Ward 6 News ~ December 10, 2012

Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member Robert Lilligren

December 10, 2012

Remembering Louise Laugen

 

Saturday, December 1, 2012 was a somber day. The weather was so grey that my outdoor holiday lights, which are controlled by a light sensor switch set to turn off when it gets light out, were lit all day. It was World Aids Day when we remember those friends and neighbors we have lost to AIDS, support those who struggle with HIV/AIDS every day and raise awareness to stop the spread of the virus. And the community joined to pay tribute to a friend and neighbor we lost almost a year ago.

 

On December 30, 2011 Louise Laugen, a resident of Ebenezer Park Apartments at 2700 Park Avenue, was struck by a car and killed while walking across Park at 27th. Louise’s neighbors, while morning their loss, took action to improve pedestrian safety at that intersection. The community organized, engaged city and county officials, and demanded that something be done to make it safer for the hundreds of residents – many with mobility challenges, sight or hearing impairments (and sometimes both).

 

From the start of this effort, I was supportive of the residents’ demands. For years I had listened to stories from those living in the 27th and Park area about the barriers created by the inability to walk across Park at 27th. My constituents could not get to medical and other appointments; they missed opportunities to socialize; and they did not feel safe in their own neighborhood because of the conditions.

 

Ebenezer Park Apartments has been my polling location since I moved to the Phillips area in 1982. A few years back when I went to vote I witnessed something that really made me determined to see pedestrian safety improvements at 27th and Park. As I locked up my bike to go in and vote I noticed a couple waiting to cross Park at 27th. The woman used a motorized wheelchair and the man carried a white cane and was apparently blind. I went inside, talked to a few constituents, voted and returned to bike some 15 minutes later and the same couple was still waiting to cross! 

 

With the full signalization at 27th Park, hopefully all residents – regardless of abilities – will be able to easily cross the street. The event on Saturday, December 1st was to remember the loss of Ms. Laugen, but it was in many ways a community celebration. Louise’s friends and neighbors reflected that her loss prompted them and their governmental partners to action. They spoke and we listened. Many who spoke at the event, including me, feel that this response added meaning to this sad loss.

 

I am proud of my constituents’ activism on this. It was firm, yet positive, and outcome focused and kept the wellbeing of the community at heart.

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


Please note that Monday, Dec. 17,  community office hours are cancelled due to ward work week.


Louise

Council Member Lilligren speaks at the Ebenezer Park Apartments gathering in rememberance of Louise Laugen.

 

Plaque

A special plaque for Louise Laugen was made by the Ebenezer Park Apartments community to help everyone remember the importance of coming together to take action and address issues in our community.

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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