Domestic Violence Awareness Month Print E-mail


Join Us for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month



2017 Theme


Domestic Violence




Sunday, October 29, 2017
Meeting 2:45 to 5 p.m.


Mississippi Room, Brooklyn Park Library
8500 Broadway Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN


Everyone is Welcome and Encouraged to Bring Family and Friends 




Distinguished Guests



keisha t rev emily lagat sam mwange matt rabe


Keisha T. is the Cornerstone Criminal Justice Intervention Advocate.  Keisha will explore the services and resources that are available for victims of domestic violence and child abuse and prevention.


Rev. Emily Lagat is the Founder and President of INSPIRED PRAYER MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL, based in Minnesota, U.S.A.  She is famously known by her saying "Change Your Position."  Rev. Lagat will explore the impact of domestic violence in the community and give a personal testimony.


Mr. Samuel Mwange is the Global Fatherhood Foundation Executive Director and Fatherhood Advocate.  He will explain why men, especially in domestic violence crises, don't disclose and seek help.  He will demonstrate by showing a social experiment and public reaction.


Matt Rabe is the Brooklyn Park Community Engagement Police Officer.  Matt will discuss domestic violence from a police perspective, provide local data, and describe how police respond to reports and calls regarding domestic violence.



gff domestic violence 102017 forum







MN Factory Farms Print E-mail


Factory Farms' Impact on MN's Water


breckenrige chapter izaak walton league
Welcome to the Breckenridge Chapter of the Izaak Walton League


Tuesday, October 24            7:30 p.m.


8816 West River Road, Brooklyn Park, MN


Everyone Welcome


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As factory farms take over more and more of the nation’s livestock production, pollution from the waste produced by the immense crush of animals has become a major threat to the environment.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a dairy farm with 2,500 cows  can generate as much waste as the people in a city the size of Miami.  Unlike human waste, which usually receives sophisticated treatment, animal waste commonly goes untreated. Rather, it typically is held in underground pits or vast manure lagoons, and then spread on cropland as fertilizer.  From the fields, the manure which often contains hormones, pathogens, and toxic metals — can run off and contaminate streams, rivers, and wells.





The chart above would look familiar to the people who attended our Think Again Brooklyns forum last month.  It shows a big increase in factory farms following the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, which provided government subsidies for industrial sized farms.  It made it impossible for millions of small Mexican farmers to earn enough to even cover their production costs and also drove hundreds of thousands of medium sized farms in the U.S. and Canada out of business.  This, however, is not the only result of factory farms.  High levels of pollution in Minnesota and Iowa rivers, lakes, and aquifers have followed.  Our speakers will suggest what steps we need to take to reduce the increased pollution.


 sonja trom eayrsSonja Trom Eayrs - Ms. Sonja Eayrs, a family lawyer and citizen activist, will speak to us about factory farms in southern Minnesota and Iowa. In her words below, she outlines some of the concerns regarding water in our state. “It’s no surprise that half of the lakes and streams in southern Minnesota are too polluted for recreational activities (“So. Minn. water crisis rises,” April 30, 2015).

"My parents, lifelong farmers in Dodge County in southeastern Minnesota, have been battling the county and a feedlot operator this past year in response to the installation of the eleventh hog building within a three-mile radius of our family farm. This single factory farm sits on just six acres of non-homesteaded bare land that lies at the headwaters of the Cedar River. Just half a mile from the Trom family farm that has been in our family for nearly 100 years, it will produce manure equivalent to a human population of more than 7,000 people.”


              Chris Petersonchris peterson
               Long Time Iowa Hog Farmer
               Representative, Socially
              Responsible Agriculture Project
             Past President, Iowa Farmers Union
             Board Member, Iowa Center for
            Agriculture Health and Safety





Health, Food Quality, and Food Exports
Pollution, Manure Disposal, and Aquifer Pumping
Politics and Court Cases
Animal Abuse


Treats and beverages after the presentations


     izaak walton league breckenridge chapter



    Thank You to our Cohosts


think again mn and conservation minnesota





Improving Water Quality 25% by 2025 Print E-mail


25 by 25


A Town Hall Meeting of Residents in West Metro to Get

Their Ideas on Improving Water Quality 25% by 2025


Presented by


conservation minnesota logoMaple Grove Library, Main Meeting Room

8001 Main Street N, Maple Grove, MN


Monday, September 25

6:30 p.m. Social        7 - 8:30 p.m. - Program


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Welcome - Katie Rodriguez - Metropolitan Council Member, District 1

Discussion Leader - John Anderson, CMN West Metro Regional Manager



Water is a part of what makes Minnesota, well, Minnesota. Join us for a discussion of local water health and help us gather ideas on how to improve our waters.



