Sen. John Hoffman August 11 Capitol Corner

National Night

john_hoffman_2015_night_to_unite

(This photo was taken in Champlin, Precinct 1, Ward 1. Also pictured alongside local parents and kids are the Chief and Captain of the Champlin Fire Department.)

Streets were closed off and grills brought into the streets Tuesday evening, all to celebrate National Night Out. The evening is about getting to know your neighbors and celebrating your community, as well as making positive connections with your local first responders. I was happy to take part in several celebrations in his district. 

National Night Out is such a wonderful celebration and a harkening back to the ‘good ‘ol days’ when everyone knew their neighbor. In light of all the news reports about bad tensions between police and their communities, I think nights like these are of the utmost importance. I’m happy to report the celebrations were well-attended in Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids and it was great to get out there and talk with some of my constituents.

First meeting of the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities 

 Gov Council on Disabilities

(Pictured to Hoffman’s left is Colleen Wieck, Executive Director of the Council and to Hoffman’s right is Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.) 

I was honored recently when Governor Mark Dayton appointed me to be the chair of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). The Council’s mission is to provide information, education and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self-determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families. 

As Chair of the Council I look forward to working with all of the Olmstead Subcabinet agencies to implement the promise of Olmstead so that individuals with disabilities have choices to live, learn, work and enjoy life in their communities. I promise to do what I can at the Legislature to remove barriers and introduce new ways of thinking about the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The Council held its August meeting on Wednesday, August 5, 2015. We started by formulating policies that could improve the lives of people with disabilities and then approved allocations totaling $718,572, or 71% of the federal dollars that the Council received for FFY 2015 for specific projects and activities to further our goal of making sure people with developmental disabilities have productive lives, and are more independent and fully included in their communities. We also got a briefing by Commissioner Mary Tingerthal on her work on the Olmstead plan. It was a productive meeting. I look forward to future meetings were we build on the efforts we started today.