Knit Wits: a Spring Soiree and Fundraiser

Enjoy an evening of mingling, sipping and improv. Gather your friends and head to the NE Arts district in support of LWVMpls.
Thursday, April 30th, 7 pm to 9 pm, $25
ArtAndes in the Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. N.E. #285, Mpls
Wine Raffle!
Silent Auction!
Beverages! Desserts!
Live Political Improv Entertainment from the The Theater of Public Policy!
Make your Reservation online now! or call or email the office: 612-333-6319/
or send your check to LWVMpls, 2801 21st Ave. S., #250, Mpls, MN 55407

The Voter – April


This month’s issue includes:

  • A preview of the April 7th Parks Forum at Armatage Park Community Center
  • CMAL’s last meeting on April 18th, which will focus on water resources on the metro
  • An introduction from our new membership intern- Audrey Neal
  • Photo highlights from the February Healthy Legacy Forum

LWVMpls Parks Tour

Saturday, May 16, 2015 , 9 am to 1pm

LWVMpls is hosting a bus tour of current and future park developments in Minneapolis that have been in the news. Wonder just where the “Water Works” park is being planned? Where is the upper Mississippi area where parks and trails are needed? Join us for a tour that shows you where and explains the how and why of projects that could make significant changes to the riverfront and downtown areas. Check how neighborhood park buildings are or are not meeting the needs of our residents. See the city, connect with your LWVMpls friends and learn first-hand what everyone is talking about. Tour details will be sent to registrants.

Reserve your place now!

Minneapolis Parks: Protecting the Public Interest

Free Public Forum April 7, 7pm



April 7th, 2015 the LWVMpls Parks Committee will host a public forum Minneapolis Parks: Old and New Protecting the Public Interest at Armatage Park. The event includes a panel discussion featuring Jayne Miller, Minneapolis Park and Recreation board Superintendent, Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis  Downtown Council and a representative from The Trust for Public Land. more…

The event will run from 7 -8:30 p.m.

The Armatage Park Community Center is located at 2500 W. 57th St. in Minneapolis.

Continue the conversation May 16 during LWVMpls Parks bus tour.

The Voter – March

Read the March Voter here

This month’s issue includes:
◦ Discussion questions about our January Healthy Legacy Forum Our Children’s Future: Advancing Health and Racial Equity
◦ A quiz about our parks
◦ We will be having a Spring Fundraiser on the evening of April 30th

The Voter – February

Read the February Voter Here

This month’s issue includes:

  • Our Children’s Future:Advancing Health and Racial Equity, the  2015 Healthy Legacy Forum
  • Program Planning recap
  • Membership Committee report
  • Sustainability updates

Annual Forum Feb. 12: Our Children’s Future

Advancing Health and Racial Equity, Pre-cradle to Kindergarten

Thursday, February 12
American Indian Center
1530 E. Franklin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN

5:30 PM Community Exhibit Fair – Meet, mingle & enjoy treats!
7 – 9 PM Program – Moderated by Joan Higinbotham. Speakers include Mayor Hodges, Jeanne Ayers, Rose Brewer, Farhio Brewer, Kathleen Schuler, Stephanie Belseth and Sharon Day

This event is FREE and open to the public.

League of Women Voters Minneapolis would like to thank our event sponsors who donated refreshments and our community partners who worked to plan this event.

In anticipation of the League of Women Voters Minneapolis’ Annual Healthy Legacy Forum on February 12, LWVMpls will turn its attention to strategies that promote healthy childhood development and decrease health and racial disparities in Minnesota and beyond.

Not everyone in Minnesota receives the same opportunities to be healthy. Health inequities result from serious social, economic and environmental disadvantages, including structural racism, which disproportionately affect African American, American Indian and Hispanic/Latino Minnesotans. Children in these communities and others experience increased health risks from stress, poverty and early life exposure to environmental toxins. Addressing these disparities in the pre-cradle to kindergarten stage is critical to ensuring healthy child development.

Society is experiencing an explosion of racial inequities in our communities. Last year, LWVMpls organized the Interrupting the Prison Pipeline forum, to educate citizens about our many positions on justice, equity, fairness, and good government. LWVMN worked to pass the Voter restoration bill in the State Legislature, but it was defeated. Many groups such as Take Action Minnesota, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, ISAIAH, and LWVMN are inspired to continue working to pass it this legislative session.  

One in six children in Minnesota have a parent who is in prison or had one in the past. Research shows that children who attend preschool have higher earnings, employability, and less crime compared to those who did not. More people contributing to the tax base and not consuming criminal justice or welfare system resources makes more tax revenue available for other public needs.

Topics for the 2015 forum will build on last years coalition and acknowledge the pre-cradle to kindergarten health and educational goals set by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who will speak at the event. We hope to educate attendees about racial disparities in our health care system and learn about environmental toxins affecting healthy outcomes for our children. At the forum, Mayor Hodges will discuss her recommendations for the city and legislature to address the importance of early childhood education. She supports more resources to provide quality child care for low income children. Governor Mark Dayton has also made this one of his priorities.

