The Alliance is a coalition of community-based organizations and advocacy groups building shared power to advance strategic campaigns around the intersections of racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, and health equity. Our mission is to advance justice and equity in economic growth and land development in the Twin Cities region.
Impact and Programs
ENSURE A DIVERSE WORKFORCE
HIRE Minnesota is a campaign working to end Minnesota's racial disparities in employment and create career pathways for people of color in the construction trades. Through this body of work, we have helped large public agencies like the Minnesota Department of Transportation, local governmental authorities, and the Metropolitan Council to increase the number of people of color and women in the workforce that builds our state's roads, bridges, stadiums, transitways, and other major construction and infrastructure projects in the state and metro region.
IMPLEMENT STANDARDS FOR EQUITABLE WORKFORCE INCLUSION
HIRE’s Workforce Projection Tool is a fundamental component of success in meeting workforce goals. We have successfully implemented it during the Central Corridor LRT Project, MnDOT’s Franklin Ave Bridge Project, and the Vikings Stadium. All these projects have challenged the status quo in their abilities to get close to, reach, or surpass the participation goals for people of color. HIRE has continued to gain traction in the usage of the Workforce Projection Tool in the field. The Met Council will use it on both the Green and Blue Line LRT Extensions.
SURPASS STATE GOALS FOR WORKFORCE DIVERSITY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE VIKINGS STADIUM
By employing a whole set of employment equity best practices, we helped lead efforts to ensure success on this massive project. People of color worked 1.4 million hours on the project, or 37 percent of the total project hours. This exceeded the original ambitious goal of 32 percent. We project that this generated $41 million in wages for households of color in our region.
ADVANCE TRANSIT EQUITY
Our transit equity work is shaped around the value of including community-based leadership in regional and municipal planning, project design, and major infrastructure investment decisions. Organizing efforts have had both a west metro and east metro focus and promote strategies to improve metropolitan level planning, expand our regional transit and active transportation systems, and create a strong and unprecedented network of connectivity to economic and social opportunity.
IMPROVE BUS INFRASTRUCTURE
Our collaboration with Metro Transit on bus infrastructure improvements reflects our value of community-based leadership. We worked with our Community Engagement Team partners to ensure that local communities and bus riders shape and define plans for the equitable distribution of more than 275 new bus stop shelters and provide significant input into our region’s Transit Service Plan.
SUPPORT EQUITY IN PLACE
Working with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, the Alliance co-convened the Equity in Place coalition table, a collection of organizations representative of and led by communities of color that are coordinating efforts with the Metropolitan Council to identify and engage community efforts to increase economic and social opportunities in the region. Equity in Place is a diverse group of strategic partners from place-based, housing, and advocacy organizations. We believe that everyone in the Twin Cities region deserves to live where they wish to live and have access to opportunity. Our region benefits from many assets, but we continue to be unable to translate these benefits to everyone, specifically to communities of color. Equity in Place engages various community-based organizations in influencing major planning and investments that will shape the future of the Twin Cities region.
ENGAGE COMMUNITY IN RESPONDING TO A FAIR HOUSING COMPLAINT
Through Equity in Place, the Alliance also worked collectively to improve engagement processes surrounding a Fair Housing complaint issued by a few Minneapolis neighborhood and community groups. Concerned that Fair Housing issues were being debated and might be resolved without meaningful input from communities of color, we successfully advocated for a Fair Housing Advisory Council with community oversight, secured four seats for Equity in Place members on that committee, added other allies, built public sector alliances, and secured public funds for micro-grants to support the direct engagement of renters of color in defining the fair housing agenda in our region.
ADVANCE TRANSFORMATIVE EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Our Transformative Equitable Development series created a space for community leaders to share their experience and intentionally strategize on the ways in which we can anchor community-led, transformative equitable development in our region. The series highlighted the existing assets in communities as well as the opportunities to build stronger together in our future. Through this work, we demonstrated how transformative equitable development can create better outcomes for low-wealth communities and communities of color.
Ensure regional and state transportation projects meet their goals for hiring people of color.
Monitor other high profile projects for potential employment equity campaigns.
Pursue policy reforms that increase workforce pathways for “never located” workers.
Engage low-wealth communities of color in working with Metro Transit to improve service, systems, amenities and the ridership experience.
Secure up to a 1/2 -cent sales tax increase for metro counties to be dedicated to public transit, bike/ped and other forms of active transportation funding.
Protect Metro Transit from operational budget cuts and continue to build the base and case for larger state investments.
Defend Met Council against legislative attacks in the wake of the SWLRT COP funding maneuver.
Guide the transition of the North Minneapolis Greenway Now group to an independent, advocacy-based status defined by the Northside community.
Secure community compacts to organize the equitable development and health equity concerns generated by low-wealth communities and communities of color.
Ensure Southwest LRT Equity Commitments are incorporated into transitway and associated development plans.
Institutionalize community accountability models within the Metropolitan Council.
Grow our shared prosperity by ensuring all Twin Cities communities, particularly those labeled as racially concentrated areas of poverty (RCAPs), are geographies of opportunity.
Position the Alliance as a leading voice for regional equity, both within our region and at the national level – elevate the strategies and coalition organizing model of the Alliance among national observers.
Position campaigns and partners as leading voices for regional equity, both within our region and at the national level.
Community or Constituency Served
People of color, indigenous, immigrant, and low wealth communities in the Twin Cities region
Geographic Area Served
Twin Cities region