The Northfield Union of Youth and the Mayor’s Youth Council participated in a joint presentation/session entitled “Ensuring Youth Voice in Civic Affairs” for the Search Institute’s 12 annual Healthy Communities / Healthy Youth Conference. The conference was a three day event and the two Northfield organizations presented during an early afternoon session on Friday the 7th. The presentation was excellent and well attended with a packed audience. The conference’s overall intent of the three-day conference was for youth and adult to connect and network with fellow asset builders throughout the United States and the World in hopes of learning important creative ways to help organizations, communities, and personal lives change for the better. The Key/MYC session was one of 150 sessions during the conference. The Key also spotted the Hope Mural that was made with the help of the Key’s Promise Fellow specifically for the conference. A big high-five to Audrey Hamann, Maisie Ebert, Grayce Forsythe, Hattie Ryan, Josh Wood, Mackenzie O’Connell, and Ruth Amerman for their excellent job with the presentation. For presentation photos of the Key and MYC Council please click here.
The Northfield Union of Youth, as part of their VOTE YOUTH campaign, recently took part in city council and mayoral debates at the Contented Cow. Members of the Key wrote most of the debate questions, attended the debates, and even moderated the event. A big thanks to Ruth Amerman and Tim Hollinger (along with Bruce Morlan) for their wonderful job moderating the events. Many of the questions were youth focused. Wednesday the 22nd saw Ward 2 candidates, Betsey Buckheit and Jarold Friedman, along with Ward 3 candidates Don McGee and Erica Zweifel, . Thursday the 23rd saw the at-large 2-year candidates Joe Gasior, Rhonda Pownell, Victor Summa, C. Lynn Vincent and later 4-year at-large candidates Dana Graham and Kris Vohs. Wednesday the 29th, mayoral candidates Mary Rossing and Paul Hager were also asked a series of questions. All debates went from 6:00 went until until 7:30 or 8:00pm. Audience members were given 15 minutes for their own questions. Questions focused on transportation, drug issues, the rental ordinance, city council/mayor/city staff/citizen relationship, balancing city projects with the city financial shortfall, under and unrepresented voices, and others important topics.
The Northfield Union of Youth is teaming up with the Contented Cow, a local British pub and eatery, in organizing debates with local city council and mayoral candidates. The Key’s Ruth Amerman and Tim Hollinger will be co-moderating the debates with Bruce Morlan. The schedules is as follows:
Wed 10/22……..Ward 2 (Betsey Buckheit & Jerold Friedman) + Ward 3 (Don McGee & Erica Zweifel)
Thurs 10/23……Both At Large Council Member At-Large (4-year Term – Dana Graham, Kris Vohs; 2 year – Joe Gasior, Rhonda Pownell, Victor Summa, C. Lynn Vincent)
Wed 10/29……. Mayoral (Paul Hager and Mary Rossing)
All debates start at 6:00 and will go until 7:30 or until everyone is out of gas. EVERYONE is invited and encouraged to come. Audience members will be allotted time to ask their own questions. The Bly-Rud debate has been canceled (scheduled for the 30th) because of a scheduling conflict.
The Key participated in its second Defeat of Jesse James Days Parade on Sunday. The theme was quite simple: pirates. There were even some skateboarding pirates. I do believe that The Key did hand out the best candy for the event. Enjoy a slideshow of photos from the event here.
The Northfield Union of Youth held its final mayoral open house at the Key on Sunday August 24th. Paul Hager, Lee Lansing, and Jim Schlichting attended the event and each took turns speaking to the audience and answering questions. A large array of topics were covered including issues specific to The Key, transportation issues, property taxes, noise pollution, and the future of Northfield. There were some great questions asked and some equally wonderful discussions generated as well. Many youth helped set up and attend the event.
