Neighborhood Notes

Irene Fernando – District 2 Hennepin County Commissioner – October Update

October 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



New air travel requirements begin October 1, 2020

A standard Minnesota driver’s license or ID will only be valid for domestic air travel for one more year. After October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID, passport, or other approved card to board a plane. Decide now if you want a REAL ID and plan to get it ahead of the deadline. You can get your REAL ID at the Hennepin County Service Center nearest you. Learn more at


Get ready to vote in the 2019 election

Determine if there is an election in your area

View your sample ballot.

View all offices on the 2019 ballot in Hennepin County.

Pre-register to vote by October 15

Save time at the polls on Election Day, November 5. Register to vote, change your registration or check if you’re registered at

2019 Elections in District 2

  • Golden Valley – Mayor, 2 Council Member
  • St Anthony – Mayor, 2 Council Members
  • ISD 270 Hopkins – 4 School Board Members
  • ISD 282 St Anthony – 3 School Board Members
  • ISD 284 Wayzata – 4 School Board Members

Swimming lessons

Free water safety lessons

Sisters Olivia and Sylvana learned to swim through Hennepin County’s Make a Splash program. The program offers free and discounted swim lessons for kids year-round. Check out for a list of providers and read Olivia and Sylvana’s story here:

Domestic Abuse Service Center

25th Anniversary of the Domestic Abuse Service Center

The Domestic Abuse Service Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary this October. Since 1994, the center has connected with 1.5 million victims of domestic violence.

Culturally-specific services

Through a trauma informed lens, culturally specific and bilingual staff provide victims of domestic violence immediate access to services and support in a safe location. On September 24, the county board accepted renewed funding to provide culturally-specific advocacy for African American crime victims.

Mental health in shelters

Practicing mental health care in homeless shelters

Each year, 4,000 people experiencing homelessness visit Hennepin County’s Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program. Many HCH clients report a mental illness, and HCH recently expanded its mental health services to be more responsive.

Read about this work through the lens of Naomy, an HCH psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.


Census employees needed: Be a part of history while earning extra cash

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau counts every person in the United States, including everyone living in Hennepin County.

Census data helps determine:

  • Funding for public services in your community – About $15.5 billion of annual funding is at stake for Minnesota. This amounts to $2,796 per person each year or $27,960 per person each decade.
  • Your representation in Congress and the state legislature
  • Your community’s voice and visibility – More than 230,000 Hennepin County residents will not respond to the census without follow-up. You can help increase participation.

Apply now or refer friends and family

Help ensure everyone is counted in your community by becoming a census taker. View more details and apply at


Share your housing priorities for suburban Hennepin County

Hennepin County is in the process of updating our five-year plan for federal housing funds. This plan guides investment of about $6 million each year for affordable housing, community development, and services in suburban cities.  Share your experience and priorities for housing in our community to help investment of these funds.

Take a five minute survey Attend a listening session:

News From the Library


New collection of music by local artists added to MnSpin

With more than 90 albums added to the library’s free music streaming platform this fall, make a new connection to Minnesota music. Learn more or connect to MnSpin.

Homework help

Library seeks Homework Help volunteers to help students

Make a difference working with K-12 youth at the library: 87% of students report feeling more confident in the areas they came in for help, and 93% feel welcomed and supported at Homework Help. Learn more at


LGBTQIA+ History Month

Libraries are building community and pride with a film series and special storytimes this October.


Managing your eBooks

Apps like Libby and cloudLibrary make reading eBooks easy and managing your loans even easier. You can view your holds and return books as soon as you’re done reading them right from the app. Learn more about our eBook platforms in our online resources.

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