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Civi Rules!

Civi Blog - 18 hours 27 min ago

Last year we worked together with MAF Norway on the TriggerAction extension to help them with their fundraising donor journeys. They were able to find some initial funding so we developed like mad for a week to be able to start. The TriggerAction extension was a result of that hard work, and MAF Norway presented this at the London CiviCon on 25th September 2014.

Even though we are proud of what we managed to achieve in such a small timeframe and the MAF Norway is actually using the extension, we all think we need a second development sprint to improve the concept. We hope the session at CiviCon will help to find some additional funding and are really happy that MAF Norway wants to commit some of their budget once more for a next phase. We are planning for a sprint in the end of January 2015, and hopefully an additional one somewhere in March.

Jaap Jansma and me are now at the Edale CiviCRM sprint doing some of the ground work of what will be the extension CiviRules. Last year we developed like mad, this time we really want to have better preparation and think before we act :-) So we have been working on a framework and mockups. We are quite excited about what we have done so far, which is based on the Drupal Rules module. We decided not to 'simply' do some integration with the Rules module because that would mean only fundraising organisations using Drupal could benefit from our work. We think it is going to be important stuff for all fundraisers (and indeed for the whole community of CiviCRM users), so we want to develop this as a CMS independent CiviCRM extension.

CiviRules will have a combination of Events, Conditions and Actions. We invite you all to have a look at our wiki page http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRM/CiviRules+extension . We would love feedback, and really hope that some other organisations will be prepared to fund some of the development too! If you are, please drop us a mail at erik.hommel@civicoop.org.

Drupal 8.0.0 beta 1 released

Drupal News - 21 hours 50 min ago

Drupal 8.0.0-beta1 has just been released for testing and feedback! This key milestone is the work of over 2,300 people who have contributed more than 11,500 committed patches to 15 alpha releases, and especially the 234 contributors who fixed 177 "beta blocker" issues. To read about the new features in Drupal 8, see Drupal.org's Drupal 8 landing page.

Drupal 8 beta 1 for testers

Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch if necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.

Start by downloading Drupal 8.0.0-beta 1 and installing it! Drupal 8 definitely still has bugs, and we need your help to discover them. Let us know what bugs you find in the Drupal core issue queue. (Please search the known issues before filing.)

Drupal 8 beta 1 for module and core developers

The main differences between the previous Drupal 8 alphas and the new beta are:

  • The fundamental APIs in Drupal 8 (like the entity, configuration, and menu APIs) are now stable enough so that contributed module and theme authors can start (or resume) their #D8CX pledges and port their projects to Drupal 8.
  • We have locked down Drupal 8's data model enough that developers should generally not need to perform data migrations between beta releases of Drupal 8. We will start providing a beta-to-beta upgrade path in a later beta release.
  • Limited API and data model changes will still happen, though core maintainers will try to isolate these changes to only non-fundamental APIs or critical bug fixes.

We need your help to fix critical bugs by reviewing patches and creating patches.

If you're new to core development, check out Core contribution mentoring, a twice-weekly IRC meeting where you can get one-on-one help getting set up and finding a Drupal 8 task.

Drupal 8 beta 1 for designers, translators, and documentation writers

Drupal 8's user interface, interface text, and markup are not finalized until the first release candidate, so it's too early to focus on user-facing documentation, translations, or themes (though by all means, adventurous contributors should start now to provide feedback while we can still fix things). Note that localize.drupal.org does not yet support the full Drupal 8 API and does not have all translatable strings.

When does 8.0.0 get released?

Beta 1 will be followed by a series of additional beta releases with bug fixes, performance improvements, and improved stability.

The release version of Drupal 8.0.0 will be ready after there are no more critical issues (as of today, there are 97 remaining) and we've had at least one release candidate (RC) without adding any more critical issues to the list.

When will that be? "When it's ready." The more people help, the faster we can find and fix bugs, and the faster 8.0.0 gets released. The faster 8.0.0 gets released, the faster we can start adding new features for Drupal 8.1.0. So help out where you can, and let's deliver the best release of Drupal ever! :)

Thank you!

A massive thank-you to everyone who helped get Drupal 8 beta 1 done, especially the contributors who have focused on beta-blocking issues (pictured below).

Front page news: Planet DrupalDrupal version: Drupal 8.x

Hodges joins White House effort to aid minority males

StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-09-30 19:47
My Brother’s Keeper task force aims to provide better services to improve lives of young minority males in 145 U.S. cities, tribes.

