November 2018 News and Updates from Commissioner Higgins

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linda higgins

November 2018

November is a wonderful month. Election Day on November 6. Veterans’ Day, which this year will feature a special event at the flagpole at Victory Memorial Drive commemorating the 100 years that have passed since the World War I armistice. See you at the flagpole at 10 am on Sunday, November 11. Thanksgiving, on November 22, is a day to express gratitude for all who have touched your life in positive ways and kindness.

Be sure to check out all the great upcoming events this month, and think about subscribing to other interesting topics offered by Hennepin County.

Best wishes,

linda higgins signature

Vote and take part in our democracy!


Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. That’s your last day to vote in the 2018 election. Voting in elections gives you a say in important issues that affect your community. Have you made a plan to vote? Absentee from home? Early vote at the Government Center or at an early vote center? Or are you a traditional Election Day voter with your neighbors? Whenever you vote, wherever you vote, don’t forget to turn over the ballot for the Hennepin County races – sheriff, county attorney, judges, and of course the person who will succeed me next year on the Hennepin County Board!

Here are some important links:
Hennepin County Elections 
Check your registration status at the Minnesota Secretary of State voter information portal 
Use the Minnesota Secretary of State's polling place finder
View a Sample Ballot and find out where to vote in person
Register on Election Day at your polling place

World War I Armistice event Sunday, November 11

Armistice image

100-year anniversary will take place at Victory Memorial Drive flagpole

Victory Memorial Drive honors the 568 Hennepin County service men and women who died during World War I.  This year marks 100 years since the armistice was signed, ending “the war to end all wars.”

In remembrance, Hennepin County will host an event on Sunday, November 11 at the Flagpole Plaza located at 45th Avenue North and Victory Memorial Drive. The event begins at 10 am and concludes at 11 am with a moment of silence, followed by the once a year shadow of the flagpole on the sundial marker at 11:11 am, weather permitting.

The event will feature local history about WWI veterans, African American history during and after WWI, performance by musician Robert Robinson, and other engaging speakers and performances. For more information, please click here. Visit Facebook for additional updates.

Did you know? Veterans Day was called Armistice Day from 1919 to 1954.

Library events and activities

Your Hennepin County Library will host Veterans Day and World War I – related events this fall at multiple locations:

Public hearing November 15 on draft Hennepin County 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Comp plan image

Hennepin County will hold a public hearing on Thursday, November 15, at 1:30 pm, or shortly after during the Public Works Committee meeting of the Hennepin County Board in the Board Room A-2400 of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis. The purpose of the hearing is to receive comment on the draft Hennepin County 2040 Comprehensive Plan, shown here:

If you would like a copy of the draft plan, please call 612-348-8992 or email To request sign language interpreter, assisted hearing equipment, or other accommodation, please call 612-348-8992 at least three days before the public hearing.

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 4

daylight savings clock image

Unless you live in Arizona, Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 am Sunday, November 4, which means you’ll want to turn your old-school clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night. Yes, the change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices. If you live in Arizona, you probably aren’t reading my newsletter anyway.

Golden Valley waste-hauling forum Oct. 29

waste hauling truck

Golden Valley residents can learn more about and consider various waste-hauling options for the future. A Waste Hauling Forum is coming up Monday, October 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Golden Valley’s City Hall Council Chambers.

Under Golden Valley’s current open system, residents contract individually with a hauler of their choice for trash collection, while recycling collection is provided through a single hauler contracted by the City. The Council’s decision to study trash collection results from questions and discussions over several years. Additionally, the City may need to prepare for changes in the marketplace and public policy, such as interest in the curbside collection and composting of organic waste.

“Getting to the Heart of the Matter, A History of Cardiac Care” exhibit at Hennepin Gallery through November 28

HCMC hospital

The Hennepin Medical History Center (Center) presents an exhibit, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter, A History of Cardiac Care,” in the Hennepin County Government Center Government Gallery. The displays illustrates the history of cardiac care and the special contributions and innovations by our medical pioneers past and present and our local medical device companies.  The history includes evolution of care, crash carts, pacemakers, resuscitation and emergency medical services. The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6 pm, at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis.

Do you want to drive a bus, snowplow, or other commercial vehicle?

