Ward 6 News ~ October 11, 2012

Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member Robert Lilligren

October 11, 2012

Welcoming the Swedes

Last week I had the good fortune to engage two delegations from Sweden that were visiting Minneapolis. The first were government and community representatives who came here to learn about housing, community engagement and economic development with a focus on the Minnesotan Somali community. This is a continuation of an ongoing, six year exchange between Sweden and Minneapolis regarding the success and integration of the Somali immigrants in our two cultures.


This exchanged was launched by the work of Sweden’s Lund University Professor Benny Carlson who published a short scholarly book comparing the relative success of the Somali community in Minnesota to that in Sweden. This book captured the attention of the Swedish public and private sectors at the same time they were seeking ways to better integrate their growing Somali population. I have been able to participate in the dialogue in Minneapolis and twice traveled to Sweden to share my knowledge on this topic. These exchanges have given me greater understanding of the needs and ways to improve the lives of the new arrival communities I represent.


Locally this cultural and transnational dialogue has found an anchor in Minneapolis with the African Development Center  and its Executive Director Hussein Samatar. Hussein, who is a 6th Ward resident, is also an elected member of the Minneapolis School Board. He is the first Somali-American elected official in the United States.  The American Swedish Institute (ASI) has also promoted this important ongoing dialogue which echoes the Swedish immigration to Minnesota of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


There was also a significant event at the American Swedish Institute, housed in the 6th Ward, that prompted a visit of the delegation from Minneapolis’ Swedish Sister City of Uppsala. Uppsala’s mayor, deputy mayor and other officials were honored at our city council meeting on Friday before attending the dedication of the beautiful new Nelson Cultural Center at the American Swedish Institute on Saturday October 6.


The Swedish King and Queen, the American Ambassador to Sweden and the Sweden Ambassador to the U.S., Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Federal Judge Susan Richard Nelson and many other Swedish and American officials were all in the 6th Ward neighborhood of Phillips West – where I live – to attend the dedication of this important addition to the cultural assets of our city and state. I was thrilled to attend the ceremony and represent the people of the Ward. The Nelson Center is an exciting and important addition that will bring many new people to the core city community I represent.  


Robert Lilligren

Mondays with Robert

Council Member Lilligren has always believed that it's important for people like you and me to have access to government. Robert remains committed to that value today. For that reason, Council Member Lilligren makes himself available to community member visits on a walk-in and appointment basis.

You can meet with Robert on the first four Mondays of the month at each of the neighborhoods he represents. Call or email Alondra at 673-2206 or alondra.cano@minneapolismn.gov to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, however - you will be asked to wait if there is a scheduled appointment.

First Monday of the Month
Whittier Alliance, 10 E. 25th Street
9:30am - 11:30am

Second Monday of the Month
Phillips West, 2400 Park Ave.
Center for Changing Lives
9:30am - 11:30am

Third Monday of the Month
Stevens Square, 1925 Nicollet Ave.
9:30am - 11:30am

Fourth Monday of the Month
Ventura Village, 2323 11th Ave. S.
2nd Floor of Phillips Community Center
9:30am - 11:30am

No Office Hours on Monday

Please note that community office hours for Monday, October 15th have been cancelled. If you would like to schedule a meeting with Council Member Lilligren please call our office at 612-673-2206.


Council Member Lilligren joined the Swedish delegation on their arrival night to welcome them to the City.



Swedish Sister City delegation members in Council Chambers receiving their honoring resolution from City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren and the Mayor R.T. Rybak.

From the Office of City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren
350 South 5th Street, City Hall, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Robert.Lilligren@minneapolismn.gov · Ward 6 website · (612) 673-2206

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