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Bridging Downtown and the U of M West Bank - Stone Arch Discussion Group PDF Print E-mail

 

Saturday, August 9, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

 

Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St NE, Minneapolis

 

mic johnsonMic Johnson from the U of M's School of Design comes to share their concept for bridging downtown Minneapolis with the University's West Bank by building an extensive deck over I-35W (much like I-35 in Duluth).  Come see and discuss this intriguing concept of urban design!

More about it here: http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2014/04/plan-stitch-minneapolis-together-again-cover-stretch-i-35w

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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Planning for Development around the Bottineau Light Rail Stations PDF Print E-mail

 

planning for bottineau lrt development tab - may 20 2014

               The crowd listening to Janna King  discuss strategies to help facilitate 

          economic development along the light rail transit corridors.  The Think

          Again Brooklyns forum May 20, 2014 aimed to prepare residents of

          communities along the Bottineau LRT corridor for participating in work-

          shops for planning development in the areas surrounding the LRT

          stations.  

 

          One of the big questions during the Question and Answer  session was

          who pays for the transit system.  The project is estimated to cost about

          $1 billion. Funding is expected from the Counties Transit Improvement

          Boards' transit sales tax in the metro area (30 percent), the Hennepin

          County Regional Railroad Authority (10 percent), the State of Minnesota

          (10 percent), and the Federal Transit Administration (50 percent).                                                     

                                                                               Photo by Linda Freemon

 

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Notables at Think Again Brooklyns Forum "Reducing Racial Disparities," 4/15/14 PDF Print E-mail

 

carol lefleur elizabeth knight hassanen mohammed chris eaton reva chamblis at reducing racial disparities 41514 

Carol LeFleur from MICAH; Elizabeth Knight, Brooklyn Park City Council Member;

Hassanen Mohammed, Chair, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission;

Senator Chris Eaton; Reva Chamblis, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commissioner

Photo by Mayor Jeff Lunde

 

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Homeless Youth Shelter to be Built in Brooklyn Park PDF Print E-mail

 

Jenny Gaard, Homeless Liason for the Osseo School System, reported to the packed Think Again Brooklyns audience at Brooklyn Park City Hall March 18 that the Osseo System had over 500 homeless youth in 2012.   Karrie Schaaf, her counterpart in the Anoka-Hennepin School System, reported over 700 homeless students.  As many rachel moreystudents do not report that they are homeless, these are likely to be underestimates.  Rev. Rachel Morey, Pastor of Mosaic United Methodist Church, emphasized that these are good kids in a difficult situation and that it is important that we reach them quickly because the average homeless young person is approached by a sex trafficker within 48 hours of being on the streets.

Mayor Jeff Lunde announced that Brooklyn Park had committed to homeless youth audience members

building or remodeling an existing building as a shelter for 10 to 12 homeless youth.  It would serve about 35 homeless youth, 16 to 21 years old, a year as most youth are able to transition to another setting such as a host family or a shared apartment.  Mayor Lunde said that the city would rent the building to Avenues for Homeless Youth for $1.00 a year, and the nonprofit organization would manage it.  Terry Velasquez, Development Director for Avenues for Homeless Youth, estimated that the operating cost of the shelter would be about $600,000 a year, and about half of the money had been raised so far from individuals and foundations.  The shelter is expected to open in the summer of 2015.

 

Christiaan Tarbox, Community Editor of the Brooklyn Center Sun Post wrote an excellent report on the forum, "Homeless Youth in the NW Suburbs."  It includes details related by Rev. Morey on the daily struggles of homeless youth and services provided by churches, nonprofits, schools, and the city.  You can read the report in your city's March 27 SunPost paper or online at:

http://post.mnsun.com/2014/03/forum-held-on-homeless-youth-in-northwest-suburbs

 


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Community members share stories, concerns over immigration reform PDF Print E-mail

 

Christiaan Tarbox, Community Editor of the Brooklyn Center Sun Post, reported on Think Again Brooklyns February forum on Immigration Reform.  You can read "Community members share stories, concerns over immigration reform" online.

