Affordable Housing [Think Again Brooklyns] PDF Print E-mail

 

Big Need, Limited Supply

 

 

Tuesday, September 20


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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A much larger number of people in MN live below the income considered reasonable to pay for housing, 30% of income, than there are housing units available at that cost. We might expect that most of these people are recent immigrants or minorities, but actually most of them are people whose grandparents and great grandparents immigrated from European countries before the Great Depression. According to the MN State Demography Center’s study of 17 cultural groups, the six groups with the highest number of people living in poverty are white (346,800), African-American (72,800), Mexican (47,100), Somali (26,400), Hmong (17,700), and Ojibwe (12,200). In 2011 to 2013, 57% of Brooklyn Park renters paid more than 35% of their income for housing. 

 

Many MN residents living in poverty are older adults. The need for for 55+ affordable housing is expected to increase to 219,873 by 2020 with an expected supply of only 23,750 units.  About two thirds of Minnesotans working for minimum wage are women, and two thirds of seniors living in poverty are women.



alice hausman
Representative Alice Hausman will speak on the need for affordable housing for MN families and older residents. As chair of the House Capital Investment committee in 2014, Rep. Hausman led the 2014 effort for historic investments to address the affordable housing needs of low income MN families, veterans, seniors.

Rep. Hausman was recently named the recipient of the prestigious Mary K. Nenno Legislative Advocacy Award by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). She was also named the “Homes for All” 2015 Housing Champion, a statewide campaign of more than 150 organizations.
 
 

lisa wilcox-erhardt
Lisa Wilcox-Erhardt, Executive Vice President of Housing & Services at CommonBond, will describe the importance of service programs in affordable housing especially the specific programs that CommonBond offers for families, youth and the aging. CommonBond won an Excellence Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits in 2014.

Ms. Lisa Wilcox-Erhardt has worked for CommonBond for over 11 years. Prior to her present position, she worked in property management for CommonBond and served as a Cannon Falls City Council member.
 
A panel discussion will follow the speakers' presentations.  Bring your questions and concerns about Affordable Housing in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, and the metro area as a whole.  Our two leading MN experts on Affordable Housing will be happy to answer them.

 
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2016 LWV N Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forums Print E-mail

 

 

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2016 CANDIDATE FORUMS

 

 

The Chapter of the League of Women Voters that serves Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center and the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce are cosponsoring 10 forums from September 27 through October 20.  They include forums for City Council in Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center; for MN Senate and House in Senate Districts 34, 36, and 40; for Hennepin County Commissioner in Districts 1 and 7; and for Osseo (District 279) School Board members. Click on "Read more" to see the list with dates, times, locations, and candidates:

 

Read more...
 
Informing Voters on Public Policy and Candidates PDF Print E-mail

 


The Role of Nonprofits and Faith Based Organizations

 
Tuesday, August 16         6 p.m. Pizza Buffet and Social  (Free)        6:30 P.M.  Program


Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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Our August speakers will discuss the ways in which providing information on public policies and policy advocacy can fulfill the values and mission of nonprofit and faith based organizations.  The forum will also cover the rights of these organizations in regard to informing the public on policy issues and advocating for policy change and the limits placed on 501c3 nonprofits in regard to supporting a political party or candidate.


Carin Mrotz - Deputy Director
Jewish Community Action

carin mrotzCarin Mrotz will explain the important role of faith based institutions in keeping people informed of the impact of public policy and ways they can promote just policy and reduce racial disparities. Jewish Community Action organizers have been trained by the Organizing Apprenticeship Program on racial equity and work closely with partners including Protect Minnesota, the Northside Reinvestment Coalition, and the Minneapolis Urban League.

Carin has years of experience in training, communications, program development and evaluation.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Religion and a master's degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration.


 

Jeff Narabrook - Voter Outreach Director
Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

jeff narabrookJeff Narabrook will speak on the ways faith based and 501c3 nonprofit organizations are free to engage in issue and candidate education and on the limits they have in relation to promoting public policy and candidates for political office.

