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  • 04 Jun 2024 8:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Posted on YouTube, the recording of the May Learn with the League program featuring Katie Knutson, Chief of Staff in the Office of Cannabis Management. Cannabis was legalized in Minnesota on August 1, 2023. Katie Knutson discusses the law, the rollout, and what challenges the state has encountered during implementation.


  • 28 Apr 2024 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You can now view the program recording from April, 23, 2024 on the LWVSP YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQkXpmh0FV4

    "Learn about some parts of the Ramsey County Judicial system, specifically the Women's Community Group that meets at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul to help each other navigate the judicial system. We learned from some of the organizers - Judge Grewing, Judge Mitchell, and Judge Starr. They shared the story of lifting each other up in community."

    This community group was featured in the Star Tribune on December 8, 2023.

  • 24 Mar 2024 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Program Recording: "Where Does Your Child Go to School?" A Discussion about MN Charter Schools

    27 Feb 2024 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This panel discussion explored the public charter school system and provided context to some of the news about Minnesota charter schools in the past several months. The program was held online on Tuesday, February 27 and panel participants included: Jon Schroeder, a recent Senior Fellow with Education Evolving (EE); Carrie Bakken, one of the first teachers at the chartered Avalon School in St. Paul; and Tony Simmons, Executive Director at the High School for Recording Arts.

    Recording link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfMSye_c2wU&t=91s
  • 17 Mar 2024 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Morning Book Club Book Spotlight

    Morning book club meets the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.

    This bookclub meets at 10am at the Highland Park Library, 1974 Ford Parkway. The next book is A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them, by Timothy Eagan. 

    Book Spotlight 

    On February 14 the AM Book Club discussed Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, by Patrick Radden Keefe. This book tells the history of the Sackler family dynasty and the founders of Purdue Pharma. It focuses on their introduction of Oxycontin and how over seven million people became addicted to it, and thousands of people died from overdosing each year. 

    Through marketing and sales representatives pushing this drug it became the pain drug of choice for doctors to prescribe. It was promised to be safe and effective and give 12-hour relief from pain, but in reality it didn’t last that long so that pain returned, and patients also went through withdrawal from the drug after about eight hours. They needed to take it more often than recommended and became addicted. It also led to heroin use (a similar opioid) when people could no longer get Oxycontin. All this while the family was living an opulent life style and blaming the victims instead of taking responsibility for the epidemic. Purdue Pharma knew the problems with the drug, but it was such a huge money maker they kept lying about it and pushing it onto doctors. After many years, Purdue was held accountable although the Sackler family was never punished until recently, when lawsuits were filed against the family members and their names were scrubbed from museums, colleges and other buildings named after the family. In 2023 a settlement was proposed that forces Purdue to restructure as a different company and the Sacklers must give up control. They would also have to pay $6 billion out of the more than $10 billion that the family earned from the sale of Oxycontin.

    Our group talked about the family never admitting guilt and never showing remorse for their part in promoting this drug. They instead blamed the victims. The family led a lavish life of privilege and believed they weren’t responsible since they didn’t work at Purdue. They were finally shamed by public pressure and donations were no longer accepted from the Sackler family.

    Sales reps went to poorer areas of the country where people did more manual labor and had more pain issues.   Doctors who they sold to thought people couldn’t get addicted to the drug based on what the pharmaceutical representatives told them. They thought this was a good drug to use for pain. They overprescribe pain medications that people don’t use, and sit in their medicine cabinets. 

    The FDA needs to do more to protect consumers and stronger testing should be done.

    The U.S. is only one of two countries that allow pharmaceutical ads. Cigarettes ads are no longer allowed.

    For more information:

    The Urge: Our History of Addiction, by Carl Erik Fisher

    Painkiller – limited series drama on Netflix. About the Sackler family and the opioid epidemic

    Sackler family - Wikipedia History of the Sackler family

    Sackler Family: Where Are They Now, Who Went to Jail? (businessinsider.com) What happened to the Sackler Family in Real Life?

    April’s book is In the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Samuel  Freedman.

    Thanks to Mary P for this informative write-up.



  • 17 Mar 2024 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    UMRR  Upper Mississippi River Region - Interleague organization

    SPOTLIGHT

    St. Cloud, Minnesota, is a city of 80,000 people that straddles the Mississippi and they are flipping the script on climate change!  Eight years ago, St, Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis set a goal for City operations to be carbon neutral by 2030, not including energy generated by the city's hydropower dam on the Mississippi. The city met the goal of carbon neutrality in 2020 - ten years ahead of plan. When taking into account the hydro facility, the city now produces three times as much energy as it uses as a municipality — saving about $1.5 million  from their annual budget.  The City's new goal is that by 2028 the entire St. Cloud community is carbon neutral for its electrical use, and by 2038 will be carbon neutral for electrical, building heat and transportation.

