Solar Energy - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail



Solar Energy Takes off in Brooklyn Park



Tuesday, April 18 6 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social 6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

Please RSVP to Facebook or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



muhammud jiwa                     Moderator: Muhammad Jiwa


       Outreach Coordinator, Interfaith Power and Light




dan ruizPlans for Solar Panels on Five City Buildings


Dan Ruiz, Brooklyn Park's Operations and Maintenance Manager, will tell us about the city's big venture into solar energy. He will describe which buildings were chosen for solar panels, how the solar panels will be financed, and how much money the city expects to save on its electricity costs.



Everyone Saves with Community Solar Gardens


timothy denherder-thomas lightTimothy Den-Herder Thomas, Manager of Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF), will explain how home owners, apartment dwellers, businesses, and faith-based organizations can save money on their electric bill by participating in a community solar garden. CEF is an energy efficiency and community-owned clean energy cooperative serving members across Minnesota.  The CEF mission is to keep costs low, create jobs for those who need them most, and ensure community ownership and control. CEF works with Interfaith Power and Light and with developers that hire people of color as installers.



brandon charboneauResidential Solarlinda freemon


 Brandon Charboneau, Solar Power Consultant at All Energy Solar, will explain for which homes rooftop solar works best, tell us about the rebates available for solar installations, and describe the ongoing monitoring All Energy Solar provides for its customers after installation.  His Brooklyn Park customer Linda Freemon will tell us how solar panels worked out for her and about the savings she has had on her electric bill since going solar.



Inclusive Solar and How Solar Can Employ Everyone


zam zam musseZam Zam Musse, an Independent Renewable Energy and Sustainability Consultant, works with Cooperative Energy Futures and MN Interfaith Power and Light.  She will speak on the big opportunity solar energy offers to women and people of color. She will tell us about the free training available for people who'd like to get started in a solar energy career. Few women and people of color currently work in the solar industry.  Zam Zam's passion is to change that.  She worked previously for the California Public Utilities Commission and Chevron Energy Group.



A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.




Thank you to our Partners



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Think Again Brooklyns Immigration Forum Print E-mail


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NW Suburbs Community

   and Labor Coalition




How Will ICE's Strict Enforcement of Immigration

Laws Affect Immigrants and Refugees?



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Tuesday, March 21               6 p.m. - Social and Pizza Buffet               6:30 p.m. - Forum


Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers - 5200 85th Avenue N


Please  RSVP and Share on Facebook



Get your questions answered on how President Trump's immigration policies will affect immigrants and refugees.  Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen will explain local police departments' roles in relation to the new policies.  Immigrant lawyers Mai Neng Moua and Kwao Amegashie will explain immigrants' rights, what needs to be prepared ahead, who is safe and who is vulnerable, what to expect and how to prepare for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) visa expiration, and the current status of Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) and parents of children who are citizens.


christina chen


Moderator - Christina Chen, T.R.U.T.H. Academy

Formerly Civic Engagement Coordinator at CAPI



Brooklyn Park Police Chief - Craig Enevoldsen


enevoldsenCraig Enevoldsen started his career with the Brooklyn Park Police Department in 1991. He has served in a number of capacities including School Resource Officer, Detective, Crisis Negotiator, Patrol Sergeant and Captain of uniformed patrol.  As the Patrol Captain, he oversaw all of the day-to-day operations of uniformed patrol and oversaw several departmental projects.  He was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2010 and to Police Chief in December of 2014.  Chief Enevoldsen is a 2005 graduate of Northwestern University Police Staff and Command School and a 2014 graduate of the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute.




Brooklyn Center Police Chief - Tim Gannon

tim gannonTim Gannon first entered civilian law enforcement after serving in the First Gulf War in the early 1990s as a U.S. marine. Following his graduation at Mankato State University, Gannon joined the Brooklyn Center Police Department in August 1994 as a patrol officer  After nine years, he was promoted to sergeant and then
commander where he served in all of the department's divisions. He was promoted to Chief of Police in 2015.  Chief Gannon has continued retired Chief Kevin Benner's work with youth and multicultural outreach.



