The Dynamic Contribution of MN Immigrants
Tuesday, September 15
6:00 p.m. - Pizza Buffet & Social 6:30 p.m. - Program
City Council Chambers,
Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Avenue N
RSVP on Facebook or to
Special Guest Host: Judy Stuthman
National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award Winner
for her Leadership in Registering over 62,000 New Citizens
Allison Liuzzi – Research Scientist
Minnesota Compass Project at Wilder Research
Demographic Trends in MN: Opportunities and Contributions of Immigrants in an Aging State with a Declining Work Force
The Minnesota Compass Project works with national and state data sources to describe trends in the state and to measure progress on topics related to its shared quality of life. Allison Liuzzi joined Wilder Research in the spring of 2012. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Luther College and her master's degree from Michigan State University. She completed her doctoral coursework in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire.
Bruce P. Corrie – Associate Vice President for University Relations and International Programs and Professor of Economics, Concordia University
Immigrants' Economic Impact on Minnesota
The Economic Potential of Africans in MN
Professor Bruce P. Corrie offers a new way of looking at minorities and immigrants as ethnic capital adding to the economic, cultural, social, political, and innovation fabric of Minnesota. “If we look at these communities from this perspective we will discover a new engine for economic and social growth in America.”
Professor Corrie's most recent research on “The Economic Potential of African Immigrants in Minnesota” was funded by the McKnight Foundation. The report's estimates of African immigrant consumer spending, business needs and trends, civic and fiscal contributions, satisfaction with the policy infrastructure, and financial assets will help policy leaders grow the economic base of African immigrants in Minnesota.
Sponsored by Think Again MN, and cosponsored by the Brooklyn Park Community Engagement Initiative, and the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the LWVMN.
Civil Rights in Minnesota
Tuesday, September 15
6 p.m. Pizza Buffet & Social 6:30 p.m. Program
Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane N, Plymouth
(1 block west of Highway on the South Side of Schmidt Lake Road)
Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon
Though it is a half century since the U.S. passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is a lot of work to be done by both citizens and government officials before our state and nation comes close to reaching a goal of freedom from discrimination and racial disparities.
Commissioner Kevin Lindsey
MN Department of Human Rights
Commissioner, Kevin Lindsey manages the Department whose mission is to make Minnesota discrimination free. The Department of Human Rights investigates approximately 1,000 charges of discrimination a year. It ensures that large state contractors who do business with the State of Minnesota provide equal employment opportunity, and it helps the Governor of Minnesota develop policy to reduce disparities that exist in the areas of education, employment, health, criminal justice, public accommodation, and public services.
Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey will share thoughts about the state of civil rights in MN especially in light of recent events in Charlotte, Ferguson, and around the country.
A question and answer session will follow Commissioner Lindsey's presentation. Please bring your observations on the kinds of disparities to which you think our state needs to give attention and your ideas on the policies and programs which could reduce or eliminate the disparities.
Kevin Lindsey was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in February 2011. He had previously served as a civil litigation attorney in the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney, and has 20 years of experience in resolving complex legal and public policy questions.
Westside Progressives, a non-partisan educational forum that encourages civil and thoughtful discussion about progressive issues
Dinner: Lasagna and Salad, $10.
Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon at
- Hope to see you then!
A recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory study reports great news on wind energy. Significantly more wind power potential was found in nearly every state thanks to advancing technology which makes taller turbines to catch the wind possible. Wind energy potential increased in nearly every state making 2/3 of states now able to produce 100% of their electricity with wind. See the Director of the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, John Farrell's article and slides showing the increase in wind energy potential since 1991.
Think Again Brooklyns Forum Highlights
Larry Hiscock, Program Officer for Transit Engagement at NEXUS Community Partners, gave the main presentation on “Achieving Health Equity through Station Planning” at the Think Again Brooklyns forum on May 19, 2015. Mr. Hiscock told us that 27,000 people were expected to use the Bottineau Light Rail Line by the year 2030, but transportation wouldn't be the only benefit of LRT. During the coming years and decades, there will be extensive development along the line. For every dollar spent on the transit line itself, we can expect $7.00 in development investment around the station areas. The challenge for communities along the line is to guide this development so it can contribute to health equity.
"Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to realize their health potential, that is the highest level of health possible for that person without limits imposed by structural inequities." Hiscock noted that 30% of a person's health is influenced by a person's life style, and the other 70% is influenced by structural factors such as a person's education, income, the percent of income spent on housing, and availability of transit.
While the average household income in the Brooklyn Park area is $68,000, for black residents, it is $32,395. While 50% of the residents in Brooklyn Park are white, 80% of the jobs are held by white people. People with a lower income have to spend a much higher percent of their income on rent or house payments, not only due to lower incomes, but also to the practice by banks of limiting who could get loans by redlining districts from the 1930's to the 1970's and more recently by directing black and Latino homebuyers to subprime loans. Redlined districts declined socially and economically and continue today to have higher rates of infant mortality.
Low income families also have to pay a high percent of their income on transit. A recent study at Harvard University found that the availability and cost of transportation had a greater impact on families than did income and being a one parent family. Thoughtful development around the light rail which meets the needs and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds can help reduce the disparities.
