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Mission and Purpose
To assist public and private organizations and agencies in promoting social and economic justice, and the welfare of the State of Minnesota and its people; and to encourage, promote and implement social justice projects which will benefit the members of this organization, and the people of the State of Minnesota.
Origins and Development
Founded by Steve Fletcher, the bylaws of the not-for-profit were adopted in 2009. Steve Fletcher stepped down as executive director in 2012, a position now held by Anthony Newby
Membership is open to those who share the organization's goals and contribute throug member dues or volunteer efforts. There are four kinds of memebers: Full Members, Associate Members, Provisional Members, and Organizational Members.
In 2015 the offices were burnt down in an unsolved case of arson and fundraising were conducted to obtain new office space. Despite the fire the organization saw growth in the year; it now has 12 staff members, with paid positions.
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
Fundraisers for the organization and particular events are held, member dues, and volunteering efforts are also accepted according to the bylaws.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
NOC focuses on a number of issues affecting under-resourced neighborhoods. These include fixing low wages with a federal $15/hr minimum, restoration of the vote after incarceration, police accountability, environmental education on climate change, access to quality public education, and minority representation in politics, among others.
Major Projects and Events
According to the NOC, their members have been beaten and harassed on multiple occasions by the Minneapolis police department. In particular, the arrest of civic and political engagement director Wintana Melekin and field organizer Navell Gordon led to a concerted push from the organization to get the city of Minneapolis to commit to investing in police body cameras. After more than a year of studying the matter, the city agreed.
Economic justiceIn August 2016 the NOC along with other grassroots activist groups of the Fed Up coalition presented their case against rate increases to the Federal Reserve meeting group at Jackson Hole. NOC activists argued that the Fed's policies might have created recovery for white Americans, but it has incentivized low wage growth among African-American and Hispanic communities. The meeting, usually restricted to monetary specialists and bankers, was a "first of its kind" given its inclusion of community activists, according to financial journalists.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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Lead image: MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change/Facebook, http://bit.ly/2DB8Oak