Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

Weather check: Not done with rain for the week

Summer check: What are some fun things you like to do during the summer? I'm compiling a bunch of free activities, and I'd love any thoughts you wanna share or ideas you have. Reply to this email!

This week, you'll get to know the new city councilors a bit more as they start their first full week on the job. You'll also meet the man behind an organization looking to help folks support businesses who are allies to the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, find our weekly roundup of events.

And now, news:


They're in. Now, here's what new city councilors are focusing on.

Simplified: Four members of the Sioux Falls City Council had their very first meeting Tuesday night. Now that the newly elected members are officially in, Sioux Falls Simplified asked them what they're first priorities are.

Why it matters

  • The recent City Council election brought the most turnover on the council since 2016 – with new faces representing three of five districts and one at-large seat.
  • New members include Richard Thomason in the At-Large seat, Jennifer Sigette representing the northwest district, Miranda Basye representing the northeast district and Ryan Spellerberg representing the southwest district. All four said they're focusing on learning as much as they can early on in their new roles.
  • The newcomers will join Councilors Curt Soehl, Rich Merkouris, David Barranco and Sarah Cole as the legislative body governing Sioux Falls. Mayor Paul TenHaken also sits on the council as a tie-breaking vote when needed.

What other priorities are top-of-mind?


How Dorothy's List shines a light on inclusive businesses

Simplified: A new organization is working to not only help people support businesses who are allies to the LGBTQ+ community, but also to provide resources for those businesses to show that support year-round – not just during Pride Month. Meet Dorothy's List.

Why it matters

  • Founder Adam Jorgensen first started thinking about Dorothy's List in 2016 when South Dakota was making national headlines for a so-called "bathroom bill" that would've barred transgender students from using bathroom and locker room facilities that match their gender identity.
    • That bill was ultimately vetoed by then-Gov. Dennis Daugaard. But what really stood out to Jorgensen at the time was the number of people from the business and tourism community who spoke out against the bill.
  • Meanwhile, Jorgensen also noted it can be difficult for LGBTQ+ people in the state to identify local businesses that are 'open and affirming' – and it can be equally challenging for businesses to communicate those ideals.
"The point is for businesses to be open, vocal and a genuine ally," Jorgensen said. "Businesses don't know when to show up or what to do, and then they just show up during Pride Month."

How does Dorothy's List work?


Super Simplified Stories

  • Last chance leaves. Sunday is your last chance to drop off leaves and branches at the two city drop-off sites before they close. The sites are located at North Lyon Boulevard, near the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, and on Chambers Street, near the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Both sites are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Donate blood, get chicken. Donate blood to the Community Blood Bank at Dawley Farms this week, and you can get a $20 Slim Chickens gift card. Find a time here.


Stuff to do: May 22-28

  • Do some yoga. Take a yoga flow class and then a hike along the Big Sioux River with Feminine Bliss Yoga & Coaching. The class starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Big Sioux Recreation Area. More details here.
  • See some art. It's the first Falls Art Market of the summer this Saturday at BronzeAge Art Casting east of Falls Park just across from the Farmers Market. Shop local art, learn about micro-prairies and make some new friends from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Details here.
  • Listen to some music. Fridays on the Plaza is also back this week with live music and food trucks over lunch on Friday outside the Dakota News Now studio downtown. Catch the summer lineup here.
  • Go a little punk. Full Circle Book Co-op is hosting "Punk Rock Prom" Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. Don your best formalwear and rock out. Tickets are $10 at the door. More details here.
  • Buy some comics. A new Sioux Falls-based creative team is releasing its debut comic next week, and you can join the release party at Rose & Eugene Presents. It all kicks off at 6 p.m. Tuesday. More here.


What I'm falling for this week:


More Simplified Stories

Get smart about our growing business community with Marcus Mahlen
Mahlen sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to talk about what commercial real estate is, how it plays into growth and more.
Get a look at the zoo’s new splash pad
Here’s a look at the new amenities and how the zoo is paying special attention to accessibility.
Why Sioux Falls likely won’t see more childcare wins until the state pitches in
After months of city discussion and a win for the childcare workforce, it’s looking like any future progress toward solving the childcare crisis in Sioux Falls will have to come from the state legislature.


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or long weekends to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.