 

javier morillo andrew suah abena abraham and elizabeth tolzmann

Speakers:  Javier Morillo, Andrew Suah, Abena Abraham, Elizabeth Tolzmann



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African Immigrant Services: a culture of community innovation and inclusion PDF Print E-mail

 

African Immigrant Services has institutionalized a culture of community innovation and inclusion in how they understand and take action on issues directly affecting their communities. Abdullah Kiatamba, Executive Director of AIS, believes the key is access to information and then mobilizing for action. 

 

See the storygraphic in MinnPost that outlines AIS' work and explains how they plan to use community education and engagement to change the roles of African immigrants and other underrepresented groups in the northwest suburbs of Hennepin County from observers to active leaders.

 

Think Again Brooklyns has worked with African Immigrant Services on the Voter Restriction Amendment and on civic engagement conversations and community forums.


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Minneapolis proclaims “Don Fraser Day” PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

200px-1977 Congressional Pictorial Donald Fraser

The MN Daily reports that the city of Minneapolis proclaimed Feb. 7 "Don Fraser Day" to honor the former state senator, mayor, and U.S. representative on his birthday. Don and his wife, Arvonne, were instrumental in establishing the long-running Stone Arch Discussion group and supporting many of Think Again MN's other activities.

From the article:

A former state senator representing the University of Minnesota area now has a day of his own. The City Council on Friday proclaimed Feb. 7, 2014 to be “Don Fraser Day” in honor of the former mayor and congressman’s birthday.

Council members also introduced new ordinance topics and honored the death of a community member. Fraser served as a state senator in the 1950s before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1962. He became mayor of Minneapolis in 1979 and was the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.

  “I found the job of being mayor one of the most interesting jobs I’ve ever
  had,” Fraser said in a short acceptance speech that was received by a 
  standing ovation from council members and attendees. “I appreciate this very
  much.”

Read more at MNDaily.com


Read the "Don Fraser Day" Proclamation.

 

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Stone Arch Recap: Linda Higgins PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeremy Wieland   


Stone Arch Discussion welcomed minted Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins this January. Commissioner Higgins was elected in a special election to complete the term for former Commissioner Stenglein in District 2, which includes the Northern Half of Minneapolis, Golden Valley and Plymouth.

Issues that Commissioner Higgins jumped right into included transit issues. There are two light rail lines on the books impacting her district; the Southwest Light Rail and the Bottineau line that would run North and West. This latter line is facing much less trouble than the newsworthy Southwest Line. In fact, all of the municipalities impacted by the Bottineau line have given consent for the proposed path. Southwest Light Rail is facing more trouble as Minneapolis and St. Louis Park have no agreement on the alignment or execution. Southwest is troubled.

In addition to the Bottineau Light Rail proposal there is also a proposal for Bus Rapid Transit that would run North and South along Penn Avenue through North Minneapolis. The true value of such a line would be connecting residents of North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center to the large number of high wage jobs in the southwestern suburbs. Connecting jobs to labor is just one more benefit of developing more mass transit.

Bus Rapid Transit won't be the only benefit for Penn Avenue. Both Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis and Lowry Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis are designated Community Work Projects. They'll see considerable upgrades in the coming future through economic development and improved planning.

Of course one can't talk about county level government without talking about Human Services. Hennepin County will be regionalizing its Human Services locations. Presently anyone who needs to rely on public assistance needs to travel to a single location in downtown Minneapolis. This will change in 2014. Regional offices will be opening across the county to improve access for people requiring public assistance. The offices in Minneapolis will remain to serve the city, but suburban locations will improve the number of access points for residents, eliminating the requirement to travel downtown.

In an effort to help residents of the county presently on welfare, Hennepin County had launched the WIN program. The Workforce Incentive Network program is presently small. The goal is to train recipients in higher wage skills and then provide placement services. To ensure that the county is successful in this program, a control group has also been established. This may seem unkind, but it's a considerable investment to provide training and placement. Comparing outcomes for the trained group to the untrained group is the only way to quantify the program's results.

Hennepin county is also becoming involved in education. Though the county doesn't provide any direct funding or supervision, it can be helpful. Hennepin is looking to establish stable housing for children in poverty and at risk of falling into the criminal justice system. Anyone attending our various Achievement Gap Committee meetings understands that unstable housing negatively impacts educational outcomes. Stability is helpful.

So check out your County Commissioners.

