SECIA has 25+ years of proven neighborhood based advocacy with award winning environmental initiatives benefiting the entire Twin Cities.

The Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) is a neighborhood based non-profit that provides services and advocacy on behalf of the Como neighborhood in Minneapolis. Membership to SECIA is open to anyone who lives in the neighborhood, owns a business or represents another entity located within its borders. The SECIA board is elected by the membership and any member can choose to seek election to the board. Given the unique location of Como – just north of the U of M Minneapolis Campus – SECIA also has two student board seats with representatives from the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA).

The Community Services –

We have effectively managed limited resources, sought grants and other revenue to maintain a neighborhood office and staff enabling us to undertake initiatives that could not be done by volunteers alone. Under direction of the SECIA board and its various sub-committees (Environment, History, Housing & Livability, Safety, Zoning and others) the SECIA staff:

  • Provide timely information through a mailed monthly newsletter – The Comotion – and a bi-monthly electronic newsletter sent to a growing listserv.
  • Support the work of volunteers, staff sub-committees and coordinate limited human resources.
  • Coordinate with the Precinct and the SECIA Safety Committee to address public safety concerns.
  • Help with neighborhood events and joint projects with other neighborhoods, institutions and the City.
  • Act as a point of communication and provide critical day-time availability with the City, University, County, Park Board, elected officials and others on behalf of the board and community members.
  • Seek out grants and other funding opportunities to expand community programming opportunities and provide strong budget management.

The Como Green Village –

Como is an urban island in a sea of historic industry with a legacy of air, ground and water pollution affecting the entire east side of Minneapolis. Current and proposed industries bring added pressures to this ‘heart of the metro’ area.

With our unique combination of location, educational focus and student involvement, Como residents have taken an early and successful environmental advocacy position. Knowing that pollution and sustainability are borderless concepts SECIA’s Environment Committee and staff have developed award winning initiatives that have become the “Como Green Village”.

The Green Village is an umbrella concept based on core principles related to sustainability. While there are many definitions of sustainability, they all involve providing a balance between the environment, economics, and social justice. When all are working together in harmony those activities become 'sustainable'. Highlights include:

  • Waste Reduction: MIMO (Move-in/Move-out) - addresses the uniqueness of student tenant cycles. To date 9000+ lbs of items have been diverted from the waste stream.
  • Air Quality: Air Permit Inventory Mapping Project. Good neighbor agreements. Founding member of Clean Energy Now! Coalition successfully advocating the conversion of the Xcel metro plants from coal to natural gas.
  • Water Quality: Build your own rain barrel workshops. Rain garden installations. Bridal Veil Creek Reconstruction & Pollution Remediation Project.
  • Energy Reduction: Cloths Line giveaway. Whole house energy audits.
  • Renewable Energy: Solar Heated Water Pilot Project resulting in 17 installations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Xcel Windsource promotion. Solar motion light giveaways.
  • Urban Farming: Multiple award winning community flower and produce gardens. ‘Grow-boxes’ for gardening in difficult locations.
  • Environmental Expertise: Environmental Coordinator on staff. Review of proposed projects and EIS documentation. Workshops and conferences.
  • Jobs & Internships: University student paid and unpaid internship opportunities.

Recent Awards and Recognitions

  • Listed in Twin City’s Business Magazine’s Best of Business issue (Sept 2009) for our environmental partnerships with local businesses.
  • Finalist for a Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI) 2009 award for our Solar Thermal Pilot Project.
  • Finalist for a MEI 2009 award as a partner on the Bridal Veil Reconstruction & Remediation Project.
  • City of Minneapolis Special Council resolution for our environmental work (2009).
  • 2008 Governors Award – Air Pollution Reduction Project for our good-neighbor agreements resulting in the reduction of tons of VOCs being released into the environment.
  • 2008 City of St. Paul accommodation from the City Council and Mayor for our Solar Pilot Project.

With Your Support…

We can continue our model of supporting true grassroots based initiatives. We prove that when you empower people with the proper tools, resources and support, they can find real solutions to real problems.

Thank you for your support! Contact us for more information!

Join the Conversation


Organization Information

  • Summary

    SECIA has 25+ years of proven neighborhood based advocacy with award winning environmental initiatives benefiting the entire Twin Cities.
  • Reports

  • Web

18 Fans