April 23, 2021
Red indicates properties in Como that have racially restrictive covenants,
according to Mapping Prejudice.
Covenants Made Much of Como 'Whites Only'
Hundreds of homes in Como were restricted to whites only, new research by Mapping Prejudice shows. Racially restrictive covenants meant that, for decades, only white people could own those homes or live in those parts of the neighborhood.

Covenants now are unenforceable, but their language remains on property deeds to this day – and their impact has never gone away, says Kristen Delegard, director and co-founder of the project. Learn more about the history of covenants in Como and their ongoing legacy in the Twin Cities.

What can we do about it? Finding ways for Como residents to come to terms with the past and present exclusiveness of our neighborhood is part of what the Como Community Council's Anti-Racism Work Group is doing. The work group meets this Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. If you want to join the discussion by video or phone conference, email the District 10 office before 6 p.m. Wednesday; we will send you access information. 
9 Elected to Como Community Council Board
 After nearly two weeks of voting, Como community members elected three new District 10 board members, re-elected four incumbents, and elevated two current members to officer positions. Elected to two-year terms:
  • Chair: Jill Henricksen
  • Secretary: Jennifer Nelson
  • At Large: Sarah Reuter, Chad Smith (new), and Jennifer Victor-Larsen
  • Sub-District 1: Morgan Weinert (new)
  • Sub-District 2: Maggie Zimmerman
  • Sub-District 3: Matthew Brown (new)
  • Sub-District 4: Benjamin Kowalsky-Grahek

Wait, we're not done yet: The elections of Henricksen and Nelson to officer roles mean there will be special elections in May to fill the seats they previously held on the board. Elections will take place for:
  • One At Large seat. Any District 10 community member can run.
  • One seat from Sub-District 3. Any community members who live between Victoria, Larpenteur, Dale, and north of the railroad tracks can run.

If you want to get on the ballot for one of these seats, fill out this application by Sunday May 9.
You can't have an election without votes: The voting period in the special elections will be Monday May 10 through Tuesday May 18. Community members who want to vote should request a ballot.

Who is eligible: Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can run for the board or vote. So can representatives from business, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10. (Map) If you have questions, email us.
District 10 Annual Meeting Rescheduled for Tuesday
To avoid conflict with the release of verdicts in the George Floyd murder trial, the District 10 annual meeting was rescheduled for this Tuesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. It will include:
  • A look back and a look forward at what the Como Community Council achieved this past year, what it didn’t achieve, and what it hopes to accomplish this year
  • Time for comments, suggestions, and questions from community members
  • Unveiling of the district council’s new mission and vision statements

As always, we invite all renters, homeowners, and other District 10 community members to participate by phone or video conference. If you want to join the discussion, email the District 10 office before 6 p.m. Tuesday; staff will send you access information. 

The usual business: After the annual meeting, the board will hold its monthly business meeting. You are welcome to stick around for that, too. Topics include waiving the 45-day waiting period for beer and wine licenses for Bole Ethiopian Cuisine, considering a sound-level variance when the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival drops in at the Lakeside Pavilion in May, and creating a personnel committee to search for a new executive director. See the preliminary agenda
A Chance to Ambush Litter this Saturday
The 35th annual Citywide Spring Cleanup takes place this Saturday, April 24, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Como Lakeside Pavilion and 20 other locations in Saint Paul. The Como Community Council will help the Parks and Recreation Department hand out supplies so individuals, families, and groups can coordinate to pick up litter around the neighborhood.

