Achieving Just Worker Wages - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


Think Again Brooklyns


The NW Suburbs Community and Labor Coalition



The Benefits of Higher Wages

Affordable Housing, and Transit


Tuesday, June 20    
6 p.m. - Free Surprise Supper and Social               6:30 p.m. - Program
Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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hollies winston


         Hollies Winston


I.  Building a Movement:  Raising Wages and Improving Working Conditions
Rena Wong - Organizing Director - United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 653

Rena Wong is originally from California – and is a Chinese American by way of Mexico. Her dad was a restaurant worker and her mom a domestic worker. They performed hard, low wage work without health insurance, retirement savings, or other benefits. She was a student on scholarship at UCLA when the Justice for Janitors strike took place in Los Angeles in 2000. That successful fight for a dignified living wage by low wage workers inspired Rena to join the labor movement. 

After graduating from UCLA in 2001, Rena started with AFSCME in San Francisco, helping to rebuild a Local over two years and preparing members for a contract fight. She joined SEIU in 2004 after moving to Minnesota and was part of the Property Services Division, organizing thousands of subcontracted food, laundry, and janitorial workers like those that first inspired her.

ginger jentzen


Ginger Jentzen - Recent Executive Director of 15 NOW


Ginger Jentzen is interested in building movements with working people for social, racial, and economic justice. She fought alongside low wage workers for $15 an hour in Minneapolis.   After years of protests, strikes, and community organizing across the city, 71,000 workers are on the verge of winning a historic victory: a $15/hour minimum wage in Minneapolis, which will take place in incremental steps.  A public hearing will take place on June 22, and the bill is expected to pass at the end of this month.


veronica mendez moore Veronica Mendez Moore  - Co-Director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) - Center of Workers United in Struggle. 


Veronica Mendez Moore recently led a campaign to improve conditions for janitors at Target, Macy’s and other retailers.  Through worker-driven campaigns, CTUL is opening the space for low wage workers to have a voice in shaping their workplaces, communities, and politics.  Through CTUL, workers from many different low-wage industries participate in workplace rights trainings



II.  The Relationship between Wages and Affordable Housing


Nelima Sitati Munene is a community strategist, curator and connector. She uses both data driven stories as well as narratives that are shaped by the lived experiences of people to come up with successful community and organizational building strategies. She is also a passionate written and oral communicator who works with people and organizations to craft clear messages that can effectively communicate their work. Nelima has over 16 years’ experience working in community engagement and development. Most of her work is centered on regional and urban planning and redevelopment. She also serves on various regional planning commissions and boards in the Twin Cities and as the Executive Director of the African Career, Education and Resource, Inc.



III.  How Public Transit Impacts Employment


jessica-treat-jan2016Jessica Treat, Executive Director of Twin Cities Transit for Livable Communities, will be our final speaker for the evening. Jessica Treat joined Transit for Livable Communities in January 2016 as the Executive Director. As an established leader in transportation advocacy in the Twin Cities, she brings a collaborative approach and significant experience with multimodal options and community engagement. Prior to her work at Transit for Livable Communities, she served as the founding Executive Director of St. Paul Smart Trips for eight years. Under her leadership, the organization developed a local and national reputation for their innovative approach to travel demand management (TDM).

Jessica earned her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University. She lives car-free with her family in Saint Paul and values the everyday adventures and personal interactions that car-free commuting provides.


A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.


Thank you to our Partners


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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

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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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