FREE SPEECH ZONE | Yet Another Gap in Our State?

The Twin Cities has yet another gap to add to our growing list–the job gap. According to a recent article in the Star Tribune “Twin Cities jobless gap worst in nation”, the jobless rate of blacks is more than three times that of whites in our state.Randy Furst, the author, explores a few reasons why our jobless gap is the worst in the nation in his article Twin Cities jobless gap worst in nation.” I do not doubt any of them.Based on my experience as a job counselor at a non-profit in North Minneapolis, I would add though, that areas like North Minneapolis also have very few employment opportunities. I would even describe the area as a job desert. People living here must travel far (often to suburbs) to places where the jobs are and if Metro Transit is the only mode of transport, this can be a long and difficult daily commute (read: at least 1.5 hours).Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Twin Cities: a Volunteerland

The Twin Cities has the highest rate of volunteerism in the country with nearly sixty-percent of Twin Cities residents saying they have volunteered before. Of course this is great news for us, as we can add one more item among many that we are number one in!Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. On a less perky note, that leaves 40% of us who do not volunteer or have not before. There is no need to worry, however! Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Vital Community Programs

Sponsored by Representative Jim Abeler of Anoka, HF128 would cut funding for children and community services, county child support administration, emergency Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) and adult mental health services—-all necessary services in our community at the moment.  This bill would have lasting negative effects on our communities, but Representative Abeler says in the Session Weekly, that these cuts must happen because, “we are faced with a challenge that’s bigger than anybody ever had with less resources to draw on.” No one can argue that we don’t have fewer resources, however the the budget cuts that Rep. Abeler has sponsored, assist Minnesotans in addressing huge challenges that would rival Minnesota’s budget issues such as dependency, abuse, neglect, poverty, and chronic health conditions.  I urge him to go tell the aged, blind and disabled who are eligible MSA, or the parents across the state who depend on the quick processing of their child support checks that Minnesota’s challenges are bigger than theirs.  Reducing the funding that these programs receive will not help our state. As he proposes cutting $38.5 million dollars to children and community services, I ask him to think about the ways in which these programs contribute to closing the achievement gap.  We have one of the largest disparities between whites and people of color. We cannot become a great state when we are leaving so many intelligent people behind. Continue Reading

To “Like” or to “Dislike”

The most worrying part of an online news article on Yahoo.com is sometimes not the actual news story at all. With a quick scroll to the bottom, one will come across the comments section-a disturbing collection of racial remarks and eighteenth and nineteenth century views on humanity.

 

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FREE SPEECH ZONE | Response to English only Law in Lino Lakes

I am saddened to hear of cities such as Lino Lakes enacting “English only” laws and I sincerely hope that other cities in Minnesota will not follow.As citizens of the twenty-first century and of the great state ofMinnesota, it is in our best interest that non-English speaking residents, citizens and visitors in our communities are able to interact with the local government. Local governments should foster that interaction.I call on my mayor R.T. Rybak to prevent similar legislation from ever happening in Minneapolis, governor Tim Pawlenty to prevent this from happening on a state level and our senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to prevent similar laws from being enacted on a federal level.I am a proud Minnesotan and I hope that we can all come together to make sure that Minnesota supports all of the populations who help make our state a great place. Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading