City Coordinator Spencer Cronk, who is overseeing the hiring of several new equity roles, attends a meeting in September. DAVID JOL
Two efforts touted as key to Minneapolis' work on racial equity are nearing a launch -- once the city finds the people to lead them.
Next week, the City Council will vote on one proposed new position: a director of an "innovation delivery team," who would oversee work funded by a multimillion-dollar Bloomberg Philanthropies grant. The grant, announced late last year, will provide up to $2.7 million over three years. The city primarily plans to spend it assessing how it provides services -- things like towing cars or cleaning up graffiti -- and analyzing if all residents get the same level of service.
City Coordinator Spencer Cronk said the director position will be the first of several the city will add to help with that work. In total, the city plans to add six full-time positions, all of them funded by the grant money and designed to last only until those funds run out.
The proposed salary range for the director position is $100,167 to $118,092. Descriptions for the other jobs have not yet been released.
The council will get a full update on plans for the grant at its Wednesday meeting of the Committee of the Whole. The council will likely vote on the director's job description Jan. 30, and then he'll post the job for applicants. Grant requirements stipulate that a director must be appointed by the end of February.
Cronk said the grant will provide the city with a "really important asset that we can bring to our residents."
"We've seen during some tough financial times that the city had to cut back in a lot of areas," he said. "And one of those areas was a strong data analytic capacity."
As the city gathers that data, he said residents can expect to be kept in the loop and given opportunities to share their thoughts.
"A lot of the philosophy behind Bloomberg Philanthropies is to be much more transparent and engaging, and to make sure this is an interactive tool you can use with city residents," he said.
Meanwhile, Cronk's office will soon add another two staff members, who will focus on racial equity efforts. Those positions are separate from the grant.
The city has set aside $250,000 for its additional equity work which became a topic of controversy in the final stages of the council's budget approval process. Some council members questioned the role the new positions would play solving problems with racial inequities in the city, but the council ultimately voted to spare the new positions from the chopping block.
Cronk said his office expects to hire those two new staff members in the near future.