Politics & Policy

Minneapolis and utilities establish unique "Clean Energy Partnership"

(Video below)

On Oct. 6 a public hearing took place at City Hall to review tentative utility franchise agreements reached between the City of Minneapolis and utility companies Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. The agreements, if approved by the Minneapolis City Council on Oct. 17, would set in motion a first-in-the-nation, public-private “Clean Energy Partnership.” 

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Rep. Rick Nolan uses "turds" to describe past Minnesota water quality

(Photo from video by The Uptake) Video below

Yesterday’s 8th Congressional District candidates debate in Duluth between Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL) and challengers Stewart Mills (GOP) and Ray Skip Sandman (Green) touched on several topics, including social security reformation, gun regulation and oil pipeline expansion. But the highlight of the debate was easily when Rep. Nolan used the word “turds” to help prove a point as he described just how bad Minnesota’s water quality used to be.

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OccupyMN to celebrate three-year anniversary Oct. 7

(Workday Minnesota photo) In the fall of 2011, Occupy Minnesota demonstrators occupied the plaza at Hennepin County Government Center for several weeks.

Three years ago, the Occupy movement mobilized thousands of people and re-shaped the public debate over wealth and inequality. On Tuesday, OccupyMN will celebrate the anniversary with events in Minneapolis.

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Constitutional Personhood: A tale of women, fetuses, corporations, animals, robots, and Martians

“We the people” are the first three words of the Constitution. Legally it should be simple to decide who is part of that we. But as the Hobby Lobby decision showed when the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation had religious rights, it is not always clear who or what the Constitution considers a person or a thing. One would think that it is simple–persons have rights, property does not. The reality is that throughout American history the constitutional line between property and personhood has been thin and contentious.

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"If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu."

I spend almost all my time attempting to figure out how I can braid storytelling and organizing. I’ve been attempting to not just organize communities around ideas, but also organize ideas, making sense of the din around us, the tunnel vision that too often exists in the justice world, the lack of recognition of the ties that bind injustice together, and the ways and whys we too often ignore who we are for what we do.

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Minnesota League tables trans-inclusive policy under mounting opposition

(Photo by Sheila Regan) Becky Swenson expresses her opposition to the proposed trans-inclusive policy at the Oct. 2 Minnesota State High School League board meeting.

Zeam Porter just wants to play basketball. A trans youth who is a junior in high school, Porter played for the women’s team last year, and was constantly misgendered and called the wrong name. Porter won Most Improved Player, but today feels the trophy was a lie.

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Rev. David W. Smith: A modest suggestion to Senator Al Franken on Gaza

Senator Al Franken recently responded to my concerns over the Israeli attacks on Gaza this past summer.

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A spoon can start a revolution

Our work as organizers is many things. It is the sum of our experiences, personal, professional, communal, reflecting, analytical. More than anything though, our organizing is stories. Food justice organizing is no different. It is many stories, it’s why we came to care about food, our earliest memories, maybe it was dinner last night or a lack thereof. When you think about food or food justice or food justice organizing, what do you think about? What’s your food justice revolution look like?

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Bad pollsters active in Minnesota

Last night I got a robocall poll from none other than Rasmussen Reports. I went ahead and did the whole thing. It was about the U.S. Senate and Governor races, which other polling has consistently shown to be pretty much locks, and quite possibly even double-digit wins, for Al Franken and Mark Dayton, respectively. The robo-voice asked whether I vote in every election (“yes”). Some questions later it spit out something like “Sometimes, something comes up that may prevent people from voting. Do you think there’s any chance that maybe you won’t vote on election day?” (That’s not an exact quote, I wasn’t recording it, but it’s the gist.) That may indicate that Rasmussen intends to apply a super-tight “likely voter” screen, in order to get numbers more favorable to Minnesota Republicans, which the latter, and corporate media, can then pimp as evidence of Mike McFadden and Jeff Johnson “surging.” Or, Rasmussen may correctly recognize those races as lost causes for the GOP, and tell it like it is, so they can claim to have been “accurate.” Either way, I suggest not taking seriously whatever they provide. The firm may be under new ownership, but it’s still Rasmussen.

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Hmong youth engaged in the North Minneapolis Greenway

"Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

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