NY Times Calls for Rate Cap on Payday Loans PDF Print E-mail

 

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.

 

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Payday Lending Power Point from Senator Hayden PDF Print E-mail

 

jeff haydenSenator Jeff Hayden was not able to attend our last forum on "Low Cost Alternatives to Payday Lending."  He sent the Power Point which he had prepared for his presentation. 

 

You can download it at:

http://myaurora.org/aurorawiki/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=811

 

 

 

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Resources for Managing Your Money PDF Print E-mail

 

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.

 

Workshops

 

financial planning couple 2Community 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:

http://www.capsh.org/

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:

toplinecu.com/upcoming_seminars?slidenum=1&#chart

 

Online Education

 

financial planning couple

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:

https://www.tcfbank.com/about-tcf_community-relations_financial-education.aspx


Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin has online instruction for home buying at:

https://capsh.frameworkhomeownership.org/Default.aspx

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon

 

steve simon

 

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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