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Stone Arch Discussion Group

 
100% Clean Energy Print E-mail
Written by Jeremy Wieland   

 

jamie long mn representativeRepresentative Jamie Long

 

Rep. Jamie Long, author of the 100% clean energy bill (among others) has been invited to join us for the July Stone Arch discussion

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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Don Fraser, 1924-2019 Print E-mail
Written by Jeremy Wieland   

 

A Farewell to Don Fraser

 

 

jeremy wieland 19Don Fraser has left us. There will be much said about Don Fraser. Iric Nathanson, Don's former Staffer, has been the most eloquent and educational. I'm neither. I know that Don was a hero. He was the fellow Marcy School kid made good. As a child in the 80's, Don was the Mayor who rode his bike to City Hall. He'd pause on a walk to fix a kid's bike chain. When he came to classes at South or Anderson to speak he was friendly and engaging. He'd ask us questions, and he'd call on kids of color and young women because he knew they had good questions and ideas. Don wanted everyone to know they were part of our community. He was the person that young people in public schools wanted to emulate.
 
don fraser in suitIn later life when I befriended Don and his wife Arvonne (another Hero) I struggled to be smart, sometimes even to talk. I was star struck. There was never a doubt in my mind that Martin Sheen based the character of Jeb Bartlett on Don Fraser. He must have because there wasn't any other model. Don was smart, quiet, listened to everything you said like you were the only person in the room, and he was funny. Really funny. Don may not have had the Nobel Prize like President Bartlett but that's because Don was so self-deprecating, not because he wasn't deserving. Don was a master of detail and policy and innovation. He learned and he taught and he experimented and wanted everyone else to learn. We meet at Stone Arch because Don and Arvonne wanted people to understand politics and the implications of policy. When Mayor Frey, our City Council, Park Commissioners and School Board Directors talk about housing stability and after school opportunities being critical to closing the achievement gap and creating opportunity, that's Don. That's the entire City of Minneapolis Government spinning into action because of concerns and ideas that Don had when I was too young to drive.
 
Don also connected people. I didn't know Arvonne when I was young. Only as an adult did I come to know Arvonne and say things like "I hope I can grow up to be like Arvonne." Don introduced me to other women I admire. Smart, articulate firebrands Arvonne, Barb Allivato and Vici Oshiro and Linda Higgens all inspire me and I'd never have met any of them if not for Don Fraser. Just like he did when I was a kid in school and he was calling on kids who didn't raise their hands; everyone contributes, and everyone has good ideas. That's Don. Everyone is important, everyone belongs and everyone can succeed.  
 
And now we have to do that without Don. Thankfully he was a model for succeeding with each other.

 

Sincerely,
Jeremy Wieland, President

 

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Rapid Transit - June Stonearch Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

With Jessica Lee of MinnPost

 

 

June 8           8:30-10:00 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis


jessica leeMinnpost reporter Jessica Lee, replaced at the last second in our May Stone Arch, will join us to talk about rapid transit.  Jessica interned with the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Minnesota, where she also served as managing editor of The Minnesota Daily.

 

After a three-year run at The Seattle Times, Lee joined MinnPost in 2018. Lee focuses her reporting on covering local government issues in Minneapolis and St. Paul. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and you can follow her on twitter at @byjlee.

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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Minneapolis Political Winds of Change - Stone Arch Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

Minneapolis and St. Paul City Council Politics

 

Saturday, May 11          8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main Street, Minneapolis, MN

 

Speaker - Steve Fletcher, Council Member for Ward 3

steve fletcherOur scheduled speaker, Jessica Lee, has had an unexpected death in her family.  Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis City Council Member offered to step in and discuss the direction of Minneapolis city policies.  He has been particularly interested in developing the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, greater equity in the police department, affordable housing, especially for students, and equitable civic participation. 

 

Steve has worked as a communications and management consultant for startup, nonprofit, and for-profit clients in the Twin Cities and was Executive Director of Minnesota 2020.  He has a BA in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master's Degree in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University.

