Tag Archives: SCCA

Seward Civic & Commerce Association JANUARY MEMBERSHIP MEETING

SCCA JANUARY MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Wednesday, January 18th: 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
United Noodles / 2015 East 24th Street

To kick off the new year, SCCA has invited 3rd Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist Shun Tillman to update area business owners about safety trends in the neighborhood. Officer Tillman will share tips about protecting yourself and your business, as well as providing an opportunity to sign up for email alerts from the Minneapolis Police Department. We will gather for lunch in the meeting room at United Noodles.

A lunch option will be provided by the new and improved UniDeli at United Noodles, for $10 per person. Please RSVP by email to Adam Haydon at sri@redesigninc.org and remember to note any special dietary needs.

SCCA newsletter is attached. Continue reading
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Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success

Bringing Neighbors Together: A Success
Shabelle Deli, 2325 E. Franklin Ave.
By Dave Madsen

If you happened to walk down Franklin Avenue on the afternoon of Sunday, May 15, you may have noticed a few things out of the ordinary. If you followed the signs and smell of delicious food, you may have had the chance to have lunch at Shabelle Deli (2619 E. Franklin Ave.) for the Bringing Neighbors Together Cultural Fair.

The fair, a joint collaboration between Shabelle Deli, Gargar Clinic and Urgent Care Pharmacy, the Sierra Club Seward Redesign, the Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG), the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA), the Seward Co-op, drew in well over a hundred people to Shabelle’s space and attendees had the chance to sample the restaurant’s food while they mingled with one another.

The intention of the fair, as described by its lead organizer, Redesign intern Tayo Yokoi, was to “build awareness of the East African culture that resides here in Seward” and “bring awareness of the opportunities for business owners and residents to get involved on a local level.”

In addition to the variety of food provided by Shabelle Deli, attendees had the chance to have their faces painted by resident and Pizza Luce employee Erik Riese. Also, many of those who attended the event chose to decorate their skin with henna tattoos by Angela Skrade of Ancient Traditions Mendhi.

After people filled themselves with injera and other African delicacies, Tayo Yokoi, Katya Pilling (of Redesign), and Abdur Omer Hassen Ismaiel (owner of Shabelle) thanked everyone who showed up. Attendees then waited in anticipation as Tayo and a few volunteers drew names for the raffle. Once the raffle was over, people continued to filter in and out of Shabelle’s space. From looking at the various locations that people and their ancestors come from on the Where are you from? map, it’s clear that this event indeed brought global and local neighbors together.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Feeding the Neighborhood, One Bus at a Time

Feeding the Neighborhood, One Bus at a Time
Sisters Camelot, 2310 Snelling Ave
by Dave Madsen

According to Mary Story’s 2008 article “Creating Healthy Food and Eating Environments: Policy and Environmental Approaches” in The Annual Review of Public Health, a food desert is an urban area in which access to healthy, organic food is limited to certain communities. These communities are therefore systematically underprivileged and left without proper nourishment. Additionally, these food deserts have the potential to create a generation of people who have no idea where their food comes from, much less the value of fresh produce.

Sister’s Camelot (2310 Snelling Ave. S.) aims to revolutionize the food systems of Minneapolis by regularly distributing organic produce to those who work and live in low-income neighborhoods. The collective’s intentions include building an ecologically-focused Minneapolis that is devoted to long-term sustainability, promoting a responsible global economic system by encouraging “cooperation between local autonomous communities,” and dealing away with the barriers and oppression associated with our society’s structure of dominance and subordinance.

In 1995, Jeff Borowiak and five others started giving away free food from a converted school bus. Their Seattle-based operation was then named Sister’s Camelot in 1997 after he and his partner read The Mists of Avalon. In the story, the term “Sisters’ Camelot” refers to a place that exists without the rule of an oppressive patriarchy. Borowiak adopted the phrase and applied it to his operation as Sisters’ Camelot subtly “resists the dominant paradigm.”

Clay Hans, a member of the collective, said that Sister’s Camelot receives about 8,000 pounds of produce on a weekly basis from Co-op Partners and Albert’s Organics. The food that the collective receives ranges from prepackaged whole foods, to bulk or overstocked foods, to food that is close to its marked expiration date. Once the bus has been loaded, volunteers and the food share committee distribute food to randomly-selected low-income neighborhoods. The boxes used to store the food are then recycled and the remaining food is composted in local community gardens.

But Sisters’ Camelot’s food share program is only a third of its entire operation. In addition to sharing free organic produce with Minneapolis, the collective owns a community garden on 5th Ave. from which the cooks in the kitchen bus use herbs for their meals during the warm months. Sister’s Camelot also provides other community gardens with materials for rich compost for local gardeners. As if that weren’t enough, the kitchen bus has recently started distributing meals alongside the food share vehicles and, according to Hans, the operation has a promising future.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Church Plants its Roots in Seward

Church Plants its Roots in Seward
Seward Church, 2011 21st Avenue South
by Dave Madsen

Imagine walking into your grandmother’s attic and sifting through the endless piles of dusty junk to find a rare painting by a world-renowned artist. The surface of the painting is caked with filth and cobwebs, but underneath the crusty layer of dirt and mold is a masterpiece of vibrant color. This is how David Modder, pastor at Seward Church, describes the responsibility of the church in Western society: to help people see behind the years of corruption and appreciate the beauty of community and worship.

