A reporter from the Star Tribune was at this event: LWV ABC's Joan Molenaar was on the front page on Saturday. Here's a link to the article, which covered Veteran's Day events in the Twin Cities.
History of Minnesota's Liberty Bell: Liberty Bell #9 was given to Minnesota in 1950. The United States Treasury Department commissioned the Paccard Foundry in Annecy, France to create 57 replicas of the famed Liberty Bell to be given to every state and territory. Minnesota is home to some of the largest bell installations in the United States. City of Bells, founded in 2015 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, coordinates bell ringing across Minnesota on four holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day.
"Today, more than ever, our communities need to hear messages of hope, peace and comfort. Historically, bells have been used to spread messages to people in times of need and distress. Bells call people to worship, evoke the divine, call citizens to safety and sanctuary, as well as offering hope and courage. Today, City of Bells brings back the tradition of community bell ringing to mark civic occasions. As the public has grown weary with so much loss and change since the pandemic, bells offer a new way to build and maintain a sense of community. When there are no more words, the bells touch our soul, bells are the heartbeat of our community.” -Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist, Founder City of Bells.
The League of Women Voters was formed in the 1920's with a goal of educating voters on issues and candidates, and ensuring that voting is accessible to all adult citizens. We have continued with that work for more than 100 years, and won't be stopping anytime soon.
Across the nation, local and state Leagues are holding candidate forums for city, county, state and federal offices. The forums are recorded and posted to YouTube and websites, and shown on local cable channels everywhere. Vote411.org gives you access to many of these videos nationally.
If you are in Anoka County or Champlin, LWV ABC has probably conducted a forum for candidates in your area. The web address to the left (and the QR code) will lead you to the LWV ABC YouTube channel where we post all our videos, listed alphabetically by county, then city, then state.
LWV Forum Rules: The League of Women Voters has strict rules to ensure that forums are objective and fair to all candidates. LWV leaders at the state and local level (League Presidents and Voter Service Chairs) are not allowed to donate to candidates; this stricture does not apply to other League members. The moderator of the event comes from outside the area so they are neutral in their work at the forum. Questions are submitted by the public through the LWV website, and the script for the moderator is developed by the moderator. The timer and event organizer are also present for the forum. The timer lets candidates know when the time is up for their answers. The organizer handles scheduling and coordinating the taping space, invites and follows up with all the candidates and cable television and resolves problems. The organizer does not control content of the forum in any way.
No live audience unless we have partners: Most of the LWV ABC forums are recorded at a closed event by local cable channels for posting online and broadcast on cable TV. The recording of an LWV Meet the Candidates Forum is not a public meeting, it is an LWV event and LWV alone is responsible for determining who may attend and other rules. LWV does seek partners for our forums, to bring greater depth into the event. In those instances where League has a local partner willing to provide a location, staffing and security, the public is invited to attend in accordance with the host site's policies. LWV forum rules still apply to the moderator and script development.
We hope that you will spend time viewing the candidate forums for your area. Use this link (same as above) to find the LWV ABC forums for the 2022 General Election.
Every member of LWV is on the Voter Services Committee. We have many things to get involved with this summer - your help is needed!
Voter Registration Events
Meet up with your fellow LWV ABC members to staff a table at a community event this summer. Watch for emails from Sign-up Genius announcing sign-up opportunities. Everything you need to conduct voter registration is provided; just bring your favorite lawn chair! If you want to check out all the current slots that need to be filled, click on https://www.signupgenius.com/go/805084AAEA82CA7FA7-june
You can also find all of the Voter Registration events on the Calendar on our website, along with sign-up links: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/805084AAEA82CA7FA7-june.
Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Candidate Forums
Six cities in our LWVABC area require primaries if, by June 3rd, there are more than two candidates for one position on the ballot. In July, we'll hold Meet the Candidates for those primaries, listed below.
The LWV ABC Website now has links for the submission of online questions for the forums. Check it out here!
Thanks to our members who have taken the LWVMN training for host, moderator, or question facilitation, and to those who have registered for upcoming trainings. If you want to host but haven't been trained, please contact Linda to see how we might make things work. All sessions are taped with candidates and moderator in one room without a live audience.
One Perspective on Disablity
Keah Brown is a disability advocate and freelance writer who is best known for creating the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute to dispel the myth that being disabled and attractive are mutually exclusive. Pop culture is one of her passions and she works to increase the visibility of people with disabilities in media in hopes it might shift the cultural view of disability.