We are reaching out to the communities of color and encouraging parents of young children to come to the forum, where they can connect with early childhood programs in their communities, such as Alliance of Early Childhoods Wicoie Nandagikendan Program. Fahrio Khalif, Director from Voices of East African Women will talk about the high incidence of children born with disabilities such as autism in the Somali community. 

Click to download event flier.


LWV Minneapolis hosts school board at-large candidate forum Wednesday, October 29

The League of Women Voters Minneapolis hosted a candidate forum for the Minneapolis at-large school board candidates Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the Waite House. Participating candidates included Iris Altamirano, Rebecca Gagnon, Ira Jourdain and Don Samuels. The event was moderated by Mary Juhl.

More than 130 people attended the event which included thoughtful questions provided by audience members throughout the evening. A Spanish translation of the forum was provided.

School Board Forum 2014

We thank our local co-sponsors: Pillsbury United Communities, The Education Equity Organizing Collaborative and MinnPost for their partnership on this successful event.

Why should you care about juvenile sex trafficking in Minneapolis?

Here are nine reasons to get you started.

Note special event October 24, 2014 during Twin Cities Film Festival.

Read our full report on juvenile sex trafficking here

  1. It happens in our communities, in our city, in our state. Multiple sectors such as law
    enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, service providers, and other first responders
    witness juvenile sex trafficking in Minnesota. For example, in a nationwide FBI operation over a
    3-week period in July 2013, the Minneapolis Police Department arrested 53 purchasers within its jurisdiction, which was more than any other agency anywhere in the U.S.
  2. The sex industry is fueled by power and money. Prostitution has a symbiotic relationship with
    other illegal activities such as drug and gun trafficking and gangs. Prostitution is estimated to be a $14.6 Billion Dollar underground economy that wastes resources and destroys lives.
  3. Men in and from our community are purchasing sex. Sex trafficking is a demand-driven
    industry. There is not a specific type of person who purchases sex. Purchasers belong to all
    ethnicities, races, ages, socioeconomic status, weight, and height. Recent research found that
    efforts to curb the demand are much more likely to engage men who have less experience in
    seeking prostitutes resulting in the most active and experienced customers being largely
  4. We all pay for it, if not as purchasers then as citizens. Taxpayer dollars pay for harms
    caused by sex trafficking, including physical injuries, mental health issues, homelessness,
    chemical dependency, unplanned pregnancy, criminal justice and court involvement, and/or the
    foster care system. Moreover, it impacts the economic vitality of neighborhoods, businesses and
    property values. A 2012 cost-benefit study conducted by researchers from the University of
    Minnesota and Indiana show a savings of $34 tax dollars for every $1 invested in prevention
  5. It is a social justice issue. Prostitution and sex trafficking are strongly correlated with
    economics. Pimps’ and traffickers’ ability to exploit and involve women and children in selling sex is driven by poverty, so disproportionately affects poor and marginalized neighborhoods.
    Poverty, combined with a pervasive lack of social safety nets and deep-rooted gender
    discrimination against females, creates push and pull factors that encourage sex trade
  6. Sex trafficking targets our most vulnerable girls, boys and LGBTQ youth. The combination
    of youth gender, poverty and race increases children’s vulnerability to be sex trafficked. In
    addition, the institutions of family, government (foster care, shelters, rehabilitation centers), and
    community fail the youth and become the entry point into the business of sex trafficking.
    Research has found that common factors that make youth vulnerable to traffickers include
    neglect, abuse, poverty and homelessness.
  7. It damages life potential of youth. Involvement in sex trafficking reduces ability of youth to
    actualize their full earning and personal potential because of lower educational attainments,
    physical and mental health issues, drug addiction, criminal records and a lack of employable
  8. The trafficker is the big bad wolf posing as grandma. Sex traffickers are charming and
    manipulative in bringing vulnerable youth under their control. First, they pretend to love, offer
    gifts and advantages and later use violence and psychological threats to control their victims.
    Traffickers convince the young person that prostitution is a viable lifestyle for them that offers
    income and economic independence and they relentlessly reinforce this 24 hours /7days a week. When the trafficker is especially skilled in manipulation, the victims may have never seen him/her as a trafficker but as someone who truly cares for them (e.g. my boyfriend).
  9. The online sex trade traffics children from anywhere, including from their own homes. The
    internet facilitates easy entry in the market for everyone by offering anonymity, ease of
    navigation and minimal regulations. The amount of personal information the youth voluntarily
    share online (e.g. social networking sites such as facebook) makes it easy for traffickers to
    identify, persuade and track their victims.

Authors: Ana Isabel Gabilondo & Girija Tulpule