Attorney at Law Mai Neng Moua


mai neng mouaMai Neng Moua is responsible for immigration cases including naturalization with and without a medical waiver, family and employment based immigration petition, asylum, waiver of inadmissibility, and removal defense at Mai N. Moua Law Office.  She also oversees personal injury cases, including no fault and bodily injury claims, arbitration, and mediation.  

Mai Neng Moua currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) – Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter; Board of Director of Hmong American Education Fund and Hmong American Bar Association; and Advisor of Teach to Change.



Attorney at Law Kwao Amegashie


kwao amegashieKwao Amegashie started his own practice to be effective in helping individuals and companies deal with immigration issues. He founded Amegashie Law Office, Ltd. in 1996.  Since then, he has represented numerous high-profile clients before the USCIS, the Immigration and Federal Courts. Amegashie Law Office, Ltd. has allowed him to fully realize his passion for helping individuals and companies at all levels of representation and litigation.


Kwao Amegashie is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), Hennepin County Bar Association, etc.  Kwao Amegashie practices before the following Federal Courts: Fourth, Eighth, Ninth & Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.


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Think Again Brooklyns inmigracion Foro Print E-mail


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¿Como afectará a los inmigrantes y refugiados
la nueva aplicación de la
s pólizas de ICE?




martes, 21 marzo             6:00 p.m. - Pizza             6:30 p.m. - Foro


Cámara del consejo de la Ciudad de Brooklyn Park - 5200 85th Avenida N - 55443


Favor de confirmar su asistencia & Compartir en Facebook


o por correo: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 763-607-4287



Vengan y reciban respuestas a sus preguntas sobre los efectos de las pólizas del Presidente Trump para los inmigrantes y refugiados. El Jefe de policía de Brooklyn Park Craig Enevoldsen explicará cómo definirá el departamento de policía su papel relacionado con la aplicación ampliada de ICE. Abogados de inmigración Mai Neng Moua y Kwao Amegashie explicarán de los derechos de los inmigrantes, como preparar, quien es seguro y quien vulnerable y que esperar. Además, tocarán las situaciones especiales incluso como preparar para el vencimiento de las visas Temporary Protected Status (TPS) y Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) y el estatus actual de Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) y los padres de hijos ciudadanos.




Jefe de Policía de Brooklyn Park- Craig Enevoldsen


Craig Enevoldsen empezó su carrera con el Departamento de policía de Brooklyn Park en 1991. Ha servido en varias capacidades incluso Oficial de recursos escolares, Detective, Negociador de crisis, Sargento de patrulla, y Capitán de la patrulla uniformada. Lo ascendieron al rango a Vicejefe en 2010 y al Jefe durante diciembre 2014.




mai neng moua

Abogada Mai Neng Moua


Mai Neng Moua se responsabiliza para los casos de inmigración en el despacho legal Mai N. Moua. Estos incluyen l

naturalización con y sin extensión, petición familiar y de empleo, asilo, extensión de no admisible, y defensa de la deportación.  Ella era la Presidenta de la Asociación de abogados de inmigración estadounidense (AILA) –MN/

Dakotas y ha servido en los Consejos del fondo educativo Hmong-Americano y la Asociación de abogados Hmong-Americanos.



kwao amegashie

Abogado Kwao Amegashie


Kwao Amegashie se fundó la Oficina Legal Amegashie, Ltd. en 1996 para ayudar a los individuos y compañías manejar los asuntos migratorios. Desde entonces, ha representado varios clientes de alta vista ante la USCIS, Cortes de Inmigración y federales. Kwao Amegashie es un miembro de la Asociación de abogados de inmigración estadounidense (AILA), la Asociación de abogados de MN (MSBA), y la Asociación de abogados del Condado Hennepin.


