Resources for Managing Your Money PDF Print E-mail


Make Your Dreams Come True

Control Your Money, Debt, and Credit



You can manage your money so you don't need to incur the huge costs of payday loans.  Yes, going to a payday lender to cash a check or take out a loan is easy, and the people who serve you are often friendly.  However, that friendly assuring manner comes with a big cost.  You will typically be required to pay back three times as much as you borrowed.  You can find out how to manage your money so that you can keep more for yourself and your family by taking advantage of workshops offered in and near Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center as well as online courses.




financial planning couple 2Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin offers workshops on budgeting, controlling your debt, and maintaining a good credit rating, as well as on the rights and responsibilities of renters, home ownership, and financial management for senior citizens.  You can find the upcoming courses by clicking on the homebuyer, renter, and financial literacy courses in the left hand column of their website:

TopLine Credit Union offers a variety of seminars related to youth financial literacy, paying less for college, survival budgeting, getting out of debt, retirement, insurance, homebuying, and business. You can find them at:


Online Education


financial planning couple

TCF Bank has an online Financial Education Center.  It offers modules that include an summary of what is included in the learning module, the instructions on the topic, and a brief quiz to check if you understood the lesson. Each module you complete is checked off. Eight lessons are currently included at the TCF Bank Education Center: Savings and Investments, Mortgages, Overdrafts, Payment Types and Credit Cards, Credit Scores and Reports, Identity Protection, Insurance and Taxes, and Financing Higher Education.  You will need to check in with a password which you enter the first time you use the Center.  Get started at:

Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin has online instruction for home buying at:





NY Times Calls for Rate Cap on Payday Loans PDF Print E-mail


The New York Times called for a rate cap on payday loans.  ". . .  the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that hidden fees and charges on payday loans were so high that only 15 percent of borrowers could raise the money to repay the total debt on time without quickly borrowing again."  See the New York Times editorial.





Payday Lending Power Point from Senator Hayden PDF Print E-mail


jeff haydenSenator Jeff Hayden was not able to attend our last forum on "Low Cost Alternatives to Payday Lending."  He sent the Power Point which he had prepared for his presentation. 


You can download it at:







Low Cost Alternatives to Payday Lending PDF Print E-mail
Beat the Huge Cost of Payday Loans

Tuesday, September 23
6 p.m.  Pizza & Social              6:30 p.m.  Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

financial planning coupleBloomberg Business Week reports that interest rates on payday loans range up to over 900%! (September 15-21, 2014)  The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service notes that about 68 million Americans -- more than a quarter of all households -- have no checking or savings account and are under-served by the banking system. Senator Elizabeth Warren notes that "Collectively, these households spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees for non-bank financial services like payday loansfinancial planning couple 2 and check cashing, which works out to an average of $2,412 per household. That means the average household without an account at a bank or credit union spends roughly 10 percent of its annual income on interest and fees -- about the same amount they spend on food."
This forum will address the ways the Payday Lending Bill, authored by MN   Senator Jeff Hayden, would reign in Payday Lending costs. The speakers will explain some of the ways individuals and families can reduce the need for using very high cost payday loans.

Senator Jeff Hayden

(SD63) - Chief Author, Payday Lending Regulations

The High Costs of Payday Lending, Ways the Provisions of the Payday Lending Bill Will Reign in the Costs, and Current Status of the Bill


wayne doeWayne Doe

Minnesota Health Insurance Program Representative
Minnesota Department of Human Services

Importance of Health Care Insurance for Financial and Physical Well Being

mitchell davis jr smallMitchell Davis Jr.

Director, Health and Workforce Intersections
Minneapolis Urban League

The Subsidies Available under MNsure for the Underserved Population


vicki ericksonVicki Roscoe Erickson

Vice President, Marketing
TopLine Federal Credit Union

Credit Unions - How They Work, How Credit Unions Compare to Banks, Low Cost Checking and Other Services

Marcy Harris
- Community Action Partnership of Surburban Hennepin County (CAPSH)

Gain Control of Your Money, Your Debt, and Your Credit:  Resources for Managing Your Finances

Upcoming CAPSH Financial Literacy Classes, Renters' Rights and Responsibilities, Resources for the Homeless Forum, Financial Counseling, and Tax Assistance

TCF Financial Learning Center

Please bring your questions for the Question and Answer session which will follow the speakers' presentations.  





