Neighborhood Updates

Chuck Sasse: Star Neighbor!


On National Night Out on August 2 we recognized a good neighbor and long-time resident, Chuck Sasse. Chuck has lived in the Whittier neighborhood for 70 years! He first moved into the neighborhood after returning home from military service during WWII, where he served as an Air Force bomber. He was stationed in England and flew about 20 missions over Germany.

His neighbors presented him with a Whittier Alliance Star Neighbor certificate and a beautiful cake, and Chuck told the story of how he came to live in Whittier:

In 1946, the first day I got out of the service, I was walking down the street and there was a man standing in front of the house. I asked him, “Is this house for sale?”

The man said, “Yes, that’s why I’m standing here.”

I asked if I could see it and after walking through it I said, “I want to buy it, but it’s Saturday and I can’t get to the bank. I have 100 bucks I can give you.”

The guy said, “Sure!”

Chuck bought the house and raised 5 children in Whittier. He and his son still live in the house and his great-grandkids visit frequently.


Open Streets Nicollet: September 18

Nicollet_Circle-2016Nicollet Open Streets will be here before you know it! This year’s event is poised to attract over 10,000 people, and for the first time it will extend from 46th Street up into the Kmart parking lot in Whittier. The parking lot will be transformed for the day by a pop-up kids park and food court. Lyndale, Kingfield and Whittier neighborhoods are collaborating to present the 2016 event. Interested food vendors, sponsors or exhibitors should get in touch with our office or check out the following documents: Nicollet Open Streets Sponsorship Brochure Nicollet Open Streets Sponsorship Agreement The Lyndale Neighborhood News will be doing a special Open Streets edition for September. Included in that issue will put a 4-page pull-out section that will be a program for the day. They will be printing at least another 900 copies of the program that will be distributed to neighborhood businesses all along Nicollet in the Whittier, Lyndale and Kingfield communities. Interested advertisers can consult the following rate sheet: Openstreets-ratesheet

Somali Independence Day Festival


Congratulations to everyone involved in the Somali Independence Day Festival held on Lake Street on July 9.

The Whittier Alliance was proud to be a part of the event!

Wanted: Whittier Junior Curators

magnifying-glassA wonderful neighborhood asset, the Hennepin History Museum, is offering a Junior Curator Program for youth aged 12-17 years who live within the Whittier neighborhood. This is a great opportunity for teenagers with an interest in history, and the Whittier Alliance is proud to be supporting the program through our 2016 Youth Micro-Grants.
Junior Curator Brochure
Whittier Youth Junior Curator Application
For more info about the program, contact Hennepin History Museum on (612) 870-1329.

Community Bike Patrols

Starting May 19, MPD Bike Patrols have begun in the Whittier neighborhood. The Whittier Alliance will be funding these patrols over summer, providing extra community-oriented policing within Whittier. If you see them ride by, say hello! bike-cops

Good Business Awards & Good Neighbor Award


The annual Whittier Good Business and Good Neighbor Awards were presented at our Annual Meeting in March.

Our two Good Business Award recipients are very different but both make exceptional contributions to the neighborhood. GlamDoll Donuts was recognized not just for the joy that their donut fillings bring us, but also for their quiet acts of community generosity. On Christmas when most businesses and services were closed, GlamDoll Donuts was open and serving free turkey and mashed potatoes. At the end of their business day, they donate remaining cakes to the local shelters. They also support local and national social justice and human rights causes.

The Learning in Style School is an unassuming presence on Nicollet Avenue. Many in the neighborhood are unaware of the great work they do providing quality education in English, math, computers and citizenship to adult immigrants and refugees. Their students come from all over the world, and the staff and volunteers build literacy and citizenship skills in a supportive, affordable and respectful environment that is open to all who want to learn.

Diane Gorney was the Good Neighbor Award recipient. As a member of the White Earth Nation, Diane has worked to support the American Indian OIC and education opportunities for American Indian youth. She has also become a trade ambassador, investigating a Native American arts and wild rice agreement with France. Diane is one of the many smart, generous, unassuming residents of Whittier who quietly give back to the community.

Whittier Elects New Board Members

At our April Business Association meeting, the BA membership elected four representatives to the board and the Business Association Chair to one-year terms. Congratulations to Geraldiné Jerez, Araceli Perez, Fadumo Abdinur Anab, Osman Abo and Chair Andy Cohen.

At our Annual Meeting in March the neighborhood elected five new Whittier Alliance board members to three-year terms: Mary Gazca, Sarah Estey, Marie Listopad, Michael Malone, and Christine Popowski. Congratulations to all and thank you to everyone who attended both meetings!

Mary Gazca Sarah Estey Marie Listopad Photo Malone Christine Popowski

New Year, New Executive Director


Ricardo McCurley officially took the helm at the Whittier Alliance as Executive Director in the first week of January 2016, after getting up to speed with Marian over the course of December. Ricardo was previously the Executive Director for the Southeast Como Improvement Association. Stop by the office, a Community Issues meeting or any number of Whittier events and say hello!

General Notices

Raise money for the Whittier Alliance without giving a cent!

That’s right! You can raise money for the Whittier Alliance just by searching the internet, shopping online, or going out to eat! GoodSearch, powered by Yahoo, donates one cent for every search to the organization or charity you select. GoodShop donates a percentage of every online purchase at participating businesses. GoodDining donates a percentage of your bill when you go out to eat at participating restaurants and use a registered card. Sign up to support the Whittier Alliance, download the toolbar, use GoodSearch every time you search and be notified when your online purchase will make a donation! And don’t forget to register your credit card at GoodDining! Go to and start raising funds today!

Welcome to Whittier

Whittier is an active urban residential neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis. It was home to many of Minneapolis’ historical founders, including the first Mayor of Minneapolis, Dorilus Morrison, and the Pillsbury and Washburn families. The neighborhood’s notoriety and distinction is linked to the internationally-known Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) and the Children’s Theatre, and a thriving stretch of Nicollet Avenue known as “Eat Street” due to its diverse restaurants and groceries.

The neighborhood’s 15,000 residents represent 30 countries, and over 25 language groups. The Whittier neighborhood is a historic and colorful mix of artistic culture and ethnic cultures. It is truly “The International Neighborhood,” where diversity becomes community. The Whittier Alliance, the officially recognized Community Participation organization for the neighborhood, works with residents, businesses and governmental agencies to further the common interests of the Whittier neighborhood.