neighborhood and are necessary to meet the needs of thousands of households in our neighborhood and other neighborhoods across the city. Without the appropriate funding, our community will be greatly negatively impacted. 

Thank You!

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