Think Again Brooklyns
Earth Day: Support Expansion of Renewable Energy in MN
Big Benefits of Solar Energy: Clean Air, Good Jobs,
Lower Costs, and Dispersed Local Ownership
Tuesday, April 21 6:00 p.m. - Pizza Buffet & Social
6:30 p.m. - Program
City Council Chambers,
Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Avenue N
Please RSVP and Share on Facebook
Wind Energy has been rapidly growing in Minnesota for some time, and now solar energy is also beginning a steady climb. The rapidly increasing use of wind and solar energy is a result of falling prices for renewable energy production together with federal and state incentives. Farmers can participate in the ownership of wind turbines, churches, businesses, and homeowners can have solar rooftop panels installed, and apartment dwellers can buy shares in community solar gardens. Come to our Think Again Brooklyns Earth Day forum to find out how you too can participate in the ownership of the source of your electricity.
Senator Chris Eaton – State and Local Government Committee Vice-Chair and Member, Environment and Energy Committee. Senator Eaton will discuss the 2015 MN Clean Energy Plan and its prospects in the legislature.
Lynn Hinkle - Director of Policy Development for the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association (MNSEIA). Mr. Hinkle will speak on the benefits the 2013 Solar Energy bill is bringing to MN, including increased jobs and lower energy costs, and on the savings homeowners, churches, and cities make when they install solar energy panels. He will also discuss the future of clean energy in MN and its contribution to MN's economic growth.
Jamez Staples - President and CEO of Renewable NRG Partners, a company that is developing the green infrastructure and renewable energy market through the use of people from marginalized communities. Mr. Staples will speak on how homeowners can finance rooftop solar energy, what subsidies are available, and the affordability of solar energy.
A “Q and A” will follow the presentations.
What is faith communities' appropriate role
when it comes to climate change?
Tuesday, April 28
6 p.m. Doors Open 6:15 p.m. Dinner, 6:45 p.m. Program
Church of the Epiphany in Plymouth
Corner of Schmidt Lake Road and Nathan Lane
1/4 mile west of Highway 169
Rev. Gwin Pratt, Senior Pastor, St. Luke's Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka
Rev. Gwin Pratt will discuss why faith communities consider climate change both an environmental and social justice issue.
He serves a church that has put faith into action when it comes to the environment. St. Luke has planted and managed an organic vegetable garden which provides the local community food shelf with fresh produce, built rain gardens that prevent runoff from entering the Minnehaha watershed, and installed solar panels on its roof to cut down on its carbon footprint.
Rev. Pratt also serves on the Board of Directors for Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, the state chapter of a national organization that seeks to empower communities of faith to become change agents with regard to Climate Change.
$10 Pizza and Salad Bar in Church of the Epiphany's newly remodeled fellowship hall. We will discuss future meal preferences at the meeting.
Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon at
For more information, please visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/westsideprogressives
Because Our Voting System Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It.
By Stephen Wolf, The New Republic, December 24, 2014
"Elections lack democratic legitimacy when they do not reflect the wishes of the citizenry. In the case of the United States, we're carrying a legacy of an electoral system that was designed and built to favor white voters. That it still works that way isn't a shock. What's shocking is that we know how to fix it, and still haven't done so." Read the article.
The Wind Energy Foundation’s “Powering Up Minnesota: A Report on The Benefits of Renewable Electricity Development” suggests Minnesota could supply more than 50 percent of its power needs through renewable energy by 2030 while creating more jobs and meeting federal carbon targets. Wind project costs have dropped 50 percent in the last five years, while solar prices decreased 40 percent since 2010,
However, the Wind Energy Foundation's report vastly underestimates solar’s potential contribution. The report includes only the current 81 megawatts of solar energy in Minnesota. Dustin Denison, president of Minnesota Solar Electricity Industry Association notes that the state’s new requirement that investor owned utilities produce 1.5 percent of their retail electricity sales from solar by 2020 will add a minimum of 450 MW by 2020.
Written by Lori Sturdevant
The Quie-Fraser Example
Sondra Samuels said aloud what others had been thinking Wednesday at a salute to two of Minnesota's favorite nonagenarians, former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser and former Gov. Al Quie: "I am so honored that we are not here doing a eulogy!" Quie and Fraser were undoubtedly glad about that too.
But it was more than longevity and past accomplishments that were being praised as the two former elected officials, one DFLer, one Republican, were honored as part of the Citizens League's annual meeting and the sixth annual observance of the "Common Quest for Common Ground" series established in honor of the late Humphrey School dean John Brandl.
Samuels called attention to the work Quie and Fraser are still doing, today more together than apart, to spur organizations such as the one she heads, the Northside Achievement Zone, to lift families out of poverty via improved education for their children. With a voice thick with emotion, Samuels called them "my brothers" because "they love children and they love justice."
Read more at Startribune.com
The New York Times called for a rate cap on payday loans. ". . . the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that hidden fees and charges on payday loans were so high that only 15 percent of borrowers could raise the money to repay the total debt on time without quickly borrowing again." See the New York Times editorial.
Make Your Dreams Come True
Control Your Money, Debt, and Credit
You can manage your money so you don't need to incur the huge costs of payday loans. Yes, going to a payday lender to cash a check or take out a loan is easy, and the people who serve you are often friendly. However, that friendly assuring manner comes with a big cost. You will typically be required to pay back three times as much as you borrowed. You can find out how to manage your money so that you can keep more for yourself and your family by taking advantage of workshops offered in and near Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center as well as online courses.
Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin offers workshops on budgeting, controlling your debt, and maintaining a good credit rating, as well as on the rights and responsibilities of renters, home ownership, and financial management for senior citizens. You can find the upcoming courses by clicking on the homebuyer, renter, and financial literacy courses in the left hand column of their website:
TopLine Credit Union offers a variety of seminars related to youth financial literacy, paying less for college, survival budgeting, getting out of debt, retirement, insurance, homebuying, and business. You can find them at:
TCF Bank has an online Financial Education Center. It offers modules that include an summary of what is included in the learning module, the instructions on the topic, and a brief quiz to check if you understood the lesson. Each module you complete is checked off. Eight lessons are currently included at the TCF Bank Education Center: Savings and Investments, Mortgages, Overdrafts, Payment Types and Credit Cards, Credit Scores and Reports, Identity Protection, Insurance and Taxes, and Financing Higher Education. You will need to check in with a password which you enter the first time you use the Center. Get started at:
Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin has online instruction for home buying at:
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
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
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