Neighborhood Notes

Irene Fernando – District 2 Hennepin County Commissioner – August Update

August 2019

Our office is dedicated to serving residents and making the County more transparent, accessible, and just.

Please reach out with questions or comments, or to learn more about how to get involved.

– Irene


Building Deeply Affordable Housing

As the chair of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, I believe Hennepin County is uniquely positioned to lead at the intersection of affordable housing and human services. Our new direction aims to couple housing units with human services, to support people and families more holistically. We aim to invest $91 million to build 1,000 units with integrated services in the coming years, for those at the lowest income levels.

On July 30, 2019, nearly 70 people from 40 organizations came together to learn more about the plan and provide early feedback on how we can ensure successful implementation in coming years. Over 50 people contributed to these small-group discussions, resulting in over 2,100 minutes of dialogue (factoring in lunches and breaks, this is equivalent to a full-time work week!).

Our office created a road map of HRA’s journey to date and our direction going forward. Read it at



Grow your business with technical support programs

Hennepin County offers technical assistance and business support through multiple programs.

CEO Next Business Institute—now accepting applications

The program helps second-stage companies through advanced business and market research, peer and cohort learning, and expert forums. Privately held businesses that have between 10 and 99 employees, and $1 million -$50 million in revenue are eligible.

Apply online by September 30.

Open to Business 

Entrepreneurs can access technical assistance, including business plan development, feasibility studies, marketing, loan request preparation, finance projections and much more.

Watch how the program has helped past participants succeed (2:14).

Visit the program’s website.


Tips to weather the Minnesota storm season

Once dangerous weather has struck, it is too late to start thinking about your plan to stay safe. View info on how to prepare for severe weather, including thunderstorms, floods, extreme heat, tornadoes and more.


Places to beat the summer heat

When the weather gets hot, it’s important to stay cool by staying indoors in air-conditioned buildings. Use this interactive map of cooling centers to stay out of the heat and stay safe. These spaces are welcome to all.


National Breastfeeding Month events

Hennepin County joins the nation in recognizing August as National Breastfeeding Month, to raise awareness of breastfeeding benefits and to support breastfeeding families.

Chocolate Milk: The Documentary

Told through the narratives of three African American women: a new mother, a midwife and a WIC lactation educator, the film seeks to answer the longstanding question of why more African American women are not breastfeeding.

  • Monday, August 26, 2019, 4:30 to 7 p.m.
  • NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
  • 1256 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis

3rd annual Chocolate Milk Day

Celebrate black breastfeeding families with food, games, prizes and more. This event is hosted by Dr. LaVonne Moore of Chosen Vessels Midwifery Services.

  • Thursday, August 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Fairview Park
  • 621 North 29th Avenue, Minneapolis

News From the Library


Read + Ride Day at the Minnesota State Fair, August 28

Bring your library card and present it at a State Fair gate for discounted admission on Wednesday, August 28. Stop by Dan Patch Park 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for stage shows and family fun. View details on the day’s activities and events at


Reading recommendations from Mary Moriarty, Hennepin County Chief Public Defender

Learn about the criminal justice system, criminal justice reform and the legacy of unjust systems of the past. View book recommendations by Chief Public Defender of Hennepin County, Mary Moriarty.


Take reading on the road this summer

Audiobooks are fun and entertaining for the whole family, and help kids build important comprehension skills and vocabulary. Learn more and see a list of amazing audiobooks.

About District 2

district 2 map

The 2nd District serves the cities of Golden ValleyMedicine LakeSoutheast PlymouthSt. Anthony,
North and Northeast Minneapolis, including the
North Loop and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods.

Contact us

Irene Fernando
Commissioner, 2nd District

Akhilesh Menawat
Communications and Policy Aide

Bill Emory
Constituent Services and Policy Aide