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | October-November 2014 Standish-Ericsson community calendar

Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

October

7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

November

4 General election. Get out and vote!
5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

October

7 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
8 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Nokomis Healthy Seniors: Who We Are and What We Can Do for You,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
9 Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
10 “Identity” Art Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
13 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
SENA Board meeting, 1830 E. 42nd St., 7:00 p.m., handicapped accessible
17 Second Annual SENA Chili Fest, Sibley Park, 5:00–7:30 p.m.
18 Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, Roosevelt Library (4026 28th Ave. S.), 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
21 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
23 Senior blood pressure checks, Standish Green (2210 E. 40th St.), 12:00 noon
Caregiver Support Group, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 1:00 p.m.
25 Last Saturday for Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E. Lake St.), 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
30 Lunch and a movie, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church, 11:15 a.m.

November

4 General election. Get out and vote!
5 Senior congregate dining, Sibley Park (19th Ave. S. and E. 40th St.), 11:30 a.m.
10 Dementia Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living (3733 23rd Ave. S.), 2:00–4:00 p.m.
12 Nokomis Healthy Seniors Health Program: “Recycling: New Updates,” Nokomis Square Cooperative (5015 35th Ave. S.), 1:30 p.m.
SENA Annual Meeting, Lake Hiawatha Park Bldg. (2701 E. 44th St.), 6:30–8:30 p.m.
13 Bingo, Nokomis Healthy Seniors, Bethel Lutheran Church (4120 17th Ave. S.), 11:00 a.m.
Community knitting group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
18 Parkinson’s Support Group, Minnehaha Senior Living, 3:30–4:15 p.m.
19 Prospective Family–8th Grade Information Night, Roosevelt High School (4029 28th Ave. S.).
25 Minnehaha Falls of Fun, Minnehaha Park, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
31 Halloween party and trick or treating, Sibley Park, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

© 2014 Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association

    Docs and Walks

    Civi Blog - Tue, 2014-09-30 13:22

    After the excitement of CiviCon with new features and extensions being discussed, the Civi Sprinters are hard at work improving and finalising these for release, as well as discussing future plans. 

    However not all of us can bask in the glory of cool features and improvements. The documentation team have been hard at work attempting to improve the Civi Book.

    The 4.5 version of the book has recently been released, updated with new 4.5 features and interface changes. In addition to this the membership section was restructured into a (hopefully) more meaningful and usable structure. At this years sprint we are working on the events section in an attempt to restructure it in a similar way. The aims are to ensure the documentation is up to date, get it into a more logical structure for end users and removing duplication of content. Watch this space for a new book release!  

    After restructuring documentation all day, it was time to restructure and refresh our heads with a countryside walk with the Civi Sprint team. We lucked out with weather and headed up the hill above the farmhouse we are staying in for some spectacular views.

               

     

    Report finds hazards at U's Rosemount site

    StarTribune Mpls News - Tue, 2014-09-30 11:50
    Health Department report seeks public comment on site.

    Using CiviCRM with $120,000 Google Grant

    Civi Blog - Tue, 2014-09-30 11:33

    Finding enough money in your budget to market your organization effectively can be challenging. Most nonprofit organizations need to focus their limited resources on providing programs and services. Google makes it easier for nonprofits with Google Ad Grants. That, in combination with CiviCRM provides a power engine fueling your marketing, outreach and CRM needs.

    So let’s start with Google Grants...

    GoogleGrants gives $120,000 per year of free advertising to each nonprofit which meets the requirements of the program (http://www.google.com/grants/eligibility.html).

    What does this mean? Anytime you Google a word or phrase, there will be results at the top of the page and in the sidebar that returns relevant results. Most of the time, this is paid search (which is very different from organic search, but that’s a different topic for a different day.)

    So $120,000 a year: this breaks down to approximately $329 per day or $10,000 per month. This is a modified version of their popular Adwords advertising program, enabling you to:

    • Raise public awareness of your organization;
    • Promote specific programs and events;
    • Garner monetary and volunteer support, and
    • Measure the effectiveness of your advertisements. 

    ​How does the Adwords advertising program work? With your grant you will be utilizing three (3) related elements:

    1. A series of “Ad Groups”: sets of text-only advertisements, each set highlighting one of your programs, services or events;
    2. Keywords”: A set of related search terms for each ad group which would lead people to one or more of the ads in the group. Each term you use must purchased at a cost in a form of “bid”; and,
    3. A “Landing Page”: a dedicated page on your website which is specific to the program, service or event being advertised in the ad group which also includes a “call to action” (request for donation, newsletter sign-up, or something similar). This type of landing page and functionality is easily created using CiviCRM. CiviCRM landing pages support your ad campaign and enable you to best use the grant itself.