Early Childhood Education's Huge Benefits PDF Print E-mail


Early Childhood Education Boosts
Academic Achievement and Career Success

Tuesday, June 17               6 p.m. Pizza and Social           6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

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



"Talking to Babies Is an Investment Worth Making"

- 5 Minute Film from The Economist.
early childhood education

Early Education's Benefits for Children's Learning Potential and Success as an Adult

Mike Tikkanen - Executive Director, Kids at Risk Action (KARA)  and Tiffani Flynn Forslund - KARA Board Member and Early Childhood Educator

mike tikkanenMike Tikkanen and Tiffini Flynn Forslund will discuss the big payoff of early childhood education for a children's long term education and for their success as adults.  Based on their experience as Guardians ad Litem, they will also explain how child abuse presents a huge impediment for children's ability to learn and why it is essential for abused children to be rescued early in life.

Successful entrepreneur and author of Invisible Children:  The Americantiffini flynn forslund Cycle of Abuse and its Costs, Mike Tikkanen combines his business acumen with his passion for  neglected and abused children. 
Tiffini Flynn Forslund’s  baccalaureate education is in Early Childhood Education and Child Development, and she is working on her Master's Degree in Urban Teaching.

Racial Disparities in Disciplining Children of Color

markeesha zigbuoMarkeesha Zigbuo - 5th Grade Teacher, University Avenue Elementary School

Markeesha Zigbuo will explain how negative experiences in early childhood education can cause lasting damage that negatively impacts a child’s academic performance all the way to High School.  Ms. Zigbuo is working with ISAIAH on racial disparities in early childhood education.

Education in the Home, Parent Aware - MN's Quality Ranking System, Scholarships

Carlos Gallego - Community Outreach Manager, Think Small 

carlos gallego Carlos Gallego will use data from the Osseo Schools to explain why early childhood education is so important, and he will share things parents can do to help their chidren get a good start at home, no matter the parents' own language or education.  He will also discuss the Parent Aware Rating System, early education options and opportunities, and the Early Learning Scholarships available to families.

Osseo Early Childhood Education Programs

Kandi Engelmann – Coordinator, Early Childhood Special Education Program

A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.

Thank you to our sponsors:  The Maple Grove, Osseo, Brooklyn Park, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters; Kids at Risk Action, KARA; African Immigrant Services; the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team; Think Small; District 279 Early Childhood Programs; and Think Again MN.

lwvbpomg kara ais bp div think small isd279 tamn logos





Planning for Development around the Bottineau Light Rail Stations PDF Print E-mail


planning for bottineau lrt development tab - may 20 2014

               The crowd listening to Janna King  discuss strategies to help facilitate 

          economic development along the light rail transit corridors.  The Think

          Again Brooklyns forum May 20, 2014 aimed to prepare residents of

          communities along the Bottineau LRT corridor for participating in work-

          shops for planning development in the areas surrounding the LRT



          One of the big questions during the Question and Answer  session was

          who pays for the transit system.  The project is estimated to cost about

          $1 billion. Funding is expected from the Counties Transit Improvement

          Boards' transit sales tax in the metro area (30 percent), the Hennepin

          County Regional Railroad Authority (10 percent), the State of Minnesota

          (10 percent), and the Federal Transit Administration (50 percent).                                                     

                                                                               Photo by Linda Freemon






Planning around the The Bottineau Light Rail Stations - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail


Planning for Areas Surrounding

Brooklyn Park's Bottineau LRT Stations

Tuesday, May 20
6 p.m. - Pizza and Social            6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

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


light rail station photo


Brooklyn Park, Crystal, and Robbinsdale residents will be asked to participate in planning for the development around the Bottineau Light Rail Transit stations. It is not too early to start getting ready for this planning process.  Before construction starts, we can expect businesses and developers to  begin buying land in the most favorable locations. Since few residents have a background in urban planning or have participated in a planning process before, it would be helpful to acquire background on what the process involves so they can begin to think about the options for future development.  Everyone is welcome to join us.

bill smith biko associatesUrban Planner Bill Smith of Biko Associates will explain how citizens can get involved in the planning process for the areas surrounding the Bottineau Light Rail Stations.   Biko Associates approach to urban planning is explained on their home page:

"Biko Associates believes participation from the community is fundamental to successful planning. Because ideas and assumptions formalized early in a planning process shape the outcomes of planning studies, early participation by community residents is essential and initial project ideas and assumptions should be developed by the people affected by project outcomes. "

pierce canserjanna kingJanna King, an economic development strategist with   Economic Development Services, Inc., will join us to discuss strategies to help facilitate economic development along transit corridors. 
Pierce Canser, a planner with Metro Transit, will discuss station area design.


Todd Larson, Senior Planner for Brooklyn Park will give an introduction to the forum.

