Lauretta Dawolo Towns (email Lauretta@tcdailyplanet.net) is a freelancer for several local community and ethnic news outlets. She is also a mentor in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and a consultant with the Girls in Action program at Patrick Henry High School. Towns is a resident of the McKinley neighborhood in North Minneapolis where she lives with her husband and son.
Members of the local faith community will gather this weekend for a multi-faith forum and dialogue. The free community forum will address the impact of immigrants and immigration policy on the production and distribution of food in the United States. A panel of faith leaders will discuss the values of justice and respect relative to immigration and food. “We rely a lot on immigrants to process our food, but don’t pay attention to ethical considerations,” said organizer Michael Bischoff. Forum panelists will include Rabbi Morris Allen of the Beth Jacob Congregation, Professor Tisha Rajendra of the University of St. Continue Reading
Minneapolis Advantage provided $500,000 dollars last year in a pilot project that gave $10,000 forgivable loans to 50 Minneapolis homebuyers. The loans were for down payment and closing costs, provided that buyers purchased homes on the same street as a foreclosed, vacant or boarded property. This month, the city of Minneapolis announced funding for expansion of Minneapolis Advantage. The purpose of the Minneapolis Advantage Program is to help rebuild the housing market in key neighborhoods that have experienced mortgage foreclosures. In 2009, the funding pool has expanded to $1.5 million and the rules have slightly changed. Continue Reading
Xcel Energy plans to build two substations in South Minneapolis, connecting them with high power transmission lines. Xcel says the new substations are essential to meet increased demand for electricity in the community and to replace an outdated distribution system. Residents in the Phillips neighborhood and advocates for the Midway Greenway want more answers before Xcel gets a green light from regulators. Among their questions:• Are there alternatives to “huge, ugly” towers?• How would the substations impact Little Earth’s new home ownership initiative?• If transmission lines run above the Greenway, how would that affect future transit development? • Do EMF emissions pose health risks? Continue Reading
Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) says the Metropolitan Council’s new 2030 Transportation Plan doesn’t provide concrete solutions for the Twin Cities’ transportation needs. A critique posted on TLC’s web site says:
The draft plan is encouraging in its de-emphasis on highway expansion, but the strategies proposed in this draft plan are too timid, too general, and fall too far behind similar regions around the country, especially in view of the plan’s lack of a strong connection between land use and transportation. Last chance to comment – November 6Public comments on the plan will be received until 5 p.m. Nov. 6, 2008. Today marks the deadline to submit public comment for the Metropolitan Council’s Draft 2030 Transportation Policy Plan. Continue Reading
Twin-Cities friends, advocates and allies of the homeless are inviting community members to pack a picnic lunch and join them on a Sunday afternoon in Powderhorn Park. The purpose of this casual gathering is to welcome families marching with the Poor Peoples’ Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) who will be visiting Minneapolis and St. Paul next week during the Republican National Convention. “A Day in the Park” takes place Sunday August 31st on the northeast corner of Powderhorn Park from 1-4pm. In addition to bringing picnic lunches for two families, attendees are also being asked to bring shoes for the families.PPEHRC will be among thousands of activists, organizers, and demonstrators who will show up to have their voices heard and their presence felt during the convention. Continue Reading
In the shadows of former state representatives Richard Jefferson, the Rev. Randolph Staten, Gregory Gray, Keith Ellison, and current Rep. Augustine Dominguez, Minnesota House District 58B has a legacy of strong leaders of color. Following the district convention in March, two DFL candidates and one Republican remain in the race to represent one of the most diverse districts in the state. Regardless of the winner, the area, which is 50 percent Black and over 75 percent persons of color, will once again send leadership of color to the state capitol. At this stage of the contest, DFL-endorsed candidate Bobby Joe Champion and Republican Party candidate Yoman Brunson are challenging incumbent Augustine “Willie” Dominguez, who is completing his first term in the district. Last week, part one of this story profiled Yoman Brunson; this week the story concludes with challenger Champion and incumbent Dominguez. Continue Reading