    Sounds simple, yet requires experience, testing and regular monitoring to be successful. Google uses a complex algorithm which scores your “ad quality” based on a combination of these elements. Based on that quality score, they determine whether your ad can be displayed or not. Since the cost of a keyword term can change based on bids by other organizations for the same or similar phrase, your high scoring ad can quickly be too expensive to continue to include in your list of terms.

    There are a few constraints to the Ad Grant program which can contribute to the challenge of competing for ad space:

    • You can only bid a maximum of $2.00 for a term: If the keyword you are trying to use is also targeted by commercial business or a government organization who is willing to pay more than $2.00 for the same term, you will be outbid and unable to compete for that term.
    • Your advertisements cannot include an image: Your ads can only contain text.
    • Your ads can only be placed on the Google network results pages: Google has other business partners who typically display their advertising (“search partners”) but these result pages are not available for your ads.
    • Certain terms are reserved for commercial customers: Certain retail sales terms are reserved for commercial use only. This typically is only an issue if you are selling products in some form of an online shopping experience.

    With these constraints in mind, where you can have the most control over ad quality is in your landing page content and construction. CiviCRM allows you to create pages to enhance your “ad quality score”.

    So what goes into a great landing page?

    Here’s an example of a landing page on our site redesign/ CiviCRM implementation for Adrenal Insufficiency United, and below the image are some aspects we kept in mind while building it.

    1. Not too many options: You want clear, concise copy that’s directing the user to exchange their information (name, email, contact info) for something of value to them. This could be your nonprofit’s programs, a volunteer inquiry, or information someone is submitting to receive help on something. In the screenshot above, this is indicated as callout #1.
    2. Calls to action: In the example above, we have two calls-to-action. The first; asking the user to sign-up for communication. And secondly, we’re asking for the user to donate with a clear message on what that funding can improve. In the screenshot above, this is indicated as callout #2.

    *How to do this in CiviCRM: You can create a simple form using the CiviCRM profile functionality, and this will populate directly into the individual contact record. If you need information that’s not part of the base Name and Address, then you can create a custom field and have that populate as a new tab on the individual record (say if you want to collect something like T-shirt size or something not in the standard set of CiviCRM fields). For the donation page, there’s out-of-box donation forms already available. So simply create a new menu item, and point this to the CiviCRM Contribution page. Once that’s completed, you can link to that page as we’ve done in the Donate button below. In the screenshot above, you can see the CiviCRM profile form embedded in callout 2a.

    3.  Good imagery: Please please stay away from stock photos! They’re usually trite and won’t effectively communicate what you’re needing to convey. For professional photos that aren’t stock (and free to use with proper attribution, check out www.imcreator.com/free or www.unsplash.com). They have incredibly rich, engaging and professional photographs that work well in a variety of sites and communications. In the screenshot above, this is indicated as callout #3.

    4.  A home for the data/ ongoing communication: Upon submission, their information is populating the CiviCRM queue for a follow-up or drip campaign. This is an effective way to stay top-of-mind for your group of constituents; if someone wants to volunteer, if someone wants to donate, or if someone is in need of help - you want your organization to be in the forefront. In terms of the best way to setup a drip campaign, we’d suggest importing the data into Mailchimp. It’s free for many organizations, and the functionality is exceptional. Recently, Mailchimp introduced drip-functionality. This means that if a user, let’s call her Joan Donor, adds herself to the mailing list. Once the data is in Mailchimp, you can specify a workflow for her to receive communications. So on sign-up, she gets a Welcome email. 3 days later, she gets communication regarding what your organization is doing to help others, perhaps 2 weeks later she receives an automated note about an upcoming event. 1 month later, she receives an auto-message asking her to help support the organization. There are so many things you can do with this autonomy, and it allows you to automate tasks that can be automated and allows you to focus on leading and growing the organization. CiviCRM also has its own drip-campaign functionality, so it really depends on what features you want/ need and the level of system consolidation that's desired. MailChimp has invested all of its efforts into perfecting the email marketing world, but you also lose a bit of CiviCRM's completed integrated solution. It's definitely a decision worth having within your organization.

    *As a footnote, there is a CiviCRM Mailchimp extension that exists. We haven’t used it ourselves, but are definitely planning on trying it out!

