Building Consensus - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail

Building Consensus to Pass Legislation

Tuesday, June 18              6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

6 p.m. Free Pizza and Salad Buffet          6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443

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Did you know that Minnesota is the only state to have a split legislature, with the majority of the Senators Republican and the majority of the Representatives Democratic?  One might expect that this would lead to gridlock in public policy, but MN’s legislature was able to arrive at a consensus on quite a few issues.  How did the legislature do that?  Our Think Again Brooklyns forum for June will explore how MN achieved consensus.

wayne doe

Wayne Doe - Moderator

Recently appointed member of the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage
Health Care Eligibility and Operations Representative, Department of Human Services

Bridging Divides: What to Do When People Disagree

Dave Bartholomay - Program Coordinator

Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

dave bartholomayDave Bartholomay will describe the challenges and the opportunities for reaching consensus on legislative issues.  He will explain how difficult situations can be deescalated and and how people can move from conflict to effective solutions for difficult public issues by integrating the needs of everyone involved. 

Dave has previously led a successful community dispute resolution program serving suburban and greater Minnesota. He has a Master’s degree in Political Science and extensive public sector leadership experience at the federal, state, and local government level.

A Start in the Right Direction
Moving from Conflict to  Win-Win Solutions


Senator John Hoffman - District 36

(Northern Brooklyn Park,  Champlin, and Coon Rapids)

john hoffmanJohn Hoffman will cover several bills that were passed with support of legislators from both parties after an extended period of discussion that allowed several perspectives to be included.  John Hoffmann was first elected to the MN Senate in 2012.

Before being elected to the Minnesota Legislature, he served as a member of the Anoka-Hennepin School District Board. 
Prior to that he was appointed by United States Secretary of Education Rodney Paige to the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council, assisting and advising Cabinet members on their response to children and families birth to eight, specifically those with special health care needs.


Vulnerable Adults Protection Bill 
The Challenges and Efforts to Getting It Passed

Dan Pollock - Assistant Commissioner for Continuing Care for Older Adults
MN Department of Human Services

dan pollockFor two and a half years, government officials, legislators, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and citizens worked to develop a bill that protects vulnerable adults.  The bill gained the votes of all but one MN senator and all but six representatives.  Dan Pollock will describe the process through which consensus on the bill was reached.  His discussion will include the important contributions of nonprofit organizations and citizens who encouraged improving care in assisted living facilities and for elderly and disabled adults at home.  Discover how you too can contribute to public policies which meet community needs.

Pollock has been the assistant commissioner for Continuing Care for Older Adults for the MN Department of Human Services since Jan. 16, 2019.  He oversees efforts to ensure quality care and services for seniors and other adults who need help living as independently as possible.  An attorney with 13 years of state government experience, he previously served as deputy commissioner for the MN Department of Health. 

Question and Answer Session


Thank you to our Partners

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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

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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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