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    Upcoming Think Again MN

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                              Happy Holidays

 

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                      Think Again Brooklyns will not have a meeting in December to

                      leave everyone's time free to enjoy religious, family, and friends

                      gettogethers that take place during this special time.  Best

                      wishes for your holiday season.                                           

 

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Historian Iric Nathanson on Minnesota's Grand Consensus Print E-mail

 

"Minnesota's Grand Consensus"

Its Implications for Contemporary Consensus Building

 

 

 Tuesday, January 15
6 p.m. Pizza and Salad Buffet               6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers

5200 85th Avenue North

 

 

The Civility Caucus - Speaking on the recently activated Civility Caucus, Dave Bartholomay, Program Coordinator for the Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution (OCDR) located within the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, commented that ideas from the past need to be revisited to determine what worked and what didn’t. The Civility Caucus was formed by MN legislators on January 17, 2018 in response to the “One Minnesota” National Institute for Civil Discourse workshop put on for legislators by the U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs and others.
the grand consensus graphicThe Minnesota Miracle - Minnesota historian Iric Nathanson will revisit MN’s past at our January 15th meeting to explain MN's history of consensus between its Republican and Democratic party members that contributed to the success of the state.  He will discuss how the state's history of arriving at consensus could inform both legislators and the public on successful methods for coming to agreement which could contribute to collaborative legislative outcomes in the upcoming session.  Nathanson’s discussion of Minnesota’s Grand Consensus will draw from decisions arrived at after committees of both Republican and Democratic legislators and of Metropolitan Council members had spent a great deal of time in discussion to arrive at their recommendations. Their successful process and procedures are relevant not only for state legislators, but also for organizations seeking to influence them.

 

Thrive by Design with Tips from MN’s Past Success - Getting people of different backgrounds and viewpoints together to create public policy that will serve them well is currently an important part of decision making and policy promotion by elected officials as well as nonpartisan organizations.  For example, Governor-elect Tim Walz and his running mate Peggy Flanagan recently conducted a statewide listening tour.  Peter Callaghan of MinnPost reported on their recent meeting in north Minneapolis. He quoted Peggy Flanagan who opened the meeting with a statement of why they are there, “We want to make sure … that the folks directly affected by policy should have a seat at the table.  It’s time for you all to pull up your chairs because we have work to do, and we need to hear from you.”  One Minnesota and Growth and Justice convened a Thriving by Design Blueprint Convening in Hinckley December 10 and 11th to seek Minnesotans best thinking on how to achieve a more equitable and inclusive  Minnesota, a state that is vibrant and welcoming. 

 

Dave Bartholomay, has remarked that “the Civility Caucus is a wonderful idea . . . at the beginning of its life.”  It is a volunteer effort by legislators hoping to build better relationships.  The OCDR which assists the Civility Caucus with forums for executive and legislative branches, also assists cities, and counties on contentious public policy issues.  As called for by Dave Bartholomay, expect that Iric Nathanson’s overview of MN’s successful past will contribute to upcoming efforts of the Civility Caucus, the OCDR, as well as your participation in discussions of how pubic policy affects you.  Join us on January 15th for Iric's insights from past elected officials that will enhance your contribution to shaping public policies.


Iric Nathanson is the author of five books on Minnesota history. His 2010 book, Minneapolis in the 20th Century:  the Growth of a City, published by the Minnesota Historical Society, was finalist for a Minnesota book award.  His most recent book is Don Fraser: Minnesota’s Quiet Crusader which gives an account of how communities can work together for change.  Iric Nathanson is a reporter for MinnPost.

 

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Print E-mail

  Immigration Portal 

 

 

sanctuary movement paradeIntroduction - This immigration portal presents the origins of current American immigration policy and the harm done to immigrants and their families, as well as to cities, states, and the national economy by the current U.S. immigration policy.  It uses as examples estimates of the cost of the nation's current deportation policy on the state of Minnesota and for one suburb.  The immigration portal emphasizes the importance of human rights as the foundation for immigration policy. 

 

 

In the process of researching the causes and costs of the current U.S immigration policy, it became apparent that several other policy issues are very important.  These include the importance of early childhood education for children under stress; the impact of industrialized agriculture, not only on destroying the financial viability of community farming in Mexico and parts of Africa and family farms in the U.S., but also on greatly increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of rivers, streams, and lakes in the U.S.  This points to the need for human rights to be a central consideration in all public policy issues including climate and environmental policy, trade policy, health, education, labor, and prison policies.  The United  States has fallen behind in support of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights Conventions.  

 

Enter the Portal

 

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Paths to Citizenship Can Reduce Federal Deficit Print E-mail

 

Creating Paths to Citizenship

Can Reduce the Growing Federal Deficit

 

 

As of September 30, 2017, the U.S. budget deficit was $665.7 billion or about 3.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  As a result of the tax bill, the budget deficit was expected to rise to $1 trillion in 2019, which is equivalent of about 4.8% of GDP.  The U.S. budget that was just passed would increase next year’s deficits to about $1.2 trillion. 

douglas holtz-eakin 2How might this big increase in the U.S. budget deficit be reduced?  Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Congressional Budget Office Director under President H. W. Bush and currently President of the conservative American Action Forum, concluded in 2013 that increasing the number of immigrants would reduce the federal deficit by about $300 billion per year or by $2.7 trillion over 10 years

A 2016 Center for American Progress study found that deporting 7 million unauthorized immigrants nationally, about five percent of the U.S. workforce, would amount to a loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product and a loss of $900 billion in federal government revenues. This study concluded that GDP would immediately drop 1.6% and would drop by 2.6% over 10 years. The federal deficit would increase close to a trillion dollars by 2026.

 

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 Reports and Videos for Think Again MN


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Immigrants' Contribution to MN's Business Success Video, 2018 Print E-mail

 

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bill blazarBill Blazar, MN Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development, presented an excellent discussion on “Immigrants' Contribution to MN's Business Success” at the April 2018 Think Again Brooklyns forum. Senior residents of Maple Grove who heard about the forum suggested that Think Again MN collaborate with the Maple Grove Senior Center to have Bill present the program again at the Maple Grove Community Center.

 

Kris Orluck, the Senior Program Coordinator for Maple Grove worked with Think Again MN to arrange the forum for September 26, 2018. Think Again MN’s videographer John Risken filmed the presentation so more people could gain the knowledge Bill Blazar shared of the big contribution immigrants are making to MN’s economy and the necessity of reforming U.S. immigration policy.  Watch Bill Blazar's excellent presentation accompanied by informative slides on vimeo. 

 

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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon

 

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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at http://mnvotes.org

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

 


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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