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'We need every voice'
July 29, 2014

By Maura Schnorbach | Ed note: Last week’s scheduled public hearing regarding our proposal for youth housing had been on the Edina Planning Commission agenda for weeks. More than 170 people showed up at Edina City Hall July 23 to support this housing, known as 66 West. Yet the commissioners voted to reschedule for Aug. 13 following a last-minute letter from a few adjacent business owners claiming the city had not issued proper notification of the hearing.

Maura Schnorbach, an Edina resident also on staff at the Church of St Patrick, was there. Here is an excerpt of the recap she wrote the next day to the church’s pastor and two congregants.

Hello Fr. Tim, Bob and Steve,

I wanted to thank all of you for joining me last night along with hundreds of other members of our community at the Edina City Planning Commission meeting. It was unfortunate that they chose to postpone the hearing until August 13 (tentative) due to a computer mistake.

I think everyone who attended including city staff, elected officials and guests were amazed by the turnout! The entire parking lot of City Hall was filled, cars lined the frontage road and people had to scramble for a place to park at Perkins!

The hearing was "standing room only" and the lobby was filled. [Edina Planning Commission] Chair Kevin Staunton was very apologetic for removing 66 West from the agenda. He and the commission felt it was the fair thing to do. It was a big disappointment.

After the announcement that there wouldn't be a chance to speak in favor of 66 West, our group departed and gathered on the plaza outside City Hall. There were some brief speeches to encourage us and to remind us that delays are sometimes part of the process! Clearly, the numbers indicate great support in Edina for 66 West. A young man who is a resident of Nicollet Square spoke passionately about what this opportunity has meant for him. It was inspiring!

[…] My note to all of you is to put August 13 on your calendars. We need every voice speaking on this issue. It is going to take a lot more than a quick maneuver to slow down the momentum of 66 West!

Last night our friend, Pastor Rena Turnham from St. Stephen's Episcopal said that now we have seen the opposition. We will move ahead fearlessly. Sometimes a good idea simply gains momentum because good people like you refuse to give up. We are grateful for all of the justice champions who showed up last night.

Interested in supporting 66 West? See what Maura recommends.


Maura Schnorbach
Maura is the social justice coordinator at the Church of St. Patrick, Edina.