Seguido por una sesión pregunta/respuesta


Patronizado por la Ciudad de Brooklyn Park, la Comisión de derechos humanos de Brooklyn Park, la sección de LWV que sirve a Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, y Brooklyn Center; y Navegantes de diversidad





NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail


nhcc htc and tab



Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - Please RSVP on Eventbrite:

or Facebook:


5 p.m. - Business and Employment Tables


We have invited people from nonprofit and and government organizations to speak and have tables at the fair that:  1) have job opportunities; 2) assist new and expanding small businesses with training, services, and loans;  and 3) help unemployed people and low wage earners by providing training programs, assistance with finding livable wage jobs with career potential, and coaching people starting new positions.  


See the list of outstanding organizations that will have tables.


6 p.m. - Light Supper and Social             6:30 p.m. - Program


North Hennepin Community College, Center for Business and Technology

Grand Hall (Room 195) - 7411 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park - Campus Map




"Last Place Isn't the Right Place for a Winner"



Join us for a discussion of how nonprofits are working to revitalize neighborhoods.  The forum will begin with an overview of the worst in the nation income disparities immigrants and people of color face in Minnesota.  We will then hear from the City of Brooklyn Park and three nonprofit organizations on their approaches to helping people get on a path to financially rewarding employment in their chosen field. 

Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center are suburbs which lead the state in the percent of residents who are immigrants and people of color.  We would like our suburbs to also lead the state in reducing the education and income disparities between racial and ethnic groups in our suburbs.  The Brooklyns have a big job to do, and we need everybody’s help.  Join us at the “NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair” so you will discover the organizations whose mission it is to help our lowest income residents have a brighter future.  That way when you meet people who can benefit from their services, including low income white residents, you can tell the people about the organizations that can help them.  Services of the organizations featured at the forum are located in low income areas where they can give new life to neighborhoods and help all Twin Cities’ low income residents create a better life for themselves and their families.


michael birchardModerator - Michael Birchard, Chief Diversity andcurt boganey

Affirmative Action Officer, North Hennepin Community College

Welcome - Curt Boganey, Brooklyn Center City Manager



sam grantMN Disparities in Employment and Business Ownership


Sam Grant, Executive Director of Everybody In, will give us an overview of MN's low ranking when it comes to racial disparity in employment. He will explain why this is a problem, not only for minorities, but also for the state as a whole. He'll also tell us about Everybody In's role as a clearinghouse for data, insights, and best practices.

adeel ahmed head
Business Development in Brooklyn Park


Adeel Ahmed, Brooklyn Park's Business Development Coordinator, will present an overview of the ways the city helps businesses in the initial planning stage as well as those ready for growth.


rob smolundOpen to Business Program


Rob Smolund, Business Advisor, for the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), will explain the role of MCCD's Open to Business program, which provides new & expanding small businesses with technical help and loans. He will also tell us how Brooklyn Park and MCCD work together.

Incubating Small Businesses and Helping Them Growteshite wako


Teshite Wako is the Finance Director for the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), whose mission is to build neighborhood economies from within. He will explain how NDC provides entrepreneurship training, loans, incubation in ethnic marketplaces, and business development services to help businesses get started, grow, and create jobs.


                    EMERGE Workforce Development and Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center

fatima muhammedmohamed aliFatima Muhammad, Director of EMERGE's Workforce Development, will speak on Emerge's training, job finding, & supportive services. EMERGE Associate Director Mohamed Ali will introduce the Unity Opportunity Collaborative which plans to open the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center in the spring. Funded by a grant from the the MN legislature for $4.25 million, the collaborative will work to overcome economic disparities African Americans and African immigrants face.

A Question and Answer discussion will follow.

HTC and NHCC are affirmative action, equal opportunity employers and educators.


