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Tributes to Arvonne Fraser Print E-mail
Written by Jeremy Wieland   



Farewell to a Dear Friend, Arvonne Fraser



arvonne fraser 2If you didn't know already, we say farewell to a dear friend, inspiring leader, and founder of the nonprofit on which Think Again MN and our Stone Arch discussion group is based, Arvonne Fraser. 

Arvonne has left us. The meeting has ended. The coffee is exhausted. We're packing up our coats and notes, excited for the mission which she's inspired us to take on. I hope she understands her role in all of our lives, and that for her efforts women are empowered to run for office, lead companies, try cases, and raise children, and that men welcome and encourage and expect women in these roles. Arvonne is our hero, even in passing a source of inspiration and kindness and welcome. We will all miss you, but we will all carry a part of you in memory with us.  Please join us to celebrate her life:


August 30, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

                                       Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Powers Street, Minneapolis

The Star Tribune reports that Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was a neighbor to the Frasers, said in a statement that Arvonne Fraser “blazed a trail for woman” and added that she “pushed so many women to go into the fray and do good.”  Among her many accomplishments, Arvonne was a founder of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The Advocates for Human Rights wrote, "The human rights world has lost a giant. Arvonne Fraser inspired women's human rights activists across the globe. . .  She helped develop international standards for the protection of women and was a tireless advocate herself."  Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement Tuesday night that the city “has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.”

If you haven't been a visitor to our monthly Stone Arch Saturday discussions, consider joining us in her honor. She's no lady, as she famously titled her book, but she had a knack for starting good conversation.  She served as director of the Office of Women at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as a member of the U.S. delegations to the first two U.N. World Conferences on Women.  Read about Arvonne's extensive contribution to human rights in the Advocates foe Human Rignts tribute to her and in her Star Tribune obituary.


If you would like to honor Arvonne Fraser, you can do so by donating to the University of Minnesota Foundation - Humphrey School Arvonne Fraser Fund, P.O. Box 860266, Mpls, MN 55486, or Emily's List, 1800 M St NW, Ste 375N, Washington, DC 20036.




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    Upcoming Think Again MN

    Community Forums 

The Census with Susan Brower Print E-mail


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Changing Demographics and the Importance of the Census


Tuesday, September 18             6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N



Susan Brower - State Demographer


susan browerA Star Tribune article earlier this week highlighted what’s at stake and how Minnesotans are preparing for the 2020 Census. Susan Brower’s office of demographic experts helps lead Minnesota’s effort to ensure everyone is counted. She’ll talk about the state’s changing demographics, the importance of the census, and why at least one proposed census question is controversial.

Susan Brower is the Minnesota State Demographer and has directed the MN State Demographic Center since February 2012. In that capacity, she travels the state talking with Minnesotans about the new social and economic realities that are brought about by recent demographic shifts. Susan's work applies an understanding of demographic trends to changes in a range of areas including the state's economy and workforce, education, health, immigration and rural population changes.

Susan joined the State Demographic Center after working as a researcher on the Minnesota Compass project at Wilder Research in St. Paul. Prior to that, she worked at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan.  Susan earned her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan, specializing in demography and family sociology. She also holds a master's degree in public policy from Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.




Immigrants' Contributions to MN's Economy - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


As MN's Population Grows Older

Immigrants Contribute to MN's Business Success


youth present business plans at ndc

Youth Present Business Plans at Neighborhood Development Center


Wednesday, September 26                 10 a.m. to Noon

Banquet Room, Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road, Maple Grove MN


RSVP on Facebook: or to Carol Woehrer, 763-607-4287


You and your friends will enjoy this forum with two speakers who celebrate the contributions of immigrants' to MN's economy. The event Minnesota's state demographers have been discussing for years, has arrived - the retirement of the large cohort born after World War II called the "Baby Boomers,"  which brings with it several big changes in Minnesota's work force. Both speakers will include references to MN's changing demographics which are causing a decline in MN's labor force and a need for additional services, especially in health care, while providing career opportunities for MN's new immigrants.


bill blazarAn Overview of Immigrants' Contributions - Bill Blazar
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Leader, Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition


Bill Blazar is a past member and chair of the board of the Government Relations Council. He has also served in a leadership capacity for Minnesota's P16 Education Partnership, the Minnesota Health Data Institute, and the Citizens League. Bill Blazar will speak on Immigrants' Contributions to Minnesota, their importance to Minnesota's economy, and ways to assure their success through education and good jobs.


lyna nyamwayaImmigrants' Important Role in Health Care - Lyna Nyamwaya
RN, PHN, Administrative Manager, North Memorial Health
Doctor of Nursing Practice Student


Lyna Nyamwaya is Founder and President of the African Nurses Network, Inc., a nonprofit organization which aims to make nurses of color visible by creating and providing opportunities for underserved populations. Ms. Nyamwaya will speak on immigrants' extensive participation in health care from working in beginning positions serving as nursing assistants to providing highly specialized care as physicians.


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                  Maple Grove                
        Senior Center 






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  Immigration Portal 



sanctuary movement paradeIntroduction - This immigration portal presents the origins of current American immigration policy and the harm done to immigrants and their families, as well as to cities, states, and the national economy by the current U.S. immigration policy.  It uses as examples estimates of the cost of the nation's current deportation policy on the state of Minnesota and for one suburb.  The immigration portal emphasizes the importance of human rights as the foundation for immigration policy. 



In the process of researching the causes and costs of the current U.S immigration policy, it became apparent that several other policy issues are very important.  These include the importance of early childhood education for children under stress; the impact of industrialized agriculture, not only on destroying the financial viability of community farming in Mexico and parts of Africa and family farms in the U.S., but also on greatly increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of rivers, streams, and lakes in the U.S.  This points to the need for human rights to be a central consideration in all public policy issues including climate and environmental policy, trade policy, health, education, labor, and prison policies.  The United  States has fallen behind in support of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights Conventions.  



The information in the immigration portal was originally written as a single paper with references at the end of the paper.   We decided the paper was too long, and it would be better to divide it into sections each with its own references.


Enter the Portal




Paths to Citizenship Can Reduce Federal Deficit Print E-mail


Creating Paths to Citizenship

Can Reduce the Growing Federal Deficit



As of September 30, 2017, the U.S. budget deficit was $665.7 billion or about 3.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  As a result of the tax bill, the budget deficit was expected to rise to $1 trillion in 2019, which is equivalent of about 4.8% of GDP.  The U.S. budget that was just passed would increase next year’s deficits to about $1.2 trillion. 

douglas holtz-eakin 2How might this big increase in the U.S. budget deficit be reduced?  Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Congressional Budget Office Director under President H. W. Bush and currently President of the conservative American Action Forum, concluded in 2013 that increasing the number of immigrants would reduce the federal deficit by about $300 billion per year or by $2.7 trillion over 10 years

A 2016 Center for American Progress study found that deporting 7 million unauthorized immigrants nationally, about five percent of the U.S. workforce, would amount to a loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product and a loss of $900 billion in federal government revenues. This study concluded that GDP would immediately drop 1.6% and would drop by 2.6% over 10 years. The federal deficit would increase close to a trillion dollars by 2026.




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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


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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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