In the aftermath of Major League Baseball’s infamous fireworks fiasco (in which neighbors who were promised a short, silent light show by the All-Star Gala event organizer were instead treated to a post-midnight, window-rattling display worthy of the 4th of July) the Minnesota Twins gave away thousands of tickets to surrounding neighborhood organizations as a supplement to its public apology for the bait-and-switch.
Most neighborhoods settled on a lottery, or a first-come, first-served giveaway, but the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) decided to donate the more than 700 tickets it received to a multitude of neighborhood charities, non-profits and homeless shelters.
“I know some of the other neighborhoods decided to go in a different direction, and we knew a fair amount of local residents already had access to the tickets, so we decided reach out to some of the organizations we’ve been partnering with,” said DMNA President Nick Cichowicz.
The DMNA’s decision is an example of Minneapolis’s neighborhood associations attempting to shift from the investment-based focus of the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) to a model concentrated more on community engagement.
“We’re working on this idea of ‘how can we be more engaged in the community?’ It’s always been a part of the DMNA, but now we’re really thinking about how to engage not only the homeowners, but the renters, the business community and local non-profits and charities,” said Cichowicz.
The DMNA’s next meeting will focus on drumming up interest in the DMNA annual meeting, where it hopes to draw a variety of downtown stakeholders and get them involved in DMNA initiatives. The annual meeting is scheduled for Oct. 21 at The Depot.