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Building Relationships between the Police and the Community PDF Print E-mail


What's Best to Do when You're Stopped by the Police?

Saturday, January 31
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center
5600 Brooklyn Blvd.

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In the wake of recent events in Ferguson and New York City there has been a mountain of calls for a new way of building relationships with the police and the community. Some parents with teenagers are asking, "Can this happen to my children?"  During the coming months and years, we will be building alliances so we can maintain a continuous working relationship with police and build a dialogue on how we can work together to address racial disparities and concerns of the community, reduce crime, assure just policing, and provide the means for our children to succeed.  We can all become part of the solution that lights up change in our community.

Our forum on Saturday, January 31 will give us an introduction to the contribution our leaders can make to good police/community relations, to the basic civil rights to which citizens, and immigrants who are not yet citizens are entitled, and to the proper way to respond if you are stopped by the police.

Moderator:  Seyon Nyanwieh - Executive Director
A-mon-nue Sport & Social Association, ASSA Inc

Mr. Geoffrey Gichana - The President of  Mwanyagetinge. a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well being and quality of life of Kenyans in Minnesota

Mr. Gichana will discuss the importance of African leaders in improving police-community relations.

Mr. Gichana is the Managing Director of Inter-Continental Consulting Group (ICCG).  He holds both master's and bachelor's degrees from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

Eddie Frizell

Mr. Frizell will cover basic information about standard protocol for what someone should do when getting pulled over, and  what NOT to do.

Mr. Frizell is a FBI Academy graduate (NA), class 232.  He has a Master's degree from Augsburg College and was a 2nd year United States army war college student.   Mr. Frizell has over 22 years law enforcement experience.

Nadia Polukhin-Pratt - Immigration Attrorney

Nadia Polukhin-Pratt will cover what civil rights people have when pulled over by the police, whether these rights differ for people who are not citizens or permanent residents, and whether a person's immigration status can impact how they are treated when getting pulled over by police.

Ms. Polukhin-Pratt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada.  She studied law at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.  She has practiced in the area of immigration law since 2007 and in disability law since 2009.

Hassanen Mohamed - Chair, Board of Directors of the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions

Hassanen Mohamed will cover the history of the Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission and the MN League of Human Rights and explain how these organizations contribute to reducing racial disparities and assuring our civil rights.

                              Hassanen Mohamed owns Auto Wiz Automotive Service Center in Brooklyn Park.

Pastor Charles Goah - Senior Pastor of United Christian Fellowship

Pastor Charles Goah will cover immigrant and police perceptions in the Community.  Good relations between police and the community can eliminate feelings of distrust, anger, and fear. 

Pastor Goah is a founder and board member of the Liberian Ministers Association in MN.  He also serves on the boards of Transform MN, the Evangelical Network, and Evangelical Church Ministries.


Presented by the Global Fatherhood Foundation in partnership with Think Again MN





Why Is the U.S. Electorate So White? PDF Print E-mail


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 Achievement Gap - Executive Function Symposium PDF Print E-mail






Friday, February 5 - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center
200 SE Oak Street, Minneapolis


The University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, faculty, leading experts in their fields, will present cutting edge research on executive function and the achievement gap.  You will also have the opportunity to interact with faculty and students during table-talk discussions.


For event details and online registration, visit:

Space is limited...the last ICD Community Symposium had a waiting list so please register early to secure your spot.









First Six Bills in the MN Senate - Stone Arch PDF Print E-mail


senator kari dziedzicSenator Kari Dziedzic
Saturday, February 14, 8:30AM to 10AM

Mattie's on Main, 43 SE Main Street, Minneapolis
Expect to hear more about the prospects of the Senate DFL's first six bills at our February Stone Arch discussion!






Bright Future for Renewable Energy in MN PDF Print E-mail


wind turbine field


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 Founcation'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.






Don Fraser and Al Quie Focus on Future Generations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lori Sturdevant   


The Quie-Fraser Example


don fraserquieSondra 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."






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:







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:





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






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A recent General Accounting Office study revealed that turnout was at least 1.9 percent lower in 2012 in Kansas vs 2008 and 2.2 percent lower in Tennesee as a result of new Voter ID laws.  That means it's likely 34,000 more Kansans and 88,000 Tennesseans would have voted if the new laws weren't in place.  Young people, black people, and newly registered people were the groups that saw the biggest drop in turnout.

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