Modder’s relationship with religion stemmed from his upbringing in the church. For a great deal of time, Modder’s entire worldview was centered around Christianity; however, after a tough career experience, his worldview shifted and he was forced to consider what was truly important to his life as a person of faith. From that experience, Modder started Seward Church with a core focus on Jesus and a concentration on community.

Initially, Seward Church’s congregation consisted of only two families in the neighborhood. Since that time, though, Modder and Seward Church have reached out to the surrounding community and their membership has jumped significantly. Modder credits the growth to the church’s intentional outreach to the Seward community and its surrounding neighbors. For an example of how the church extends its hand to the community, Modder said that Seward Church opens its doors on a regular basis for meals and musical performances.

Another way that Seward Church promotes civic engagement is its involvement with the Seward Civic and Commerce Association (SCCA). Modder and members of the congregation attend the SCCA’s membership on a monthly basis, and Modder also reported that he feels welcome in the association as his goals as a church representative are very similar to other business owners’ intentions: to promote a sense of togetherness in the business community and to create a neighborhood environment that welcomes all.

Peace is a driving force that motivates much of Seward Church’s effort in the area and Modder said that the church accomplishes that by striving for justice, passion, and creativity in its work. In addition to the Friday night worship services, Modder said that the congregation coordinates regular small group meetings in the church space, as well as in the homes of certain families. While the large congregations on Friday evenings feel more like “family reunions,” Modder said that the small gatherings of people are where people can “take their masks off” and worship together.

In regard to the future, Modder envisions Seward Church to continue to reach out to everyone in the community, as well as to provide a resource for people who need access to space and/or a place to worship. Seward Church’s space, according to Modder, is multi-functional and can host anything from neighborhood meetings to Radiohead cover bands. Modder said that he would also like to see the Seward Church become more sustainable in the future.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Wood from the Hood Lives Green in May – SCCA Article on Wood from the Hood

Wood from the Hood Lives Green in May
by Dave Madsen

An innovative and creative eye combined with a deep concern for the environment has made the Seward-based company, Wood from the Hood, a respected service in the neighborhood. The company’s high-quality products range from cutting boards to picture frames, but what makes their operation so well regarded is their dedication to use only quality lumber from reclaimed trees in the Minneapolis area. This sustainable approach to business, particularly their attention to supporting a local economy has reserved their space at this year’s Living Green Expo on May 7 and 8.

The Living Green Expo is organized each year by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and, according to their mission statement, “seeks to turn values into actions to achieve the highest quality natural environment for Minnesotans.” Part of this commitment to sustainable living in Minnesota includes an annual showcase with more than 300 exhibitors, workshops, and activities for environmentally conscious residents and business owners.

Cindy Siewert, co-founder and operator of Wood from the Hood, said that the company’s participation in the Living Green Expo will provide them with an opportunity to communicate directly with potential customers and fellow “green” business owners. But the decision to participate in the Expo was motivated by more than expanding their customer base; according to Siewert, “The Living Green Expo is a chance for people to learn and find ways their decision can make a difference. It is great how so many ‘green’ companies come together for one great show to help educate the public on those choices.”

During the Expo, those who stop by Wood from the Hood’s booth will learn about how reclaimed trees are converted into useable, high-quality products. In addition to learning about the process, people who visit Siewert at the booth “will see what the wood actually looks like from the many local trees species,” she said. Products from the company will also be available for people to purchase for their homes or for a gift.

Siewert reported that the principles that guide the Living Green Expo not only fall in line with the vision of Wood from the Hood, but the emphasis on a local economy that has a commitment to recycling, reclaiming, and reusing resources directly reflects the Seward neighborhood. To celebrate their participation in the Expo, Wood from the Hood plans to sell “some ornaments available from the ancient burr oak that once overlooked the Mississippi River for 700 years right here in the Seward neighborhood.” Other noteworthy items that Siewert plans to showcase are a new raised garden bed and some limited editions of black walnut cutting boards.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

Sheldon of all Trades – SCCA Article on Sheldon Mains

Sheldon of all Trades
Sheldon Mains Consulting, 2718 East 24th St.

by Dave Madsen

Sheldon Mains, a technology specialist for local nonprofits and active member of many community organizations, jokes that his wife says he suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to his career. Whether it is helping community organizations with gaining access to new and functional databases,  helping the Twin Cities Media Alliance raise money as chair, or serving for as co-president of the Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG), Sheldon always finds a way to stay very active and engaged in the interests of Seward.