While Brown does not pretend to speak for all people with disabilities, her essays in The Pretty One, the LWV ABC May Book Club selection, raise some interesting points to think about:
Read more of Keah Brown’s perspective on disability:
Keah Brown has cerebral palsy, which causes her disability. Here's a website that provides information on identifying and living with CP: birthinjurycenter.org/cerebral-palsy/
Join the LWV ABC Book and Film Club Discussions!
In May 2021, Sahan Journal and MPR News collaborated on series called ChangeMakers to ask this question.
Civil Rights Organizer Bo Thao-Urabe described the Minnesota AAPI community as unique with over 60% are Southeast Asians who came post the wars in Southeast Asia - Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and Myanmar – compared to only 10% from Southeast Asian in most states. Minnesota also has a high number of adoptions of Chinese and Korean (15,000) babies, as well as “Medical Alley” that is now bringing in a lot of educated workers from China and India. Lily Tung Crystal of Theater Mu noted that “one of the reasons why we think that the violence is happening is because other people often see Asian Americans as not truly American, or other, or even subhuman.” Community Organizer Anthea Yur wants the Asian community to confront racism head on and hoped “that we can start breaking this narrative of being the model minorities, being considered subservient. When your parents are first-generation immigrants, there is a level of survival that you’re taught. You’re taught not to resist.”
Celebrate Pride Month
June is Pride Month, a month focused on the visibility of LGBTQ+ people and celebrating movement toward equality. June was chosen to celebrated Pride to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, often considered the start of the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
In the 1960's, in many cities, including New York, bars could lose their liquor license for simply serving gay patrons. A 1967 New York Court of Appeals decision opened bars to gay patrons, but bars could still lose their liquor license if patrons engaged in "disorderly conduct". Given that homosexuality was still criminalized, law enforcement interpreted "disorderly conduct" to mean same sex kissing, holding hands or dancing. In response, the Mafia opened private bottle clubs, including the Stonewall Inn, which did not require a liquor license because patrons were supposed to bring their own liquor.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn and arrested 13 people, including employees for bootleg liquor and patrons for violating the state's gender-appropriate clothing statute. Patrons who refused to disburse and neighborhood residents became increasingly agitated as patrons were aggressively manhandled by police, sparking violence by the bystanders. Protests, sometimes violent, continued over the next six days, sometimes involving several thousand people. The protests received almost no news coverage but were a catalyst for organizing for LGBTQ+ rights. Within a year of Stonewall, LGBTQ+ rights organizations rose from about 50 in 1968 to over 1000 organizations.
The first gay Pride parade was held in New York City in 1970 to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising. The term "Pride" was coined by Craig Schoonmaker, one of the organizers of the parade "not as a slogan so much as an understanding that people should be proud and not ashamed". Pride parades are now held throughout the world, with 5 million people attending the 2019 WorldPride parade in New York City.
In 2016, the Stonewall Inn and surrounding area were declared a National Monument.
Get involved with CMAL!
● Attend the Annual Meeting -- where a position will be adopted based on the CMAL County Government Study
● Consider becoming a delegate to this Council – learn about metro area issues
60th Annual CMAL Convention
Saturday May 14, 2022, 10 am- Noon
Keynote Speaker: Building the Region’s Transit Network
by Met Council Member Deb Barber
Business Meeting immediately follows
Click here >>> Meeting Zoom Link
Or for hone connection, dial in at 312.626.6799 Meeting ID: 817 6461 0814 Passcode: 939193
All League members and guests are welcome to attend this virtual meeting:
--Following the keynote speaker, this year’s agenda will feature the update to the County Government Position. All 19 metro leagues have now reviewed and submitted member votes on the consensus questions following the 2022 CMAL Study on County Government. You can find the study at this link.
During the meeting, delegates to CMAL will vote on updating the County Government Position -- found at the end of this post. Karen Schaffer, President of CMAL, will then provide press releases about the County Government Study and new Position to area media.
Interested in Metro Area Issues? Consider Being A CMAL Delegate
LWV ABC is allowed two delegates to the Council of Metro Area Leagues. CMAL holds quarterly meetings presenting programs especially focused on topics related to living in the Twin City metro region. All league members are welcome to attend programs, but only delegates may vote or serve on the board. Votes occur on bylaw amendments, position changes and whether to support new studies. Currently, there is an open one-year board position with CMAL. Nineteen leagues compose CMAL. Our website has listed recent programs. Meetings occur on Saturday mornings. Learn more on our CMAL website page: CMAL Positions | LWV ABC If you have questions, please contact Gretchen or Julie at email@example.com .