    One thing to remember is that a landing page for Google AdWords is frequently not the home page. The landing page should be specific to the ad to increase relevancy, clickthrough, conversion, which all rolls into AdWords Quality Score.

    After obtaining user information, it’s important to use the CiviCRM reporting and mailing tools to have a strategy for follow-up (what information to share, how to garner support, etc), but again, that’s a whole different topic!

    After successfully using your original grant for a designated amount of time, you can apply for “GrantsPro” which can supply you with $30,000 more advertising each month for a total of $40,000 per month of advertising to use in raising awareness and support for your organization. Learn more and begin the application process here: http://www.google.com/grants/

    So what other advantages can you imagine by combining a $120,000 Google AdWords grant and CiviCRM automation? What other things would you like to learn about?

    About SocialRaise: SocialRaise is a Chicago digital agency that has worked with a range of small two-person nonprofits all the way to $13 million capital campaigns for the largest nonprofits in the world. They’ve helped the City of Chicago reduce building emissions and companies such as Yamaha allow students to remotely audition to music schools all around the world. For more information, please visit www.socialraise.com.

    MPD makes another reality-TV cameo

    StarTribune Mpls News - Mon, 2014-09-29 19:05
    The Minneapolis Police Department will again be featured on the popular A&E reality police series, “The First 48,” which provides a glimpse into the crucial hours after a murder, during which detectives work feverishly to find the killer before the trail goes cold.

    First working day of a very promising Sprint

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-09-29 18:29
    Surrounded by a spectacular environment, Edale is definetely a great choice for this year's Sprint. Yesterday (Sunday) we spend some time with setup, mastering our English-Pool skills and welcoming to the 20+ sprinters that arrived during the day. Before Craig's great dinner we had a brief meeting about logistics in general and how we were going to organize ourselves to have a productive sprint.   Today's morning meeting was the perfect ocassion for meeting everyone and for sharing our aims for this Sprint. Some of these issues were:   - CiviHR improvements - Documentation - Marketing - Work on the SEPA module  - A/B Mailing testing - Extensions - 4.5.1 & 4.6 issues   After that and while the guys where trying to fix some connectivity issues (which they did) we had a very productive Marketing Meeting with Michael and Jamie who joined at the end of it. In the meeting we reviewed what worked in the past year since the Marketing Committee was created, what didn't work and how we could move things forward the next year. We came up with very interesting initiatives for improving the conference & booth materials for representing CiviCRM in trade shows, talked the great work that Nicolas Ganivet is doing with Stats, revamp some PR and social media initiatives, among other great areas of work that will be part of another specific marketing blog post.   Good Sprint to everyone!

    Hmong Youth Engaged in the North Minneapolis Greenway

    David Kang Community Voices

    "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

    This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.

    From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

    The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

    Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

    A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

    All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

    Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

    The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

    First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

    Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

    Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

    In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

    Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

    Links to the PSAs:

    • Hmong Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3VEi7N2Rk

    • English Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3geCGvvYPI

    • City’s Greenway Info:

    http://www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway

     

    "Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

    This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.

    From April to June of 2014, Hmong American Partnership, in collaboration with Hana Media & Development, provided an after-school media arts, service-learning project called In Focus: N. MPLS Greenway (or simply In Focus) for a group of mostly Hmong middle school students at the HIA, to assist the City of Minneapolis share information about the potential North Minneapolis Greenway and collect feedback from the community, especially from Asian Americans in the area who had not been a part of the city's first round of engagement regarding the possible greenway.

    The participants in the In Focus project learned about video production skills, the City of Minneapolis' greenway concepts, and community outreach techniques. Through the guidance of program facilitators, the youth helped to create Hmong and English Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, and conducted surveys of HIA friends, families, and faculty, as well as other community members in the area. One Hmong student in the project remarked, "It's great that we are make videos to help share this info with other Hmong in the community."

    Through the PSAs and conversations about the project, community members learned that a greenway is a park-like trail that people can use for biking, walking, transportation, and recreation, and that the city is currently considering Humboldt Avenue North, from the Victory Neighborhood to the Near North or Harrison Neighborhood of North Minneapolis, as a possible route for the North Minneapolis Greenway. The greenway is intended to create a new health, transportation and recreation amenity for families in north Minneapolis. It could also create space for additional amenities, such as community gardens and public art.

    A total of 13 community groups where granted funds, in part by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of MN, and organized by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis. The In Focus group collected 121 surveys, from mostly Hmong community members living on or near the potential greenway, to add to the 1163 total surveys collected by the other outreach projects, such as engagement efforts led by Redeemer Center for Life and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, with each group focusing on a particular geographic area or community.

