April Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

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

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New Zealand solidarity, message of peace

New Zealand attack


It was just in 2017 that we were all shocked by the bomb attack on Dar Al Farooq Mosque in Bloomington by white nationalists. We were fortunate that there was no loss of life, and I can only imagine the horror that New Zealanders have lived through after so many died there. Both close to home and across the world, some will try to divide us and hurt others. We must stand together, stronger than ever. I'm sending my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand and taking this moment to connect with our Muslim communities here in Hennepin County. Everybody is welcome here.

D Line Bus Rapid Transit update



Metropolitan Council staff recently briefed local leaders on the D Line Bus Rapid Transit project, which recently began preliminary engineering. Bus rapid transit is a package of transit enhancements that adds up to a faster trip and and an improved experience on Metro Transit's busiest bus routes. The D Line will substantially replace Route 5 service between Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Bloomington.

Instead of stopping every block, buses will make limited stops at stations spaced farther apart. Fares will be collected at stations — just like light rail — and not on the bus. Raised curbs at platforms will make it easier to step onto the bus. Complete snow removal will improve winter boarding. D Line buses will also communicate with traffic signals to shorten red lights.

The project is awaiting one last appropriation from the state legislature. We are working closely with the Governor and legislative leaders to keep the project on schedule to open in 2022.

Earth Action Challenge

Earth Action Challenge


Hennepin County invites you to participate in the Earth Action Challenge in the week leading up to Earth Day (Monday, April 22). Every day in the week leading up to Earth Day, we’ll focus on an action that you can take to protect the environment and we'll connect you with resources to help you take that action.

Drug Court Graduation

Drug Court


Just last week, Hennepin County Drug Court recognized graduates who overcame addiction and abstained from repeating the behaviors that brought them to court. “Drug Court really surrounded me with the love and care and acceptance of what was going on in my life,” said Lindsay Arf, drug court graduate. “I really mean this when I’m saying I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Drug Court.”

Congratulations to all of our new graduates. We're proud of you.

Hennepin to model economic mobility policy for Gates Foundation program

Gates Foundation

Twenty locally-elected officials from across the country will travel to Hennepin County as well as two other counties who have made concerted efforts and demonstrated some success improving economic mobility in their counties. The group will learn about the barriers and how they were tackled through site visits, peer exchanges, and learning from each other with the hope that they will take these best practices back to their communities.

Hennepin was selected because of its success in creating a Workforce Council to address the skills gap, engaging local leaders across sectors in a comprehensive, community-wide, evaluated program. It has been noteworthy that the County addressed its own hiring challenges and that underserved populations were targeted for services (including the East African community). Other successful Hennepin County programs that address disparities and promote economic mobility will also be highlighted. 

The Gates Foundation has been studying the challenges of economic mobility in the U.S. – why is it that some regions show growth and not others, and within those regions, why are there some neighborhoods which remain in poverty, despite economic prosperity around them?

We are excited to showcase the work we do here.


Pothole season



As you may still remember, this last winter was particularly brutal, and potholes have been a common problem. They do a lot of damage to our vehicles, and they present a variety of dangers to both drivers and pedestrians. Here are a few things you should know about to help solve the problem.

Reporting a pothole

You can find all the information you need at www.hennepin.us/reportaproblem. You can describe the location and nature of the pothole. You can also call dispatch at 612-596-0299 or email at dispatch@hennepin.us. We have anywhere between three and six crews working to fix holes every day on more than 2,200 miles of county roads. It helps to have extra eyes out there to keep track of road conditions.

Making a claim

If your vehicle was damaged by a pothole on a county road, you can initiate a claims process. Before making a claim, you should know that (1) someone must have reported the pothole to us previously; and (2) county crews have up to 72 hours to fix the pothole after the report is made. To make a claim, contact the county at 612-596-0299 or dispatch@hennepin.us.

Spreading the message

Share this information on your social media! The more we work together, the faster we can get our roads back in shape.

Debbie around the district

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

St. Paddy's Day


Attended the Bloomington Human Rights Commission's Welcome Meal at Martin Luther Campus. These ladies were impressively festive.


Community Forum


Met with families at Dar Al Farooq for a community forum focused on child well being. It was a productive dialogue, and we gained many wonderful insights that will improve the services we provide at Hennepin County.

Hennepin County Library

Doug Ohman: State Parks of Minnesota


Doug Ohman: State Parks of Minnesota

Saturday, April 20, 11:00AM-12:00PM
Penn Lake Library | 8800 Penn Ave S, Bloomington

Go on a Minnesota vacation and explore the incredible recreational opportunities in our state! Photographer Ohman has visited all 67 state parks and will share photos, stories, history and personal adventures. Sponsor: Friends of the Penn Lake Library.

Hennepin History Museum

Hennepin History Museum


Exhibit Opening: Inventions & Innovations

Thursday, April 11, 6:00-8:00PM | 2303 3rd Ave S, Mpls

Join the Hennepin History Museum for the Opening Reception of Inventions & Innovations in the Main Gallery, showcasing the men and women of Hennepin who improved our lives through their ingenious inventions and engineering as well as their scientific, artistic, and design contributions.

Many of the items on display are the original iterations of household items in homes across the country, from Honeywell’s damper flapper (the precursor to the thermostat) to NordicWare’s Bundt pans, to Prince’s Minneapolis Sound and Bloomington's Toro lawnmowers.

Throughout the run of the exhibit, Hennepin History Museum will be hosting related programs, starting with a Fireside Chat with Dr. Fred Amram “Celebrating African American Inventors” on Saturday, April 13 from 2 – 4 pm. Additional events and Museum hours can be found on the HHM website.

Road construction

MnDOT and Hennepin County are beginning reconstruction of France Avenue over Highway 62. The bridge and all on-off ramps will be closed between April and July. The project is likely to push more traffic onto Xerxes, Penn, and 66th Street. Read more about the project on the MnDOT website.

35W and Eden Prairie's Flying Cloud Drive are also 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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