Comrades, we’ve just passed Earth Day, and in that spirit, we are thrilled to share positive news about the effort in East Phillips to avoid demolition of the Roof Depot and realize the community’s vision of an indoor urban farm, housing, and community hub.
In a meeting on Wednesday, April 19, with the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) and state legislators, the City of Minneapolis stated they would be willing to sell the full site to EPNI. The City purchased the site in 2016, and a city attorney had previously indicated there was no intention to sell. This shift from the City brings EPNI’s plans one step closer to reality, though there are still hurdles to overcome. The City is only willing to cooperate on this so long as their other priorities at the legislature aren’t impacted. Also, the funding still needs to be passed by the legislature.
Recently the Seward Vaccine Equity Project (SVEP) released an open letter signed by healthcare professionals and community organizations calling on the City to not increase pollution in East Phillips. Twin Cities DSA was a signatory to the letter, and we have also worked both with our endorsed elected officials and in our preparations for Minneapolis City Council elections to elevate this issue at the legislature and in Minneapolis. However, there is still work to do to bring this home. The current ask is for folks to call their electeds to state their support for the funding for EPNI and request they help it pass before the session ends on May 22.