In the past few months, there have been two forums on the Bottineau Light Rail Line in Brooklyn Park and a conference on business opportunities along the Bottineau transit line.  If you were not able to attend any of these events, watch the 7 1/2 minute virtual tour of the Bottineau line which explains the route and location of the stations:

If you have questions, please contact Gail Hanson, 763-229-5448 or Carol Woehrer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sponsors include the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters; African Career, Education & Resource, Inc; Think Again MN; African Immigrant Services, and the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team


lwv-bpomg acer tam bp diversity




Notables at Think Again Brooklyns Forum "Reducing Racial Disparities," 4/15/14 PDF Print E-mail


carol lefleur elizabeth knight hassanen mohammed chris eaton reva chamblis at reducing racial disparities 41514 

Carol LeFleur from MICAH; Elizabeth Knight, Brooklyn Park City Council Member;

Hassanen Mohammed, Chair, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission;

Senator Chris Eaton; Reva Chamblis, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commissioner

Photo by Mayor Jeff Lunde






Reducing Racial Disparities - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail


Alternatives to Suspension

Policies Enabling Employment

Tuesday, April 15
6 p.m. Pizza and Social Time          6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Avenue N

Please RSVP and Share this invitation on Facebook if you can:

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

Will Be Recorded by

tmz radio international medium

The war on drugs began over 30 years ago and has resulted in a quadrupling of incarceration in the United States.  The explosion in the U.S. prison population due to federal and state laws requiring mandatory minimum sentences for even non-violent offenders, traditionally a concern of liberal legislators, has recently become a big concern of conservative legislators as well because of its huge expense.

Minnesota's experience, however, shows that simply reducing prison sentences will not solve the problem of nonviolent offenses which are labeled a felony.  While Minnesota is second lowest in the number of people in prison at less than half the incarceration rate of the nation as a whole, Minnesota is 4th highest in the number of residents on probation or parole.  Non violent felony convictions can make it almost impossible to get a job, housing, education grants, and food even if one has not served a sentence in prison.  This not only makes it very difficult for people convicted of a felony to become productive citizens, but also harms their families, especially their children.  Minnesota is near the top in racial disparities in arrests and convictions, income, housing, and education. This forum will cover some of the policies and methods that can help reduce these disparities.

astein oseiKate Emmons - Assistant Director for Student Services, Osseo Area Schools and

Astein Osei - Principal on Special Assignment

Reducing Disparities in the Osseo School System, Shifting from Suspension to Other Alternatives

Dee Voss - Origin of the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws

Dee Voss gives talks on the impact of the American Legislative Exhchange Council in which she covers the impact of ALEC on many aspects of state and federal law.  For our forum, she will include the part related to ALEC's promotion of mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug possession proposed by the Corrections Corporation of America.  

elizabeth knightElizabeth Knight - Attorney and Brooklyn Park City Council Member

Elizabeth Knight will discuss recent and continuing efforts to reduce the impact of racial disparities on people who have completed prison sentences or probation such as Ban the Box, Voter Restoration, Expunging Criminal Records, and corporations' hiring practices.

A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

For questions, contact Gail Hanson, 763-229-5448 or Carol Woehrer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


lwv-bpomg tam bp diversity logos





Homeless Youth Shelter to be Built in Brooklyn Park PDF Print E-mail


Jenny Gaard, Homeless Liason for the Osseo School System, reported to the packed Think Again Brooklyns audience at Brooklyn Park City Hall March 18 that the Osseo System had over 500 homeless youth in 2012.   Karrie Schaaf, her counterpart in the Anoka-Hennepin School System, reported over 700 homeless students.  As many rachel moreystudents do not report that they are homeless, these are likely to be underestimates.  Rev. Rachel Morey, Pastor of Mosaic United Methodist Church, emphasized that these are good kids in a difficult situation and that it is important that we reach them quickly because the average homeless young person is approached by a sex trafficker within 48 hours of being on the streets.

Mayor Jeff Lunde announced that Brooklyn Park had committed to homeless youth audience members

building or remodeling an existing building as a shelter for 10 to 12 homeless youth.  It would serve about 35 homeless youth, 16 to 21 years old, a year as most youth are able to transition to another setting such as a host family or a shared apartment.  Mayor Lunde said that the city would rent the building to Avenues for Homeless Youth for $1.00 a year, and the nonprofit organization would manage it.  Terry Velasquez, Development Director for Avenues for Homeless Youth, estimated that the operating cost of the shelter would be about $600,000 a year, and about half of the money had been raised so far from individuals and foundations.  The shelter is expected to open in the summer of 2015.


Christiaan Tarbox, Community Editor of the Brooklyn Center Sun Post wrote an excellent report on the forum, "Homeless Youth in the NW Suburbs."  It includes details related by Rev. Morey on the daily struggles of homeless youth and services provided by churches, nonprofits, schools, and the city.  You can read the report in your city's March 27 SunPost paper or online at:





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Page 7 of 9


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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