Thursday, November 18, 2010

Common Cents: Weigh In on Taxes and Spending

At the Citizens League Annual Meeting and Civic Celebration last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a demo of the new Common Cents project that is engaging Minnesotans in conversations about the state budget crisis. Some 25 workshops, open to the public, will take place across the state in the next month and will hopefully enlighten enlighten both citizens as well as the state legislature and their policy-making process. Check out the schedule below and sign up for a chance to weigh in on taxes and spending for the common good in Minnesota!

Common Cents: Minnesotans Weigh in on Taxes and Spending

Contact: Stacy Becker at stacybecker[at] or 651-295-4033

With funding from the Bush Foundation, the Citizens League is launching a series of 25 statewide community workshops, giving Minnesotans an opportunity to weigh in on the troublesome state budget crisis.

The workshops are informative, fast-paced and interactive -- illuminating the current reality of the state budget, examining future trends, and asking participants to identify values and priorities they think should help frame state budget decisions for the coming decade and beyond.

Findings will be presented to our newly elected governor and Legislature in January 2011.

How to participate:

  1. Attend a workshop: Twenty-five workshops will be held around Minnesota, Nov. 4 - Dec. 15. See below for a full listing and links to register.
  2. Volunteer to be a table captain: We need 10 table captains for each of the workshops. Table captains will record key points raised by participants, administer budget games, and keep discussions rolling. Please contact Maya Petrovic at mapetrovic[at] or 612-859-1515 to sign up.
  3. Participate in the Common Cents state budget project on CitiZing®:
    • Take a quick, weekly budget poll
    • Join the discussion: What values and priorities should guide budget decisions? (Nov. 5 - Dec. 16)
    • Weigh In: Give your feedback on survey and discussion materials (Nov. 5 - Dec. 16)
    • Preliminary Findings: Have we heard you right? (Dec. 20-31)
    • Conclusion: Now help get the word out at the Capitol (Jan. 1-15)

As part of the project, TakeAction Minnesota, a statewide community organizing group, will lead a series of workshops to engage people from underrepresented communities. The state budget impacts the lives of all Minnesotans and people of color in particular. If Minnesota is to meet the demographic and economic challenges it faces, it's important that policy makers hear the priorities, concerns and hopes leaders of underrepresented communities have for the state.

Workshop schedule:

Click on the links below to register for the workshops.

Columbia Heights
Thursday, November 4

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Columbia Heights Senior Center, John P. Murzyn Hall
530 Mill Street NE

Monday, November 8

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Southdale Library, Ethel Berry Room
7001 York Ave. S

Monday, November 8

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Robert Trail Library
14395 S. Robert Trail

St. Paul (Highland)
Tuesday, November 9

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Hillcrest Community Rec Center
1978 Ford Parkway

Minneapolis (NE)
Thursday, November 11

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Logan Community Center
690 13th Ave. NE

Monday, November 15

600 - 8:00 p.m.
"Rock" RRCC Range Recreation Civic Center
901 Hat Trick Avenue

Monday, November 15

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Stillwater Public Library
224 3rd St. N

Tuesday, November 16

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Duluth Heights Recreation Center
33 W. Mulberry St.

Maple Plain/Long Lake
Tuesday, November 16

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Maple Plain Library
5184 Main St. E

Wednesday, November 17

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Rochester Community and Technical College, Heinz Commons
851 30th Ave. SE

St. Paul (Rondo)
Wednesday, November 17

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 Dale St. N

Albert Lea
Thursday, November 18

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Albert Lea City Hall, Council Chambers
221 E Clark St.

Minneapolis (SW)
Thursday, November 18

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Washburn Public Library
5244 Lyndale Ave. S

Monday, November 22

5:45 - 7:45 p.m.
Rum River Library
4201 6th Ave.

St. Cloud
Monday, November 22

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Atwood Memorial Center, Glacier Rm.
720 4th Ave. South

Tuesday, November 23

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Winona City Hall, Council Chambers
207 Lafayette St.

Grand Rapids
Monday, November 29

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Grand Rapids Public Library
111 Library St. NE

Monday, November 29

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Willmar Public Library
410 5th St. SW

Tuesday, November 30

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Bemidji Public Library
509 America Ave. NW

Tuesday, November 30

5:45 - 7:45 p.m.
Douglas County Public Library
720 Fillmore St.

Thief River Falls
Wednesday, December 1

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Northland Community & Technical College, Room 601
1101 Highway One East

Wednesday, December 1

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Brainerd Public Library
416 S 5th St.

Detroit Lakes
Tuesday, December 7

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
City Hall, Council Chambers
1025 Roosevelt Ave.

Wednesday, December 8

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Moorhead Public Library
118 5th St. S

Wednesday, December 15

6:30-8:30 p.m.
Nobles County Government Center, Farmers Room
315 10th Street
*Note location change*

Find more information and join the discussion at

Thanks to the Bush Foundation for their generous support!

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