The Key’s August 17th Mayoral Open House went on without a hitch. About 15 adults and 7 youth were present for the event. Jon Denison, Mary Rossing, Dave Hvistendahl, and Eduardo Wolle all spoke for about 5-10 minutes each on why they should be elected as mayor. Youth issues were included in all of the candidates’ platforms and a slew of other topics were brought up as well. Candidates and “spectators” then mingled for about 45 minutes and ate and drank a wide variety of refreshments present at the event. Those cherry tomatoes were pretty darn good and they came from the Key’s plot at the Northfield Community Garden by Greenvale School. Heirloom tomatoes were given to all the candidates at the event. I must be hungry. Voter registration forms and info were are also present at the event along with info on the NUY’s Youth Platform. The photo shown was taken by Susan Hvistendahl (Dave’s sister) and the Northfield Union of Youth wishes to make clear that we do not endorse or wish to promote any candidate. I forgot my camera and Susan was kind enough to send me some shots. My guess is that Susan will be voting for her brother in the primary (:
The Northfield Union of Youth through much hard work and effort pulled off the Mayoral Speed Candidating event at The Grand from 2:00-4:30pm on Sunday August 10th. Youth from the community were in more abundance than adults at the event, although everyone was invited. Candidates and “daters” talked about youth issues (Key building space, skatepark, drug rehab for youth, programming, etc.), urban sprawl, future projects, the economy, and a slew of other topics. The forum was excellent for talking to candidates and getting a feel for their positions, and The Key would highly recommend this approach in future races with a large amount of candidates. Mayor Lee Lansing, Mary Rossing, Eduardo Rolle, David Hvistendahl, and James Schlichting showed up to the event and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Paul Hager had a prior commitment and Jon Dennison was too ill to attend. A big thanks to Amy Merritt for taking such a commitment to the event and of course to all the youth that organized, staffed, and attended the event. WOW! The Key also tabled their VOTE YOUTH platform and had a table for registering to vote and signing up to be an election judge.
Adults (and youth) have another chance to show they care about their future mayor by attending one of the future Sunday mayoral open houses at The Key. THIS SUNDAY the 17th at 3:00PM the KEY will be hosting a â€œmeet nâ€™ greetâ€ open house mayoral shindig with snacks, beverages, and the following candidates: Dave Hvistendahl, Mary Rossing, Eduardo Wolle, and (probably) Jon Denison. We will do it up again on the 24th (3:00pm) with Paul Hager, Lee Lansing, and James Schlichting. Just show up and listen to the candidates talk for 5-10 minutes and when the candidates are done you can go and talk to them one-on-one. Do you care about the environment, highway sprawl, future projects, the liquor store, energy sustainability, city taxes, youth issues, etc.? Well show up and ask/talk to them about your issues. Also – The Contented Cow will be hosting events as well on Thursday nights. Click here for information.
The Youth Board held their annual summer board retreat July 28th. The group camped out at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park overnight, grilling up burgers, veggie burgers, and dogs. Members also went exploring in the trails chilled out by the waterfall. The group also had an extended meeting talking about programming, the future of the Key and other related topics.
Going into a week of gratitude and thanks giving, we know that we have so much to be appreciative of. The community of Northfield has never stepped down from a challenge, and they have continually been willing to open both their minds and their hearts to the work around them that needs to be done to make this community a great place for EVERYONE. Never enough words exist to thank all those who give of their time, of their talents, and of their resources. THANK YOU so much to everyone who gave to the NUY during Give to the Max. We are so grateful to you all for believing in the power of youth voice and the creation of a caring community! ...
“Hello, my name is Haley Heiner. I am the Co-President of the Northfield Union of Youth, also known as 'The Key.' I have been attending there for a while now and I’ve honestly never felt more at home there. So many wonderful people have accepted me there and I’ve gained amazing new friendships. The Key has helped me through so much regarding mental health, social skills, financial problems, and more. Without The Key, I don’t know where I would be today, and so many youth could say the same. The Key is the longest-running youth-led and youth-empowering organization recorded in the United States and I want it to stay that way. So many kids, including me, need a safe space like The Key. I'm so grateful that I have a place like this, and I am beyond grateful that our community cares for this organization.”
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