Since 2011, Open Streets has been creating a summer walking and bike-friendly event for neighborhoods throughout Minneapolis. The goal of these Open Streets events is not only to have long stretches of streets closed off to car traffic, but also to allow for local artists, businesses, and community groups to come together to showcase the community’s collective creativity, diversity, as well as the rich culture that exists throughout Minneapolis neighborhoods.
This year, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis participated in Franklin Open Streets on July 10. Open Streets has been a chance for us to not only educate the broader community about the nature of our social justice and advocacy work, but to also create a deeper connection between our organization, other organizations participating in the event, and community members who live in the area. We believe engagement is an essential component of the health of a community and we are excited to share more about the scope of Catholic Charities’ mission. Events like these also allow us to connect with community members who may need our help, and we were happy to do a lot of that at the last Open Streets.
Advocacy outreach at Open Streets is also a big part of our work, especially as we come closer to the November elections. Our focus is straightforward – to create educational awareness around voting in our state, in hopes of getting more Minnesotans in our communities to register to vote and vote on nonpartisan issues that most affect the communities we serve. As a result of all the different ways an agency like ours can engage with community members, we feel it is necessary for us to be present in the community at events like Open Streets. Learn more about voting and voting resources here.
Mark your calendars and plan to visit us at the next Open Streets on Minnehaha Avenue on October 1. We look forward to seeing you all there, and hope you have more questions for us, or maybe even an itch to make an impact by getting more involved!
Community Engagement & Partnerships Manager