I have put together a unique plan that I think will be a good first step to help reinvigorate downtown Minneapolis and uptown. The plan is still in its early stages – as I approach various businesses to get involved. The plan is called “Taste Minneapolis” and it is a marketing program to create a “Restaurant Week” type event every Thursday Night in downtown Minneapolis and uptown. The plan would be to work with the city to turn off the parking meters on Thursday Nights, convince parking ramp owners to open their ramps up to free parking and selecting several well known restaurants each week and have them offer up significant food specials and discounts.
The plan would be to flood downtown and uptown with peace keepers and police during the event. As part of the plan the police could get the opportunity to interact directly with every day citizens by handing out branded sports garb like caps or t-shirts. A problem with our current law enforcement paradigm is that the police and the community are in totally separate silos and they rarely have the chance to talk or interact together. This program encourages both groups to get to know each other just a little bit by asking police to get involved in the spirit of the event.
It is unfortunate but in my opinion downtown and uptown are still stumbling along and suffering from the effects of Covid and the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. In addition, many suburban people in our metropolitan area still don’t view downtown as being safe and thus are avoiding coming into the city. The “Taste Minneapolis” focused marketing program could in many ways help to change the perception of public safety in downtown and uptown. This program will certainly not solve all the problems that are effecting our downtown and uptown neighborhoods. However at least it is a highly positive start and it could be the first small piece in the puzzle. Help me to broaden our consortium of interested restaurants and businesses and make “Taste Minneapolis” a focused marketing program that will truly help reinvigorate Minneapolis.