Bullies and building communities

It's October, so this is a good month to talk about the things and people that have scared us or tried to scare us over the years. Some of those fears were justified, and many were not. For those of us with roots in Laos and other parts of Southeast Asia who escaped the wars, this is an interesting question.

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Minneapolis investigates banning Washington team name

After shaking up University of Minnesota administrators and other policymakers, the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins has moved downtown to City Hall, where elected officials are mulling a ban on the NFL team’s name.

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Gutierrez calls for Latino voter turnout in Minnesota

(Photo by Eric Best) Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minneapolis, pose for the crowd at the Oct. 8 event at El Nuevo Rodeo on Lake Street.

The nation’s top Latino elected official joined local leaders last week to encourage Minnesota’s Latinos to vote on Election Day.

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Indigenous People's Day a chance to reflect on privilege, plant seeds of justice

Today Minneapolis joins other cities in celebrating “Indigenous People’s Day” a time to honor the original people of this land as opposed to celebrate it’s invasion by Christobal Colon (Columbus) and the following genocide the he personally initiated.

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The 2014 elections and the Second Great Disenfranchisement

Elections are supposed to be the way people select their leaders. Increasingly that is no longer the case. The courts now occupy an enormous role in determining the outcome of elections–even before they start. That is clearly the case this year where too often the goal has become to rig elections by making it harder for some, especially people of color, the poor, and the young, to vote. This especially seems to be the strategy of Republicans who continue to push the Second Great Disenfranchisement in American history.

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Mental health and music focus of Twin Cities Jewish community conference Oct. 19

(Photo: John Siddle) Maestro Ronald Braunstein (far right) conducts members of the Me2/Orchestra in Burlington, Vt.

The theme of the 14th annual Twin Cities Jewish Community Conference on Mental Health is “Creating Harmony in Our Lives,” and it will feature music from Shir Harmony, a local Jewish women’s a capella group, as well as a unique performance by an orchestra comprised of local musicians affected by mental illness.

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Racial Equity Movement gains some momentum

(Photos by Charles Hallman) Left: Conveners discuss racial equity at St. Paul’s Hallie Q. Brown Community Center; Right: Vina Kay

Racial equity in recent weeks has been the top discussion focus of two “convenings” in the Twin Cities. One of their leaders says that in order for an effective racial equity agenda to move forward, everyone must understand what it really means.

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Metro Congressional contest draws national spotlight to incumbent Kline's record on communities of color

(Photo courtesy of Mike Obermuller for Congress) Mike Obermueller at center

One of the most closely watched Congressional races of this election season is happening right here in Minnesota, where DFLer Mike Obermueller is seeking to replace Republican incumbent U.S. Representative John Kline. Kline’s Congressional District 2 covers the south Twin Cities metro area, including all of Scott, Dakota, Goodhue and Wabasha counties and such cities as Burnsville and Eagan.

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Metro Transit promises more, better shelters; Community members remain skeptical

(Photo by Sarah Ellen Miller) Transit and Econ Development Organizer for Harrison Neighborhood Association Michael McDowell said this stop on West Broadway and Emerson gets more than 200 riders a day, but doesn't have heat. He hopes the new program will consider it for renovation.

A new goal to construct and renovate bus shelters in low-income neighborhoods has been met with skepticism rather than excitement from some community members.

Metro Transit announced through Metro Council last week that they are the recipients of a $3.2 million Ladders of Opportunity grant — part of which will be used to construct and renovate bus shelters in Minneapolis and St. Paul by the end of 2015. Officials said with more and better shelters, they hope to increase ridership, and improve safety and comfort.

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