Family Justice Center

I visited the Family Justice Center in Minneapolis yesterday. That is quite a resource. I  viewed several court hearings as well as talked to several judges, court staff, and others involved in the process. I also obtained information on the Family Court Services. My main objective was to see how the custody process is working.

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Jerri Neddermeyer

Yesterday, I attended the Celebration of Jerri Neddermeyer as the recipient of Eagan Foundation ‘s 2019 Extraordinary Board Member Award.  Jerri is incredibly active in the art world. She is truly deserving of such recognition and we are so fortunate to have her in our community.

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Host Homes in Dakota County

On October 1, a program was held at Easter Lutheran Church to discuss youth experiencing homelessness in Dakota County. Heading Home Dakota is working on a host program as an an efficient and safe way to provide shelter for young adults, mainly ages 18-24, in our community.  There is a shortage of of shelters in Dakota County, especially for our youth.

The Host Home would provide a furnished separate bedroom or space with privacy for the young person and food during the stay. The length of time might vary, but it typically would be short term. The Host Home would provide a safe and supportive place to stay while the youth is working on goals and securing housing.

Volunteers would be needed to help support the Host Homes in various ways, such as food/meals, gift cards for the young person, transportation, etc.

For further information on the Host Home Action team, contact Rebecca Bowers, Dakota County Resource Developer, at or (651) 554-6029.

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Access to Democracy’s 20th Anniversary

On September 12,  there was a celebration to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Access to Democracy, a program on Eagan-TV started by Alan Miller.  First, there was  a taping of  the  20th Anniversary Special that was hosted by Don Shelby.

Afterwards, there was a reception in which there were lots of congratulations to Alan Miller. Then Alan and Sharon Miller presented certificates and mugs to the volunteers, ETV staff, sponsors, and others who had participated in the program over the years. This is quite a record for local programming and our community has benefited from having access to this information. We are very fortunate to have people in our community who are willing to make this type of programming happen.

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Women’s Suffrage Celebration

The League of Women Voters, along with a host of others, put on a great program this afternoon to commemorate the efforts of the women who made it possible for women to vote. In the audience were relatives whose ancestors were considered  primary movers for that movement.  Joan Growe and Josie Johnson were two of the speakers on the programs and they talked about their experiences. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea paid tribute to Rosalie Wahl, the first woman appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and went on to talk about the increasing number of women in the court system. I hope a taping of the program will be available because all the speakers provided interesting information on the history of voting. And there still remains much to do.

Knowing how much some of the suffragettes endured to achieve the right for women to vote, I find it hard to understand how some women today still don’t take advantage of this opportunity.

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Burnsville Fire Muster 2019

Great to see everyone at the Burnsville Fire Muster Parade on Saturday.  The comfortable weather made it easy to  enjoy the parade as well as all the other festivities. Thanks to all  who participated in this signature community event.

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images.

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Burnsville Landfill Expansion

On the evening of July 10th, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency held a meeting at the Burnsville City Hall to obtain information for the Scoping Document for the Burnsville Landfill Expansion Request. MPCA staff and Burnsville Landfill representatives provided background on the request and the process that will be followed to respond . The MPCA had released the Draft Scoping Document on June 24 for the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill Expansion Project 2019. Verbal concerns were taken the night of the meeting. Questions included concerns about the final  height of the landfill, impact on wildlife, and safety concerns.

Additional comments or concerns need to be submitted in writing. July 24 is the last day to submit comments on the draft Scoping Document.

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Interview on Access to Democracy Program

On Friday 7-12 I interviewed with Mr. Alan Miller on Access to Democracy program which airs on Eagan-TV. Mr. Miller and I had a lively conversation about many topics.

Click below to watch:

You can watch the same on Access to Democracy here,   or   on YouTube here.

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Legislative Process Reform

The Legislative Process Reform Subcommittee held its first meeting on the afternoon of July 10th. the The focus was on the budget process. Testimony was heard from the staff of the Fiscal Analysis Department and House Research who are the main resources in that area.

One comment was that it might be easier to work on budget bills if the information from the November forecast was used rather than waiting for the February forecast. Someone said that model had been used in the past.

Future meetings will be taking place in sites throughout the state.

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Town Hall – July 8, 2019

Senator Jim Carlson and I held a Town Hall Meeting on the evening of July 8 at the Wescott Library in Eagan. Our appreciation to all who attended and participated in this event.

Ruth Grengs was our guest speaker and was kind enough to provide us some background on the activities on  the Mexican border. She has lived in our community for many years. I knew she was an immigration attorney and I also knew she had been to our southern border recently.  While immigration is a federal issue, the current controversy is a concern for many in our community and our state. Given the time constraints, it was suggested to have a discussion just on this topic.

The main focus was the 2019 Session. Highlights include passing a budget, preserving the provider tax to retain health care access for over a million Minnesotans, the Elder Abuse Protection Legislation, and the Hands-free Bill. Disappointments include not passing many of the insulin bills or a comprehensive transportation bill.

One of the comments was on state shut-downs. The gentleman said they are very harmful to state employees. He believes that  when the governor and legislators fail to agree on a budget and shut down state services, they should not receive compensation during that period. Another constituent asked whether it was still possible to have a democracy given the partisanship that seems to make compromises almost impossible.



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