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NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail



Great Business and Employment Resources

at North Hennepin Community College Fair



Speakers from Everyone In, the City of Brooklyn Park Business Department, the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, the Neighborhood Development Center, and EMERGE together with representative of 18 organizations that hosted tables, provided a wide range of information and resources at the NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair.  The Fair was held in the Grand Hall of the NHCC Business and Technology Fair the evening of Tuesday, February 21.  It was sponsored by NHCC, Hennepin Technical College, and Think Again Brooklyns with the help of cosponsors incuding the City of Brooklyn Park; Everybody In; the Human Rights Commission; and the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters.


nw business and employment opportunity fair sam grant on disparities 22117


Sam Grant, Executive Director of Everybody In, gave the opening talk on Minnesota's worst in the nation disparities between whites and immigrants and people of color.  Everybody In is serving as a clearinghouse for data, insights, and best practices for closing the disparity gap.


Seated are the other speakers:  Rob Smolund, Finance Director at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers; Mohamed Ali, Associate Director, and Fatima Muhammad, Director of Workforce Development, at EMERGE; Teshite Wako, Finance Director of the Neighborhood Development Center; and Adeel Ahmed, Brooklyn Park Business Coordinator.  Michael Birchard, the Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer at NHCC moderated the forum.


nw business and employment opportunity fair thea gaither from women venture 22117

nw business and employment opportunity fair jean maierhofer hosting the htc table 22117Left - Jean Maierhofer, Chief Diversity & Affirmative Action Officer at Hennepin Technical College, hosted the college's table at the Fair.


Right - Thea Gaither, Client Services Specialist at Women Venture, explained to a Fair attendee the services Women Venture provides for women planning to start or expand a small business.


Photos by Linda Freemon





Organizations with Tables at NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail



Northwest Business and Employment Opportunity Fair



Nonprofit and Government Units with Tables at the Fair


Tuesday, February 21 - 5 p.m.

North Hennepin Community College - Center for Business and Technology

Grand Hall (Room 195) - 7411 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park - Campus Map




You will be able to get many kinds of help at the Fair: 1) Find training sessions, help with locating a position, and coaching along the way; discover classes on starting your own businesses, services for small businesses, and getting a loan to start or expand a business; and 3) apply for a new job that will advance your career.   Following are some of the organizations that will have staff at tables ready to help you at the Fair.




Help with Starting or Expanding a Business




                       aeda asian economic development corp                                


        Asian Economic Development Corporation



        community reinvestment fund usa

        Community Reinvestment Fund, USA




metropolitan consortium of community developers logo






neighborhood development center logo




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women venture logo




 Help with Training and Getting a Livable Wage Job with Career Potential


















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Job Opportunities




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                                     anoka-ramsey community college logo                  






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Increasing Education and Income Equity in MN Print E-mail


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Present a Forum in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Free and Affordable Career Certificate and College Degree Programs



Tuesday, January 17

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


Please RSVP on Eventbrite (You can register for more than one person)

or RSVP and share on Facebook


Hennepin Technical College Cafeteria, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park - Map




martin-luther-king-march 63Though it has been over 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed, Minnesota has fallen far short of the ideals of equity espoused by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  The Think Again Brooklyns January forum, presented in collaboration with Hennepin Technical College and North Hennepin Community College, will give an overview of racial disparities in MN and an introduction to new education programs in MN public high schools and colleges which aim to prepare students for good paying jobs with long term career potential.  


Your children and grandchildren or nieces and nephews in middle school and high school are welcome.  Because taking courses that count toward college in high school often requires prerequisite courses offered in middle school, it's important that middle school students plan ahead and start setting goals related to their college and career possibilities.


jean maierhofer head                

                 Moderator - Jean Maierhofer
      Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer
                  Hennepin Technical College



MN's Demographic Change & Worst in the Nation Disparities


craig helmstetterCraig Helmstetter, Senior Research Manager at the Wilder Foundation, will address the challenges and opportunities of the changing age distribution in the MN and US population as the Babyboomer generation reaches retirement age.  Based on data from the US Census Bureau, the MN State Demographers Office, and the Department of Education, among others, he will explain the wide variation in education, employment, and income for people of different racial and cultural backgrounds in MN and the importance of closing MN's disparities.