CDL license info sessions

Hennepin County Career Connections

Attend a free Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) informational session to get more information. Space is limited to the first 100 people. Sponsored by Hennepin County, Metro Transit, the State of Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Works, Ramsey County, the City of St. Paul, Hired, and First Transit. See flyer for more information.

  • Thursday, November 15 10 am to 12 pm Minneapolis North Regional Library 1315 Lowry Ave. N.
  • Tuesday, December 4 1 to 3 pm North Minneapolis Workforce Center 800 W. Broadway Ave.

Free sessions include:

  • Meeting with potential employers
  • Overview of the available jobs
  • How to earn and maintain a commercial driver’s license
  • Question and answer session

News you can use from the Hennepin County Library


Ridgedale Library is back in business

The new and improved library had been closed for more than a year while undergoing a $7 million transformation.

The renovation includes:

  • An open and easy-to-navigate floor plan
  • Quiet study, family reading, and collaborative work spaces
  • Interactive learning elements for youth, from preschool to teens, to work and play together
  • Large windows that flood the space with natural light

Visit the new Ridgedale Library this fall! Click here for location and hours.

Unmasking Brain Injury in Minnesota

Unmasking, a Cargill Hall exhibit at Minneapolis Central Library, is a statewide, community-based art project that aims to give voice to survivors and caregivers of those affected by brain injury. The series of handmade masks communicate altered outlooks and unique perspectives on life with a brain injury, while also advocating for respect, compassion, and opportunity. Open now through November 29. Learn more here.

Recommended reading

Looking for inspiration on what to read next? The Hennepin County Library recently asked its Pen Pals community to share their favorite nonfiction book picks. View the audience-curated reading list here.

TONIGHT: Final event to explore “Where do we go from here?”

Housing rights

Over the course of several months, the “Racism, Rent and Real Estate” event series has explored the history of racial discrimination and segregation in housing in Minneapolis and Hennepin County. In the final event, we will pivot to the future: How do we not only recognize but reverse the legacy of systemic racial discrimination and reframe solutions that both repair harm and meet community-identified needs? The closing event is TONIGHT October 25, from 6-8 pm at Sabathani Community Center (310 E. 38 St., Minneapolis) as participants consider how to “reframe” the housing issues — and solutions — that we face today. Free.

Speakers and presenters will include:
C Terrence Anderson, Director of Community-Based Research Programs at the UMN Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA); Nelima Sitate-Munene, Executive Director of African Career, Education and Resource, Inc. (ACER); Shannon Jones, Executive Director at Hope Community Inc.; Heather Worthington, Director of Long Range Planning, City of Minneapolis Government; and a video screening from Free Truth media. Register here. 

Choose to Reuse this Halloween


Halloween is a time for carving pumpkins, dressing up in spooky costumes, trick or treating and this year – choosing to reuse! Hennepin County has partnered with 50 reuse retailers to offer Choose to Reuse coupons with discounts through October, just in time for Halloween.

Check out what Choose to Reuse retailers offer instead of buying new this Halloween. 

Find a unique costume at one of the Choose to Reuse clothing stores. Many reuse retailers offer deals on Halloween costumes for adults and children, Dig into a spooky read from Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore or Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore. You’ll find books with great Halloween stories and save 20% on your purchase.

Crank up the creepy tunes to get in the Halloween spirit! Many reuse music retailers such as Down in the Valley and Electric Fetus offer discounted scary sound effects or eerie background music that is perfect for a Halloween party.

Youth Sports grant deadline is November 5

Youth Sports

The Hennepin Youth Sports Program makes grants to local governments to improve youth athletic and recreation facilities and purchase capital equipment. State law authorizing the construction of Target Field allows Hennepin County to use proceeds from the 0.15% sales tax surcharge to award more than $2 million each year for sports facilities and equipment.

The 2019 Facility and Fall Equipment Applications are now available. Send or deliver three sets of the application by 4 pm on Monday, November 5 to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, 1750 – 105th Avenue NE, Blaine, MN 55449. Visit the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission web page for application instructions.

Learn how to become a Housing Support (GRH) provider in Hennepin County!