The event is outdoors, but public health guidelines – including masks and physical distancing – will be observed. Pre-registration is encouraged.
Renters, Landlords Can Get Help
Minnesota Housing is accepting applications from renters in the state who have unpaid rent or utilities as far back as April 1 of last year (2020), or landlords whose tenants are behind on payments. In the Twin Cities, renters could be eligible if they have been impacted by Covid-19 and have annual incomes of less than $54,950 for an individual or $78,400 for a household of four. Find our more, apply online, or call 211 Mondays-Saturdays 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Dock & Paddle Expands Days, Hours
You may have already noticed, but Dock & Paddle – the restaurant in the Como Lakeside Pavilion – is now open seven days a week: Fridays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sundays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Happy hour is 3-5 p.m. everyday (with $2 off beer, wine, and spirits; and half-price nachos). Each weekday features a different meal or appetizer special.
Healing Circles Gather
Ramsey County and Saint Paul are organizing in-person and virtual healing circles for residents struggling with the impacts of the killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright and their aftermaths. This week:
  • Today, Friday April 23, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (for youth). Ramsey County Library-Maplewood, 3025 Southlawn Drive. (Also next Friday, April 30.)
  • Saturday, April 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Arlington Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave.
  • Monday, April 26, 6-8 p.m. Rondo Community Library, 461 N. Dale.
  • Tuesday, April 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Virtual circle
  • Thursday, April 29, 6-8 p.m. Virtual circle
A New Source of Help for Your Native Gardens
Gardeners of native plants can get help this season identifying, tracking, and propagating what they are growing through a new collaboration called the MN Seed Native Plant Community Science Project. Participants will have access to webinars, seed swaps, advice, and more. The project includes a focus on those trying to properly maintain rain gardens. Participants who live in the Capitol Region Watershed District (that includes everyone in Como) will get discounts and other bonuses. 

The project is a collaboration of the watershed district, Minnesota State Horticultural Society, Como Community Seed Library, and Saint Paul Seed Circle.
Pick a Neighborhood Mascot: The Finalists
We asked for ideas for a District 10 mascot. Now it's your turn to vote! These are the finalists (listed in alphabetical order):
  • Bee
  • Butterfly
  • Chloe the Sloth
  • Coyote
  • Great Horned Owl

Pick your favorite – a symbol we can identify with, call our own, and use to promote and enliven events in our neighborhood.
Vaccines for Deaf Community
Metro Deaf School hosts a coronavirus vaccine clinic this Saturday, April 24. Resources for those with hearing difficulties include ASL interpreters, deaf interpreters, tactile/ProTactile interpreters, speech-to-text apps, assistive listening devices, and large-print materials.

The vaccine is free for those 18 or older, but appointments are required. Sign up online, by videophone at 651-964-1514, or by voice or preferred relay service at 800-657-3663. Vaccines will be given from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the school, 1125 Energy Park Drive. Recipients must be able to return for the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Saturday May 22.

Vaccines still available at Fairgrounds: The State Fairgrounds' parking lots south of Como remain part of a Minnesota Department of Health initiative to administer 3,000 coronavirus vaccines a day, seven days a week, through June 19. The vaccines are free to anyone age 16 or older who lives in one of 38 designated ZIP codes, including 55103 and 55117. You can sign up for a vaccine appointment:
  • Through the state’s Vaccine Connector website.
  • By calling 1-833-431-2053 weekdays 9 a.m.-7 p.m. or Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Eligible residents will be selected randomly for an appointment. They will receive a Metro Transit pass as part of their registrations.
More Coronavirus Resources
If you live in 55108 or one of the other ZIP codes that are not part of the State Fairgrounds vaccine drive, or if you just want to get vaccinated somewhere else:
  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator, which is a searchable map and database that identifies pharmacies, clinics, and other vaccine providers.
  • Contact your health-care provider or employer.
  • Sign up for the state's Vaccine Connector. Once you register, the online tool notifies you when there are vaccines available nearby, and how to schedule a vaccine appointment. 

Vaccine Community Conversation, with Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health medical director Dr. Lynne Ogawa, takes place online this Wednesday, April 28, from 4-5 p.m. Learn more and ask questions about distribution; vaccine science, safety and effectiveness; and protection against Covid-19 variants. Register

Meanwhile, new cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. if you think you’ve been exposed:
  • Order a free saliva test for Covid-19, which you can administer at home.
  • Get tested nearby – or anywhere in the state. Free saliva testing is available at Roy Wilkins Auditorium; enter at 175 Kellogg Blvd. The site is open seven days a week: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Register in advance 
We're Still Handing Out Food on Fridays
The Como Community Council and Sanneh Foundation will continue to distribute free food boxes today, Friday April 23, and next Friday, April 30. The food boxes are available to Ramsey County residents dealing with financial hardships because of Covid-19. 

