There will be no Civic Buzz in July or August due to the Fourth of July holiday and Neighborhood Night Out events. We look forward to an exciting roster of speakers starting again in September. Many of our past events have been recorded, including June’s lively talk on Food Deserts, if you need your Civic Buzz fix over the summer.
The Twin Cities Mobile Market: What, Where and How
Cities Mobile Market brings affordable healthy foods directly to urban residents at below-market rates.
Our speaker, Leah Porter, developed this program to address healthy eating, food preparation and transportation issues. Find out how it works and what the next steps might be.
*If you missed this event, view the video here.
Hundreds of thousands live in ‘food deserts’ Star Tribune May 6, 2017
Flyer to post in your neighborhood.
Every ten years our Congressional district boundaries are redrawn. What can we do to ensure districts are drawn to fairly represent our citizens and provide opportunities for competitive elections?
Our speaker, Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, is the executive director for Common Cause Minnesota. Before joining Common Cause Minnesota in August 2016, Annastacia worked as Legislative Director for a Minnesota state agency; the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs (MCLA). MCLA advises and informs the Governor’s Office, Legislative branch and community stakeholders on matters of importance to Latino Minnesotans.
Common Cause Minnesota fights to give all Minnesotans a more equitable voice in their local government, regardless of what community they live in, by building a grassroots movement to fundamentally change the inequities of the political system.
- Redistricting Discussion Guide - download
- Redistricting Matters - Common Cause Minnesota (CCMN)
- Lori Sturdevant Article
- David Shultz in Star Tribune
Precinct Caucuses are meetings run by the state’s political parties. It is when the candidate endorsement process begins, delegates are selected, and goals and values (called party platforms) may be set. Precinct Caucuses are entirely run by the state’s political parties, including the selection of caucus locations and meeting procedures. Not all parties may choose to hold caucuses each year.
In order to participate in a caucus, Minnesotans must be eligible to vote in the November general election, live in the precinct, and generally agree with the principles of the political party hosting the caucus.
Minnesotans interested in caucusing with one of the state’s political parties should contact their party directly for dates and locations. At this point, the DFL has designated April 4 as precinct caucus night in Minneapolis. http://vote.minneapolismn.gov for more Minneapolis information.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Black Forest Inn, 26th and Nicollet Ave S
6:15-7:30 Speaker & Discussion
William C Moyers shared his spiral into the grip of addiction, his struggles to overcome the illness and his two decades of advocacy work on behalf of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
Mr Moyers is the vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, based here in Minnesota. As the organization’s public advocate since 1996 Moyers carries the messages about addiction treatment and recover to audiences across the nation.
As a chronic disease, addiction cannot be cured but it can be managed. We all have a role to play. Suggestions included:
- Call legislators and City Council members to push for recovery halfway housing
- Advocate for recovery housing to be spread throughout the community
- Push for a five cent per drink tax that would be dedicated to addiction treatment
- Talk to our children and grandchildren about what we learned about addiction
Contact the LWVMpls office if you would like to receive further background information on Behavioral Health: Substance Abuse that was prepared for the March small group discussion meetings. [Read more…]
February Civic Buzz · Tuesday, February 7, 2017
What has the state done? What can the state do to address rail issues? What about Minneapolis?
Our speaker, Alene Tchourumoff, State Rail Director, is the point of contact for citizens worried about the potential for dangerous crashes from the oil trains rumbling through their communities. Previously she coordinated Freight Rail movement for Hennepin County, and prior was policy advisor on Rail Program Implementation at Deloitte Consulting.
January Civic Buzz · Tuesday, January 3, 2017
How is the city of Minneapolis responding to domestic Violence?
What can you do?
A discussion of this issue as it relates to the city of Minneapolis: how is the criminal justice system responding? What can the community response be?
Our focus will be to concentrate specifically on the issue as it relates to the city of Minneapolis, how the criminal justice system is responding to the issue, what advocates are doing in Minneapolis to help victims, and finally what the community response can be, what can you learn about this actually and do?? There is a lot you can do. Expect to walk away knowing next steps to take.
We could fill Target Field 17 times with the Minnesota women who have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking. *
Our guest speakers:
Carol Arthur who serves as Chair of the Board for Global Rights for Women and has presented at numerous state, national and international conferences on the topics of coordinated community response to domestic violence, research collaboration and effects of domestic violence on children.
Michelle Jacobson, Minneapolis Supervising City Attorney, who will be presenting information about Minneapolis stats (911 calls, cases dealt with by Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office), police response, how things have changed over time in successfully dealing with these cases.