Want to become a Housing Support (GRH) provider with Hennepin County or grow an existing Housing Support program? This training is for you. Attendees will come away better equipped to apply to be a Housing Support provider during upcoming Hennepin County Request For Proposals opportunities.

Tuesday December 4, 9:30 to 11:30 am
Brookdale Library Room ABC
6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy.  Brooklyn Center

Learn about:

  • How to get a Housing Support Agreement with Hennepin County
  • Housing models Hennepin County will fund, including funds for housing and supportive services
  • Housing best practices and county priority populations who need housing

This training is right for you if you:

  • Are thinking about starting/expanding a housing program for individuals with disabilities or disabling conditions, and want to know about housing models Hennepin County will fund
  • Are a Home and Community Based Services provider, have a Comprehensive Home Care license, or provide other licensed services, and want to house clients using Housing Support

Interested in discussing your ideas in detail or have specific questions? Get one-on-one technical assistance with members of Hennepin County’s Housing Support team during the event.

 Space is limited to 80 participants. Registration is requested by Monday, November 26.

Please register by calling 612-596-6631 or email Please provide your contact information and reference that you want to attend the Housing Support Provider Orientation session on December 4. Questions? Call 612-543-2208 or email

Board news

October 9

CDC grant will expand outreach to prevent lead poisoning

The board accepted $405,706 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand outreach in communities at risk of lead poisoning, with a focus on immigrant and refugee populations.

This outreach work will build on existing efforts. Hennepin County has helped nearly 4,600 households fix lead paint hazards in their homes. 

Hennepin County will hire a full-time employee charged with increasing lead exposure screening rates and improving outreach to families affected by lead exposure. Part of this work will involve identifying at-risk populations and building partnerships with community organizations.

View the full board action.

Learn more about resources for lead paint hazards

Board approves design for mental and chemical health triage space  

The board approved the initial design for an Intake and Triage Center that will be constructed in summer 2019 on the first floor of the 1800 Chicago building in Minneapolis. The center, now in its pilot phase, will respond to immediate mental health and addiction crises, provide medical care, and link people to resources that support well-being. This action is part of a larger effort to transform this facility into the Behavioral Health Center that can address immediate needs as well as root causes of behavioral health conditions.

Learn more about this action.

Program will provide housing services for people living at homeless encampment  

The board accepted $214,209 from the state to provide supports and temporary housing to residents of the homeless encampment in Minneapolis experiencing substance use disorders. Hennepin County will contract with American Indian Community Development Corporation to provide these resources at the former Kateri Residence, which is near the encampment.

Read more about this action.

Board appoints interim library director

The board appointed Janet Mills as interim Hennepin County Library director. Mills is currently a division manager for the library system and brings knowledge of day-to-day library operations to this role. The county will conduct a national search for a permanent director. 

Learn more about this action.

October 25

Funding will direct people toward services and away from criminal justice system

The board accepted $1 million of federal funding to establish medical services and social supports for people facing mental health and addiction crises.

U.S. departments of Justice and Health and Human Services granted the county funding to expand the Behavioral Health Center in Downtown Minneapolis. The center links people in crisis to health, human services and community resources and provides another option for people who might otherwise go to jail or the hospital.

Funding will also expand a program that embeds mental health social workers with law enforcement. Social workers help de-escalate crises and connect people with follow-up services. The police department piloted this model in September 2017 in south Minneapolis and is expanding it to downtown Minneapolis.

View more about the Department of Justice grant.

View more about the Department Health and Human Services grant.

Grant will support academic, social and emotional outcomes for students

The board accepted a $500,000 federal grant to implement the Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) model at four Hennepin County high schools with a high proportion of county-involved youth. As part of the BARR model, teachers build relationships with students to increase success and wellness inside and outside of school. The county-involved youth population includes teens in the foster care or juvenile justice systems; teens experiencing homelessness; and teens who are pregnant or parenting.

Find out more about this grant.

Board appoints Hennepin Health executive director

The board appointed Anne Kanyusik Yoakum as executive director of Hennepin Health, the organization that provides health-care coverage to county residents enrolled in a Minnesota health-care program. Kanyusik Yoakum is currently serving as acting executive director and most recently served as chief compliance and privacy officer for Hennepin Health.

