BLC votes NO on route modification

The BLC is part of the Corridor Management Committee (CMC) — a voting body that advises the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County on the design and construction the Blue Line extension project. Most projects like this have a CMC — but this one is different. Thanks to years of advocacy, BLC partners (with the support of then Rep. Keith Ellison) secured two seats at this table, which is otherwise composed of mayors and senior planners from the corridor cities. Our inclusion intentionally makes room for underrepresented communities who are disproportionately impacted by the construction of the Blue Line extension project.

On June 9, 2022, the CMC voted on the recommended modified route. BLC took a strong stance and voted NO. This is not because we are against transit development. It is because we are a coalition of organizations that deeply care about and love our communities and demand that patterns of harm are broken and history is made — with us and for us.

This is what we shared with the committee when we voted NO:

We, the Blue Line Coalition, are disappointed at the lack of intentionality to align the timing of the route modification to the efforts to ensure that Black, immigrant, and people of color communities benefit directly from the construction of this transit project — rather than paying the ultimate price: being displaced.

It is disappointing that all we have learned and seen at the city, county and regional level over the past several years was not enough to compel action on anti-displacement before choosing a new route for the Blue Line extension project. 

Our collective memory has not changed. We remember Rondo. We remember Olson Memorial Highway. We remember all of those community members and families who have been disproportionately negatively impacted by transportation projects funded by our tax dollars.

We continue to look for ways to support this project. We welcome investment and the ability to create pathways for our micro and small businesses to move from renters to owners. We welcome safe, reliable transportation for our community members, who are transit dependent and currently unable to take their kids out on the weekend to visit the cities where we live and work. We strongly believe that our community deserves nice things, like a grocery store where we can buy healthy foods to cook meals for our families.

But, because of the enormous respect and love that our communities deserve, we must stay true to our principles. We cannot support a project that is being built in the name of equity, when we still do not know how much money will be allocated to address the inequities that have shaped our neighborhoods for generations. So we are voting No.

We do remain hopeful that change is possible. Through our collective efforts we were able to produce many comments during the commenting period for the route modification report that agreed we can do better on the Blue Line extension project. We appreciate and support the efforts of Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, Hennepin County Commissioners Irene Fernando and Jeff Lunde, Representative Ilhan Omar, and Senator Tina Smith. However, every day that passes without cohesive and concrete efforts by all levels of government, we miss the opportunity to build a different kind of legacy — a legacy that can catalyze our communities’ economic success.

We will continue to eagerly and assertively find ways to support this project once we see in place the demands that we are putting forward and once the timeline is build to break historic patterns of harm.

Read more in our comment letter and community report!

BLC Presents at Equitable Development Scorecard Workshop

BLC recently participated in a panel discussion about its use of the Equitable Development Principles and Scorecard at a workshop titled, “Building Healthy Communities with Equitable Development Principles and Scorecard.” Part of the event was filmed and can be viewed online (Part 1 and Part 2).

See more about BLC’s work with the scorecard on our Policies page.

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Workshop presenters included JooHee Pomplun (The Alliance), Nieeta Presley (Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation), Nichole Buehler (Harrison Neighborhood Association), Colleen O’Connor Toberman (Blue Line Coalition) and Kimberly Carpenter (Metro Blooms). Photo credit: Carolyn Szczepanski, The Alliance.

BLC Responds to Brooklyn Park 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan

The Blue Line Coalition has issued a response to the Brooklyn Park 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan.

In part, BLC’s response reads, “The Blue Line Coalition calls for the city to expand its racial equity analysis in the plan. A city’s responsibility is to provide a high quality of living for all residents, but this is impossible to do without a clear commitment to understanding and ending racial and economic disparities across all areas of city services, including transportation, economic development, and housing. Brooklyn Park should include in its community profile an analysis of income, housing cost burden, home ownership, education, and employment disparities by race. Policies and actions specifically designed to address these disparities should also be added to the final comprehensive plan.”

BLC’s full response, with specific policy recommendations, is available here.

Community advocates are encouraged to submit their feedback on the draft comprehensive plan to Cindy Sherman. Public comment closes on October 26.

BLC Co-Sponsors Equitable Development Workshops

This fall, BLC is co-sponsoring a series of Equitable Development Workshops. These workshops are a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Prevention, Hennepin County, Nexus Community Partners, Twin Cities LISC, and BLC.

The goal of the workshop series is to help community advocates, city staff and officials, businesses, and others plan for equitable development in LRT corridors, with a focus on the suburban context. They are free and open to all and food will be served.


September 13th, 4-7 pm: Equity Advances Economic Growth: Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Registration is open! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/equity-advances-economic-growth-tickets-48934257682

Moderator: Shauen Pearce, Economic Development & Inclusion Policy Director, Minneapolis Mayor’s Office

Panelists: Isabel Chanslor, Neighborhood Development Center; Bill Blazar, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Jackson George, Liberian Business Association


October 10th, 4-7 pm: Housing Affordability Grows Healthy Communities: Preservation and Production


November 8th, 4-7 pm: Community Development Innovation and Opportunity in Diverse and Changing Suburbs

BLC Responds to Golden Valley 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan

The Blue Line Coalition has issued a response to the Golden Valley 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan.

In part, BLC’s response reads, “While the Blue Line Coalition appreciates Golden Valley’s leadership in some key areas of concern such as affordable housing, we strongly condemn the lack of any explicit commitment to or analysis of equity in this draft comprehensive plan. A city’s responsibility is to provide a high quality of living for all residents, but this is impossible to do without a clear commitment to understanding and ending racial and economic disparities.

“Golden Valley should include in its community profile an analysis of income, housing cost burden, home ownership, and employment disparities by race. Policies and actions specifically designed to address these disparities should also be added to the final comprehensive plan.”

BLC’s full response, with specific policy recommendations, is available here.

Community advocates are encouraged to submit their feedback on the draft comprehensive plan to planning@goldenvalleymn.gov. Public comment closes on July 15.

BLC Responds to Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan

The Blue Line Coalition has issued a response to the Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan.

In part, BLC’s response reads, “The Blue Line Coalition (BLC) supports the Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan’s stated goals including racial equity, increased affordable housing, living-wage jobs, and a healthy population. These goals are commendable and are critical to our city’s success. However, the policies in the draft plan fall short of the actions needed to reach those goals. Achieving equity and a high quality of life for all residents will not happen by accident and it will not happen through years of simply contemplating action. Bold, action-oriented leadership is needed now.

“BLC calls for the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan to be more specific about the actions the city will undertake in pursuit of its goals, as well as how success will be measured.”

BLC’s full response, with specific policy recommendations, is available here.

Community advocates are encouraged to submit their feedback on the draft comprehensive plan at www.minneapolis2040.com. Public comment closes on July 22.