August Members Meeting:
School District Plans, Challenges, & Opportunities

Friday, Aug 14th, 7:30 am – 9:00 am
Zoom Meeting | R.S.V.P. by Aug 12 th  to
Ramsey County Community Updates

The eighth of bi-weekly newsletters detailing how different communities in Ramsey County are handling the Pandemic.
This week includes:

1. Special Session Recap & Policy Action Group Updates
2. What's Up, White Bear Lake?
3. Arden Hills Happenings
4. Mask Up and Vote, Minnesota!
5. Metro Land Use Conference Invite

 Thanks for reading our newsletters!

Make sure to follow RCLLG on social media, on Facebook and Twitter
Special Legislative Session Recap

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned another special session on July 20. The session lasted a week, with a series of police reforms being legislation that passed. This MN police package includes over a dozen reforms, making it a more comprehensive package compared to other states such as New York. MPR News states of the package: “It governs how police are trained, how they’re held accountable for bad behavior and what happens when they use deadly force."

Other negotiations focused on the topics of schools reopening, as well as Governor’s peacetime emergency powers, which in turn affected the ~$2 billion bonding bill not being passed. Racism was a topic also discussed. The Star Tribune reported “House Democrats passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, manifesting in health, economic, educational and other disparities between Black and white Minnesotans.”
Ramsey County COVID Policy Action
Group (PAG) Updates
Debrief: The 12-member Policy Action Group (PAG) , formed to manage policy issues and ensure rapid and long-term response in Ramsey County, has been operating since March. Read more about them in our first newsletter .

The group's more recent meeting was held on Monday, June 29th.
Nicole Frethem, Chair of the Financial Implications Subcommittee : Nicole spoke at the RCLLG July Members Meeting. Her recent update includes "We'll be meeting with communications soon to bring back feedback and finalize the communications toolkit. [The committee] is still waiting for the financial dashboard to be released and when we get that, we plan on more robust follow up. Our County manager hosted a zoom forum open to all city administrators recently regarding partnership opportunities, and some cities are partnering with the county on our CARES distribution."

Food Security & Basic Needs : Update from the Office of Commissioner Ortega. This subcommitee works to ensure that all Ramsey County residents have access to stable food supplies throughout the COVID‐19 pandemic and that residents do not need to put themselves in harm’s way to access food. The work of this group includes contracting with community partners to deliver food, basic needs, and prepare meals to residents and share information and resources to ensure that all residents are able to access food and financial assistance.
  • Information on contracting opportunities can be found here. The first round of meal delivery services for residents will be announced by August 11.
  • Food resources can be found here. This site includes a link to the food access map which includes various sites where residents can obtain food and basic needs (e.g. food shelves, farmers markets) and how to apply for financial assistance.
Housing & Homelessness: Update from the Office of Commissioner MatasCastillo
  • Hotel-shelters in the InterContinental and DoubleTree closed in July. Current hotel-shelters are at Best Western Capitol Ridge, Best Western Como Park, and Mary Hall.
  • The estimated number of people without shelter in St. Paul is around 225. This represents an increase from around 200 this time last month.
  • Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul are working to expand shelter capacity by 100 beds by 11/1 in a leased or purchased building.
  • Need has been identified for additional day/warming space, especially in the evening
What's Up, White Bear Lake?
Local Business "BinGROW" : In an effort to encourage support of local businesses and engage the community, ReGrow White Bear Lake is introducing a month-long bingo contest. BinGROW is a modified game of bingo, where participants can download a BinGROW board, each space on the board containing a different White Bear Lake business. When players spend $20 or more at a business they can check of a square and once they’ve completed a vertical, horizontal or diagonal BinGROW, they can submit their completed board for a weekly prize drawing. For more on #ReGrowWBL, click here .
Bear Hunt : The Manitou Days Bear Hunt is an interactive activity to encourage community members to get out explore the city. Business will have the opportunity to decorate a bear (similar to Flat Stanley) and post it in their store front or door. When community members “capture” the bear in a photo and post it to social media, they will be entered into a weekly prize drawing.
August 20 & 27 in downtown WBL: Children’s Performing Arts is a non-profit children’s theater specializing in theater education through the performing arts. Their mission is not only to educate children, but to bring art and culture to the community through theatre.

Development Director Marlene Petersen was seeking creative community engagement for the children. This is the Children’s Performing Arts 15th Anniversary, so the children will be singing selections to reflect past performances. The performances will be in downtown White Bear Lake at Railroad Park on Thursdays, August 20 and 27, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Suburban Cable Channels (SCC) will record, live stream, and air the event on Public Access Channel 16.
Arden Hills Happenings
Participate Anywhere : The Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition presents the "Stepping Up For Our Community 3 mile Virtual Run/Walk." It's just $20 per person and $40 for the whole family (plus processing). Complete your favorite 3-mile distance any time/anywhere between August 3 and August 9, 2020 and enter your run or walk time on the Event website. Register here. Proceeds go to prevent our neighbors from being hungry and preventing eviction, foreclosure or homelessness through grants from Suburban Ramsey COVID-19 Response Fund .
Dozens of Activities : Arden Hills is offering residents a list of Park and Rec activities they can do during the Pandemic. There are dozens of indoor and outdoor activities families can do from home, as well as activities for adults and seniors. For example, watch the virtual Como Park Spring Flower show or find a virtual event from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Make homemade bird feeders, paint rock animals, and so much more!
Local Sweets & Treats : Now that summer is here, people may be interested in some gourmet frozen yogurt and popcorn , pontoon punch and other craft sodas, or artisan chocolate that’s made in Arden Hills!

Featuring a creation from POP Culture Frozen Yogurt & Gourmet Popcorn
Free Masks Distributed

To help businesses enforce the recent Minnesota mask mandate, many Ramsey County communities handed out masks this week. Businesses could pick up one box of 50 disposable masks.

Photo: Masks being handed out at Roseville. Photo provided by Patrick Trudegon.

Make Sure to Vote!

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug 11.

Vote by mail or in person June 26 through Aug 10.
Read Ramsey County's Monthly Newsletter :
July 2020 newsletter: COVID-19 update, beaches and...

Coronavirus/COVID-19 update - County beaches and playgrounds open - Vote by mail - 2019 PAFR available - Roseville in Bloom features two county locations - Upcoming events - In the news

Read more

Wondering how you can volunteer during this crisis? Here's some ideas:

Day 1 |  $70
Day 2 |  $110
Both Days |  $150
*includes food/beverage and materials

RCLLG members receive 20% off registration! E-mail to receive the discount code before you register.
 Shoreview Community Center
4580 Victoria St N
Shoreview, MN 55126

**Conference may transition to a virtual format depending on public health guidelines .

We want to hear from you!

Have a story? Find out what your community is doing amidst the Pandemic and let us know.

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If you have any questions about RCLLG, your membership, or news listed above, please email .

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