By the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights
There’s a lot happening at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights!
At this month’s Commissioners’ meeting, the Department director, Velma J. Korbel, spoke about the Vikings Stadium project. There has been a lot of news about the project, but not enough is being said about the civil rights components: the bill made clear that building this stadium should be as good for minorities and women as it is for the city at large.
The stadium legislation included a mandate to employ as many minorities and women as Minneapolis ordinances suggest during and after the stadium is built. The goal is to employ at least 6% women and 32% minorities. Also, the legislation aims to establish construction contracts with minority- and women-owned businesses. The City of Minneapolis as set the goal for contracts these businesses for at least 25% of the stadium project. The plan will also pair large companies with minority- and women-owned companies to work on projects to help small companies grow and be able to take contracts on themselves in the future.
This project is huge! Director Korbel further noted that there will be nearly $1.1 billion in construction in the next few years, between the Target Center renovation and the new stadium; and that the City of Minneapolis has $400 million invested in the stadium by itself. This large investment will create a number of job opportunities and will increase revenue for Minneapolis. Since the stadium project is so large, it is a state-wide project, involving government entities such as the state Human Rights Department. The state will use this project to give hiring preference to people from areas with high unemployment and high poverty rates in order to help alleviate these problems.
All this activity means that the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights’ Contract Compliance Unit will need to expand its staff in the coming months. Stay tuned for more news about the MDCR’s involvement in the building and staffing of the new Vikings Stadium!
Don’t forget- we will be at the 40th Annual Twin Cities Pride Festival this weekend — look for our booth and check our Facebook Page for pictures and highlights!
Special thanks to our Outreach and Engagement Law Clerk – Ayah Helmy for her contribution to this post.