What We’ve Accomplished in Three Years

Together, we are ensuring that Hennepin County continues to serve as a safety net for those who need it, and a champion for the common good.

Immigration

  • Joined by many neighbors and community advocates, I successfully championed two initiatives that support residents ensnared in deportation proceedings:  
    • A fund for the legal defense of detained immigrant residents who qualify financially 
    • An innovative requirement that the sheriff’s office inform those being booked, in multiple languages, of their rights not to speak with federal ICE agents

Stabilizing and strengthening children and families

  • Our work on financial inclusion (making financial services accessible to all individuals, regardless of net worth) is leading to changes at the county: human resources has identified this as a key initiative for county employee wellbeing, and human services has identified this as key strategy in conjunction with the county’s focus on equity
  • This year we added dedicated investigative and prosecutorial staff to supplement the county’s excellent human services response for victim-survivors of trafficking. This is key to attacking demand
  • In collaboration with stakeholders, I launched the “Voices of Safe Harbor” report, one of the first studies to give full voice to the recommendations of victim-survivors of youth sex trafficking
  • With your support, I ensured that the county pays for childcare for families transitioning out of homelessness, when formerly the family’s new housing would render them ineligible
  • We have made sweeping changes to Child Wellbeing services at Hennepin County. Massive new hiring, formalized data unit, caseload analysis, to name three

Health and wellbeing for the entire community

  • At my urging, and joined by advocates, the board voted to include electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) in Hennepin’s Clean Indoor Air policy 
  • Hennepin County has joined with other Minnesota counties in a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers in and effort to recoup costs for this public health crisis 
  • I lead Hennepin County’s Active Living initiative, which is a collaboration across cities to embrace a built environment that supports healthy living and physical activity 
  • Hennepin County Public Health earned national awards for our response to the measles outbreak earlier in the year 
  • In the last three years the Board has awarded Youth Sports grants to these District 3 projects: 
    • Completion of a new playground and interpretive history site at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park
    • Refurbishing the Loring Park and Morgan (serving Washburn) tennis courts
    • Two fastpitch softball fields in St. Louis Park
    • Skate park in St. Louis Park
    • Fitness center at Washburn High School
    • Recreation center and outdoor ice rink in St. Louis Park

Housing and Home

  • I established a pilot that provides legal services to those being wrongfully evicted. Preliminary data indicate that this is a successful way to prevent evictions and keep families in stable, self-funded housing
  • The county led the nation in creative ways to address the affordable housing crisis, by establishing the NOAH (naturally occurring affordable housing) fund. Our $3 million of seed money sparked $22 million of investment from partners, to fuel a revolving fund enabling affordable housing landlords to compete on the open market for properties that are primed for redevelopment
  • I served as the board liaison to the 100-day challenge to find housing and jobs for homeless youth. The county and coalition partners “blew our housing goals out of the water”

Infrastructure

  • Due to statutorily defined process, the Hennepin County Board was in a position to reaffirm the recommendation of the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board that the Dakota name Bde Maka Ska be restored to Lake Calhoun. My office hosted a form on the topic and process (a recording of which can be found at www.hennepin.us/greene, or by searching “Greene Room” at your podcast provider).
  • The county’s public works department has re-examined the way it considers road safety, and the board is prioritizing safety for those who walk, bike and roll in Hennepin County. In 2017 the county hired a dedicated traffic safety engineer, and the 2018 budget includes a significant safety fund
  • The board has adopted a 2040 Bicycle Transportation Plan, which includes more than 170 action items that advance infrastructure, education, encouragement and evaluation
  • In 2017 Hennepin County assumed a greater role in transit funding after regional leaders were unable to fulfill their commitments, ending the decade-long five-county partnership known as CTIB (Counties Transit Improvement Board)
  • Hennepin County invested in electronic poll books. They have already cut line times on voting day countywide, and have left less room for error in voter data
  • Washburn Library got a needed new roof

Greening Hennepin County

  • To help replace trees in our canopy layer that are decimated by emerald ash borer, the county opened a gravel-bed nursery 
  • At my request, Hennepin County provided stormwater management funding for the newly remodeled Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center 
  • Hennepin County is shifting waste management funding in order to increase municipal organics recycling

Public Safety

  • I championed the placement of a social worker in the county’s specialty court serving homeless individuals whose lack of stable housing contributes to their criminality. This “navigator” role has had an immediate effect on further reducing rates of arrest and lengths of jail stays
  • Via my direction, Hennepin County contracts services with the Children’s Law Center to provide full legal representation to state wards. All major decisions about what happens to foster care youth are made through legal proceedings, which is why legal representation for them is so crucial
  • The board is constantly working to reduce the number of people with mental illness in the county jail

Demystifying county government: Outreach and communications

  • I have worked hard to connect constituents with the work of the board. As well as attending as many community events as possible, I have: 
    • Introduced a monthly newsletter that recaps the board’s and my activities, and profiles a county employee who is a District 3 resident (sign up here: bit.ly/D3Newsletter) 
    • Offered office hours at coffee shops across the district 
    • Developed a forum and panel series called the Greene Room, on topics of interest, which has generated the board’s first ever podcasts (available at www.hennepin.us/greene, or from your podcast distributor)
  • The county now hosts an annual open data event, “Geo:Code,” which gives residents a new opportunity to engage with the county to solve problems together

Leading the way as an employer

  • Hennepin County offers paid parental leave to our employees
  • Hennepin County has a minimum wage of $15 for our employees

Appointments and Organizational Leadership

  • Governor’s Young Women’s Initiative Council, establishing a regional agenda for the wellbeing of young women, particularly women of color, young Native women, young women from Greater Minneasota, LGBTQ* youth, and young women with disabilities
  • Board Chair, Hennepin Health accountable care organization
  • Board Chair, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
  • Vice-Chair, Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee
  • Committee Chair, Hennepin County board Health Committee
  • Committee Vice-Chair, Hennepin County board Public Safety Committee
  • Board Member, Joint Committee on Community Corrections (Bench/Board)
  • Board Member, Meet Minneapolis