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The Mission of Think Again MN

 

Think Again MN connects Minnesotans with non-profits, researchers, educators, and government agencies by providing opportunities to engage in civic conversations promoting quality education, justice, equity, and environmental sustainability.

 
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The Need for Citizens' Concern with Issues

 

The concentration of wealth is at a historical high in the U.S. while the number of impoverished people increases.  About 50 million Americans have been going without health insurance and millions have lost jobs or their homes. Among industrialized countries, only the city of Singapore, which is a separate country, has greater income inequality than the United States.

 

 

Harvard Business School Associate Professor Michael Norton and James B. Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, recently completeted a study that compared the actual, perceived, and preferred income distribution by quintile in the U.S.   Although American people think there is too much inequality in wealth in the U.S., they don't actually realize the degree to which wealth is concentrated.

 

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Does income distribution make a difference?  British epidemiologists Richard Wilkenson and Kate Pickett reveal the widespread effects of a country's income inequality in their book, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.   Comparing industrialized nations and states in the U.S., Wilkenson and Pickett found that inequality of wealth had a greater effect on citizens well being than the relative wealth of first world nations.  Greater income inequality is related to a wide range of harmful effects including many related to health such as life expectancy, obesity, drug use, and mental illness, and to social measures such as violence, bullying and conflict in schools, rates of imprisonment, happiness, levels of trust, educational performance, children's well being, and teen pregnancy.

 

 

As a nation and state, we can do better.  Both our own states and nation as well as other nations have many examples of success from which to draw.

 
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 Board of Directors

 

Jeremy Wieland - President

 

jeremy wielandBesides serving as President of Think Again MN, Jeremy Wieland is also the host of the Stone Arch Discussion Group, the oldest of the forums sponsored by Think Again MN, soon going on 30 years. 

 

Mr. Wieland is Circulation Director of Tiger Oaks Media, a regional publisher of business to business and consumer media.  He has over 20 years experience in frontline consumer product and media marketing. 

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Political Science.

 
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 John Risken - Secretary

 

John Risken is the former owner of a computer retail store and is a developer of database software.  He also taught college English classes.  He serves as the videographer, webmaster, and communications coordinator for the Achievement Gap Committee.  He also offers free database services to small nonprofits with progressive values.

 
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 Tammie Aufderhar


tammie aufderharTammie Aufderhar worked for almost twelve years at Great River Energy, most recently as a Resource Planning Analyst.  She has a Bachelor's degree from St. Catherine's University in Business Administration and Management and a Master's degree from the Humphrey School of Public Policy in Energy and and Environmental Policy. 

 

Tammie is on the host team of Think Again Brooklyns and serves as the forum videographer.  She recently led our focus group for planning 2016 forum topics and is currently setting up online accounting and budgeting systems for Think Again MN.

 
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 Wayne Doe - Treasurer

 

wayne doeWayne Doe is an experienced leader, business coach, organizational strategist and planner, and immigrant community specialist. 

 

He currently works in Health Care Eligibility and Access operations at the MN Department of Human Services. 

Mr. Doe has served as a Wells Fargo Branch Manager, a Market Intelligence Representative, Executive Director of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, Chair of the Minnesota Diversity Council, and a member of the Contract Compliance Committee of the City of Brooklyn Park.

Wayne Doe started his baccalaureate studies at the University of Liberia and comleted his Baccalaureate degree and a Master of Science in Geology and Mining Engineering from St. Petersburg Mining Institute and Technical University.

 
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 Carol Woehrer

 

carol woehrerAt the University of Minnesota, Carol Woehrer coordinated the Licensure Program for Long Term Care Administrators in the School of Public Health, taught Social Gerontology, and taught Writing, Philosophy, and Logic in the General College.  Currently she coordinates Think Again MN forums and maintains the website as a volunteer.  She has also been serving on the City of Brooklyn Park's Community Engagement Team, Task Force on Aging, and Light Rail Station Planning Team. 

 

Carol Woehrer has a B.A. degree in Psychology and a M.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.  She also completed the doctoral course work in American Studies with an emphasis on aging, the family, and ethnicity.

 

 

 


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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 http://mnvotes.org

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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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