Mayor’s Veto Upheld, What does This Mean for East Phillips?

 March 28th

Press Release: Contact: Joe Vital, or 952-846-8160


In a (7-6) vote, the Minneapolis City Council voted to allow the mayor’s veto to stand. This defeats the resolution that suspended all aspects of the City of Minneapolis’ proposed Hiawatha Campus Expansion project at 1860 28th Street East and 2717 Longfellow Avenue South —two adjoining parcels also known as the “Roof Depot.” In the veto letter the Mayor supposedly is not opposed to a community project at Roof Depot. He wants more specificity about what a proposal from the community would entail and how it would be evaluated. We consider some of these metrics to be roadblocks to ensure the community proposal for the space will fail, and up to this point Mayor Frey has avoided all meaningful engagement with impacted community members. EPNI will be working closely with Council Member Chavez and his colleagues to draft a new resolution with re-negotiated terms between City Hall and the East Phillips community. Watch for it to be voted on April 14th.

The fight to heal the land is far from over.  East Phillips is primarily low-income and one of the most racially diverse communities in the state, and experiences some of the worst racial health disparities due to toxic environmental pollution in the state. For eight years, our community has proposed to build a new community owned state-of-the-art-indoor-urban farm that includes: affordable housing, a job training facility, and all will be run on renewable energy such as solar. Our proposal has been community-driven, sustainable and serves the community’s needs. Join us every Wednesday at 5pm (Central) and learn how you can support this people-led project. If you do not have a lot of time please consider donating today to our GoFundMe, and help fund our legal battle against the City of Minneapolis. 


Join the people-led project at our weekly community meetings (Wednesday at 5pm. Zoom Link)

Donate to our GoFundMe 

Attend our April 3rd Community Meeting link

Get up-to-date by listening to our podcast interview with MPLS 

Community Resources

Please email or call and thank City Council Members: Chavez, Johnson, Wonsley-Worlobah, Payne, Chughtai and Ellison for voting with the community. 

Note that this site is located in the SouthSide Green Zone (SSGZ), only two miles from the corner where George Floyd was killed. If allowed to proceed, it would violate the city’s own Climate Emergency Declaration principles. East Phillips residents assert it’s irresponsible and environmental racism to only consider locating toxic polluters in our most low income, majority Native American, and community of color neighborhoods, especially when that community already suffers from toxic environmental health overburdens–as is well documented in East Phillips residents. 

Neighborhood organizers have worked incredibly hard during the last eight years to put together a plan to redevelop the site for an indoor urban farm, affordable housing, cultural markets, and incubators for small businesses near accessible public transit. During this time EPNI has secured the active  support of State Representatives Hodan Hassan (62A) and Aisha Gomez (62B), Senators Omar Fateh (62) and Patricia Torres-Ray (63), and Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley (4). They also have strong commitments of support from numerous MN State House & Senate legislators and County Commissioner Conley to boldly advocate funding environmentally safe, community-based, community-led economic redevelopment at this site. Both bonding and direct appropriations targeted to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities from the State Legislature are already being drafted for the coming cycles. 

For additional questions about EPNI, contact Dean Dovolis at 612-817-0313 and, Cassandra Holmes at 612-296-9499 and, or Steve Sandberg at 612-483-2941 and

Why the East Phillips Urban Farm Matters

The City of Minneapolis plans to relocate and expand their Public Works maintenance yard into our East Phillips neighborhood–a plan that  will bring more  pollution to our already overburdened community. Additionally, they refuse to have good faith discussions about our alternative community-based development project that would ensure environmental justice for our neighborhood. East Phillip neighborhood residents are predominantly low-income Native American, Latinx, African American, East African and other historically marginalized residents.

We can’t say it enough! We need your help raising funds for legal expenses: to post bond to stop the City’s proposed demolition of the Roof Depot, to have our case heard, and to continue the fight for our environmental rights in court. Toxic environmental pollution impacts our health, and we have some of the worst racial health disparities in Minneapolis. It’s imperative for our future and our children’s future that we stop the City’s project and have our day in court.

Check out this interactive map to see how YOU or your neighborhood parks, schools, and businesses might be affected.
  • Click the icon on the top left of the map to read descriptions of any item you click on the map.
  • Click the icon on the top right of the map to see the map full screen.

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What Can You Do?

VIEW Information Flyer HERE. Print and share with neighbors and friends!

SIGN our petition supporting the East Phillips Urban Farm at

PRINT and send postcards to Minneapolis City Council:  click here.

VOLUNTEER! We host meetings every Wednesday evening open to all! Contact to get involved and visit for more information.

DONATE to our legal fund stopping environmental racism in East Phillips at 

FOLLOW US on Instagram: @eastphillipsurbanfarm, Facebook: @eastphillipsneighborhood, our website:, and our mailing list to stay informed!

POST on social media to raise awareness! Tag your local officials and tag #EPNIUrbanFarm .

Our Supporters

The East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm Project is unanimously supported by the EPIC Board of Directors, the EPIC membership at numerous membership meetings and unanimously at two large community meetings (250+ attendees). The project is also supported by the Sierra Club, the Green Team, the Seward Co-op, over 400 individual signers on support petitions and many other organizations & individuals throughout the city. The project also meets every goal of the South Side Green Zone and is in the South Minneapolis Opportunity Zone.