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Think Again Brooklyns

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


"Minnesota's Grand Consensus"

Its Implications for Contemporary Consensus Building


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

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers

5200 85th Avenue North

RSVP on Facebook, https://bit.ly/2Eqapke or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

With Eric Nathanson


The Civility Caucus - Speaking on the recently activated Civility Caucus, Dave Bartholomay commented that ideas from the past need to be revisited to determine what worked and what didn’t. Bartholomay is the Program Coordinator for the Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution (OCDR) located within the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services.  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.

iric nathansonThe 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.  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 supporting public policies and their volunteers.


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, One Minnesota and Growth and Justice held 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.  Retiring State Representative JoAnn Ward, a committed member of the Civility Caucus, stated that "Minnesotans deserve a legislature where people of all experiences and points of view work together to build a better Minnesota.”


Dave Bartholomay, has remarked that “the Civility Caucus is a wonderful idea . . . at the beginning of its life.”  Expect that Iric Nathanson’s overview of MN’s successful past will contribute to upcoming efforts of the Civility Caucus and the OCDR, as well as to your participation in discussions of how public policy affects you and your fellow Minnesotans.  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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Housing for All Print E-mail


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St Joseph the Worker Catholic Church
7180 Hemlock Lane N, Maple Grove 55369

Wednesday, January 23 – 7:00-9:00 a.m.

Meet with your state and local policy makers to build relationships and proclaim as people of faith that Every One Needs a Home!  The session will consist of short state and local policy presentations.  Business leaders and constituents will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators and local policy makers, ask questions, and dialogue about housing and other issues of concern.

A continental breakfast will be provided.

After presentations, the attendees will be able to visit tables on housing.  Gene Nicolelli, Certified Aging - in - Place Specialist (CAPS) certified by the National Association of Home Builders, and Carol Woehrer from Think Again MN will have a table.  Their display will  explain the civil right of older residents to have a large bathroom with grab bars and other home features which enable them to live in place when using a wheelchair, how to achieve that at low cost by requiring all new multi and single-family residences to be built using Universal Design, and how Universal Design housing can substantially reduce health care costs.

Serving Brooklyn Center  •  Brooklyn Park  •  Champlin  •  Corcoran  •  Crystal  •  Dayton  •  Golden Valley  •  Maple Grove  •  New Hope  •  Osseo  •  Plymouth  •  Robbinsdale  •  Rogers  •  St Michael

Please contact Roxanne Smith at 763-400-7208 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with questions.

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RSVP Requested





Universal Design - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


Keeping Older Adults with Disabilities

Close to their Families and Friends

accessible-kitchen-designBrooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443


Tuesday, November 27 

6 p.m. - Free Pizza and Salad Buffet         
6:30 p.m. - Program

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Currently one in three Americans is age 50 or older. By 2030, one out of five people in the U.S. will be 65 or older.  With a rapidly increasing percent of older people, increasing use of telemedicine to monitor patients with chronic conditions, more patients expected to return home shortly after surgery, and the Medicare Advisory Commission’s recommendation that the cost of long term care be reduced, it is important that people’s homes accommodate any limitations they have.  Will you and your community be ready with condos, homes, and apartments that meet your needs?  Are you ready right now?


gene nicolelli

Gene Nicolelli is an architect who is the Principal of Nicolelli Architects and is a Certified Aging - in - Place Specialist (CAPS) certified by the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Housing Council. Over his years as an architect, Nicolelli has received many awards, including the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Council - Best of 50+ Housing Awards, the 2012 Gold Achievement Award and the Best in American Living 2004 Silver Award, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Award of Excellence.

He explains, "For those of you unfamiliar with Universal Design, it can best be described as a holistic approach that shapes environments so they may be used by as many people as possible, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance, without discrimination and have lifetime value."

AARP research consistently finds that the vast majority of people age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Gene Nicolelli will walk us through the AARP Guide and share his own advice on modifications that help people stay at home, that developers can incorporate into condos or apartment buildings to make them appropriate for frail or disabled residents, and that cities expecting an increase in aging residents can require for new development.


Staying in their home with some assistance from family, friends, and volunteers can help people enjoy their later years as well as save them and their fellow citizens the considerable costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility.  Most existing single family homes as well as condos and apartments were not built with the features of Universal Design.  Let's change course by evaluating the current dwellings of people who have become disabled for possible remodeling and by requiring future dwellings to be built with Universal Design features.

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        Partners:              Housing for All                






Links to Upcoming Candidate Forums, Oct 17 to Nov 4, 2018 Print E-mail


meet the candidates



League of Women Voters, Chamber of Commerce

TV and Radio Forums


The last of the forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters' chapter that that serves Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center and the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce will be October 17.  Forums for candidates not covered by our local organizations will be presented by other organizations and by the media including TPT and KSTP television and Minneapolis Public Radio.  These forums and debates will cover candidates for Governor, Congressional District 3, U.S. Senate, and Hennepin County Attorney.  Click here for the details on location, dates, time, and candidates.