Vanessa Foster, a Minneapolis Legal Advocate with 10 years experience and who is also the Co-Chair of the Family Violence Coordinating Council’s Advocate sub-committee and recently nominated for the Journey of Hope award through the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project for her work in the Order for Protection court.
* Status of Women and Girls in Minnesota page 11
December Civic Buzz · Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The Office of Black Male Student Achievement was created specifically to address the needs of the largest demographic group within MPS. It represents an equitable approach to tackling the challenges that exist for the school district’s black male students.
Our guest speaker, Michael Walker. Mr. Walker is the inaugural Director for the Office of Black Male Student Achievement, where his sole responsibility is changing outcomes for Black Males who attend Minneapolis Public Schools. He brings a career focus on youth development and assisting black youth to achieve success. Walker worked as a career and college center coordinator for AchieveMpls at Roosevelt High School from 2006 to 2009 before serving Minneapolis Public Schools as Roosevelt’s dean of students from 2009 to 2011 and assistant principal from 2011 to 2014.
November Civic Buzz · Tuesday, November 1, 2016
How is the Mississippi? Is water pollution improving? Can I swim in it?
Our speaker will discuss the findings published in the new State of the River Report—improvements as well as concerns.
Our guest speaker Trevor Russell. Mr Russell has served as Friends of the Mississippi River Water Program Director since 2006. He has a degree in economics from the Colorado College, and has 16 years of experience in community organizing, environmental education, and environmental & public health advocacy. Prior to joining FMR, Trevor served as Land Use & Transportation Organizer for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter.
So, what is the State of the Mississippi River in the Metro?
How is the Mississippi River? Can I swim in it? Is water pollution improving? Can I eat the fish I catch? What can we do about Asian carp? Do I need to be concerned about bacteria in the river? At the Civic Buzz on Nov. 1 Trevor Russell of Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) will help answer these questions.
Lark Weller of the National Park Service and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) and our speaker Trevor Russell, Water Policy Advocate for FMR, have produced the second edition of the State of the River Report, originally published in 2012.
We all know that the Mississippi River is a complex natural system, with many factors affecting its health, and by extension, our own health. According to the new report, some aspects of the metro river have improved, but other indicators are cause for concern, both for wildlife and recreation, and also for our metro drinking water. The Executive Summary of the 2016 State of the River Report states the following:
- “The river is once again home to healthy bald eagle, mussel, and fish populations. As pollution has been cleaned up and habitat restored, wildlife has rebounded. These are symbols of our shared ability to rejuvenate the Mississippi River, and are an inspiration for future success.
- While the river meets standards for pesticides and chloride, vigilance is required to minimize the potential impacts of these pollutants over time.
- Several indicators are cause for concern. The river is impaired by excess sediment, bacteria and phosphorus, degrading aquatic habitat and recreation. Fish consumption guidelines are in place throughout the river due to elevated levels of contaminants like PFOS and mercury. While we remain optimistic, it is clear that much more work remains to resolve these problems.
- Other indicators are cause for alarm. River flows have multiplied to worrisome levels, destabilizing the river system and delivering large amounts of pollution. Nitrate concentrations have increased substantially. Invasive Asian carp continue to move upstream, with potentially devastating consequences to aquatic life and recreation. The solutions to these problems require new tools and determined public action before they move beyond our reach.
- Microplastic fibers, pharmaceuticals and triclosan-derived dioxins in the metro river pose uncertain risks to aquatic life and health. Additional research and collective action are required to mitigate their potential long-term impacts.”
According to the Report, the river today is healthier than is has been in a generation or more; consider the return of bald eagles and Canada geese, just for a start. This means concerted public action can have a positive effect on the areas of continuing concern in order to assure a cleaner, healthier Mississippi River for future generations.
Look to Friends of the Mississippi River’s State of the River Report Stewardship Guide to learn what you can do in your own home, yard and neighborhood to help protect our river. FMR’s State of the River Report Policy Guide will tell you about action federal, state and local leaders can take to preserve our river. And the State of the River Report Teacher’s Guide will help parents and teachers pass along the lessons found in the report.
October Civic Buzz · Tuesday, October 4, 2016
How can we tackle institutional racism?
Let us try to understand our own biases and how they affect racial equity.
Our guest speaker Vivian Jenkins Nelsen. She is the co-founder (with her late husband George) of INTER-RACE, a diversity think tank located at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She is nationally recognized as a diversity practitioner, trainer, planner and researcher. Vivian speaks to thousands of people each year on leadership, change, and diversity. Nelsen served as Co-President of the MN League of Women Voter’s Board.