From Governor Dayton:


In the land of 10,000 lakes, clean water should be a right, not a privilege. But the reality is that the quality of our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater is threatened from many sources all across our state. We are at a crucial moment – we can continue to let water quality become worse or we can work together to reverse the damage that has been done and prevent future water degradation. . . It will take all of us working together to protect our waters for ourselves and future generations.



25 by 25 - how we use water




Contact West Metro Regional Manager John Anderson with questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 612-767-1571.





   Thank You to Our Partners


            met council tamn lwvwayz plym lwvbpomg








Creative Planning Makes our Communities Vibrant Healthy Places - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


 tab and hennepin county



Cities 2040 Comprehensive Plans


Building Strong Communities that Serve All Residents' Needs



Tuesday, October 17

6:00 p.m. - Pizza Buffet and Social               6:30 p.m. - Program



Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers

5200 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN


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Cities 2040 Comprehensive Plans provide an opportunity to plan for communities that meet the needs of all residents in our cities and suburbs and develop a sense of place in our neighborhoods. At our our October Think Again Brooklyns forum, Denise Engen from Hennepin County will give us an introduction to planning, and two leaders in our immigrant communities, Sebastian Rivera from Asamblea and Ekta Prakash from CAPI, will provide examples of how their organizations are strenthening immigrant communities. Then you will get a chance to explore how to create vibrant healthy places in your neighborhood.


 Denise Engen, Hennepin County Community Works

Healthy Community Planning and 2040 Comprehensive Plans


denise engen

 Our health starts in the places where we live, learn, work and play – and the way we plan and design our communities plays a big role in our physical, emotional and financial health. Local planning is increasingly recognized as tool to strategically increase health and to reduce health disparities, which are differences in health that stem from the built and social environment. Planning and designing communities with health in mind can lead to improved community health, wellness, and quality of life for all residents. This thinking was put into action locally when a major effort was made to integrate health into planning for the areas around light rail transit stations on the extension of the METRO Blue Line (Bottineau) LRT. Denise Engen, from Hennepin County Community Works, will help us explore the links between community health and community planning – and the benefits of planning and designing communities with health in mind, specifically through the local comprehensive plan.


 sebastian riveraSebastian Rivera, La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles Community Organizer

Health Risks of a Latino Immigrant


Sebastian Rivera is a Community organizer for Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, a Latino faith based nonprofit organization, that has been organizing, empowering, and engaging immigrant and nonimmigrant communities in the northwest suburbs for the past two years. Asamblea focuses on issues of displacement, immigrant discrimination, and tenant abuse throughout the area, and works closely with community members, fellow nonprofits and elected officials to address those issues and to create a healthier and more proactive community.



Ekta Prakash, CAPI USA Executive Director

Immigrant Communities Focus on Healthy Planning


ekta prakashEkta Prakash is committed to empowering the community by utilizing a service model that promotes social justice and gender equity. Through this model, her goal is to incorporate under represented communities’ political influence and civic engagement into CAPI programs. Her past experience includes participating in two fellowship programs: the National Gender Equity Campaign through Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance MN’s Parity for Priority Populations.


Ekta led CAPI's agency-wide organizational transformation that has resulted in increased financial efficiencies, stability, infrastructure improvements, and leadership development. Her efforts have led to recognitions to her organization including the Home Grown Hero award for growing community gardens in the Minneapolis and the NW suburbs, and the Act of Kindness award for expansion and bringing fresh produce to the NW suburbs.  Ekta holds a MA in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, and a Masters in Nonprofit and Public Administration from Metropolitan State University.



