July Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

Welcome to the District 5 June newsletter! Scroll down to read more about

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Meet Debbie at the Farmers Market

Richfield Farmers Market

Richfield Farmers Market
Veterans Memorial Park Shelter | 6335 Porland Ave, Richfield
Saturday, July 21 @7am-noon

Get a bunch of blueberries, a mouthful of momos, and a heap of Hennepin at the Farmers Market with me on July 21. I'll be getting feedback from visitors on Hennepin County's 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Kali Courtney joins the District 5 office

Kali Courtney

District 5 has a fresh face in the office as Kali Courtney joins us for an internship this summer. She wrote this piece to introduce herself. Kali, welcome to the team!


Hello, my name is Kali Courtney. I am a recent graduate from Champlain Park High school class of 2018. My educational journey has been filled with trials and tribulations, although it has taught me many things. In the fall of 2018 I will continue my educational journey at Hamline University. There I will pursue Pre-law and Criminal Justice.

Many would say that most eighteen year olds are indecisive about their life goals or plans, I on the other hand know exactly where my passions rest. I chose to pursue Law and Criminal Justice for many reasons, some being that I have a goal of bringing humanity back into politics. Growing up as a double minority, the odds were always against me. I encountered prejudice, racism, and ignorance on a daily basis. Love Works Academy, a K-8th grade charter school in Golden Valley, gave me a break from a lot of that. The majority of the school’s population were students of color; I fit in just perfect. At Love Works, I had support from all of my teachers. If my grades ever fell below a C, an email would be sent to my parents, and my teachers would help me improve. Every year I was on the A/B honor roll, and I felt like I had everything I needed to succeed. Then things changed.

After my parents separated, I moved from North Minneapolis to the western suburbs of Hennepin County, which was a pretty drastic change for me. I began my public school journey in 5th grade, and the most drastic change for me was the lack of diversity. As time went on, my confidence started to diminish. I was no longer an honor roll student every quarter. I often pondered why I didn’t succeed in that setting. Was it because I just wasn’t smart, or was there more? Minnesota has the largest achievement gap in the country, and I’m not immune to the forces that created that gap. One main reason I did not succeed within that school system was the lack of support for me and my peers of color. At Love Works, my teachers pushed me to be great and get A’s and B’s, even though that’s beyond what was required of them. I didn’t have those close relationship to support me at the new public school. It was as if I got thrown into the pool and was expected to know how to swim.

Experiences such as that inspired me to become an activist and policy maker. We need to close the achievement gap, and it’s not impossible. I’ve understood growing up that in order to see change you have to take charge. I feel as if politics and policy has become a desensitized game, so I look forward to bringing the humanity back to it.

4th of July in District 5

4th of July

Summer Fete
Tuesday, July 3 @5-11pm
Normandale Lake Park | 5901 W 84th St, Bloomington

Bloomington's annual Independence Day celebration, Summer Fete, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 3. Kids activities, music, and food vendors will entertain you all night long. Fireworks begin at dusk. For a full schedule and more information, visit the City of Bloomington's website.

Richfield 4th of July

Richfield Red, White, and Blue Days

Monday-Wednesday, July 2-4

Veterans Park and Richfield Ice Arena | 636 E 66th St

Richfield packs three days full of 4th of July fun. Between the Car Show, Family Night, and fireworks, you're sure to have a blast. Join the rest of Richfield at 9:45pm on July 4th for an attempt to set a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most People Lighting A Glow Stick Simultaneously."

More information here.

Eden Prairie 4th of July

4th of July Hometown Celebration

Wednesday, July 4th @7:30am-11:30pm

Round Lake Park | 16691 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie

Compete in the Pickleball Tournament, go canoeing on the lake, and enjoy the atmosphere of the hometown festival on Round Lake. Firework show begins at 10pm. Visit the City of Eden Prairie website for a full schedule and list of activities.

Donate blood and bring two friends

Donate Blood

"Right now" is always the best time to donate blood. I was at the American Red Cross last Friday in Bloomington (505 W 98th Street, next to Festival Foods), which is open for donations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

I'm asking everyone to donate and find two more friends to join them.

Schedule your appointment and find the closest blood drive at https://www.redcrossblood.org.

2018 voting begins

2018 election

Absentee voting for the primary begins on June 29! Visit your city's election website to get more information about how and when you can vote this summer and fall.

Debbie around the district

Since my last newsletter at the beginning of June, here are a few highlights from my work...

Red/Blue divide

Attended "Bridging the Red/Blue Divide" led by Professor Bill Doherty, a founder of Better Angels and University of Minnesota professor. The workshop at Augsburg Park Library was designed to teach people from different sides of the political spectrum how to engage with people who see things differently than you do.

