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Part of North Minneapolis gets federal ‘Promise Zone’ designation

This means the area gets priority in federal funding, extra volunteer help and possible tax incentives for businesses.

A large part of North Minneapolis has been designated a “Promise Zone,” and will get extra federal help as officials try to cut poverty, unemployment and crime.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the designation today during an event at the Northside Achievement Zone.

City officials say their plan is to improve housing stability, educational opportunities and training, economic development and jobs, and safe and healthy neighborhoods.

The zone in North Minneapolis is bounded by Queen Avenue North (on the east), Mississippi River (west), Memorial Parkway/45thAvenue North (north) and Bassett’s Creek (south).

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The specific benefits in being a Promise Zone are:

  • Priority points for selected competitive federal funding opportunities
  • Up to five AmeriCORPS VISTA volunteers
  • Potential tax incentives for businesses that hire and invest in the Promise Zone (if enacted by Congress).

Five other areas also received the designation: Camden, N.J.; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Sacramento; and St. Louis County, Mo.

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson said:

“The goal of the entire program is to create a Promise Zone that is a thriving, vibrant and economically viable asset to the people who live and work there, as well as for the rest of the city.”

And Council Member Blong Yang said:

“While Minneapolis is a great place to live, work, and visit, it’s no secret that the employment and educational disparities the city faces are most severe on the north side. The Promise Zone designation will help us continue our work to close these gaps, and improve employment and educational opportunities in north Minneapolis.”