With an  undergrad degree in Electrical Engineering from the U of M and a graduate degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute, he has worked on several projects that combine technology with public policy.  In the 1990s Mains worked on a number of projects to bring the Internet to the Twin Cities nonprofit community, culminating with rebuilding the technology services program at the local Management Assistance Project for Nonprofits. About seven years ago, Mains moved on to opening his own firm and began his consulting business. In essence, Sheldon Mains Consulting (www.SheldonMains.com) is a service that can be utilized by nonprofit organizations in order to gain access to technology and better work within the community. With his experience in engineering and community engagement, Mains’ consulting business works with smaller organizations and grass roots initiatives to help bridge the gap between technology and society.  More specifically, Mains work includes, but isn’t limited to, helping nonprofit organizers find and implement databases to help improve their businesses, setting up phone systems, and developing community blogs for urban and rural neighborhoods. According to Mains, much of his work is approached with the mentality of: “We have a problem, so how can we use technology to help fix it?”

 When Mains’ time isn’t consumed with his consulting business, he serves as the Co-President of SNG (www.SNG.org), a predominantly volunteer-run organization that, according to the SNG’s website, has a commitment to making the Seward neighborhood “a better place to live, work, and play.” Mains took on a leadership role with SNG just as the recession hit. However, after a three-year process of recovering from a “fiscal meltdown,” Mains reported that the SNG is now in very good financial shape.

 The Neighborhood Group divides its focus into five areas: Community Development, Crime and Safety, Environment, History, and Restorative Justice. As Co-President of the Board, Mains works with each of these sectors, but his main area of work lies in Community Development. According to Mains, this year has been a very productive one in regard to the volunteers’ engagement with the community. Mains said that the SNG is working to better engage the African community; he also added that he is working very closely with the Bedlam Theater. A unique aspect of the neighborhood, said Mains, is that the Seward community doesn’t automatically reject low-income housing; instead, the SNG works directly with the neighborhood in order to ensure the most effective implementation of those developments.

 In addition to his work for the SNG, Mains serves as a Board Chair for the Twin Cities Media Alliance. Its primary program is  the Twin Cities Daily Planet (www.TCDailyPlanet.net). The Media Alliance began its work in 2005 with intent to unify media professionals with interested community members to create a news source that was fully representative of local neighborhoods. Since the Alliance’s formation, it has offered journalism workshops to engaged citizens, created and established the Twin Cities Daily Planet as an alternative news source, and organized and hosted public forums to discuss important neighborhood matters.

 Main’s interest in the Media Alliance stemmed from his appreciation of the First Amendment and not from his writing ability. “Engineers are trained to not write well,” Mains joked. As a Board Chair, Mains’ responsibilities include organizational matters, fund raising and how to better engage the surrounding areas of Minneapolis. In Mains’ words, “the Daily Planet is designed to help communities tell their own stories in the shadow of the larger reporting on the metropolitan area.”

 Since Mains joined the Media Alliance, he has witnessed the growth of the organization and the success associated with the expansion. In fact, Mains reported that in the past year, the Daily Planet doubled its individual donations. In addition to monetary support from neighbors, the Media Alliance has received funding from the Challenge Fund for Journalism, the McKnight Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Saint Paul Foundation, the Still Ain’t Satisfied Foundation, and the F.R. Bigelow Foundation.

 According to Mains, there isn’t a week-to-week—much less a day-to-day—routine for his work life. When a client requests services from his consulting business, Mains’ priorities always default to that commitment.

 If Mains’ consulting service is running slow, and he cannot find an ample amount of time to invest in SNG or the Media Alliance, Mains’ fourth job consists of improving and remodeling his “full-time hobby home” in Seward.

 For those who are interested in participating in neighborhood involvement, Mains encouraged that residents and business owners first decide on what area they are interested in. Whether it is becoming personally involved in the restorative justice process, or  submitting an article to the Daily Planet, Mains said that it is important to choose an area to focus on in order to not get too overwhelmed. According to Mains, anyone who shows up to SNG’s public meetings can vote on matters as long as they live, work or own property in Seward , and anyone in the neighborhood can become involved with a committee by just showing up.

 Visit http://sheldonmains.efoliomn.com/ to read more about Mains’ consulting business, http://www.sng.org/ for more information about SNG, and http://www,TCDailyPlanet.net to read the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Dave Madsen
612.435.0277

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
redesigninc.org

SCCA April Meeting Notice and Newsletter

April Meeting
IRS Update with Karen Brehmer
This month’s meeting will be hosted in the Ivy Arts Building at 2637 27th Ave. S. It will focus on information regarding the Health Care Reform Act. Many business owners have expressed interest in hearing about the law as it stands today, as well as how it applies to their employees.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 / 11:45 am – 1:00pm
Vine Arts Center / 2637 27th Avenue South
Lunch TBA.  *Lunch is optional*
To RSVP, please contact Megan:  612.435.0279 /
megan@redesigninc.org

Megan Sheridan

Redesign, Inc.
2619 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406