Recognition of Success

My colleagues and I congratulated our Recognition of Success graduates. More than 100 young adults earned their high school diplomas as teen parents, in foster care, or on probation.

Dar Al Farooq

Dar Al Farooq Center opened their doors to the greater Bloomington community and invited us to join them in breaking fast during Ramadan. What a wonderful opportunity to connect with a thriving place of worship. Keep an eye out for events like this coordinated by the Bloomington Human Rights Commission.


Hennepin County facilities staff is constantly innovating to meet our goal of reducing our own energy consumption by 20% over seven years, and we're on track to meet that goal in 2020. Their work saves dollars for our residents and is a valuable contribution to the health and sustainability of the county. We recognized their success at a recent board meeting.

Hennepin County Library


Oxboro Library will close for renovation Saturday, August 18 at 5 p.m.

A partial demolition and rebuild, the project also includes significant infrastructure work. New HVAC systems and windows will increase energy efficiency, the roof will be replaced, and rain garden features will help utilize storm water runoff. The project is scheduled to be completed by next summer.

During the closure, patrons are invited to use other Hennepin County libraries:

  • Penn Lake Library, 8800 Penn Ave S, Bloomington
  • Augsburg Park Library, 7100 Nicollet Ave, Richfield
  • Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave S, Edina

Holds with Oxboro Library designated as the pickup location will automatically change to Penn Lake Library. To select a different pickup location, patrons can call 612-543-KNOW (5669) or make the change in person at any Hennepin County library.

Starting a small business

Pasos básicos para iniciar un negocio/Basic Steps for Starting a Small Business
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 @6:00pm – 7:30pm
Augsburg Park Library | 7100 Nicollet Ave, Richfield

Representantes de la U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hablarán de como comenzar un negocio en Minnesota, que es un plan de negocios y discutirán los programas de préstamos de la SBA – incluyendo préstamos para exportación a otros países. También te daremos a conocer otros recursos que te ayudarán a iniciar tu negocio. Habrá tiempo para preguntas y respuestas. Esta clase será solo en español. Socio: SBA y LegalCORPS.

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will go over basics of starting a business in Minnesota, writing a business plan, and SBA programs and services – including loans on exporting. We will also highlight resources that can help you start your business. Time for Q&A. This class will be presented in Spanish. Partners: SBA, LegalCORPS.

Our Great States

Our Great States
Thursday, July 12, 2018 @1:00pm – 2:00pm
Penn Lake Library | 8800 Penn Ave S, Bloomington

Join MacPhail Teaching Artist Mandi Verstegen for an afternoon of music celebrating our great states! Tennessee Waltz, Yellow Rose of Texas, Sweet Home Alabama, California Girls, and many more will be included! We'll take a road trip through the states, sing favorite tunes, play instruments, and share our memories of states we have visited or called home. Participants of all musical backgrounds from absolute beginner to lifelong musician are welcome! Collaborator: MacPhail Center for Music. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Spark Youth: Mycology – The Study of Mushrooms
Monday, July 23 @3:00pm – 4:00pm
Penn Lake Library | 8800 Penn Ave S, Bloomington

Entering grades 3-5. Grow your own mushrooms! Mushrooms and fungus can be food, poison or medicine. Learn how mushrooms and fungus develop and live, and why we need them. Then cultivate a mycelium (a mushroom starter) that you can bring home and grow. Materials provided. Sponsor: Friends of the Hennepin County Library. Collaborator: Spark-Y Youth Action Labs.

Hennepin History Museum

Hennepin County Government Center Exhibit

Public Reception for Exhibit at Hennepin County Government Center

Tuesday, July 17, 4-6 p.m. 

To commemorate our 80th year, we are presenting an exhibit entitled "Eighty Years of Collecting Hennepin County History" at the Hennepin County Government Center. This exhibit includes artifacts and archival items from all Hennepin County districts. The exhibit and reception are in the lower level gallery.  Free.

Keep an eye on other upcoming exhibits on the Hennepin History Museum website.

Road construction

66th Street in Richfield and Bloomington's Normandale Boulevard are in the midst of major construction projects. Skip the traffic jams and sign up for updates on the projects impacting your commute.

You can also visit the Hennepin County website for updates on road maintenance projects and all other road construction.

Constituent services

Housing crises, energy assistance, child protection, emergency situations; we are here to advocate for you when it comes to navigating local and county services, and we want to help. Please call our office at 612-348-7885 with any questions or for assistance.


Commissioner Debbie Goettel
Hennepin County District 5
Bloomington | Eden Prairie | Richfield
612-348-7885 | debbie.goettel@hennepin.us

Casey Krolczyk
Principal aide
612-348-7885  | casey.krolczyk@hennepin.us

Michael Ohama
Policy director
612-348-7885 | michael.ohama@hennepin.us


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