November’s election has brought Minneapolis’ city council an unprecedented number of progressive representatives, but the seat of the Mayor remains in the hands of a disingenuous liberal. Mayor Jacob Frey asserts, “We need to focus on unity, mending wounds, building bridges and relationship building,” but his history on the City Council says otherwise. From delaying the effective date for the $15 minimum wage until 2024 to encouraging the rapid spread of gentrification in his ward, Frey has done everything in his power to satisfy developers and business owners while willfully neglecting the poor and working-class people of Minneapolis. His perspective on policing sheds even more light on his disinterest in the safety of Black people, Indigenous people, poor people, queer people, immigrants, homeless youth and other victims of police violence.
The State House is considering a bill that would seek to address the wage gap by prohibiting employers to ask potential employees how much money they made at their last job. People of color and women tend to make less money on average than white men while performing the same jobs, and the question of the previous salary reinforces this as employers continue paying people what they have earned in the past. “This bill would help — but it’s not going to solve — the wage gap,” Stratton [senior counsel at Gender Justice] said.
Minneapolis poet Adina Burke, who identifies as a bisexual woman with Cerebral Palsy, has heard it all when it comes to how folks react to her identities. Some of the worst responses have come from folks she’s dated and even outsiders who comment about her relationships. “My partner who is a cis male, gets high fives and thumbs up for doing things a normal loving boyfriend would do like help me with my coat and ex-girlfriends have gotten praise from their peers because of how inclusive they are being by dating me,” Burke says.
Following in the wake of the #MeToo movement and heightened visibility for sexual assault survivors, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is considering funding a memorial in Boom Island Park. Break the Silence, a local group of survivors and allies, is seeking the Board’s support for the construction of the memorial, and commissioners have voted to explore funding options. “The memorial concept holds true to what we have seen nationally, that when survivors tell their stories they unconsciously give other survivors permission to tell theirs,” [Sarah Super, Break the Silence organizer] told the board.