Board appoints member to Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Board

The board appointed Robert Cutshall to the watershed district board.



Friday, October 26, 10am to 12pm
Tiny Tot Halloween Party. Logan Park will be hosting a Halloween Party just for children under the age of 6. Logan Park, 690 13th Ave. NE.

Sunday, October 28, 1 to 4pm
1st Annual HERO-ween. Indoor trick-or-treating throughout the Fire Museum and meet your local heroes from fire, police, and paramedics! 664 22nd Ave. NE.

Wednesday, October 31, 6 to 7:30pm
Spooktacular Night. Trick and treat at the park for a family fun event. Bottineau Park, 2000 2nd St. NE

Wednesday, October 31, 6 to 8pm
Halloween Party. Join Upper Northeast Parks, as they celebrate the scariest night of the year. Enjoy some food, games, and entertainment. Windom Northeast Park, 2251 NE Hayes St.

Monday and Wednesdays, November 1, 7, and 21, 11am to 2pm
Employer of the Day Hiring Event. Looking for a job in customer service, hospitality, or janitorial and maintenance work? This on-site hiring event is just for you. 1700 2nd St. NE.

Saturday, November 3, 9am to 4pm
Hunting Widows Arts and Crafts Fair. Local crafters will display their wares, and the church will sell craft items made by members from the produce of its community garden. Northeast United Methodist Church, 2510 Cleveland St. NE

Saturday, November 17, 6 to 8pm
Jammin' at Northeast. Get your groove on at our NEW program for adults with developmental disabilities. Once a month, join your friends for a night of dancing and socializing to the best classic and new dance jams.Northeast Rec. Center, 1530 Lincoln St. NE. 

Friday, November 23, 12pm, and Saturday, November 24, 5pm
The Minneapolis Craft Market returns to Sociable Cider Werks with two #shoplocal events on Thanksgiving weekend. Friday, November 23: Plaid Friday, a shop local alternative to Black Friday and Sociable Cider Werks anniversary party. Saturday November 24: celebrated nationally as Small Business Saturday. 1500 Fillmore NE.

Thursdays, November 29, December 6, 13, and 20, 5 to 9pm
Minneapolis Craft Market returns to Sociable Cider Werks for a series of holiday markets inside the taproom featuring handcrafted goods and foods by local makers, along with live music. 1500 Fillmore NE.

North Loop

Wednesdays in November, 6pm
Trivia Mafia. Underground Music Cafe, located down the block from Target Field, is bringing some early-evening trivia to their street-level fun bunker every Wednesday night. Underground Music Café, 408 3rd Ave. N.

Thursday, November 8, 7 to 10pm
City Page Iron Fork. A flavorful evening of cocktails, cuisine and competition. This year it is “All About Brunch!” Admission starts at $30 per person. International Market Square, 275 Market St.


Sunday, October 28, 1 to 3:30pm
Animal Masquerade Party. Come dressed as your favorite animal to enjoy an afternoon of games, dancing and fun. It may not be so spooky, but you can disguise your identity in natural style by making a leaf mask to complete your costume. North Mississippi Regional Park, 5116 North Mississippi Dr.

Tuesday, October 30, 6 to 8pm
2018 Halloween Party at Harrison Park. For ages pre-k through 5th grade. Music, games, prizes and much more. Harrison Park, 503 Irving Ave. N.

Wednesday, October 31, 6 to 8 pm
Halloween Spooktactular at Farview Park. For all ages. Farview Park, 621 29th Ave. N.

Wednesday, October 31, 6 to 8 pm
Trunk or Treat at Folwell Park. An alternative to the traditional idea of going house to house trick or treating. Each trunk will be decorated and some will even have games to play in-between. Folwell Park, 1615 N. Dowling Ave.

Thursday, November 1, 5 to 7pm
The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery  (MAAHMG) is excited to present an art exhibition featuring photography by Walter Griffin and paintings by Beverly Tipton Hammond. The exhibit “Grace” tells the visual story of African American women wearing hats, often called church hats, which has cultural and spiritual significance in the African American community. The exhibit also includes a collection of hats provided by Kevin Henderson of Mr. H’s hats. An opening reception will be held November 1. The artists will be present and will have works for sale. The free exhibit runs from November 1, 2018, through January 31, 2019. 1256 Penn Ave. N.