 

Note that our meeting will end earlier than usual because Jeremy Wieland has a commitment at 10 a.m.  Please arrive a little early to place your order so we can get our meeting started at 8:30 a.m.

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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The Role of Public Housing - Stone Arch Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

Providing Stable Housing for those in Need and on the Margins

 

Saturday, April 13th              8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414


greg russ mpha
Make plans to join us at Stone Arch April 13th with Minneapolis Public Housing Authority CEO Greg Russ. We'll talk about the mix of housing available, MPHA's capabilities and how we can work together.

 
Greg most recently served as the Executive Director of Public Housing in Cambridge, Mass., and includes leadership roles in programs in Chicago and Philadelphia. His agency recently announced plans to transfer over 6,000 properties to a nonprofit subsidiary to access federal tax credits for renovations. He'll discuss his role managing Minneapolis' public housing and how public housing affects living stability for kids.


If you missed this forum, you can find Greg Russ's ideas for expanding affordable housing in Minneapolis in the transcript of
his interview by the Civic Caucus.

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No Stone Arch Discussion in March Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

Dear Stone Arch Members, Saturday morning presents us with the possibility of a foot of snow, freezing rain and generally dangerous and inconvenient travel conditions. We're going to reschedule our Speaker for a future date. Please be careful Saturday. Slipping, sliding and shoveling heart attack snow is fraught with peril. So stay at home and start dialing for someone with a snow blower to dig you out.

 

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Top Minneapolis Public School Issues - Stone Arch Print E-mail

 

 

With Josh Downham - Minneapolis Public Schools

Director of Government Relations

 

 

Saturday, February 9           8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414
 

 

Following the November election, Josh Downham told the Minneapolis School Board that he thinks the state’s new political leaders could be more receptive to the district’s priorities.  He commented that he is expecting a more robust discussion with less focus on tax cuts and more focus on investments in K–12. 

Statewide, special education costs are expected to outpace special education revenues by $707 million in 2018.  Minneapolis has the state’s largest special education funding gap: $55.3 million, or about $1,400 for every student in the district.  A Star Tribune article states that soaring special education costs are squeezing the budgets of Minnesota schools, making special education the top priority at the State Capitol.

In November, Downham noted that Minnesota schools also lost $615 in per-pupil funding between 2003 and 2018 due to inflation.  The district is asking for a 3 percent a year increase in funding for K-12 school for the next two years and after that indexing per pupil funding to inflation.

Josh Downham will discuss the responses of legislators to these and other Minneapolis Public Schools’ requests at our February Stone Arch meeting.

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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December Stone Arch: A Legislative Preview Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

With Minnpost's Peter Callaghan


Saturday, December 8            8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414

 

Peter Callaghan

He’s deep into the policies, from paid family leave to addressing opioid addiction, but also the process of the legislature. Last week, Mr Callaghan ramped up the readership of his legislative coverage with a story entitled "You know you want to read this sexy story about legislative process reform."

Join us for a conversation with Minnpost’s Peter Callaghan for this month’s Stone Arch. In the meantime, catch his writing at Minnpost or his Twitter posts

 

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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Post-election Conversation with Senator Kari Dziedzic, Stone Arch Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

 

Did the Blue Wave Materialize?

 

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Saturday, November 10            8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414

 

Did Democrats take the U.S. House? Did the Blue Wave lead to control of the Senate or did the map favor Republican incumbents? What happened in the 8th Congressional District? The First? Who controls the Minnesota Legislature?

 

With Senator Kari Dziedzic

 

kari dziedzicAt this month’s Stone Arch, State Senator Kari Dziedzic takes us through what changed on November 6.


Kari's District 60 in which Stone Arch meets is a very diverse area.  It includes the birthplace of Minneapolis – where the mill industry first boomed along the riverfront.  It includes all of the neighborhoods in NE Minneapolis and SE Minneapolis, the Cedar Riverside area of Minneapolis, and the northern part of the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.   This area has always been home to immigrant populations, and includes many recent immigrants.


As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.

 

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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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