He worked previously as a Public Policy Assistant at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits where he managed public policy web communications and provided administrative support to the policy team. Jeff also had a lead role in staffing the Minnesota Participation Project, an MCN project that builds capacity among nonprofit organizations to engage their members in civic participation.  He received his BA from St. Olaf College.

 

 

Katie Rodriguez - Metropolitan Council Member, District 1

katie rodriguezKatie Rodriguez's claim to fame is serving as the outstanding host of an issues and public policy forum in Maple Grove.  Katie will explain how easy it is to start a monthly forum and the big benefits of understanding public policy for citizens' participation in democracy and civic engagement.

She lives in Maple Grove and represents District 1 which includes Plymouth and Maple Grove and communities west to the Hennepin County Line.   Her background includes
fourteen years of experience in public finance, including ten years in municipal finance positions.  Recently she was the Business Manager for the League of Women Voters Minnesota. 

 

Samantha Vang - Civic Engagement Fellow at CAPI


samantha vangSamantha (Sam) Vang will tell us about CAPI's first ever Democracy School started just last month to help refugee and immigrant youth (18-25) reflect more deeply about the democracy we live in and become more civically engaged. The program aims to give young adults a better understanding of the history of the U.S., the MN electoral system, current politics, social and economic issues, and grassroots organizing techniques.

Sam is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in Communications and Political Science and a minor in Japanese.  She has worked in community organizing and campaigns.

 

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The Audubon Climate Report - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail

 

Mark your Calendar!
Parents - Bring your Children!          Kids - Bring your Parents!

The Future of Birds and Wildlife

"What is good for birds is good for people too!"

 


Tuesday, July 19         
6 p.m. Pizza Buffet and Social  (Free)          6:30 P.M.  Program


Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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Our July forum is inspired by Brooklyn Park children.  At a recent Brooklyn Park Community Cafe, the attendees were asked, "What do you like best about Brooklyn Park?"  They replied,

bunnies birds and ducks 

 


John Anderson - Conservation Minnesota's West Metro Community Coordinator

John Anderson will explain how climate change will affect birds and wildlife in Minnesota. Mr. Anderson’s overview will be based on a recent report which shows that bird species in North American are in danger of declining by 50 percent if the current level of climate change continues.  He will also tell us what cities and individuals can do to help preserve the birds and wildlife that children in Brooklyn Park love so much.  His presentation is usually given to adults, but he will make sure that children can understand it as well.

Conservation Minnesota's Mission is protecting the Minnesota you love.   

From our four “real” seasons to our 10,000 lakes, the Great Outdoors defines life here. It is where many of our most cherished memories are created with family and friends. Passing our experiences and traditions on to our children, being good stewards of our land and lakes — these are values that we all share. Conservation Minnesota turns your love of Minnesota’s Great Outdoors into the laws that protect it. And it provides reliable information to help you make important decisions for your family, community, and future.


Sponsor                                                              


 squarethinkagainmnlogo

 

 

Cosponsors

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Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center City Council Candidate Forums PDF Print E-mail

 

meet the candidates

 

BROOKLYN PARK AND BROOKLYN CENTER

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS

 

 

The success of our cities depends on the values, knowledge, and commitment of our City Council members.  Multiple people have filed to be a candidate for City Council, three in the Central District, seven in the West District, and three in the East District of Brooklyn Park and seven in Brooklyn Center. 

 

You will be able to vote for one of them in the district in which you live at the Primary Election on August 9.  No excuse primary voting is also available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Water Treatment Facility, 5100 Edinbrook Terrace, Brooklyn Park, 55443 and for Brooklyn Center weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 6301 Shingle Creek Parkway.  Voting will also be available at both locations on Saturday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The candidates who receive the highest number of votes in each district will appear on the ballots for the November 8 General Election.

