Big Issues

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A neighborhood hero


Did anybody else see this story out of the Twin Cities today? This neighbor’s courage and presence of mind made all the difference, enabling him to bring ten people, including several small children, out of a house fire to safety. Not everyone is called on to be a community hero in such a dramatic way, but how awesome is it to see that there are people who will put themselves in danger in order to make a difference for others?

Fire warnings all over Minnesota today due to a combination of high wind and low humidity. Be careful out there, Lincoln Park!

On a positive note…


Check out these Denfeld students who are taking a stand against bullying and negativity in their school.

Too often anonymity is an excuse for ripping people apart. How would you use it to build community and encourage your neighbors? What would you write? Here are some notes to highlight from Denfeld:

  • “I bet you have nice socks on.” #minnesotacompliments
  • “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” Words to live by.
  • “Life is short, choose happiness!”
  • “Don’t trade your passion for glory.” (These students weren’t even alive when “Eye of the Tiger” came out…)
  • “Just keep swimming!”
  • “You are loved.”
  • “Be the change!”


Lincoln Park Apartments now accepting applications!


The old Lincoln Park Elementary School building (2424 W. 5th St.) is being converted into affordable apartments, slated to open April 2015. Stop by in person to submit applications on Wednesday, February 18 (3-7 pm) and Thursday, February 19 (9 am-2 pm). Income limits apply. For more details on these limits as well as the amenities of the new apartments, download this PDF.

Lincoln Park Apartments Flyer

Seed Libraries and Seed Sharing


As you may have heard, the future of the Duluth Seed Library is in question. This library, which makes it possible for users to share the extra seeds they’ve collected at the end of the gardening season with others, is proving difficult to maintain in the face of laws requiring large-scale seed tests before they are sold or given away. This evening there will be an informational meeting about the seed sharing issue–if you are interested in finding out more about this situation, join the Institute for a Sustainable Future, Duluth Seed Library committee members, and city councilors at this meeting. It’ll be held at Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. East., on Thursday, December 11 from 7:15-8:30 p.m. Neighborhood gardeners and anyone interested in food access and sustainability issues are invited to attend and get informed about this important topic.

The issue will also be addressed at Monday’s Duluth City Council meeting, to be held at 7 pm in the 3rd floor Council Chamber at City Hall on 411 W. 1st St.

For more details, check out the library’s event page here.

Comm-U-N-Ity Compstat is back!


Want to help take the initiative in making Lincoln Park safer and healthier? Comm-U-N-Ity Compstat came back in September after taking the summer off…but they’re hoping to see even more neighbors at this month’s meeting!

  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 (one week away!)
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Harrison Community Center (3002 W. 3rd St.)

Note that the time and place overlap with two other super-cool things:

(1) The Lincoln Park Farmers’ Market, 4-7 p.m. Some sweet summer veggie bounty right here in the neighborhood!

(2) Northern Expressions Arts Collective’s weekly In the Park-After Dark event. Parents and guardians, here’s what the kids can be doing while you’re in the meeting.

Ow, my zip code!


Can your zip code really be killing you? According to the latest St. Louis County health report (downloadable here), it’s not such a stretch:

“Projected Life Expectancy in Zip Code 55812 (Duluth) was the highest at 84.65 years. The lowest projected life expectancy was 73.44 years found in Zip Code Zone D, made up of Duluth Zip Codes 55802 and 55806. That is a difference of 11.2 years.”

How do these gaps happen? What can we do to help health in Lincoln Park catch up with Lakeside? Well, here’s a chance to start the discussion.

Moving from Table Talk to Action in collaboration with The Health and Wellness Action Table presents…

My Zip Code Is Killin’ Me!

An original theatrical production written by troupe members and directed by Simona Simkins. My Zip Code Is Killin’ Me! is an interactive theater experience that explores the intersection of health and race issues facing our community. Join us for an evening of empowerment as we move from talk to action in the struggle to end health disparities and build a stronger community. This performance encourages audience participation! There will be two performances

  • Friday, September 5, 7 pm in the lower level of the old Lincoln Park Elementary School, 2424 W. 5th St.
  • Friday, September 12, 7 pm at Harbor City International School, 332 W. Michigan St. downtown.
The mission of The Table is to promote racial equity in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnerships that result in fundamental and systemic changes toward racial justice.
Thanks to the Northland Foundation for their support of this project!


Steve O’Neil Apartments pre-application


Do you know any families who have been experiencing homelessness and need permanent, stable housing and resources to help get their lives on track? CHUM Duluth, Center City Housing Corporation, and D.W. Jones Management, Inc. have partnered to build the new Steve O’Neil Apartments at 115 W. 4th St. It’s a secure building with furnished 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments, some of which will be fully accessible; laundry facilities, a community room with kitchen, and secure outdoor space will all be on-site. The building is still under construction, but D.W. Jones is now accepting pre-applications for families who want to get on the list for one of the apartments.

Paper copies of the applications are available at D.W. Jones’ Duluth office (605 N. Central Ave.) and at the CHUM business office (102 W. 2nd St.). Completed applications can be dropped off at the CHUM office.

Any property management questions? Contact Patty Nadeau with D.W. Jones: or 1-800-810-2853.

Any questions on supportive services? Contact Mary Lu Larsen with CHUM:

Equity in Hiring: what’s your take?


Last night’s Equity in Hiring meeting in the Hillside brought around 50 community members, organizers, employers, representatives of trade unions, and career counselors together to face a hard question: in a city where 63% of African Americans and 67.6% of Native Americans are living in poverty, how can the community work towards ensuring all Duluthians have access to employment?

Click here for a news clip from the meeting.

A few barriers were discussed:

  • Transportation. There are good jobs available in the skilled trades (carpentry, plumbing, etc.), but if you don’t have a car to get to worksites, those jobs are unrealistic.
  • Initial financial burdens of training. Sure, getting that $200 certification will pay off in the long run, but how are you supposed to scrape that together at the outset?
  • Networks. If you don’t know people who are already working in a field, it might not even be on your radar. Or you might not have the mentorship you need to understand the process of getting into the field–knowing where to start is not always straightforward.
  • Problems with your record. Maybe you made bad choices once, but you’ve done your time or paid your dues or gotten clean. It’s still hard to find employment afterwards.
  • Education. The school system is meant to give students possibilities, but there are huge disparities both in finishing high school and in finding the educational process inspiring instead of discouraging. Not to mention that schools across the country are trimming their vocational tech courses in favor of putting more students on the college prep track–that’s always a hot topic.

What do you see as the barriers to finding good employment in Lincoln Park? What can our community do to help take down those barriers?