 

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Snack'n Talk on the Bottineau Light Rail Transit Line PDF Print E-mail

 

snackn talk on bottineau lrt 22614

                                                Photo by Linda Freemon

 

Packed House at the Roasted Pear, 2/26/14

Sponsored by ACER, Think Again MN, City of Brooklyn Park

 

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MN's Electoral Process: Diverse Audience, Excellent Speakers PDF Print E-mail

 

resolutions banner

       MN's electoral process gives all citizens a chance to participate in choosing a party's
       candidates and public policies. Above:  Writing, discussing, and voting on a public policy.

 

joy marsh stephensForum Attendee Joy Marsh Stephens posted in MN's Electoral Process: Minority Influence in 2014
   
9:20pm Jan 16

"If you missed it then you REALLY missed something special. Hats off to all the organizations who sponsored this really valuable educational opportunity. Thanks as well to the many speakers who took time to share their knowledge and empower a whole new base of constituents. I'm glad I was there along with so many of my neighbors."

Points Shared by the Speakers


benjamin kruseBenjamin Kruse opened the forum with an explanation of caucuses as the starting place for MN's Electoral Process.  At the caucuses, precinct chairs and vice chairs are elected, delegates to the Senate District Convention selected, and Resolutions proposed for the Party Platforms.  At the Senate District Convention, candidates for state legislative offices, this year MN Representatives, are endorsed and delegates and alternates elected for the Congressional District and State Conventions.  If you don't want to run to be delegate yourself, you can cast your vote for someone who plans to vote for the same candidates you prefer.

patricia torres raySenator Patricia Torres Ray told the diverse audience that a Caucus was an easy way to become involved in a political party.  It is a way for people to have a big influence because the number of participants tends to be small.  The people who participate become like an extended family.  Senator Torres Ray noted that most of the legislation she proposes has been suggested by her constituents, adding that it is the public that leads on legislation.  Legislators usually support legislation when the public rallies behind it.

 

sarah walkerSarah Walker, President of the Coalition for Impartial Justice, spoke on the large number of black men, one in five, who are disenfranchised in Minnesota.  Due to laws promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, many more people were convicted of felonies in states throughout the nation in the last 30 years.  Most of these convictions are for drug use and do not involve violence.  While drug use is similar in black and white communities, stop and search policies in black neighborhoods have resulted in a far higher rate of arrest for black men. Drug arrest policies carried out since the 1980's have resulted in the U.S. having the highest rate of incarceration of any nation in the world. 

MN is one of the states lowest in incarceration, but one of the highest in probation and parole.  Currently people on probation and parole are not allowed to vote.  Ms. Walker stated that the Second Chance Coalition is advocating restoring the right to vote to people convicted of a felony once they complete their prison sentence.  Restoring the right to vote encourages people to take on the responsibilities of citizenship and helps them to become reintegrated into the community. 

 

devin monteroDevin Montero, Brooklyn Park City Clerk, spoke on the important role of election judges, and the extra help that bilingual judges contribute to elections.  He also brought one of the new voting machines and showed how the machine works.

 

lwv-bpomg tab aalf ais bpdt

 

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Think Again MN Receives African Immigrant Services Award PDF Print E-mail

 

 

ais appreciation dinner 111513             

Think Again MN was given the Award for Community Education and Engagement by African Immigrant Services at the Appreciation and Awards Dinner on November 15, 2013.  Over 300 people attended the dinner including members of Think Again Brooklyns' host team:  Radious Guess, Reva Chamblis, Linda Freemon, and Carol Woehrer.


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TAMN Upcoming Forums

Events Sponsored by TAMN Partners

AUG
07

5:30 Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN
Primary Brooklyn Park Mayor and Council Members Forum

AUG
09

8:30 Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St NE, Minneapolis, MN‎
Bridging Downtown and the U of M West Bank [Stone Arch Discussion Group]

AUG
26

6:00 Dehn's Country Manor, 11281 Fernbrook Lane North, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Prof. David Schultz on Primaries and Prospects for the Election

SEP
13

8:30 Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St NE, Minneapolis, MN‎
Lisa Stratton from Gender Justice [Stone Arch Discussion Group]

OCT
11

8:30 Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St NE, Minneapolis, MN‎
Mayor Tim Willson of Brooklyn Center [Stone Arch Discussion Group]

NOV
08

8:30 Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St NE, Minneapolis, MN‎
Why Worry About ALEC? [Stone Arch Discussion Group]

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