Tag Archives: Minnesota

Named, blamed, shamed: What’s up with ICE and Hennepin County?

american-and-pattiotHennepin County was one of the jurisdictions named, blamed, and shamed in the first weekly report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The weekly reports, required by Trump’s executive order, list the jurisdictions that don’t hold immigrants on ICE detainers, called “non-cooperative jurisdictions.” Hennepin County was targeted for refusing to hold two individuals, but Sheriff Rich Stanek hit back with photos showing the two leaving the jail in the custody of ICE agents.

What’s going on here? Continue reading

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Meanwhile in Minnesota – Three issues and ideas for action

mct state capitol

While Washington hold center stage, Minnesota Republicans are trying to tie the hands of local governments, impose crippling costs on free speech and protest, and politicize redistricting in 2020. That makes it time to focus on St. Paul and start calling and contacting state legislators. Minnesota have already compromised on premium relief for health insurance. They might be more open to hearing voices of reason than their counterparts in Congress. Continue reading

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Voting down-ballot in Minnesota


Minnesota Congressional districts from Wikipedia

Down-ballot races make a huge difference in post-election life, which is to say, in all of our lives, every day of every year. These are the people who make the laws (U.S. and state legislators), who preside over the justice system (district, appellate and supreme court judges), and who run the schools. Down-ballot voting this year also includes referendums on a Minnesota constitutional amendment and on a Minneapolis school tax levy. Continue reading

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Mogadishu, Minnesota?


Riverside towers on West Bank, home to many of Somali Minnesotans, and the planned setting of K’Naan’s HBO television series. 

A planned television series set in Minnesota’s Somali community sparked protests at Saturday’s West Bank block party on September 10. Angry and tired of being characterized as jihadi recruits or recruiters, Minnesota Somali youth protested Somali Canadian rapper K’naan’s television plans when he came to perform. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say who threw what first – but police sprayed some of the crowd with chemical irritants, and arrested a couple of people, including a Muslim woman who is a leader of the Black Liberation Project.

The HBO television series started out as “The Recruiters,” focusing on the Somali community in Minnesota, with the promise that it “will draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment.” That sure plays into stereotypes about Somali youth in Minnesota. Now, the series has been renamed “Mogadishu, Minnesota,” and K’Naan claims that it will “present the true and beautiful side” of Somali immigrants. The protesters weren’t buying the new description. Continue reading

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Sky blue or scummy: The choice is ours and the time is now

wild and scenic Crow River

If we really love Minnesota’s sky-blue lakes, if we really care about swimming and canoeing and fishing, we need to do a lot more to protect those waters. And we need to act quickly. Toxic algae blooms, fertilizer run-off, garbage, and mining sediment and run-off threaten Minnesota lakes and rivers and wetlands. Threaten? That’s actually an understatement. “Threaten” sounds like the damage is in the future. It’s not. Minnesota waterways have already been seriously damaged. Continue reading

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Segregating the suburbs


Suburban homes at night with city in the background

Fotolia File: #21203029 | Author: soleilc1

Is Brooklyn Park the new face of suburbia or the new face of segregation — or maybe both? Twin Cities suburbs Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center have changed from mostly-white to majority-minority cities over the past 30 years. As new immigrants, African-Americans, and Latinos have moved to the suburbs, racial segregation has followed. Even within Brooklyn Park, there’s a north-south racial divide at 85th Avenue. Given the economic realities of race in Minnesota, racial segregation also equates with economic segregation, and with other forms of discrimination. For example, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center officials say that newly-released sex offenders are being steered to their cities (along with Minneapolis and St. Paul), rather than to wealthier, whiter suburbs. Continue reading

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Precinct caucus tips and trivia

Precinct caucus 2008

Photo by Chris Gallevo, Democratic-Farmers-Labor Party. Precinct W-6 P-4. St. Stephens School. Minneapolis, MN. February 5, 2008.. Creative Commons license.

[UPDATED 2/24/2016] Precinct caucuses are next week – TUESDAY, MARCH 1. That’s Super Tuesday, because of caucuses and primaries happening across the country. In Minnesota, if you want to a party’s presidential nominee, you go to the caucus. This article is a quick guide to DFL precinct caucuses. For others, check websites for the Republican Party, the Independence Party, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party. Continue reading

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Minnesota’s children deserve better


“Jessica is a young mom, who lived in foster care most of her teen years. She has two young children, both in diapers and is separated from the father of her children because of his drug and alcohol use. He recently went through treatment. Jessica was on maternity leave when she separated from him, and lost her job when she found herself the sole caregiver for the two young children.”

For now, Jessica relies on MFIP and SNAP — more commonly known as welfare and food stamps. Each month, she and her children get $532 in MFIP benefits and $473 in SNAP benefits, which can be used only for food. Continue reading


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Changing face of immigration, nationally and in Minnesota

educated, organizedMinnesota’s immigrant population — people born outside the United States — is only about 7.5 percent of Minnesota’s population. Nationwide, immigrants make up 13.9 percent of the population, so Minnesota is below average. The number of immigrants is growing, according to a September report from Pew Research Center, which projects an increase to 17.8 percent of the national population by 2065. That would be even higher than the historic high point of 15 percent immigrant population in the early 20th century. Continue reading

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Today’s MN state lay-off notices — here’s the list

From 15 people at the Bureau of Mediation Services to 115 at the Perpich Center for Arts Education to more than 4,000 at the Department of Natural Resources, lay-off notices go out to Minnesota state employees today. If the legislature and the governor don’t reach budget deals by the end of the month, more than 9,000 government employees could be out of work. Here’s the list: Continue reading

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