Monthly Discussion Topics

Vulnerable Elders Face Scare Not Care

In 2017, the Star Tribune published a five-part special report, Left To Suffer. It stated that each year hundreds of Minnesotans are beaten, sexually assaulted or robbed in senior care facilities. These cases are seldom investigated and families of victims are left in the dark about what happened. The Minnesota State Department of Health (DOH) has broad powers to correct these cases but the Minnesota State Auditor's 2018 report stated that the DOH system routinely breaks down. The result is that the nearly 60,000 Minnesotans who now live in these senior care facilities (assisted living) are deprived the protection of law.
Additionally, the number of Minnesotans in assisted living facilities has doubled in the last ten years while these facilities operate with little or no state regulations.
Both the 2018 Legislature and the governor separately worked on plans to rectify this crisis. The Legislature’s plan included increasing fines for violation of senior rights and protection against deceptive marketing. Based on recommendations from senior care advocates and the Legislative Auditor’s report, the governor proposed a plan calling for licensing assisted living facilities and strengthening protection for seniors facing eviction and criminal sanctions against abusers.
Governor Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which included some senior care provisions. The governor and other advocates thought the senior care provisions didn’t go far enough and Elder Voice Family Advocates described them as “weak”. The 2019 session is next chance to enact senior care legislation. In the meantime, the overall backlog of abuse complaints was reduced by 88 percent and the MN Health Department’s Office of Health Facility Complaints implemented an electronic case management system. Fortunately, there are strong and devoted advocates pushing for passage of meaningful elder care legislation. Some of these are: At the December 4th Civic Buzz, we welcome guest speakers:
  • Kris Sandberg, President of the Elder Voice Family Advocates
  • Sean Burke, Public Policy Director of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center.
Let's find out what LWVMpls and LWVMN can do to educate ourselves and others in order to support meaningful reforms in senior care. In one form or another senior care affects us all. Flyer to post. 
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Previous Monthly Topics

NO CIVIC BUZZ GATHERING IN NOVEMBER

ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH Due to Election Day, there will be no Civic Buzz gathering in November.  Please encourage the people in your life to get out and vote. To register to vote, learn about voting, find your polling place or see your ballot, go to www.sos.state.mn.us
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Hennepin County Governance 101 

How much do you know about how the Hennepin County government impacts our lives?  Get a primer on our county government from Linda Higgins, retiring Hennepin County Commissioner for District 2.  Hennepin County, the largest county in Minnesota by budget and population, is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, three of whom represent different parts of…
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Sexual Assault and Policing; Continuing the Conversation

Join us Tuesday, September 4th for the first Civic Buzz of the 2018-19 program year when our topic will be Sexual Assault and Policing – Continuing the Conversation. This important issue was brought to light by articles this summer in the Star Tribune series, Denied Justice: When Rape is Reported but Nothing Happens, focusing on victims of sexual…
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No Civic Buzz July or August

LWVMpls will continue the popular and informative Civic Buzz events this fall. Please use July and August to celebrate Independence Day,  Women’s Equality Day (August 26), and rest up for a very busy election season. We encourage our members and friends to volunteer to register voters, work for candidates of your choice and participate in…
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Looking for City Government Information?

Learn about a New Minneapolis Website:  LIMS The Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) was launched in September 2017 and provides the public with easy access to legislative action taking place in the City of Minneapolis. From reviewing actions that affect your neighborhood to analyzing a year’s worth of data, LIMS connects you to information without…
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Bonus Buzz: Minneapolis 2040

Minneapolis has just released a 20 year draft comprehensive plan affecting all its public policies from health, transportation, parks, jobs land use and housing. State law requires all metro area cities to produce comprehensive plans every ten years in order to achieve orderly and coordinated growth. Citizens have an opportunity to read the plan and…
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Reawakening of the Sanctuary Movement

Sanctuary Protections, ICE & Immigration Speaker John Keller Executive Director Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Come and hear, discuss the idea of Sanctuary protections for immigrants that are increasingly at risk of arrest, detention and deportation under the new Administration. Minnesota has seen the 3rd highest increase in ICE arrests during the first year of this…
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OMNIBUS BILLS – DEMOCRACY IN ACTION?

There are basically two kinds of omnibus bills that thwart citizen efforts to follow Minnesota’s legislative process and to participate in government decision-making. The first is a committee policy bill that committee chairs and their staffs put together, behind closed doors, based on a number of bills heard by their committee. The second type of…
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Mapping Prejudice: Examining the Complex Legacies of Racist Housing Policies

Restrictions, known as racial covenants or racially-restrictive deeds, were used in most American cities before 1968 to prevent people who were not white from buying or occupying property. The Mapping Prejudice Project is working to identify and map racial restrictions buried in historic Minneapolis property deeds. Our speakers, Kirsten Delegard, Penny Peterson and Kevin Ehrman-Solberg will present their…
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NO CIVIC BUZZ IN FEBRUARY DUE TO PRECINCT CAUCUSES

There will be no Civic Buzz gathering in February because precinct caucuses will be held the first Tuesday in February. Attend your caucus.  Come prepared with resolutions.  Check out the LWVMN resolutions. Curious about what Protect Minnesota (January’s Gun Violence Prevention topic) suggests? Find it on their website. See LWV-supported resolution on automatic voter registration.…
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Gun Violence Prevention – An Advocacy Workshop

At this interactive workshop participants will be equipped with the basic information about the problem of gun violence, learn about opportunities for involvement in this issue, and acquire the communication skills necessary to engage in effective advocacy. Gun violence is a pervasive negative influence in America today, stealing lives, devastating families, oppressing communities, and costing…
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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…
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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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