    All together, the city collected a total of 2,040 surveys completed online, at events, and through door-knocking efforts. Overall, 76% of respondents support the greenway idea and 12.6% oppose it. Among north Minneapolis residents, 70.2% of respondents support the greenway idea and 16.8% oppose it. Of those living on the proposed route, 60% support the greenway on their block.

    Some of the feedback from community members was for the city to consider the safety, cleanliness, and access to parking along the greenway route. Also, community members suggested ideas to add “food trucks at some locations” and “lots of plants, flowers” to increase the attraction to the greenway and livability in the area.

    The In Focus project’s lead agencies, Hmong American Partnership and Hana Media & Development, deliberately chose to partner with HIA, and the YMCA Beacons program at the school, for many specific reasons and benefits to the project and outreach efforts.

    First, HIA is located on Humboldt Avenue North in the Jordan neighborhood, which is on the proposed greenway route. The organizations felt that this type of development would create a significant impact for the school’s students, families, faculty and staff, and that they should have the opportunity to provide their input to the city.

    Second, the majority of the students and staff at HIA are from the Asian community in North Minneapolis, which had not been included in previous engagement efforts, and had yet to add their voices to the conversation and decisions-making process. Since In Focus participants would be mostly from the Hmong community, this provided for ideal project contributors to help produce Hmong language information to share with the community, and to conduct culturally/linguistically-appropriate outreach and surveying of community members.

    Lastly, since the majority of In Focus’ participants were at-risk students from low-income families, the project was a good fit for them to learn media arts skills through a service-learning initiative, to help the youth develop leadership capacity and healthy cultural identity, while providing mentorships with caring adults from the community.

    In Focus’ Media arts instructor, Kue Xiong, helped the students learn new video production skills, and collectively contribute to the production of the PSAs. Mr. Xiong expressed, “The youth’s engagement exceeded my expectations...It was a humbling and rewarding experience.”

    Today, the City of Minneapolis continues its exploration of the North Minneapolis Greenway, and it is planning the next stepping in the engagement and outreach process. For more information about the potential greenway, please contact Sarah Stewart, Senior Public Health Specialist in the City of Minneapolis’ Health & Family Support Department, at 612-673-3987, or Sarah [dot] Stewart [at] minneapolismn [dot] gov.

    Links to the PSAs:

    • Hmong Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3VEi7N2Rk

    • English Version: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3geCGvvYPI

    • City’s Greenway Info:

    http://www.minneapolismn.gov/health/living/northminneapolisgreenway

     

    © 2014 David Kang

    Announcing the Albany CiviCRM Meetup!

    Civi Blog - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:55

    REGISTER FOR THE FIRST ALBANY CIVICRM MEETUP!

    Calling all current (and future) CiviCRM users and developers in the NY State Capital region! I’m happy to announce the formation of the CiviCRM Albany Meetup.

    Thanks to the efforts of Laurie Cook from the Association Development Group and Brian Shaughnessy of Lighthouse Consulting & Design who are co-sponsoring/hosting with Web Access, we will be holding our first meetup on October 30, 2014 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

    I urge anyone in the CiviCRM community within driving distance to Albany to join us for our kickoff! Meetups are a great opportunity to network with other community members, pick up some tips and tricks and get advice and insight from CiviCRM experts… and they’re fun!

    If you are interested in presenting at the meetup, or you have a suggestion for a specific topic you’re interested in hearing please email me ASAP so I can firm up the itinerary (or prepare a presentation).

    If you have any questions or are interested in helping out please don’t hesitate to reach out 917-975-1138.

    Due to capacity and to provide ADG a count for refreshments, please REGISTER ONLINE.

     

    Dozens turn out for community meeting on radicalization of Somali youth

    StarTribune Mpls News - Sun, 2014-09-28 22:08
    At a meeting in Minneapolis, Somalis discussed alternatives for local youth being recruited by radical groups in the Middle East.

    Minneapolis could crack down on e-cigarettes

    StarTribune Mpls News - Sun, 2014-09-28 18:55
    Minneapolis council member wants e-cigs put in the same category as regular tobacco.