 

 

July 14 - Brooklyn Park - Central and West Districts


Candidate Forums on NW Community Cable TV
 

Recorded July 14, 2016

Tuesday 07/19/2016 7:00:00 PM Channel 12

Saturday 07/23/2016 7:00:00 AM Channel 12

 

Weblinks

 

Brooklyn Park City Council Primary Candidate Forum - Central District

 

Brooklyn Park City Council Primary Candidate Forum - West District

 

Moderator:  Wayne Doe - MN Health Insurance Representative

Treasurer, Think Again MN; Division Director, Toastmaster's

 

 

July 21 - Brooklyn Park - East District and City of Brooklyn Center

 

 Brookdale Christian Center, 6030 Xerxes Avenue N, Brooklyn Center

 

5:45 to 6:15 p.m. - Sign in and Refreshments

6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - City Council Candidate Forums

 

Moderator:  Kirsten Kjome - President, Brooklyn Park, Osseo,

Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters

 

 

Both the forum itself and recordings available after the forum are intended to be nonpartisan. NW Community TV Channel 12 will record the forum to be broadcast on Channel 12 TV and made available on the internet.  Video taping, audio recording, and photographing are not allowed during the forum. Because this is a nonpartisan forum, campaign literature, buttons, signs, clothing, and other items are not allowed in the forum room.

 

 
The Community Engagement Committee of the Northwest Suburbs Community and Labor Coalition is sponsoring these forums to help you determine which of these candidates is most likely to address your concerns and serve your needs.  The Committee includes representatives of the following organizations: 

 

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LWV Candidate Forum Workshop PDF Print E-mail

 

 

Everyone who would like to know more about how to present a candidate forum is welcome including men, people of any ethnicity, faith based leaders, high school and college students, and retirees.

 

 

Saturday, July 23 - 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Brookdale Library, Rooms ABC, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center

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kirsten kjomeWorkshop Leader - Kirsten Kjome, President, Brooklyn Park, Osseo, and Maple Grove Chapter of the League of Women Voters

Kirsten loves moderating forums and has a great sense of humor. She has led candidate forum workshops and moderated at dozens of candidate forums. LWV/BPOMG members will assist with parts of the workshop. The workshop will emphasize methods to assure the forum is impartial and ways to keep the forum simple and easy.  The workshop will cover topics from the role of the moderator, the schedule for planning a forum, and inviting candidates to guiding the audience; the role of timekeepers, greeters, ushers, and translators; screening the audience questions; and helping with your local LWV Chapter forums or planning your own forum.

Candidate forums for city council, MN state legislators, school board members, and Hennepin County Commissioners are scheduled for the end of September and early October in Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center. If workshop attendees are from other areas, we can contact other LWV Chapters with whom they can work. If you would like to sponsor your own forum, we would be glad to answer questions and give support through your planning process. It would be helpful for several people who plan to help with an organization’s forum to attend the workshop.

 

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Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center City Council Candidate Forums PDF Print E-mail

 

meet the candidates

 

BROOKLYN PARK AND BROOKLYN CENTER

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS

 

 

July 14 - Brooklyn Park - Central and West Districts

 

 Zanewood Recreation Center
7100 Zane Avenue N. Brooklyn Park, MN 55429

 

5:45 p.m. To 6:15 p.m. - Sign in and Refreshments

6:15 to 8:30 p.m. - City Council Candidate Forum

 

Welcome to New Americans, Immigrants, and People of Color

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Moderator:  Wayne Doe - MN Health Insurance Representative

Treasurer, Think Again MN; Division Director, Toastmaster's

 

The success of our cities depends on the values, knowledge, and commitment of our City Council members.  Multiple people have filed to be a candidate for City Council, three in the Central District, seven in the West District, and three in the East District of Brooklyn Park and seven in Brooklyn Center.  You will be able to vote for one of them in the district in which you live at the Primary Election on August 9.  The two candidates who receive the highest number of votes in each district will appear on the ballot for the November 8 General Election.

Both the forum itself and recordings available after the forum are intended to be nonpartisan. We expect the forum to be video recorded by members of the media and to be made available on YouTube and social media. Video taping, audio recording, and photographing are not allowed during the forum. Because this is a nonpartisan forum, campaign literature, buttons, signs, clothing, and other items are not allowed in the forum room.