Details: The fresh food boxes will be available in the north parking lot of Niem Phat Buddhist Temple, at Dale and Front. Distribution will be 1:30-3:30 p.m. (or until supplies run out). Reservations are highly recommended; to reserve your box, fill out this form before noon on distribution day. The boxes typically include fresh meat, dairy, produce, and gallons of milk.
The Final Week
  • Today, Friday April 23, until this Monday, April 26: Northbound lanes of Highway 52 will close for resurfacing from Interstate 494 to Plato Blvd. Lanes will close at 9:00 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday. 
  • This Tuesday, April 27: Rebuilding University Avenue, 7-8 p.m. The League of Women Voters of Saint Paul holds a virtual presentation about rebuilding businesses and community after last year’s looting, vandalism, and arson. Register
  • This Wednesday, April 28: School Board Candidate forum, 7 p.m. The focus will be climate, sustainability and the potential of community solar installations on the buildings and grounds of Saint Paul Public Schools. The forum will stream live.
  • Next Saturday, May 1, until Saturday May 8: Ramsey County Master Gardeners Plant Sale. Order online from their selection of native plants, vegetables (including more than 40 varieties of tomatoes), herbs, annual and perennial flowers, houseplants – and “excellent quality” garden gloves. Pickup will be Saturday May 15 at Holy Childhood, 1435 Midway Parkway.
Fairgrounds Seem Back to Normal
  • Munchkin Markets Spring/Summer Children’s Consignment Sale: This Friday-Sunday, April 23-25, Education Building. Hours: Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $5
  • Minnesota Half Arabian Horse Association Spring Show: This Saturday, April 24, Compeer Arena, Horse Barn. Hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Casting Crowns drive-in concert: This Saturday, April 24, Robin Lot south of Randall Ave. 4 p.m. ($100-$300 per vehicle); 8 p.m. (sold out)
  • Body Mind Spirit Expo: This Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25, North End Event Center. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $12
City Paperwork in the Neighborhood
  • 963 Como Blvd. East: The property owner has received a demolition permit to tear down the building.
  • Gabe’s By The Park: The liquor, Sunday liquor, entertainment, 2 a.m. closing, patio, and gambling licenses for the restaurant at Lexington and Energy Park Drive are up for renewal on May 5. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali.
  • Como Lakeside Pavilion: The liquor, Sunday liquor, outdoor liquor, and entertainment licenses for the restaurant now known as Dock & Paddle are up for renewal on June 4. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen.
  • Pope Automotive: The auto repair shop license for this business at 991 Front is up for renewal on June 13. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen.

Don’t miss your chance:
  • The city is accepting new submissions from Saint Paul residents for the next round of sidewalk poetry. Up to 8 winners will be selected. The deadline for inspiration is this Sunday, April 25.
  • Online information sessions about the city's Cultural STAR grants take place this Thursday, April 29, at 1 p.m.; and Monday May 3 at 4 p.m. (Register in advance) Applications for the grants are being accepted through Friday May 14.
  • The Saint Paul City Council is accepting applications to its Legislative Advisory Committee on Reparations. The committee will meet from July 2021 through June 2022 and set the groundwork for establishing a permanent reparations commission. Members will receive a stipend of $50 per meeting. The last day to apply is next Friday April 30.
  • Saint Paul is considering proposals that would reduce or eliminate parking lot requirements in many situations. You can submit comments until next Sunday, May 2, at 5 p.m.
  • Comments on Saint Paul’s Homeless Services Zoning Study must be submitted by email before next Sunday May 2 at 5 p.m. Find details here
  • Annual Action Plans: Saint Paul wants to modify agreements it has with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development to move $750,000 from “economic development activity” and “clearance activity” into Multi-Unit Housing Development and Multi-Unit Rehabilitation Activity funds. Public feedback is being taken until May 12. For questions or comments, contact Julie Hostak by email or phone at 651-266-8545.
The Basics of Crime Prevention and Reporting
Saint Paul Police hold Crime Prevention 101 training this Wednesday, April 28, at 6 p.m. Topics include when to call police, what to expect when you call, how calls are prioritized, getting crime statistics, and more. The free training is online; register in advance.
Spread the word
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.

District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who are elected directly by members of the community. As a district council, we work to improve and enjoy life where we live. We provide the glue behind neighborhood action, and combine the voices of renters, homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits who want to accomplish things.