    Herb talk at Milly's Peace Garden

    Corcoran News

    Local herbalist Cynthia Thomas (right) giving a most interesting talk on July 26 at Milly's Peace Garden, one of Corcoran's community gardens, on the herbal medicines growing in her garden plot. Pictured with her are Pamela Morgan, Corcoran resident, and Alice Paczkowsk (left). Cynthia demonstrated how to identify and use the plants growing in her plot as well as some uses for common weeds.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    Local herbalist Cynthia Thomas (right) giving a most interesting talk on July 26 at Milly's Peace Garden, one of Corcoran's community gardens, on the herbal medicines growing in her garden plot. Pictured with her are Pamela Morgan, Corcoran resident, and Alice Paczkowsk (left). Cynthia demonstrated how to identify and use the plants growing in her plot as well as some uses for common weeds.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    © 2014 Corcoran News

    CURA housing forum

    Corcoran News

    Reyna Flores, 18 year Corcoran resident, and CNO Lead Organizer Ross Joy were invited to present at a Housing Forum on August 4th at the University of Minnesota, hosted by the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs (CURA). CNO has been collaborating with City of Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services through open data policies to address housing issues affecting apartment buildings in neighborhood.

    Rental housing is critical to the inclusivity and diversity of Corcoran Neighborhood. Communities of color, including 82% of both Latino and black people, reside in the neighborhood’s 638 rental housing units. 42.3% of Corcoran’s occupied housing is rental, rather than owner-occupied.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    Reyna Flores, 18 year Corcoran resident, and CNO Lead Organizer Ross Joy were invited to present at a Housing Forum on August 4th at the University of Minnesota, hosted by the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs (CURA). CNO has been collaborating with City of Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services through open data policies to address housing issues affecting apartment buildings in neighborhood.

    Rental housing is critical to the inclusivity and diversity of Corcoran Neighborhood. Communities of color, including 82% of both Latino and black people, reside in the neighborhood’s 638 rental housing units. 42.3% of Corcoran’s occupied housing is rental, rather than owner-occupied.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    © 2014 Corcoran News

    Reach out to elder neighbors

    Corcoran News

    On a recent afternoon, I walked through the Corcoran neighborhood to the Bloomington Avenue post office. As I passed each home, I wondered if there was an elder inside, sitting all alone, feeling lonely and isolated.

    Census figures show that one-third of elderly persons in Minneapolis lives alone; as many as two-thirds of women 85-89 are alone. And while living alone doesn’t automatically indicate loneliness, isolation in the elderly is usually not by choice. Aging often comes with isolating factors such as declining eyesight, limited mobility and poor balance. Elders who at a younger age had been outgoing and sociable may no longer have the ability to engage with neighbors or friends – even if they want to.

    Isolation and loneliness carries risks to elders, too. They have a greater chance of falling, suffering from depression, stress and malnutrition, and developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and decreased immunities.

    You can brighten the lives of elder neighbors and enrich your own by getting to know them. They contribute to the rich tapestry of our neighborhood. They know the community’s history, block by block, and pass its story down to younger generations. They keep a guardian’s eye on our children and property, enhancing our sense of security. And they enjoy an unhurried conversation, forging enduring friendships that enhance our community’s livability.

    If you know of an elder who needs companionship, you can also refer them to Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly at 612-721-6215, 1845 East Lake Street. Volunteer elder visitors are always welcome and needed, too.

    LuAnne Speeter is the Interim Executive Director of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    On a recent afternoon, I walked through the Corcoran neighborhood to the Bloomington Avenue post office. As I passed each home, I wondered if there was an elder inside, sitting all alone, feeling lonely and isolated.

    Census figures show that one-third of elderly persons in Minneapolis lives alone; as many as two-thirds of women 85-89 are alone. And while living alone doesn’t automatically indicate loneliness, isolation in the elderly is usually not by choice. Aging often comes with isolating factors such as declining eyesight, limited mobility and poor balance. Elders who at a younger age had been outgoing and sociable may no longer have the ability to engage with neighbors or friends – even if they want to.

    Isolation and loneliness carries risks to elders, too. They have a greater chance of falling, suffering from depression, stress and malnutrition, and developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and decreased immunities.

    You can brighten the lives of elder neighbors and enrich your own by getting to know them. They contribute to the rich tapestry of our neighborhood. They know the community’s history, block by block, and pass its story down to younger generations. They keep a guardian’s eye on our children and property, enhancing our sense of security. And they enjoy an unhurried conversation, forging enduring friendships that enhance our community’s livability.

    If you know of an elder who needs companionship, you can also refer them to Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly at 612-721-6215, 1845 East Lake Street. Volunteer elder visitors are always welcome and needed, too.

    LuAnne Speeter is the Interim Executive Director of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly.

    Contribute, advertise, or learn more about Corcoran News.
    Click here for current edition.

    © 2014 Corcoran News

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