 

 

July 21 - Brooklyn Park - East District and City of Brooklyn Center

 

 

Brookdale Christian Center, 6030 Xerxes Avenue N, Brooklyn Center

 

5:45 to 6:15 p.m. - Sign in and Refreshments

6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - City Council Candidate Forum

 

Moderator:  Kirsten Kjome - President, Brooklyn Park, Osseo,

Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters

 


The Community Engagement Committee of the Northwest Suburbs Community and Labor Coalition is sponsoring these forums to help you determine which of these candidates is likely to best address your concerns and serve your needs.  The Committee includes representatives of the following organizations: 

 

w african services mrlf tamn capi acer olm wac

 

 

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Immigrant Experiences In MN - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail

 

A Big Welcome is Great, but not Enough!

Immigrant Experiences and Human Rights in MN

 


Tuesday, May 17         
6 p.m. Pizza Buffet and Social  (Free)          6:30 P.M.  Program


Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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Moderator:  Linda Freemon - Chair, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission

 


Michele McKenzie - Deputy Director and Director of Advocacy, The Advocates for Human Rights

“Moving from Exclusion to Belonging: Immigrant Rights in Minnesota”

michele mckenzieMichele McKenzie’s presentation is based on a two year study that analyzed how well Minnesota protects the human rights of refugees and immigrants. During the study, participants were asked questions about what makes a community welcoming. As the study progressed, the researchers found that while making newcomers feel “welcome” is important, it is not sufficient in the face of discrimination, exclusion, and the denial of access and opportunity that results from human rights violations. Michele McKenzie will cover the main findings of the report including immigration, law enforcement, and the justice system; housing, education, access to basic needs; and issues in the workplace. She will suggest ways to eliminate human rights violations that were uncovered during the study.

Michele McKenzie serves on the senior leadership team at the Advocates for Human Rights. She also leads the organization's research, education, and advocacy team and is responsible for advocacy on The Advocates' domestic priority issues, including migration and human trafficking. She joined the staff of The Advocates in 1999 as an attorney representing asylum seekers and detained immigrants.

McKenzie has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches the Immigration Education and Outreach Externship for the U of M Law School’s Center for New Americans. Michele received her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and her B.A. from Macalester College.


oduwa aganmwonyiOduwa Aganmwonyi - Director of Client Services at Covenant Human Services

Insights into Immigrants Social and Mental Health Problems

Oduwa Aganmwonyi will speak on social and mental health problems of MN immigrants and what the causes of these problems are. He will share his insights on how immigrants can best be helped through improvements in mental health and family support services.

Oduwa Aganmwonyi is Co-chair of the Hennepin County Mental Health Local Advisory Council and a member of the Brooklyn Park Citizens Long-range Improvement Committee.



Welcome to our new Brooklyn Park Assistant City Managerwokie c. freeman

Wokie Freeman - Paths to Success in the Immigrant Community

Wokie Freeman will discuss her own successful education and career path including the opportunities, organizations, and systems that were helpful, and describe how she overcame any obstacles along the way to success.

Wokie was previously the Assistant Executive Director and Director of Operations & Programs at the U of M Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). Her professional experience includes public relations, strategic planning, fundraising, and information technology.

 

 

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Energy Democracy, Solar Energy Jobs, Lower Electric Bills - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail

 

 

Extending the Economic Benefits of Solar Energy to Everyone

 

 

Tuesday, April 19       6 p.m. Pizza Buffet and Social  (Free)        6:30 P.M.  Program


Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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solar church collage


Coming to a city near you: energy democracy, solar energy jobs, reduced electric bills - Regarding solar energy, John Farrell, Director of the Energy Democracy Program at the Institute of Local Self Reliance, states that
it’s time to make one thing clear:  “Minnesota’s program is the best in the country.”  He explains, “Minnesota’s program is a comprehensive approach that makes developing community solar projects economically viable and widely available to MN residents.  There are 10 times more community solar projects in the queue — 400 megawatts — in Minnesota than have been built in the history of community solar in the United States (40 megawatts).”

