In August 2016, the St. Paul City Council passed Resolution 16-1407 which created a task force to discuss the creation of a community benefits fund to support the neighborhoods adjacent to the Snelling-Midway Redevelopment Site.
The fund has been named the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative (NUFC) and is the result of more than 2 years of community engagement, discussions, and outreach and officially "launched" in July 2019.
NUFC has been shaped over time by community representatives from the Community Benefits Fund Task Force laid out in a 2016 City Council resolution authored by Thao.
Over the last year, the task force gathered thoughts, ideas, and aspirations for the creation of this community benefits fund and what it might support, including nearly 900 neighborhood comments during initial outreach. Focusing on preventing commercial displacement and supporting small and immigrant/POCI-owned businesses was a priority for just over half of the commenters (478). Other categories like placemaking, beautification, public art, and public health through sanitation were a priority for just under half of the comments (402).
Ideas ranged from façade improvements for local businesses to public art installations, such as sidewalk planters and artist-inspired benches. Ideas aimed to support business development, beautify streetscapes and encourage foot traffic and vibrancy. The Neighbors United Funding Collaborative will now be tasked with implementing that vision, with operational support from both Union Park District Council and Hamline Midway Coalition.
“We’re excited to help make investments in the neighborhood that match the vision laid out in these community conversations. As the site and surrounding area are fully developed, we’re fully committed to helping existing residents and organizations benefit from that development.” - Brandon Long, Union Park District Council, Executive Director
Those investments will be overseen by an advisory committee with community representatives from area neighborhoods, local businesses, soccer supporters groups, and those with expertise in development.
Mudge and Long encourage all community members interested in serving on the NUFC committee to complete the short online NUFC Board Application or reach out to Brandon Long with any questions. The goal is to have advisory committee members in place by the start of the new year to get work underway.
We need folks with experience in small business, fundraising, grantmaking, marketing - all of the above.
To learn more about how you can support the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative, visit https://www.givemn.org/story/Nufc.