SVEP's open letter Protecting the Health of East Phillips Residents is still up and accepting signatures from health-related fields.

More Disturbing News on Air Pollution

Jim Robbins writes today that breathing polluted air not only causes heart and lung problems, but also mental health and neural issues. And a new “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association shows that particulate pollution in the Twin Cities has significantly worsened in the last few years.

Press Release – “No New Diesel”: Health Professionals Call for New Plan in East Phillips

Over 250 doctors, nurses, public health professionals, air pollution researchers and 13 organizations released an open letter today calling on the City of Minneapolis to move or substantially alter plans for a controversial Public Works project slated for the neighborhood of East Phillips, and take “concrete, transparent, and verifiable steps” to ensure air pollution is reduced in the long-polluted area.

East Phillips Open Letter Up and Collecting Signatures 

Today, SVEP is launching our open letter on “Protecting the Health of East Phillips Residents”, signed by health care workers, practitioners, researchers, and community organizations. We’re calling on Mayor Jacob Frey and others to take concrete, transparent, and verifiable steps to ensure that air pollution in East Phillips doesn’t increase—it goes down.

Add your name today!

Seward Neighborhood Group Letter to Mayor Frey

The Seward Neighborhood Group sent a letter today to Jacob Frey and Public Works director Margaret Kelliher: “This site is on Dakota land. In light of the recent protest by indigenous people at the site on February 23, 2023, as well as numerous recent public letters opposing the project, and questions from our Seward residents,  […]

“Native People Will Not Be Silenced” 

Powerful OpEd in the Star Tribune written by Little Earth resident Nicole Perez:

“My 3-year-old granddaughter has asthma. My daughter has diabetes. Others have severe asthma, COPD and heart disease. My best friend has diabetes; she had a heart attack three years ago, and now she’s in the hospital for an infected foot. Because her heart isn’t functioning the way it should, she needs to get part of her foot amputated. She’s only 47 years old and she has three kids under 18. What would they do if something happened to her? This is what the pollution already in East Phillips has done to us.”

Why is Mayor Frey endangering the health of hundreds, if not thousands, of Minneapolis children? 

In the MinnPost, an op-ed on the struggle in Phillips from SVEP member Matt Plummer:

As the parent of a 10-month-old, it’s been a joy to watch our daughter grow, babble and learn to crawl. It has also been a chaotic scramble to anchor furniture, secure dangerous chemicals and more. We all do our best to keep our kids safe. But some dangers are not so easily prepared for by parents alone.

Recently, I watched in horror as the Minneapolis City Council approved the demolition of the Roof Depot site, moving one step closer to the expansion of a public works facility not far from our home in Seward. The project would, among other things, build a new diesel refueling station and add 1,800 more vehicle trips per day to East Phillips, a neighborhood with 71% people of color that has long been the dumping ground for polluting industries.

Facing years-long opposition from community and environmental groups, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has offered some compromises. However, the mayor has been unwilling to budge on the demolition, nor on another issue important to many Minneapolis parents – his plan to consolidate the public works fleet into Phillips, dramatically increasing pollution in the area. Read the entire op-ed here.

We all deserve to breathe clean air

The Seward Vaccine Equity Project (SVEP) brought community members together to address a pressing public health issue — the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of accessible, place-based vaccine equity strategies working in BIPOC communities. It was a public health experience that brought us closer to hundreds of people on matters of personal and community health. Similarly, […]

Dealing with the “decide for yourself” phase of the pandemic 

SVEP members Inari Mohammed and Elizabeth Wrigley-Field were interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio today.

“The country’s best chance at keeping the crisis from spiraling relies on everyone to keep caring.” 

Seward Vaccine Equity Project’s work was featured today in Ed Yong’s Atlantic article, “America is Sliding into the Long Pandemic Defeat”.

Lessons from an immigrant-focused community COVID-19 vaccination organization 

From an article in Health Affairs Forefront written by SVEP members:

“In contrast to traditional health promotion approaches based on communications from outside experts, our community organizing model draws on the unique talents and connections of our members. Somali outreach is led by a Somali American pharmacy owner with deep connections to the community and is aided by an experienced Somali American civil rights organizer; Oromo outreach is led by an Oromo American epidemiology graduate student whose family are longtime members of the Oromo mosque. Beyond these core group members, additional outreach work has been done by mosque leaders, the local youth soccer coach, and a union organizer living in the Section 8 housing towers. These organizers and others we rely on for outreach all live in, work in, or otherwise have deep ties to the neighborhood. In addition, several of our other core members had prior experience with community, political, or union organizing, and one had professional connections that facilitated health systems being willing to take a chance on us before we had established a track record of successful events.”

Learn more about the Seward Vaccine Equity Project.