As a Senior Research Manager, Craig oversees a research unit focusing on data-driven projects including the Compass quality of life initiative, which provides information on an array of topics relating to community well-being, and the Sprockets database, in use by providers of out-of-school time activities for children in Saint Paul.



Raising Achievement through Student Centered Education


alex leonardAlex Leonard, Dean of Students at Patrick Henry High School, will speak on Patrick Henry's student centered approach which contributed to the school achieving the highest graduation rate in the Minneapolis School System in 2015. Mr. Leonard will focus on the approach the Ujima Collective is taking to increase black males' interest in education and achievement. Ujima is a Swahili term meaning collective work and responsibility. The collective is a group of educators who observed that African American males begin to lose interest in their education after 4th grade and decided to meet to discuss ways to support the success of black male scholars.



alison leintzPost Secondary Enrollment Options and Taking High School Courses for College Credit

Alison Leintz, Academic Program Coordinator, Hennepin Technical College




  felipa cespedesEarnings and Unemployent by Education, Degree Programs at NHCC,
  MN Dream Act, Work/Study

   Felipa Cespedes, Latino Outreach and Success Specialist, North Hennepin Community College



  A Question and Answer discussion will follow.



HTC and NHCC are affirmative action, equal opportunity employers and educators.



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The Brooklyns Immigrant Cultures - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


Their History, Customs, and Aspirations


Save the Date!
Tuesday, November 15
6 p.m. - Pizza Buffet and Social               6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

Please RSVP on Facebook
or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 oromo street

The Think Again Brooklyns November forum will include presentations on four of the many immigrant groups in Brooklyn Park.  Nelima Sitati framed the following topics that we will cover for Oromo, Hmong, Latino, and West African cultures: the history of the groups in the Brooklyns and MN; their contributions to the community in education, business, culture, and civic engagement; cultural practices which strengthen their communities and those that pose a challenge; what distinguishes the community from other communities; and the hopes and aspirations of the communities and challenges to achieving them.


teshite wakoTeshite Wako will discuss the Oromo Community in Brooklyn Park and MN.  Mr. Wako is the President of the Oromo Community of Minnesota, Financial Director of the Neighborhood Development Center, and Chair of the Oromo Chamber of Commerce.  He is a also a member of the Budget Advisory Commission for the City of Brooklyn Park.

  At the Neighborhood Development Center, Mr. Wako teaches African American entrepreneurs what it takes to start and run a business in the United States.  The Center assists an average of 267 entrepreneurs a year. 


bee vang-moua head

As director of the Hmong program in the Department of Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Minnesota, Bee Vang-Moua teaches her students about Hmong language, history, and culture. Her classes have inspired her students to go outside the classroom to enhance the lives and legacy of the Hmong-American community. Vang-Moua has worked to bridge the generational gap in her community and to advocate for the rights of countless immigrant families.


michael duenesMichael Duenes will discuss the Latino community in MN and the Brooklyns. Mr. Duenes is the Dean of Liberal Arts and Global Studies at North Hennepin Community College. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Latino and Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is a graduate of Macalester College and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

 nelima sitatiNelima Sitati will speak on a West Africa including a few of the 75 ethnic cultures found in the 15 countries of West Africa. Nelima Sitati is Executive Director of the Summit Hill Association. Previously she worked as the Equity Rubric Pilot Project Coordinator for the Organizing Apprenticeship Program and as a Housing Coordinator and Community Organizer for the Harrison Neighborhood Association. She has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and International Management and was a Humphrey School of Public Policy Fellow in 2013-14.



                                 Sponsor                                        Cosponsors

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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

RSVP on Facebook or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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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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:


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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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