The Next Achievement Gap Brown Bags Are ...
Tuesday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 19 Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul 55105
(Hamline Avenue & Summit Avenue)
Principals Discuss What it Takes to Beat the Odds
We recently asked the District Superintendents of St. Paul and Minneapolis to suggest some principals in their districts who are beating the odds in addressing the achievement gap. From the lists they provided we have assembled two panels for two forums, one from Minneapolis, and the other from St. Paul. We think each of them could shed a lot of light.
Both forums will ask the participants to address these questions:
What does it take for a school to consistently beat the odds?
What does it need from the district and the state?
What does it need from its community?
What changes at the district and state levels would be most helpful?
Part One: Principals from St. Paul
The first forum will feature
Como Park Elementary, Principal Christine Vang
St Paul Music Academy, Principal Barbara Evangelist
Washington Technology Magnet, Principal Mike McCollar
Harding High School, Principal Douglas Revsbeck
Part Two: Principals from Minneapolis
The second forum (for which you can't register yet) will feature:
Henry High School, Principal LaTonya Daniels
Anwatin Middle School, Principal Vanita Miller
Waite Park Elementary, Principal Cindy Muelle
RSVP: The forum is free, but please let us know by clicking here if you plan to attend.
Parking: There is ample off-street parking in Mt. Zion's own lot across the street to the east, right behind Kowalski's Market.
Coffee and water are provided.
Sponsor: the Achievement Gap Committee
Don Fraser and Grant Abbott, Co-convenors
Development along the Light Rail Can
Contribute to Healthy Communities
Tuesday, May 19 6:00 p.m. - Pizza Buffet & Social
6:30 p.m. - Program
City Council Chambers, Brooklyn Park City Hall
5200 85th Avenue N
The way we plan and design our communities plays a big role in our physical, emotional and financial health. The Bottineau Light Rail Transitway Health Impact Assessment found that the transit line offers real potential to improve health for people in communities near the transit stations as well as for transit users. Careful planning can improve physical activity levels, job access, traffic safety, education access, and available healthy food as well as reduce housing and transportation costs. Since Brooklyn Park residents know a lot about which features would benefit them the most, the public will be invited to a workshop in early June to give their suggestions for development around the light rail stations. This forum will inform you on how the planning process works, and provide background for those who'd like to participate in the process.
Speakers Denise Engen Hennepin County Community Engagement Coordinator
The Process of Station Area Planning Todd Larson - Senior Planner, Planning Division of Development Department, City of Brooklyn Park or Emily Carr - Development Project Coordinator for City of Brooklyn Park
What Station Area Planning Means for the Long Term Development of Brooklyn Park
Larry Hiscock – Program Officer, Transit Engagement at NEXUS
Former Program Director – Harrison Neighborhood Association
Larry Hiscock's presentation will focus on how the station area planning can be used to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities in Brooklyn Park.
Issa A. Mansaray - Editor, The AfricaPaper Nelima Sitati - Executive Director, Summit Hill Association, Former Housing Coordinator for Harrison Neighborhood Association What's Needed Along the Light Rail and How Can Diverse Groups Benefit?
According to a Study of the Twin Cities
| May 12, 2015
The Twin Cities’ public transit system has a racial divide when it comes to how long it takes to get to work. A study by Take Action Minnesota, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, ISAIAH, and the Center for Popular Democracy reported that white transit riders, who use transit at half the rate of minority riders, spend three weeks longer per year getting to work than white car drivers. Black, Asian. and Latino transit riders spend an average of 4 weeks longer to get to work than white drivers.
Infrequent service, indirect routes, delays, overcrowded vehicles, and insufficient shelter at bus stops contribute to the transit time penalty.
Watch Bill Sorem's highlights and read Michael McIntee's summary of the press conference.
Professor David Schultz on the
Outcome of the 2015 Legislative Session
Church of the Epiphany
Schmidt Lake Road and Nathan Lane, Plymouth
(Take 49th Avenue/Schmidt Lake Road Exit off Highway 169)
Tuesday, May 26
. The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.
Lasagna/Salad Dinner at 6:15 p.m
Program at 7 p.m.
Please join Westside Progressives to hear Professor David Schultz review (what we hope to be) the final results of the 2014-15 legislative session
David Schultz teaches classes in American politics, public policy and administration, and government ethics in the Hamline University Department of Political Science.. He's a regular guest on TPT's Almanac, as well as a political analyst on KARE-11. He has authored more than 28 books, including his most recent, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance (2013) and Election Law and Democratic Theory (2014). A two-time Fulbright scholar who has taught extensively in Europe, Professor Schultz is the winner of the national 2013 Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Public Affairs Teaching Award. (His accomplishments are too many to list here, but you can see them at http://davidschultz.efoliomn.com
The Westside Progressives, a non-partisan educational forum that encourages civil and thoughtful discussion about progressive issues, meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Church of the Epiphany
$10 Lasagna/salad dinner
Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon at
. Hope to see you May 26th
At the Think Again Brooklyns forum last week, Lynn Hinkle, Policy Director for the MN Solar Energy Industry Association, noted that nationwide just 20% of homeowners have roofs appropriate for solar panels. However, anyone can invest in solar energy through Community Solar Gardens in which Minnesota is a leader. In the last five years, Minnesota's solar industry has expanded from $150 million to a billion dollar industry.
