The LWV ABC Summer Picnic was held at President Gretchen Sabel's home in Andover on July 15, in conjunction with the celebration of her birthday. It was a lovely day, and a good time was had by all! Gretchen's family and friends were also there - kids played in the pool and bounce house, ran around and were great entertainment for all. This was also a very successful fundraiser for LWV ABC - thanks to all who donated!
Our Welcome Table staff did a great job of promoting LWV and have some prospects for new members.
Left to right, from the top: Kathleen Sekhon and Paul Sitz, Olivia Paulsen, Wes Volkenant, Sandy Connor, Cindy Wetzell, (repeat, oops), Bruce Pomerantz, Geri Nelson, the Bouncehouse, Jeorgette Knoll, Leslie Waterhouse, Joan Molenaar, Julie Trude, Paula Mohr, Mary VanDerLan, Sue Dergantz, Pat Kennedy, Kathy and Mel Aanerud, Ted and Andrea Butler, the Pool, and Kathie Whelchel; all with Gretchen Sabel.
LWV ABC Program held on February 14 via Zoom:
CMAL has completed its study of county government research regarding the accountability, visibility and accessibility of county government in the metro area, as well as the relation between county government and other levels of government. The purpose of the study is to update CMAL's position on county government in the metropolitan area.
LWV ABC Vice-president Julie Trude presented the report and the consensus questions developed by the study committee. LWV ABC members then voted on the questions. Our votes will be tallied, along with the consensus statements responses of all local Leagues who are members of CMAL, and will determine CMAL's position on county government in the metropolitan area. This decision will be made at the May 14 Annual Meeting of CMAL.
The County Government Study by the Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues (CMAL) Report is available here for viewing prior to the meeting.
CMAL Timeline for 2022:
We will provide an update to this story if/when the position changes are adopted.
For further information:
The big news is that we are planning to hold only virtual meetings from December to March, possibly April if winter weather or Covid continue to play havoc with the option of in-person meetings. You will be informed of these virtual meetings in our LWV ABC newsletters that go out to our members and friends nearly monthly.
January, February and March will also be virtual meetings - mark your calendars for the second Monday of the month. We also have Book and Film Club meetings on the first Wednesday and third Wednesday, respectively.
This blog post was provided by Julie Trude, LWV ABC Vice President. We will add a link to the video from this session when it is available.
Left photo: Scott Hickock, Community Development Director for City of Fridley, with Gretchen Sabel, LWV ABC President
Right photo: INCOMPARABLE in Fridley City Hall lobby is formed from the letters of Columbia Arena which sat at the site of Fridley City Hall (2019) from 1968 to 2015.
Photos by Julie Trude
Fridley is Growing!
Scott Hickok, the Community Development Director of Fridley, shared vital information on Fridley’s growth in population and tax base at Fridley City Hall on October 19 for our October in-person program.
As you drive the major corridors in Fridley, including University Ave., Highway 65 and East River Road, you have been observing change with the construction of several modern apartment complexes and townhomes. Near the North Star Commuter Rail Station, Taylor developed a new complex with a swimming pool and activities building, 265 new units of which 100 were set aside for seniors (and a few of those offering rent assistance based on income). The former Holly Center site offers another new apartment with 260 units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. This private redevelopment alone, is valued at $60 million, a substantial increase from the old retail center.
A former FMC site was a costly site to prepare with environmental clean-up. The city assisted in the site preparation and Hides developed 1.7 million square feet of new industrial space on East River Road. These projects, among others, have added one-half billion dollars of taxable property value to Fridley in the past 5 years! That is a huge transformation for an aging first-ring suburb. A fun project included development of “Forgotten Star,” a local brewery, re-using the former smoke stacks from a destroyed FMC building.
The new housing options plus turnover of existing housing stock has increased Fridley’s population and reduced the average age of its residents. The 2021 Morris Leatherman random sample survey revealed that over 45% of Fridley’s households are headed by an adult under age 30. Fridley is a community of many one-level homes that allowed residents to age in place, skewing their population to older residents until recently. Today only 18% of all residents are at or over the age of 65.
