Dialogues in the Park: Forums Connecting People and Policy

Join your community in this deliberative forum to better understand and deal with society’s toughest problems. Share your perspective and experience, explore what is most important to us, and weigh the trade-offs involved in achieving those things. Learn more about the issue and about your neighbors.

Participant surveys and a record of the forum will be shared with the Kettering Foundation to use in its public policy research and reporting to elected officials and others. 

All events will be at St. Louis Park Library. Register for the events here.

Presented in collaboration with National Issues Forums Institute.

Jan. 31, 6-8 p.m.: Health Care - How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need? Many in our community struggle with the rising cost of health care. Financial ruin as a result of a medical catastrophe is a fear for many and a reality for some. Nationally, spending on health care exceeds defense spending and yet many remain healthcare insecure. How can we reduce costs and still get the care we need?

Previous 2016 forums addressed:

March 24, 6-7:45 p.m.: Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? For many Americans, the recovery from the 2007 recession, a recovery that officially began in 2009, feels very remote, or nonexistent. Even as the stock market surges and millions of jobs have been created, they see a very different picture. Many Americans still believe in the basic notion that anyone who works hard should be able to support a family and get ahead. What can we do to make that happen?

May 12, 6-7:45 p.m.: Mental Illness in America. One in five Americans will have mental health problems in any given year. Unaddressed mental illness hurts individuals and their families and results in lost productivity. In rare cases, it can result in violence. How can we reduce the impact of mental illness in America? Here is an account of the event from attendee Hannah Bernstein.

July 28, 6-7:45 p.m.: Political Fix. The troubles facing American politics are varied and complex. Observers point to a wide range of developments that, if left unchecked, are likely to further weaken the effectiveness of government. How do we get American politics back on track?

Sept. 22, 6-7:45 p.m.: Too Many Children Left Behind: How Can We Close the Achievement Gap? In a nation that prides itself on providing equal opportunity for all, too many low-income and minority children are falling behind their peers in school. In an increasingly competitive global arena, the United States cannot afford to ignore this widening achievement gap. What can be done to close it?