Solar Energy has dropped dramatically in price and is now generally cheaper than gas for producing electricity.  Moreover, every megawatt of solar generates approximately a quarter million dollars in economic activity and eight jobs, compared to about 1 job per megawatt from natural gas.  Find out how cities can incorporate solar energy in their 2025 plans for the Metropolitan Council to create local jobs and economic vitality and how residents, businesses, faith based organizations, and the city can invest in solar projects for savings on their monthly electric bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.  Depending on gas for electricity means these economic benefits would go to big corporations drilling in North Dakota and high levels of shale gas methane and carbon emissions would continue.



Ellen Anderson - Executive Director, Energy Transition Lab
Institute on the Environment, U of M


ellen-andersonOne of the first to envision a Minnesota powered by clean energy, Ellen Anderson was the leader in establishing the 25% Renewables by 2025 standard for producing MN's electricity with a goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 when she was a MN Senator. The "NextGen" Act established nation-leading requirements for Minnesota’s electric utilities, expanded and strengthened the state’s commitment to the development of locally-owned renewable energy projects, and made Minnesota a leading state in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Ellen Anderson will speak on "How the Transition to Renewable Energy Can Lead to New Jobs, Economic Growth, and Benefits for the Brooklyns and other Communities."

 

muhammud jiwaMuhammad Jiwa - Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light

Muhammad Jiwa recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Inter-College Program major in wildlife science, whole systems healing, and sustainability studies. He will speak on “
Just Community Solar: Making the Solar Revolution Work for All.

jamez staplesjpg

Jamez Staples - Founder and CEO of Renewable NRG Partners

 

Jamez Staples will describe Renewable NRG Partners' program that trains workers from low income communities of color for careers in the solar industry that average over $50,000 a year.  The first community solar garden project in which NRG Partners is participating will soon begin on the roof of Shiloh Temple.  Minnesota’s passage of the Solar Jobs Act of 2013 is projected to lead to a 30-fold increase in solar power generation by 2020.

 

 

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Patrick Henry High School Featured at Think Again Brooklyns and Other Top Performing Schools at the Achievement Gap Brown Bag PDF Print E-mail

 

Yusuf Abdullah, Principal at Acclaimed Patrick Henry High School, Spoke at Think Again Brooklyns

yusuf abdullahPrincipal Yusuf Abdullah spoke on what has contributed to the success of Patrick Henry High School at the Think Again Brooklyns forum March 16, 2016.  The school achieved the highest graduation rate in Minneapolis in 2015, 87% in comparison to an average high school graduation rate of 64% in the district.  It was given the third highest rank among Minnesota high schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report

 

Mr. Abdullah explained how the high school raised its graduation rate and spoke on the school's vision and action plan developed through Community Cafes and a Strategic Planning Team.   He noted that it is especially important to meet the needs of nineth grade students because students who pass nineth grade are very likely to graduate.  Watch the 40 minute video of his presentation with Power Point slides.

 

 

Shaping an Identity Affirming Space for
Black Males at Henry High

 

By the Ujima Collective, Twin Cities Daily Planet, April 6, 2016

 

“Imagine entering a place every day where you can gain the skills you need to make your dreams come true. A place where you are nurtured, loved and valued. Your unique skills are recognized and celebrated, your experiences validated. Your sense of self affirmed. . .   this is how Black male scholars describe their ideal school experience.”

Read the Ujima Collective's description of how their group of Henry High School teachers created an effective learning environment for Black male students.   Ujima is a Swahili term meaning collective work and responsibility.  As educators, the members of the collective are guided by the term and see it as crucial to the success of Black students.

 

 

Positive Behaviors Lead To Academic Success - Minneapolis


An Achievement Gap Committee Brown Bag - April 26, 2016

 

The Chief of Minneapolis Public Schools and three principals discussed how those schools are led, how they maintain a positive school climate with staff and students, and how this leads to academic and life success for students at an Achievement Gap Committee Brown Bag:

  • Michael Thomas, Chief of Schools for Minneapolis
  • Michael Bradley, Roosevelt High School 
  • Yusuf Abdullah,  Patrick Henry High School 
  • Ronald Salazar, Fowell K-8  

 

See the video
 

 

 

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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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