Fridley has become more diverse as it population grew. The 2020 census shows a population of 29,590; growth of 8.75% since 2010. Fridley is now the 4th largest city in Anoka County. The census also reports that 42.7% of this population is listed as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People-Of-Color), while 57.3% of the population is white and Latina (11.1).
Fridley’s resident satisfaction survey indicated high satisfaction and positive attitudes towards the community and neighbors. Most indicated they liked living close to family or a job, the city feels safe and offers a small-town feel. In fact, 98% of resident feel safe in their community, have regular contact with neighbors, and those surveyed state there is a high level of acceptance to newcomers of diverse backgrounds.
The major area of concern seemed to be neighborhood parks, even though satisfaction was at 90%, a drop from 95% in a previous survey. As a result, another study is occurring that seeks resident involvement in local park upgrades and potential amenities as 91% agree the appearance of parks affects the value of homes.
Program: Learn about Fridley’s transition from a city with an aging population to a city that’s welcoming to young families and providing varieties of housing and other amenities to make Fridley a vibrant community for the future. Presentation topics will include 2021 Resident Survey results, community development updates, and Park System Improvement Plan updates. Fridley’s experience with this transition will be applicable to other cities in our area as we move from development to re-development.
*For those in the City of Fridley, the program will also be broadcast on Fridley Municipal Television, Channel 17 and will be shared on the LWV ABC website when available. We will not have a virtual attendance option for this meeting.
Our thanks to Alyssa Kruzel who was the Community Engagement Specialist at City of Fridley, for making these arrangements. Alyssa will soon be on to a new position with MN DOT, so we will be hosted by Scott Hickock.
Monday, Sept 13, 6:30 pm
Andover City Hall -- Council Chambers
1685 Crosstown Blvd NW, Andover
COME IN PERSON OR YOU CAN ATTTEND VIRTUALLY – SEE INFO BELOW
This will be a ‘hybrid’ meeting – you can choose to attend in person or attend virtually – we will send connection information to our members on the morning of the 13th. (If you are not a member and would like to also participate virtually, email us at email@example.com.) If you do attend in person, please wear a mask as we are following CDC guidelines. No light supper, but we will have wrapped snacks. Doors open at 6pm.
We will also be presenting our Friend of League Award to Paul Linnell and the Anoka County Elections staff. They’ve been invited to join us at this program to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and service to the electorate of Anoka County to ensure safe and accessible elections. (Who has been awarded Friend of League awards in the past? Click here to find out!)
Update as of an August 27 posting to the organization’s Facebook page:
“We're so excited to announce that we've found a home for the North Suburban Center for the Arts! We will be moving just down the road to Fire Station #3—a decommissioned fire station that has sat vacant since 2018 when then City of Fridley relocated its fire department to City Hall. The fire station sits at the corner of East River Road and 77th Way NE.”
Read about the campaign to fund the renovation of the new building, support staff, and ensure that programming remains accessible to the community at www.northsuburbanarts.org/new-home
VIEW THIS VIDEO OF THIS MEETING AT THIS LINK:
MANY THANKS TO QCTV FOR FILMING THE EVENT!
A Conversation with Dave Durenberger and Lori Sturdevant
featuring their book, "When Republicans Were Progressives"
Join League of Women Voters ABC for this live, virtual conversation on Monday evening, June 14 at 6:30. The public is invited to attend by requesting a Zoom link via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The presenters will discuss the book they co-authored, "When Republicans Were Progressive." A planned in-person event in 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic, but participants will find the content of this virtual conversation timely, lively, and forward looking. A video recording of the event will be available later in the week at YouTube @ LWV Anoka Blaine Coon Rapids Area .We thank QCTV community television for making this live program and recording available.
A Star Tribune book review commented that the book "...is a fascinating combination of Durenberger's firsthand account regarding three terms in the U.S. Senate, hundreds of anecdotes...a platform for positive change and a skimp yet alluring look into his personal life." Lori Sturdevant is a retired Star Tribune editorial writer and author of several books of Minnesota history.
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