Origins of the WBCC
The WBCC is a nonprofit corporation under Minnesota Statute 317A. It is the official citizen participation group for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. It was not always so…
The West Bank Community Coalition (WBCC) began its role as a neighborhood organization in 1971. At that time, the neighborhood was virtually threatened with extinction. The City of Minneapolis and powerful real estate developers had produced an Urban Renewal Plan that called for the demolition of all but one building and displacement of everyone who lived here. Out of this climate grew the Cedar-Riverside Project Area Committee (PAC). The PAC represented the conviction that people of the community have a moral right to be part of the decisions made about their homes. The organization was so successful at mobilizing the community and challenging real estate profit interests that in 1981, the city revised the Cedar-Riverside Urban Renewal Plan based on extensive and detailed recommendations the PAC.
The 1980s & 1990s
Between 1981 and 1993 the PAC provided the planning and political leadership that produced over $100 million of development activity including over 1500 units of affordable housing, extensive commercial revitalization and two major community centers: The People’s Center and the Brian Coyle Community Center. In 1998, the Cedar-Riverside Project Area Committee, changed its’ name to the West Bank Community Coalition (WBCC). This name reflected a change in activity of the organization from grassroots housing redevelopment to “the official conduit for information and advice between the neighborhood -its residents, businesses, institutions and organizations- and the agencies and offices of the City, County and State.” The organization strives to reflect, inform and involve residents, business and property owners in the neighborhood. The WBCC is a nonprofit corporation under Minnesota Statute 317A. It is the official citizen participation group for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Neighborhood group participation and leadership is not always representative of the community. The WBCC has successfully worked to increase involvement and participation of the diverse populations in the community. This multicultural outreach effort is essential for building the core capacity of the neighborhood organization.
The 2000s to Today...
In October 2005 new multicultural leadership was elected to the board whose top priority was to make the Coalition an organization that is representative of the whole community it serves. The first step toward that goal was achieved in September 2006 when the neighborhood voted to change the WBCC By-Laws - which had limited representation from Riverside Plaza, where nearly half of the neighborhood’s population and most of the new immigrant households live, to just 2 out of 15 seats on the board of directors.
There is still more to do... and more history to write. Be a part of the WBCC and your Neighborhood.
Together we can make a change!