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Stone Arch Discussion Group

 
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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Read more...
 
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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A 2nd Perspective on the Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan - Stone Arch Discussion Group Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

Do you know how the plan will

 

impact our neighborhoods and city?

 

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Saturday, October 13               8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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

 

Will the proposed comprehensive plan bulldoze your neighbor’s house? Will it create affordable housing? Will it make developers rich?

 

With Janne Flisrand

 

janne flisrandJanne Flisrand is one of the co-founders of Neighbors for More Neighbors. She's worked on affordable housing issues for 20 years, after seeing the impact housing instability and limited transit choices had on the kids she served at a Wilder Foundation drop-in after school program she ran. Janne led the statewide Minnesota Green Communities collaboration for a decade. It resulted in energy and healthy housing policy changes that have benefitted tens of thousands of low-income Minnesotans. She is a co-founder of Our Streets Minneapolis. Her policy insight and writing prompted an invitation to join the streets.mn board. She served as director of a North Minneapolis neighborhood association. She's passionate about sound city budgets, eliminating racial disparities, and creating a city full of opportunity and choice for each person who lives here.

 

Read Janne’s commentaries on zoning, planning, and transit at Streets.mn:
https://streets.mn/author/jflisrand/

 

Read the Star Tribune commentary from September’s Stone Arch speaker, Lisa McDonald:
http://strib.mn/2LH7Bzt

 

Read other opinions and news about the Minneapolis 2040 Plan:


Minnpost explains the report, and offers a Q&A with the city’s long-range planning director:
http://bit.ly/2wBrxiD


“Minneapolis 2040: A plan was required, but plans have consequences” (Tim Keane, real estate lawyer): http://strib.mn/2NyChof


“No, the bulldozers aren’t coming for your house” (Steve Brandt): http://bit.ly/2LI6Eaa


Streets.mn explainer, based on the goals the Council gave to planners: http://bit.ly/2N2rxkT


MPR story explains some of the racial history behind many Minneapolis neighborhoods being zoned only for single-family homes: http://bit.ly/2N6glDQ


Neighbors for more Neighbors, an advocacy group supporting the Comprehensive Plan, explains its principles: http://bit.ly/2N5vIwn


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 Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan - Stone Arch Discussion Group Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 

Do you know how the plan will

impact our neighborhoods and city?

 

 

Minneapolis 2040 extinction

 

 

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

 

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

 

Will the proposed comprehensive plan bulldoze your neighbor’s house? Will it create affordable housing? Will it make developers rich?

 

With Lisa McDonald and Carol Becker

 

Lisa McDonald was a 10th Ward council member from 1993 to 2001.  She chaired the zoning and planning committee and oversaw a new rewrite of the City of Minneapolis Zoning Code. She ran for Mayor in 2001. Lisa has participated in and chaired several Citizen Action Committees for the Minneapolis Park Board including the recent CAC for the Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska area.

 

Carol Becker has her doctorate in Public Administration and teaches at Hamline University.  She led the effort to get $250 million for neighborhood parks.  She is in her fourth term on the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

 

Lisa McDonald and Carol Becker are core founding members of MinneapolisforEveryone.org   They established this group because they have concerns about the  2040 Comp Plan and want to insure all citizens are informed about the impact it could have on our neighborhoods, communities, and the city as a whole. They continue to work with Minneapolis 4 Everyone, an advocacy group opposing the city’s new comprehensive plan that includes up-zoning most residential areas to allow for multiplexes as well as increasing density allowances for transit corridors.

 

Read Lisa’s Star Tribune commentary: http://strib.mn/2LH7Bzt

 

Read other opinions and news about the Minneapolis 2040 Plan:


Minnpost explains the report, and offers a Q&A with the city’s long-range planning director: http://bit.ly/2wBrxiD


“Minneapolis 2040: A plan was required, but plans have consequences” (Tim Keane, real estate lawyer): http://strib.mn/2NyChof


“No, the bulldozers aren’t coming for your house” (Steve Brandt): http://bit.ly/2LI6Eaa


Streests.mn explainer, based on the goals the Council gave to planners: http://bit.ly/2N2rxkT


MPR story explains some of the racial history behind many Minneapolis neighborhoods being zoned only for single-family homes: http://bit.ly/2N6glDQ


Neighbors for more Neighbors, an advocacy group supporting the Comprehensive Plan, explains its principles: http://bit.ly/2N5vIwn

 

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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Tributes to Arvonne Fraser Print E-mail

 

 

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

 


She's no lady, as she famously titled her book, but she had a knack for starting good conversation.  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.”    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement Tuesday night that the city “has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.” 



During the Carter administration, Arvonne Fraser 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.  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."

If you haven't been a visitor to our monthly Stone Arch Saturday discussions, consider joining us in her honor. 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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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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