    February 7, LWV UMRR will host a webinar featuring St. Cloud's Public Services Director, Tracy Hodel, beginning at 1pm.   Tracy will tell us about how the City Of St. Cloud has become a national and global leader in its sustainability work and the many positive community impacts resulting from these actions.   We will learn how a community has taken waste products and turned them into an enterprise that is leading the way to a clean energy future!


    The LWV UMRR Blog post, "St Cloud's Circular Economy - Defining the Clean Energy Future", includes links to articles about the City's work and awards.  It's good reading! 



  • 17 Mar 2024 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Claudia Dieter and Cheryl Bailey sat with Rita Mills (Roseville Area LWV) for four hours of enrichment at the Voting Rights Symposium held at St. Thomas University February 1, 2024. Sponsored by FairVote Minnesota, this seminar was packed with wisdom, inspiration, and calls to action by a multitude of Minnesota’s elected officials and activists. 

    Who spoke? Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Mayor Melvin Carter, SOS Steve Simon, former SOS Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Humphrey School Dean Nisha Botchwey, Rep Athena Hollins, Ward 1 City Council member Anika Bowie, Senator Liz Boldon, Rep Cedrick Frazier, and Rep Emma Greenman, along with professors and academics from the CATO institute to Stanford University. 

    Here are some takeaways and highlights, in no particular order: SOS sponsors a bill this session to make RCV possible for all cities if they want it. “Restore the Vote Act’ that passed last session took twenty years of stories, activism, and volunteer work. The SOS met at Camp Ripley to run multiple scenarios to prepare for possible interference from AI and other bad actors. Asian Americans are the fastest growing voting bloc, followed by Hispanics—please make voting spaces welcoming to all, especially those who don’t speak English well. Keep organizing while your elected officials are governing, not just getting them in office. Help them make decisions and support your causes. For cooperative, bipartisan results, watch the rhetoric and language used. Promote same-day registration, which half the country (including MN) uses. Support RCV—it does not favor one party, but decreases the extreme choices made by small numbers at primaries and encourages more civil campaigning since candidates ask for voters to rank them 1st or 2nd. When asked for three actions, the panel offered: get involved, join a group, support a candidate, believe you can effect change, follow local issues on city councils and school boards, engage ten more people, talk to people outside your usual group, get involved in the thing that frustrates you, think about the things that government has done which makes you happy and promote them, talk to all the 16- and 17-year-olds you can about voting! 

    A Special quote from Sen Liz Bolden: “If climate change is your issue, then democracy is your issue. If gun control is your issue, then democracy is your issue. Responsive, multiracial, gender-inclusive democracy should be for everyone across the state.”

    AG Ellison concluded: “Rev Martin Luther King never said (pause) I HAVE A COMPLAINT!” He urged hope, and reminded the audience that most of the people who worked so hard for civil rights restoration were not elected officials. Our democracy is up to us. Go League of Women Voters!

    Symposium on Voting Rights, run by FairVote Minnesota, held 2/1/24 at the College of St. Thomas

    FairVote Minnesota presented an excellent program for us on ranked choice voting 9/12/23. Watch the recording on our St. Paul League YouTube site (insert link). 
    Thanks to Cheryl B. for the write-up.


  • 09 Oct 2023 8:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you missed a forum or wanted to rewatch one, here are the recordings from SPPN: 

    Recordings of Completed Forums

  • 17 Sep 2023 9:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This LWVSP Learn with the League "Know Your Ballot: Ranked Choice Voting this Fall" program featured an informative program on “how to” rank choice vote, from FairVote Minnesota. Included in the program will be a demonstration of the process, a short video and mock-up run of an actual vote. Erin Zamoff, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for FairVote Minnesota, presented.

    Relevant links:

    https://www.rankyourvote.org/

    https://fairvotemn.org/

    https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections...

  • 06 Aug 2023 9:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Attached is the CMAL (Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues) Newsletter for August. It includes an update from the annual meeting in May and a slideshow presentation (also attached).

    Newsletter_2023-August.pdf

    LWV UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER REGION.pdf

  • 02 Aug 2023 8:59 PM | Anonymous member

    In this month's edition of The Voter:

    • A welcome letter from Beatrice
    • Events for your fall calendar (including September candidate forums)
    • Highlights from an evening with Commissioners Toni Carter (Metro Council) and Rena Moran (Ramsey County)
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: thoughts on policy and progress from our DEI committee chair
    • Voter registration drive for post-incarcerated Minnesotans
    • Book club news, award recipients & more


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