District 3 March Newsletter

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Commissioner Marion Greene - News from District 3

March 2019

Greetings! We hope our newsletter serves as a resource for staying connected to Hennepin County activities and staying updated on county news and services. 

As always, please reach out with questions, comments, or to learn more about how to get involved.

My best,

marion signature

February brought record setting snowfall to District 3 and the region. Shout out to county staff for staying up late, waking up early, working tirelessly to keep the snow at bay on road and sidewalks, and keeping county facilities accessible.

Thank you!


Opioid Deaths Study Points to Opportunities for Earlier Intervention to Prevent Fatalities

A large proportion of Hennepin County opioid-related deaths in 2015 and 2016 occurred after a jail stay, according to a collaborative study by Hennepin Healthcare, Hennepin County, and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. The finding, reached after an analysis of death and jail records, confirms county officials’ suspicions and suggest opportunities for overdose prevention. 

The study found that more than one-third of opioid deaths in Hennepin County (71/252) occurred within one year of release from custody. Almost a quarter of those occurred within two weeks of release, and more than half were within 90 days. Among people who died from an overdose after a jail stay, 81 percent were incarcerated for at least 24 hours.

In an immediate effort to reduce these deaths, the county workhouse, Sheriff's office, and Hennepin County Board will equip institutional staff with medication to aid opioid- addicted inmates. Deeper work to forge and maintain connections between inmates and addiction services is also underway.

Read more here.

Read Star Tribune coverage here.


Forestry Grants Will Help Reduce Disparities

The board awarded 26 grants that will not only invest in the county's tree canopy, but also the health and economic vitality of communities.

Areas with lower tree canopy cover tend to have starker disparities in air quality, health, income and housing.

Without proactive efforts, the emerald ash borer is likely to worsen these inequities. The invasive tree pest is projected to kill all of the 1 million ash trees in Hennepin County, which make up 15 percent of the tree canopy.

Trees provide many benefits to communities, including:

  • Energy savings and cooling: Trees provide shade to cool our streets, sidewalks and buildings, reducing health impacts from heat waves and reducing energy use.
  • Increased air and water quality: Trees clean our air, reducing health issues like asthma and cardiovascular problems. Trees also capture and filter storm water.
  • Improved health: Trees decrease mental stress and encourage walking.

These benefits are not shared equally across neighborhoods, since many lower-income neighborhoods have fewer trees. Reducing these gaps will help reduce disparities.

Read more here.


Public Defender's Office Highlight


Hennepin County communications highlighted Minneapolis-native Chela Guzman-Wiegart, Managing Attorney in the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office for her dedication to addressing disparities in the criminal justice system. 

I've worked with Chela on initiatives in the past, and am so proud for the county to have her talents at work to improve our community. 

Watch the video here to learn more about Chela, and Public Defender's Office innovative work.

District 3 Profile



Naweed Ahmadzai

Workforce Development Associate



Describe your work.

I coordinate the high school and college level internships for the county, manage the departmental budget, and provide data analytics and evaluation of pathways to employment programs and internships to various stakeholders.

What do you find most enjoyable?  

Working with the youth of our community. For the majority of our high school STEP-UP/Brooklynk students, it is their first time having a professional experience; being part of their onboarding and assisting with helping their professional clout is truly an amazing part of my job. This is only done by our leaders in various levels who are taking the time out of their busy schedules to either host or mentor one of these amazing students who are the workforce of tomorrow.

What part of your job do you find most challenging? 

Changing some of our historical practices can take time just because of the nature of work in the public sector. It does not necessarily mean that it is not possible, but it is only possible through support from our leadership in the county, and we have seen exactly that throughout my time here. It is reflective of the initiatives that are prioritized – whether disparities reduction, workforce development programs, and many other Hennepin County citizen-focused programs.

What is one thing everyone should know about the work you do?

The work we are doing in disparities reduction is something that I would like everyone to know. We have a group of outstanding subject matter experts from various lines of business within the county who have identified gaps within our systems whether it be employment, education, healthcare or any of the other domains, and that there is room for improvement to minimize those gaps. Working alongside this group gives me energy to know that as the largest county in Minnesota and all the resources we have in our hands, we are being proactive rather than reactive.  

Board Briefings

You're invited. In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the County Board often meets for updates on Thursday mornings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made, and topics are subject to change. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public. Call my office to confirm briefing time and location.

Thursday, March 14

  • 9:00am-10:00am: County Attorney's Office Dashboard 
  • 10:00am-11:00am: Youth Sports Grants/ Swim Lessons

Thursday, March 28

  • 9:00am-10:30am: Transportation

County Calendar

House history classes

Learn about the historical resources at the library and across the county that will help you piece together a history of your Hennepin County house, neighborhood or property. See the schedule of classes.

About District 3

D3 Map

The 3rd District serves the city of St. Louis Park, and Southwest and Downtown Minneapolis.

County Information

Contact us

Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Elie Farhat
Principal Aide

Laura Hoffman
District Aide


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