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The Case for Single Payer Health Care - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


A Physician's Perspective


Richard R. Wilson, MD



Tuesday, July 18

6 p.m. - Pizza Buffet and Social               6:30 p.m. - Program
Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers

5200 85th Avenue N


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richard r. wilson mdThe purpose of the July 18th program is to discuss a single payer health care plan for the USA, an approach that continues to be the choice of most industrialized and economically developed countries. The goal of single payer health plans is to provide affordable, accessible, equitable and high-quality universal health care.


     Please come prepared to be a part of our conversation.


     Dr. Wilson looks forward to learning from and with you.


Rich Wilson is a physician who has been in private group medical practice and has developed medical therapies, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He is also an author, inventor, teacher and active listener.



Thank you to our Partners


 lwvbpomg and bphr logos



Distribution of Health Care Insurance in the U.S. Print E-mail


distribution of health care insurance in the us


                                                                                           Source:  This is Medicaid




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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change process



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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The Beginnings, Rapid Progress, and Next Big Strides in MN Clean Energy Print E-mail



A Broad Overview of Clean Energy in MN

With J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy



j. drake hamiltonJ. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy, gave a review of MN's beginning legislation and rapid progress in developing clean energy to already almost reach goals set for 2025.   At the NW Climate Action forum on May 25th at the Maple Grove Library, J. also gave a preview of the coming energy revolution involving the electrification of transportation, industry, and heating.  If you missed this excellent forum, be sure to get a preview of the coming energy revolution by taking a look at Carol Woehrer's notes capturing the main points of J. Hamilton's presentation.





Equity in the Cities Print E-mail


Photos by Wayne Doe - Feeling inspired at Think Again Brooklyns Forum "Equity in the Cities" with presenters Wokie Freeman - Assistant City Manager, City of Brooklyn Park and Joy Marsh Stephens - Equity and Inclusion Manager, City of Minneapolis at the City of Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers on May 16, 2017.


wokie freeman and joy marsh stephens at equity in the cities tab 51617   wokie freeman at podium equity in cities tab 51617

                              Wokie Freeman and Joy Marsh Stephens Answer-              Wokie Freeman Presenting on Equity
                              ing Audience Questions                                                         in Employment, Policies, & Programs
                                                                                                                             in Brooklyn Park


racial equity action plan at equity in cities 51617


joy marsh stephens addressing audience at equity in the cities tab 51617

                                                       Joy Marsh Stephens Speaking on Minneapolis Staff's Training in Equity





Equity in the Cities - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail



Employment, Policies, and Programs



Tuesday, May 16           6 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social           6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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Facing a strong demand to rectify disparities, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park became two of the early MN cities to work on reducing racial disparities. For Mpls, having staff members devoted full time to advancing racial equity was new so there was not a lot of precedent for what an equity and inclusion manager does. Equity leaders have forged ahead to create ways to increase equity.  Staff, volunteers, and residents in suburban cities are invited to celebrate their journey toward equity at the May Think Again Brooklyns forum by sharing the ways their own cities and organizations are increasing equity.




joy m. stephensOne Minneapolis - Reversing the Racial Disparity Trends


Joy Marsh Stephens is an Equity and Inclusion Manager in the Minneapolis City Coordinator's Office. She will speak on the varied responsibilities of her position which involves working with city departments to tie their goals to racial equity outcomes, aligning racial equity work through the city's engagement design team, program evaluation, and working hand in hand with the community to advance racial equity. The most exciting work that Joy and her team will be leading in the years ahead is the 5 year federal grant the city was awarded to work alongside communities to address their capacity to be resilient in the face of stress and trauma. 



wokie c freemanA Thriving Community with Opportunity for All


Wokie Freeman is Brooklyn Park's Assistant City Manager. Her wide ranging responsibilities including assisting with the day-to-day operations of the City, Community Engagement, Communications, Human Resources, and special projects allow for multiple ways to promote equity.  Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in Minnesota with more than 80,000 residents, 52% of whom are people of color.  400+ employees serve the people of Brooklyn Park. Wokie will explain how Brooklyn Park includes equity principles and policies in its departments, activities, and employment practices.




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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