Upcoming Candidate Forums, Oct 17 to Nov 4, 2018 Print E-mail


meet the candidates


Live, Radio, TV, and Internet Video

House District 40A, Osseo District 279 School Board Forum

Wednesday, October 17

Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Avenue N

6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. - House District 40A - Mike Nelson (DFL) and David True (R)

7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - Osseo, District 279 School Board Candidates
Elect 3 Osseo School Board Members, District 279 - Heidi R. Clayman, Jessica Craig, Kelsey Dawson Walton, David Dostal, Sizi G. Goyah, Dan Hobot, Miamon Queeglay, Cindy Shevlin-Woodcock, Tanya Simons
Special Election - James E. Burgett and Jackie Mosqueda-Jones

Osseo School District 279 Forum
Monday, October 22            7 to 8:30 p.m.
Maple Grove Middle School, 7000 Hemlock Lane, Maple Grove, MN

Hennepin County Attorney Candidate Forum 

Tuesday, October 23          7 to 8:15 p.m.
North High School, 1500 James Ave N, Minneapolis

Candidates: Mike Freeman and Mark Haase

Sponsors: League of Women Voters Golden Valley, ACLU, National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota, Immigrant Law Center, Jewish Community Action


Congressional District 3 Media Debates
 - Erik Paulsen & Dean Phillips

TPT Almanac Debate           Friday, October 19           7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

KSTP at Issue Debate          Sunday, October 21         10 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Almanac Gubernatorial Debate:  Jeff Johnson & Tim Walz

TPT Debate           Friday, November 2         7 p.m. to 8 p.m.


MPR U.S. Senate Debate and Gubernatorial Debate

Sunday, November 4

Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E Exchange St, St Paul, MN

5 p.m. - Karin Housley and Tina Smith

6 p.m. - Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz

    Free and open to the public


The debate will be streamed at mprnews.org and aired live on MPR News.








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


the economic necessity of immigration reform blazar 92018


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. 





Be Prepared for the 2019 Changes to Medicare Print E-mail


End of Medicare Cost Plans


Wednesday, October 10         1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Holy Nativity Lutheran Church
3900 Winnetka Avenue N, New Hope, MN 55427


Learn the facts about the new government regulated Medicare shift and what it means to you. Many seniors have or will be receiving notice in the mail that their Medicare supplement plan is going away.  Think Again MN is letting you know about this forum because so many seniors need to choose a new insurance policy and have just a short time to do so.  Holy Nativity Lutheran Church's seminar is the first one we have seen near Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center on what this change means for people on Medicare so we wanted to be sure you know about it.


gene montanezThe speaker is Gene Montanez, a long term expert in Medicare programs and supplements and member of the Robbinsdale Senior Commission.

Cost plans will no longer be offered in Minnesota? The fact is that over 360,000 Medicare policies in counties within the metro area will be going away. All current cost health plans will be replaced with Advantage plans.  What is the difference between the plans?

Open enrollment for new plans begins October 15th and ends December 7. Are you prepared? Do you understand your options? Attend this free seminar open to Holy Nativity members and the public.

The Senior Ministry team will be hosting a new program for seniors the second Wednesday of every month at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church. All are welcome.







Osseo Public Schools: Creating Equity Print E-mail


Osseo District 279 School Board Candidates

Thursday, October 4             7 to 9 p.m.

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church
7180 Hemlock Lane N, Maple Grove, MN 55369
(Just south of Highway 694)

osseo public schools creating equity



The Osseo School district is one of the most racially diverse districts in the state. It is also a district where the equity gap between white students and students of color persists when it comes to academic achievement and school suspensions.
Osseo has a key opportunity to close these gaps and lead the state in terms of educating a diverse student body. But we need our leaders to make it happen!

Join Us!

We will share what we need from our school board and learn about our candidates as we ask them to share their vision for creating equity and fostering an environment where all children can thrive and reach their full potential


Elect 3 Osseo School Board Members, District 279 - Brigitte Alexander, Heidi R. Clayman, Jessica Craig, Kelsey Dawson Walton, David Dostal, Sizi G. Goyah, Dan Hobot, Miamon Queeglay, Cindy Shevlin-Woodcock, Tanya Simons


Brigitte Alexander is no longer running for Osseo School Board.

Dan Hobot and Tanya Simons declined to participate.


Special Election - James E. Burgett and Jackie Mosqueda-Jones

Child care available by registering with Roxanne Smith at 763-400-7208 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Sponsors:  St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, ACER, Think Again MN, The NW Suburbs Community and Labor Coalition





Immigrants' Contributions to MN's Economy - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


As MN's Population Grows Older

Immigrants Contribute to MN's Business Success


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Youth Present Business Plans at Neighborhood Development Center


Wednesday, September 26                 10 a.m. to Noon

Banquet Room, Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road, Maple Grove MN


RSVP on Facebook: https://bit.ly/2sUbfiC or to Carol Woehrer, 763-607-4287


You and your friends will enjoy this forum with two speakers who celebrate the contributions of immigrants' to MN's economy. The event Minnesota's state demographers have been discussing for years, has arrived - the retirement of the large cohort born after World War II called the "Baby Boomers,"  which brings with it several big changes in Minnesota's work force. Both speakers will include references to MN's changing demographics which are causing a decline in MN's labor force and a need for additional services, especially in health care, while providing career opportunities for MN's new immigrants.


bill blazarAn Overview of Immigrants' Contributions - Bill Blazar
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Leader, Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition


Bill Blazar is a past member and chair of the board of the Government Relations Council. He has also served in a leadership capacity for Minnesota's P16 Education Partnership, the Minnesota Health Data Institute, and the Citizens League. Bill Blazar will speak on Immigrants' Contributions to Minnesota, their importance to Minnesota's economy, and ways to assure their success through education and good jobs.


lyna nyamwayaImmigrants' Important Role in Health Care - Lyna Nyamwaya
RN, PHN, Administrative Manager, North Memorial Health
Doctor of Nursing Practice Student


Lyna Nyamwaya is Founder and President of the African Nurses Network, Inc., a nonprofit organization which aims to make nurses of color visible by creating and providing opportunities for underserved populations. Ms. Nyamwaya will speak on immigrants' extensive participation in health care from working in beginning positions serving as nursing assistants to providing highly specialized care as physicians.


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                  Maple Grove                
        Senior Center  





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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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