Jamez Staples, President and CEO of Renewable NRG Partners, told us about his program for getting people from marginalized communities prepared for solar energy careers averaging $50,000 a year through combined work and study at Minneapolis, St. Paul, and other Technical Colleges. Mr. Staples noted that growth in the use of renewables could eventually keep the $18 billion dollars currently sent to other states for coal and gas in our own state.
The Growth of Solar Energy in MN, Think Again Brooklyns, 4/21/15 - Linda Freemon
For additional information on MN's clean energy progress, see the articles below.
The Minnesota Way
The passage of the Next Generation Energy Act in 2007 began the rapid expansion of clean energy in Minnesota. It resulted in billions of dollars in private investment, millions paid in county tax revenue, and thousands of new jobs across Minnesota. How did it happen?
Fresh Energy presents the story of what led to Governor Tim Pawlenty's signing one of the most far-reaching and bipartisan bills in a generation:
Will Minnesota policymakers follow the corporate commitment to clean energy?
Brianna Murphy, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium Asset Management, reports in MinnPost that corporations' investment in clean energy "is not only environmentally altruistic — it’s a way to boost corporate profitability while addressing the risks of climate change." (The two branches of the MN legislature passed energy bills that have opposite goals. The MN Senate passed an energy bill that would increase the percent of electricity produced from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2030. The MN House, in contrast. passed a bill that would roll back the requirements of the 2013 energy bill.) Read Ms. Murphy's article:
Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota
John Farrell is a top expert on distributed energy in our state and the nation. He has shown how the shift from fossil fuel based to renewable energy can contribute to the economic growth of communities throughout the U.S. because renewable energy does not have to be centralized as do fossil fuels and nuclear power. Farrell is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He also publishes the monthly Think Again MN newsletter and is a past Vice-President of Think Again MN.
Farrell is the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and refined policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) so they support locally owned renewable energy development.
Listen to John Farrell's webinar, "Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy, " especially the first 20 minutes. Follow the slides below the audio presentation. Read his 2014 article "Community Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota" to find out how Community Solar Gardens work. Read Farrell's recent article "Why Minnesota 's Community Solar Garden Program is the Best" to discover why Minnesota will soon have more solar gardens than all other states combined. To keep up with the latest developments in renewable energy in Minnesota, the U.S., and Europe, subscribe to his weekly email newsletter at the top or bottom of the webpages for the above webinar and articles.
Because Our Voting System Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It.
By Stephen Wolf, The New Republic, December 24, 2014
"Elections lack democratic legitimacy when they do not reflect the wishes of the citizenry. In the case of the United States, we're carrying a legacy of an electoral system that was designed and built to favor white voters. That it still works that way isn't a shock. What's shocking is that we know how to fix it, and still haven't done so." Read the article.
The Wind Energy Foundation’s “Powering Up Minnesota: A Report on The Benefits of Renewable Electricity Development” suggests Minnesota could supply more than 50 percent of its power needs through renewable energy by 2030 while creating more jobs and meeting federal carbon targets. Wind project costs have dropped 50 percent in the last five years, while solar prices decreased 40 percent since 2010,
However, the Wind Energy Foundation's report vastly underestimates solar’s potential contribution. The report includes only the current 81 megawatts of solar energy in Minnesota. Dustin Denison, president of Minnesota Solar Electricity Industry Association notes that the state’s new requirement that investor owned utilities produce 1.5 percent of their retail electricity sales from solar by 2020 will add a minimum of 450 MW by 2020.
Written by Lori Sturdevant
The Quie-Fraser Example
Sondra Samuels said aloud what others had been thinking Wednesday at a salute to two of Minnesota's favorite nonagenarians, former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser and former Gov. Al Quie: "I am so honored that we are not here doing a eulogy!" Quie and Fraser were undoubtedly glad about that too.
But it was more than longevity and past accomplishments that were being praised as the two former elected officials, one DFLer, one Republican, were honored as part of the Citizens League's annual meeting and the sixth annual observance of the "Common Quest for Common Ground" series established in honor of the late Humphrey School dean John Brandl.
Samuels called attention to the work Quie and Fraser are still doing, today more together than apart, to spur organizations such as the one she heads, the Northside Achievement Zone, to lift families out of poverty via improved education for their children. With a voice thick with emotion, Samuels called them "my brothers" because "they love children and they love justice."
Read more at Startribune.com
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.