Big Ideas and Improv Comedy Featured at 2017 Statewide Conference

The 2017 Legal Services Statewide Conference: Connecting With Our Community, will offer the great mix of camaraderie, meaningful CLE, and relaxation conference goers have come to expect, as well as some new twists. Chief among them, a one-of-a-kind interactive session led by The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2). Described by the Star Tribune as "CSPAN being swarmed by the cast of SNL," The Theater of Public Policy explores big ideas using improv comedy.  T2P2 improvisers use comedy to act out hard-to-digest concepts with the goal of helping us think more deeply, and in a fresh, engaging way about the issues we encounter daily and the policies impacting our work.

The conference will be held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN from Wednesday, October 25 to Friday, October 27, 2017.  Stay tuned here for more session and special guest details, a sneak peek at our full conference schedule, and the official launch of conference registration in early September.

Federal Fair Housing Case Brings Meaningful Outcome for a Family #WeAreLegalAid

Anne Robertson, staff attorney with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, splits her time between the Housing Discrimination Law Project and the Disability Law Center.  In a recent case, she championed the cause of a single mother who was subjected to egregious treatment by her landlord based on having minor children in her household (familial status).  Not only did the landlord enforce a lease provision stating that children were not allowed to play in the common areas or around the building – with a financial penalty – the landlord physically assaulted one of her children on two occasions.  With Robertson at her side, the client reached a substantial settlement, and influenced policy changes, including a provision that the landlord must report on compliance with familial status law for the next four years. Special thanks to Justin Perl for litigation support. #WeAreLegalAid

MDLC’s Anne Henry Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Anne Henry, longtime access to justice advocate and staff attorney with the Minnesota Disability Law Center, will retire this fall and her career-spanning contributions were recognized last month with a lifetime achievement award from the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD).

Henry was commended as a disability community champion, and her tireless commitment to the cause was celebrated. She commented on the impact of her work with MNCCD both professionally and personally, and encouraged other advocates to stay the course. "This meaningful recognition is definitely shared with all my colleagues, disability advocates, and clients. Positive changes for persons with disabilities are the result of conscientious efforts by the many committed people with whom I have been privileged to work during my tenure at the Disability Law Center," Henry said.

An editorial by MN-CCD Board Chairman Randall Bachman was published earlier this month. Read Henry’s courage has been an asset to the disability community on ACCESS Press.

Minnesota Disability Law Center Receives 2017 Public Policy Recognition Award

 Pamela Hoopes, Legal Director

Pamela Hoopes, Legal Director

Arc Minnesota recognized the work of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) with its annual Public Policy Recognition award on May 25th. The award honors individuals or groups whose efforts in disability law and/or disability policy have benefited individuals with disabilities and their families. The Minnesota Disability Law Center has helped thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities achieve better lives. MDLC was celebrated for its advocacy and legal work – work that protects the rights and services of people with disabilities in Minnesota.

Arc Minnesota’s presentation lauding MDLC included its activities and successes over the past four decades, and Luther Granquist, former staff attorney; legal director Pamela Hoopes; and current staff attorneys Bud Rosenfield and Dan Stewart were all cited for their contributions to the organization’s work. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s retiring executive director Cathy Haukedahl, and retiring attorneys Anne Henry and Patricia Siebert were also recognized for their distinguished service to the agency.

The Minnesota Disability Law Center is the designated protection and advocacy system for Minnesota and addresses the unique legal needs of Minnesotans with disabilities. The center provides free legal assistance to individuals with disabilities statewide on civil legal issues related to their disabilities. All individuals with disabilities are eligible to receive help, regardless of age or income level.