CMAL Proposed County Government Position 2022
CMAL supports measures to ensure accountability and visibility of county government. (1975, 2022)
CMAL believes that accountability and visibility of a governmental body, such as a county, are obtained by:
CMAL also recognizes the responsibility of residents to become adequately informed.
CMAL views the Metropolitan Council as the regional planning and coordinating body, while the counties are viewed as administrators, implementers and enforcers of regional policy. CMAL believes that counties should be involved in the initial planning and policy-making stages of Metropolitan Council activities in order for counties to carry out their eventual implementation.
CMAL supports measures to improve cooperation and communication between the Metropolitan Council and county government in the metropolitan area.
CMAL believes that county government should post general information on its website about funds received from or through the Metropolitan council and how such funds are used.
LWV ABC Annual Meeting 2022
With thanks for Zoom technology, we had a good turnout for a productive Annual Meeting on April 11! It was a fun meeting and we got everything done that we needed to do. Thanks to all for your participation!
We started off with a quiz game on Climate Change and personal responsibility - Bruce Pomerantz was the big winner with a perfect score! Then the meeting started out with remarks from LWV ABC President Gretchen Sabel. You can read her report on the member's only page on the LWV ABC website here. Treasurer Wes Volkenant then presented the proposed budget for the coming year, which was approved by the membership.
Next, elections were held for the odd-year positions on our board, with unopposed incumbents being reelected for two year terms:
-Our Voter Service Chair Linda Rodgers presented our plans for an ambitious and dynamic schedule of candidate forums and voter registration events for this summer and fall – and encouraged members to watch for sign-up opportunities to be engaged. Linda's full report can be read by clicking here.
- Our Membership Chair Pat Kennedy reported that we now have 80 members (down from 83 in 2021). Two of these members are Lifetime members with more than 50 years as members. Member milestones were celebrated for the 44 members who have passed 5, 10, 15, or more year milestones; you can read all of them in Pat's report at this link. As Membership Chair, Pat has also updated our membership materials and attends meetings of the Fridley Community Network and the LWV DEI Task Force to raise the profile of LWV ABC in the community and build Diversity and Inclusion in our League.
-Our Program Committee Chair Dee Ann Christensen reported that our May 9 meeting will feature students from Andover High School and our June 13 will focus on communicating about Climate Change. We are also partnering with Transformative Circle to host a Juneteenth event at Coon Rapids Dam. DeeAnn's report is linked here.
-Other business items included adopting a budget, affirming our local non-partisan policy and more. Read the details of these items in the meeting invitation that went to members: https://www.lwvumrr.org/lwv-abc-blog/lwv-abc-annual-membership-meeting-april-11-at-6pm All the meeting materials and reports are available on the LWV ABC members-only site at this link.
Despite the Board's not seeking public input, the League of Women Voters ABC (Anoka, Blaine, Coon Rapids area) prepared their own draft maps to propose to the Anoka County Board. These were submitted to the Board Chair and County Administrator on April 9 via email. At the April 12 workshop, the Commissioners did not fully review the draft maps that LWV ABC had provided to them. Nor was any opportunity allowed for the LWV ABC members present at that meeting to present the maps to the Commissioners at this work session.
The LWV ABC Observer Corps has been working to observe and report on Anoka County Government Actions since 2019. For more information, see the LWV ABC Observer Corps webpage.
League of Women Voters ABC (LWV ABC) has been studying Anoka County’s communities and geographical features and based their draft maps on this data. The LWV ABC plan provides a new outlook recognizing the differences in communities and combines communities of interest. Here are the basic tenets that were followed in developing the LWV ABC maps:
League members observe that Scott County has alternate maps posted now on their website and requests public input before coming up with a plan. Without this opportunity, LWV ABC members reviewed census data, new precincts and proposed their own maps to meet concerns of their members.
LWV ABC was encouraged to provide input when talking with Board Chair Scott Schulte about public input to redistricting at the April 2021 meeting of LWV ABC The LWV ABC Redistricting Committee engaged in a rigorous process with strong membership support. LWV ABC members reside in all areas of the county. We think our thoughtful, sensible plan serves our county residents well, whether they reside in a large city, river city or rural area.
Here are the agenda and documents for the event. We will start off with a fun round of What's the Impact? with prizes at 6:10, so don't be late!
LWV ABC serves most of Anoka County and the city of Champlin in northern Hennepin Couny, Minnesota.
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