The Next Brown Bag is ...
Tuesday, December 2 Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul 55105
(Hamline Avenue & Summit Avenue)
Brenda Casselius, State Commissioner of Education
Ms. Casselius will speak on progress that is being made across the state to reduce and eliminate achievement gaps, the challenges the schools are still facing, and efforts underway to overcome those challenges. She will also discuss work being done to implement recent legislation, especially as it relates to support for students whose first language is not English.
The forum is free, but please let us know by clicking here if you plan to attend.
Left: Education Commissioner Cassellius joins Elmo to Celebrate Strengthening Families Affected By Incarceration Day
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
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.
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.
Community 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:
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:
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
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
Written by John Farrell
The MN Daily reports that the city of Minneapolis proclaimed Feb. 7 "Don Fraser Day" to honor the former state senator, mayor, and U.S. representative on his birthday. Don and his wife, Arvonne, were instrumental in establishing the long-running Stone Arch Discussion group and supporting many of Think Again MN's other activities.
From the article:
A former state senator representing the University of Minnesota area now has a day of his own. The City Council on Friday proclaimed Feb. 7, 2014 to be “Don Fraser Day” in honor of the former mayor and congressman’s birthday.
Council members also introduced new ordinance topics and honored the death of a community member. Fraser served as a state senator in the 1950s before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1962. He became mayor of Minneapolis in 1979 and was the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.
“I found the job of being mayor one of the most interesting jobs I’ve ever
had,” Fraser said in a short acceptance speech that was received by a
standing ovation from council members and attendees. “I appreciate this very
Read more at MNDaily.com
Read the "Don Fraser Day" Proclamation.
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 students 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
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: