It started with a retired police officer’s email in January 2017, inviting her Garfield Avenue neighbors to bring a pillow, have a glass of wine and “discuss, commiserate, float ideas, organize, do something.”
“I wanted to carry on what happened … with the Women’s March across the nation,” said Juliann Brunzell.
The “Garfield 2018” group of neighbors, which is concentrated at the 4900 block of Garfield, went on to launch a nonpartisan get-out-the vote campaign. They’ve registered voters at every Open Streets event this year and recruited captains from all 40 blocks in their ward’s precinct to encourage neighbors to vote.
Now on Saturday, the group is hosting its second annual Garden Party as a benefit for Minnesota Voice, a group that mobilizes people to vote in underserved communities. They’ve lined up a long list of notable politicos to participate in a comedic quiz show hosted by Tane Danger from the Theater of Public Policy. Participants will include Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Mayor Jacob Frey, Judge Kathryn Quaintance, Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene, state Sen. Scott Dibble, state Sen. Jeff Hayden, state Rep. Frank Hornstein, Minnesota Voice’s Tonya Draughn and vocalist Charmin Michelle.
“It feels energizing,” said Brunzell, who said the group has registered more than 50 people to vote. “It feels organized, and the energy feels pretty high here on the 4900 block of Garfield.”
The Garden Party is Saturday, Sept. 8 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at 4943 Garfield Ave. S.