Saturday, November 3, 1 to 4pm
What would you do with 1 million dollars? On November 3, Northside Neighborhood Council will be inviting the community, activists, community leaders, city staff, and elected representatives – to host a conversation around what the Neighborhoods 2020 system has lacked, and how it must improve. Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Ave. N.

Saturday and Sunday, November 10, 7 to 8:30pm and 11, 3 to 4:30pm Legends at the Capri Theater. “Stand by Me” A Tribute to the Music of Leiber and Stoller starring Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears. Tickets $25 or $20 each for groups of 10 or more. The Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway.

Sundays November 11 and 18, 12 to 5pm
Minneapolis Craft Market is thrilled to bring the bustling holiday artisan-made markets to new brewery La Doña Cervecería in the Harrison neighborhood. The market will host Dulceria Bakery, as well as a food truck to keep shoppers fed throughout the event. Get a jump start on your holiday gift buying, all with a beer in hand!  

Friday, November 23, 11am to 3pm
Nature’s Black Friday Fun. Opt for outside this year for naturalist programming and self-guided nature exploration activities. Hike the park, build a fort, go on a scavenger hunt, play games and more. North Mississippi Regional Park, 5116 N. Mississippi Dr.

Golden Valley

Friday and Saturday, November 2, 3, and 10, 8am to 1pm
Fall Leaf Drop-off. Dispose of leaves at no charge. Brookview Park, 200 Brookview Pkwy.

Saturday, November 10, 9:30am to 3:30pm
Christmas Craft Fair. Find unique gifts during the holiday season. Covenant Village, 5800 St. Croix Ave. N.

Bryn Mawr

Thursday, November 15, 6 to 8:30pm
Bryn Mawr Harvest Dinner. Potluck dinner and chance to compete with others for the best dish. The BMNA provides the main meal, with salads, chili, squash and other sides, and dessert brought by those who attend. Bryn Mawr Elementary School, 252 Upton Ave. S.

Medicine Lake

Thursday, November 8, 6:30 to 7pm
Plymouth Lions Club dinner meeting. Medicine Lake City Hall. 10609 S. Shore Dr.


Friday, October 26, 6 to 9pm
Halloween at the Creek. Halloween fun for the whole family! Carnival games, inflatables, entertainment, prizes, treats and more! Preregister to ensure your family’s participation. Adults $5, Kids $10. (by Friday, October 26, 4:30pm); $12 per person at the door. Cost includes a pizza slice and beverage. Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. N.

Tuesday, October 30, 6pm to 8pm
First-ever Truck or Treat Open House by the Plymouth Fire Department. Stop by the nearest fire station to see fire trucks, police equipment and other public safety vehicles. Halloween costumes are welcome. For information and locations:

Thursday, November 8, 7pm
The Harbor Revue. Comedy tailored for adult audiences, the Harbor Review is a new monthly variety show held at Plymouth Creek Center’s Black Box Theatre. $10 at the door. Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. N.

St. Anthony

Monday, October 29, 6:30 to 8pm
Why Books Matter. Friends of the St. Anthony Library and the Legacy of St. Anthony are co-sponsoring an Author Talk with William Kent Krueger titled “Why Books Matter.” Legacy of St. Anthony, 2540 Kenzie Terrace

Multiple communities

Friday, November 2, 12 to 4pm
Day of the Dead Celebration / Dia de los Muertos. Art, culture, dance, entertainment and much more. East Phillips, 2399 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis

Sunday’s, November 4, 9am to 12pm and 25, 4 to 7:20pm
Minnesota Vikings Pre-game Festivities. The Minnesota Vikings host free family-friendly activities at The Commons in the three hours before kickoff against the Detroit Lions on November 4 and Green Bay Packers on November 25. The Commons, East Block, 425 Portland Ave., Minneapolis.

Saturday, November 10, 9:30am to 4pm
Fall Urban Craft and Art Fair. Over 50 local crafters and artists present their handmade gifts, arts, and jewelry. Nokomis Rec Center, 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy., Minneapolis


Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

You can also send comments via my feedback form.

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Jeff Vang
Administrative Secretary

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