Sen. John Marty to introduce an anti-poverty 'Worker Dignity Bill' in upcoming session

Poverty in Minnesota has been the subject of much talk and some action. From 2008’s “Commission on Ending Poverty in Minnesota by 2020” to other currently ongoing groups and commissions, ending poverty in Minnesota remains a work in progress. Minnesota State Senator John Marty intends to be in the frontlines of the anti-poverty fight.


Tipped worker pay stirs up minimum wage debate

Patrick Moen gives a drink to a customer at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery on July 7, 2014. Moen is one of many servers whose wages could be capped at $8 an hour if advocates successfully push for a tipped employee tier next session. (Photo by Samuel Harper)

Though Minnesota lawmakers recently raised the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2016, servers and other tipped employees can expect to see a push to lock in their wages at a lower hourly rate.


OPINION | Peace in the Valley and transit equity for all

When compromises are reached at the State Capitol, legislators typically pronounce "Peace in the Valley." That great old gospel tune popularized by Elvis Presley is actually about death rather than reconciliation, but the political sentiment is clear.


A Minneapolis housing boom explainer

Minneapolis is hot! The Metropolitan Council recently noted that we popped back up above 400,000 residents after adding almost 9,000 people between 2012 and 2013. The area along the Midtown Greenway has been completely transformed in the past decade–eleven separate projects, ten of which are residential, have been built along its Uptown stretch since 2004. There are residential towers sprouting in Downtown Minneapolis, Loring Park, and the University of Minnesota area.


Wireless commons: Interference is a myth, but the FCC hasn't caught on yet

We often think of all our wireless communications as traveling separate on paths: television, radio, Wi-Fi, cell phone calls, etc. In fact, these signals are all part of the same continuous electromagnetic spectrum. Different parts of the spectrum have different properties, to be sure - you can see visible light, but not radio waves. But these differences are more a question of degree than a fundamental difference in makeup.


Home care workers file for largest union election in Minnesota history

Tyler Frank, who cares for his partner, Nicole, was among the home care workers who spoke at a rally Tuesday after filing for union representation.

Joined by the clients they serve, workers who care for people in their homes filed Tuesday to form a union. Organizing under the slogan, “Invisible No More,” they said a union will improve pay, working conditions and the quality of care.


As EdTech grows, concern about corporate influence

Last April, when New York governor Andrew Cuomo was deciding how to allocate $2 billion for classroom technology, he turned to a three person council for advice. One of the advisors he selected was Google chairman Eric Schmidt, prompting criticism about a potential conflict of interest. Would Schmidt recommend Google-favorable learning technology? This controversy illustrates a larger concern with the growing acceptance and adoption with educational technology: how much of a role should corporations be allowed to play in our education system?


Green Line signal priority Q&A

As the Green Line opened on June 14th, most of us were just excited to finally have a new service plying the busy Central Corridor area, but many were keeping an eye on their clocks and watches, checking its speed against the schedules that had been posted a couple of weeks earlier. On opening weekend, many trains were taking more than an hour to make it from end to end. The signal priority system that’s necessary for trains to operate smoothly just wasn’t working right. But hey, it was opening weekend, when 107,000 people turned out for free rides over two days—things were bound to be worse than normal.


Making sense of race, culture, ethnicity and class… part 4

Later in July I will be leading a seminar with the Mentoring Project of Minnesota and representatives of youthrive. It is the third of eight sessions titled the “Impact Exchange.” These monthly gatherings seek to help mentoring programs and all interested parties dialogue and strategize how to confront the issues of Race, Class and Privilege in their personal lives and the programs they lead. The July session is titled “Race, Class and Ethnicity Matters” Often times conversations regarding racialized issues get derailed for the following reasons (if not more):

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