Monthly Discussion Topics

Recruiting For the 21st Century Police Officer; Hiring and Retaining a More Diverse Police Force

December's topic is a focus on hiring and retaining a more diverse Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
  Our speakers are Kris Arneson, recently retired Minneapolis Police Department Assistant Chief, and Commander Charlie Adams who oversees the Department’s Procedural Justice Division.
Kris Arneson was MPD assistant chief under Janee Harteau. During her thirty-year diverse career, Arneson instituted protocols incorporating car cameras to gather evidence for domestic assaults, and chaired a project to improve police accountability. She last partnered with LWVMpls as a resource person and speaker at the Interrupting the Prison Pipeline, Healthy Communities Forum in March, 2014 and was also a participant in LWVMpls' program on sex trafficking.
Charlie Adams was named the Commander of the MPD’s Community and Collaborative Advancement Division in 2017. The newly formed division encompasses the department’s community outreach. Selected on his strong community roots and connections, Commander Adams began his MPD career in 1987. He’s served in 4 of the city’s 5 police precincts, the Juvenile Unit, the Homicide Unit and the Internal Affairs Unit. His brother, son and daughter are also proud members of the Minneapolis Police Department.
What changes would result from improved MPD hiring practices involving gender equity? What would be the benefits to the department, to community relations and to Minneapolis? LWVMpls positions on policing date from the studies developed in1971 and 1976. The positions are still valid because the goals have not yet been reached. Examples are:
  • Commitment to an ongoing process to recruit well-qualified personnel, particularly minorities and women
  • Training programs and administrative policies that provide every officer with a clear understanding of the police role as it relates to the community.
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Previous Monthly Topics

NO Civic Buzz in November!

Election Day! Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Next Civic Buzz: December 5, 2017, Topic: Recruiting the 21st Century Police Officer, Hiring & Retaining More Women. Speaker: Kris Arneson     Thanks to The Uptake, video is available for some of our past Civic Buzz topics →  
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Equity in Minneapolis Parks; History Status & Needs

A discussion on ways the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board & citizen groups, like Parks and Power work toward racial, cultural and socioeconomic equity in the Mpls parks system. Our speakers, Multicultural Engagement Strategist Joelle Allen, and Lead Organizer with Parks and Power, Jake Virden, will inform attendees about where initiatives at the Park Board stand and […]
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Affordable Housing in Minneapolis: History, Status and Needs

This conversation with local affordable housing experts will provide a snapshot of the state of affordable housing in Minneapolis, including how we got here, an overview of current challenges facing our region and opportunities for action. The panel will be facilitated by Debra Behrens, Aeon’s Chief Advancement Officer. Aeon is a Minneapolis based, low-income housing […]
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Urban Food Deserts and Affordable Healthy Foods

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 […]
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Board of Estimate and Taxation

April 2017 Monthly Topic Materials Board of Estimate and Taxation Report/Update League of Women Voters Minneapolis  March 2017 Background: Why an Update In early 2016 the Chair of the Charter Commission for the City of Minneapolis, Barry Clegg, approached the League of Women Voters Minneapolis (LWVMpls) and inquired about our position(s) on the Board of Estimate […]
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Redistricting – Who Draws our Congressional and State Legislative Districts?

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 […]
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Caucus Information

There will be no Civic Buzz gathering in April. Some political party caucuses will be held on Tuesday, April 4th and we urge you to attend your caucus.
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Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption

William C Moyers will share 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. Tuesday, March 7, 2017 · Black Forest Inn, 26th and Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. 5:30 Networking · 6:15-7:30 Speaker & Discussion
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Hazardous Freight/Rail Safety

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 […]
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Domestic Violence: How Big is this Issue in Minneapolis?

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 […]
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Black Male Students and the Minneapolis Public Schools

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 […]
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So, What is the State of the Mississippi River?

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 […]
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Race – Can We Talk?

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 […]
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Voters Service: May Discussion Topic

Educate. Advocate. Reform. Where should we—LWVMpls—focus our time and our talents in this election year? What is most important? With all the rhetoric and constant news updates, are voters going to stay home because they are either too tired of the whole mess to make the effort, or feel disenfranchised because their candidate is out […]
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Civic Buzz 2015 Recap

2015 Civic Buzz Meetings: On May 3, we discussed voter turnout:  How can we be #1 again? For nine elections in a row we were number one in the country in voter turnout. But in 2014, we fell off our perch. Secretary Simon discussed actions his office is taking to bring more voters to the polls. Come […]
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Money in Politics: November Discussion Topic

Unit Discussion Leaders and Unit Leaders Encourage your members to read the LWVMpls Voter November article and The First Amendment article referred to above. Prepare for the unit meeting Read as much of the material online as you have time. Focus on the MONEY IN POLITICS CONSENSUS QUESTIONS WITH LINKS TO BACKGROUND PAPERS posted on […]
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Amending the US Constitution & Article V Convention – October Topic

LWVUS has prepared material for a study of the Article V Convention alternative for amending the U.S. Constitution. The goal is to review the advisability of convening a convention of the states to amend the Constitution. Please join your voice to those of other League members.  If you are a member of a Unit, please […]
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Voting Rights Act: September 2015 Discussion Topic

Having just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, LWVMpls members this month will be discussing the current state of voting rights.   Members will reexamine the original act, look at subsequent changes to the law especially since the Supreme Court decision in June 2013, Shelby County v. Holder, […]
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LWVMpls May Discussion Topic

Study Guide and Links for Parks Research League of Women Voters Minneapolis May 2015 During the last year a LWVMpls committee has begun to investigate issues relating to parks in Minneapolis, inspired partly by the new Parkland Dedication Ordinance, which requires developers to dedicate land or fees to support parks near their developments. Other new […]
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September: Minneapolis Public Schools

This month LWVMpls continues its long history of educating members and the public on school issues. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed the achievement gap in her inaugural address. Early this spring, a school board candidate forum attracted 50 concerned parents and interested citizens. Former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak of Generation Next says, “Every Minnesotan needs […]
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April: Anatomy of a Bill

Creating laws is the most important job our legislators have. Laws begin as a simple idea and can come from anyone. However, how many of us have presented an idea for a bill that passed? This April, LWV Minneapolis units (small discussion groups) will discuss and demystify the legislative process and members will get ideas […]
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