For a quick overview of the many factors which contribute to structural racism, watch the following 6 minute video. It might take a minute or two to load.
Written by John Risken
A frank and lively discussion - This year’s panel consisted of Rep. Jenifer Loon, chair of the House Education Finance Committee; Rep. Sondra Erickson, chair of the House Education Innovation Committee; and Sen. Patricia Torres-Ray, member of both the Senate Education Committee and the Senate E-12 Education Budget Committee.
Moderated by Lori Sturdevant
See the video.
Written by John Risken
Principals Discuss What it Takes to Beat the Odds
We recently asked the District Superintendents of St. Paul and Minneapolis to suggest some principals in their districts who are beating the odds in addressing the achievement gap. From the lists they provided we assembled two panels for two forums, one from Minneapolis, and the other from St. Paul. We think each of them shed a lot of light.
Both forums asked the participants to address these questions:
What does it take for a school to consistently beat the odds?
What does it need from the district and the state?
What does it need from its community?
What changes at the district and state levels would be most helpful?
Part One: Principals from St. Paul
The first forum featured
Como Park Elementary, Principal Christine Vang
St Paul Music Academy, Principal Barbara Evangelist
Washington Technology Magnet, Principal Mike McCollar
Harding High School, Principal Douglas Revsbeck
Watch the May 12, 2015 one hour panel presentation and half hour question and answer session or listen to it on your iPod or mPC
Part Two: Principals from Minneapolis
The second forum featured:
Henry High School, Principal LaTonya Daniels
Anwatin Middle School, Principal Vanita Miller
Anwatin Middle School, Vice-Principal Lorraine Rhodes
Waite Park Elementary, Principal Cindy Muelle
Watch the May 19, 2015 one hour panel presentation and half hour question and answer session or listen to it on your iPod or mPC
Sponsor: the Achievement Gap Committee
Don Fraser and Grant Abbott, Co-convenors
Northwest Community Television, Channel 12
Roberta Martin, host of Community Empowerment, recently interviewed Dane Smith, President of Growth and Justice, on G&I's recommendations for Education in Minnesota and on prospects for the legislative outcomes on education. The interview covered a broad range of education issues, including the momentous shift toward reducing inequalities in the 2013-14 legislative biennium, steps Minnesota can take to insure progress toward greater equality in education and income for people of color, and the prospects for lower costs and better jobs for college students.
The Channel 12 broadcast was produced by Think Again MN.
Watch the one hour interview with Dane Smith on YouTube or listen to it on mp3 or an iPod.
Dane Smith complements his interview on Community Empowerment in a recent St. Paul Ledger Capitol Column which reinforces the importance of coordinating workforce training with higher education policy reforms. He notes that a recent policy brief by the Itasca Project, which includes some of the brightest leaders of our state's largest businesses starts with a clear statement:
"Our regional Competitiveness depends on broadening opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive workforce." Mr. Smith points out that among 25 major cities, the Twin Cities is near the top in the employment rate gap between white workers and workers of color. Read about the eight education policy reforms and investments that Dane Smith thinks the legislature should make in "Workforce Equity Requires Top Priority."
Preparing America's Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow
Jennifer Bradley, Brookings Essay
The Brookings Institute recently published an essay in which the Twin Cities is viewed as a microcosm of the growing diversity of the United States. White children under 10 are already a minority in the U.S., and other Caucasians in other age groups will become a minority as the decades pass.
While Minnesota has traditionally been a more white state than other parts of the country, Minnesota has fast become more diverse due to immigration from a wide array of Asian, African, and Latino nations. Minneapolis and St. Paul have been hubs of refugee resettlement for decades. Minnesota has twice the share of immigrants from Southeast Asia as the United States as a whole (21 percent versus 10 percent of the immigrant population), and five times the share of immigrants from Africa as the nation as a whole (21 percent versus 4 percent).
Since Minnesota's immigrant population is younger than its white population, most of the future growth in the labor force will come from people of color. The challenge Minnesota currently faces is preparing its new immigrants for the job market. Currently they graduate from high school at a much lower rate than the white population. Both business men and women and educators realize that meeting this challenge requires both high quality education in early childhood and innovative work/study programs in our high schools and colleges.
Read the Brookings report on the racial disparities in education, employment, and income in Minnesota and the opportunities collaboration between ethnic, government, business, and nonprofit groups in Minnesota present for "Preparing America's Diverse Workforce for Tomorrow."
According to a Study of the Twin Cities
| May 12, 2015
The Twin Cities’ public transit system has a racial divide when it comes to how long it takes to get to work. A study by Take Action Minnesota, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, ISAIAH, and the Center for Popular Democracy reported that white transit riders, who use transit at half the rate of minority riders, spend three weeks longer per year getting to work than white car drivers. Black, Asian. and Latino transit riders spend an average of 4 weeks longer to get to work than white drivers.
Infrequent service, indirect routes, delays, overcrowded vehicles, and insufficient shelter at bus stops contribute to the transit time penalty.
Watch Bill Sorem's highlights and read Michael McIntee's summary of the press conference.