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2017-04-21 / Features

Public forum explores the question: What makes a good citizen?

COOK – Community leaders and activists will explore the question “What Makes a Good Citizen?” in a panel discussion to be held Thursday, April 27, from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cook Community Center in Cook.

The forum, sponsored by Northern Progressives and Citizens for Civic Education, is aimed at raising public awareness about civic engagement and encouraging community members to be active citizens.

Panelists include Steven B. Johnson, Virginia City Council member; Pam Brunfelt, history and political science instructor from Vermilion Community College in Ely; Presbyterian minister Dr. Frank Davis of Cook; Kathleen McQuillan, long-time community activist, of Cook; and Jeff Mattson, president of the student council at Vermilion Country School at Tower.

Each panel member will discuss the importance of citizenship and civic engagement from his or her personal and professional perspective and experience and discuss why community involvement is important.

Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences.

Johnson was elected to the Virginia City Council last fall on his third bid for elective office. He currently works as an adult educator at Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

Pam Brunfelt’s research places a special emphasis on political history and the Minnesota Iron Range, focusing on the Great Depression, the impact of the New Deal in Minnesota, and the importance of the Iron Range to the United States.

Frank S. Davis, Ph.D. has served churches in Virginia, Tower and Ely. He currently works as a psychotherapist in private practice in Duluth and is active on the ministry team at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Babbitt. He lives in rural Cook with his wife, the Reverend Kristin Foster.

Student council president Jeff Mattson is from Tower and participated in a school trip to Washington, D.C. last year to learn about government in action.

McQuillan first ran for office at age 19. She was involved in the successful fight against a toxic waste site at Ash Lake in the 1980s and has been active in grassroots anti-poverty work and in other local and national citizens groups.

The forum is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The Cook Community Center is located at 510 Gopher Dr. in Cook (off Johnson Road on the south side of Cook).

Northern Progressives promotes active participation in civic affairs. One of its goals is to increase public awareness about civic engagement by providing education to help people become politically and civically involved. Citizens for Civic Education produces a regular newspaper column about civics and citizenship participation.

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