St. Paul gearing up to add more poems to city sidewalks

Origami BirdYou have great long wingsTo flyWhy do you sit still?This poem, by Madeline K. Schuster, is one of 20 poems already imprinted on sidewalks throughout St. Paul. This month St. Paul residents have another opportunity to submit a poem that could be made immortal by being stamped into wet concrete.The Everyday Poems for City Sidewalks program, created by Marcus Young, the St. Paul Public Artist in Residence, brings art to the community and incorporates poetry into everyday living. Continue Reading

MN VOICES | Louis King and HIRE

Created only four months ago, HIRE MN (Healthcare, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy), a grassroots coalition of community organizations pushing for public investments for new green jobs with living wages while promoting more environmentally sustainable communities, has been turning out hundreds of people at their town-hall meetings. How has HIRE MN been so successful in mobilizing hundreds of Minnesotans in such a short time? I sat down with the dynamic founder of HIRE MN, Louis J. King at his office at Summit Academy OIC to find out. TCDP: How did the idea for HIRE MN come about? Louis J. King: When I look at things I don’t just look at them for where they are now, I think about where they’re going to be tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now, and where do I want them to be? Continue Reading

HIRE supporters rally at the capitol

HIRE MN (Healthcare, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy) held a rally at the state capitol April 20, despite rain and blustery wind. Speakers said they wanted to deliver a message to legislators that Minnesotans want green jobs and that they expect the government to use stimulus funds to make them happen. The turnout of supporters was less than HIRE organizers had hoped, but with dozens of speakers including Congressman Keith Ellison and Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, a traditional Hmong dance performed by girls from the Lao Family and a performance by local hip-hop artist Brother Ali, the energy was high. Flickr slideshows do not display properly on some browsers. If you have difficulty viewing this slideshow on the Daily Planet, please go to HIRE MN Rally. Continue Reading

HIRE in Minneapolis

HIRE – Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy – has turned out hundreds of people across the Twin Cities, bringing together American Indian, African American, Latino, Hmong and recent immigrant communities. HIRE’s town hall forums have built toward a day at the capitol, which will take place on April 20. This video shows clips of Louis J King, among others, speaking at a HIRE event in Minneapolis in March 09. For an article about the HIRE meetings, see Hundreds come to HIRE Town Hall at Minneapolis American Indian Center
Mysti Strege covered two HIRE meetings for the TC Daily Planet, and Tim Lehman assisted in putting together this video. Mysti Strege is a student at Hamline University and an intern at the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

Slow caucus this year in Minneapolis

Last year people waited in line for hours, packed into schools and community centers to join their precinct caucuses and organizers ran out of ballots early in the evening. This year it was a much calmer affair – the rooms were far less crowded and there were no lines. If the 2009 Minneapolis caucuses on March 3 were any indication, citizens have not fallen in love with caucusing, but were excited about a groundbreaking presidential election year. “These [local] candidates are just not as well known. There was a lot more publicity and news coverage about last year’s candidates and caucus,” said Peter Janelle, a precinct captain for Minneapolis City Council candidate Jose Velez. Continue Reading

Hundreds come to HIRE Town Hall at Minneapolis American Indian Center

An American Indian drumming and dance performance began as hundreds of people gathered in the gymnasium of the Minneapolis American Indian Center February 17 for a buffet dinner and the third HIRE MN (Healthcare, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy) town hall meeting. HIRE was founded by Louis J. King, president of Summit Academy OIC, a community-based vocational training and job placement center. HIRE is working to ensure that people of color and low-income workers will benefit from newly created green jobs and transportation projects that are incipient for Minnesota. HIRE is a coalition of diverse community organizations. King said they are trying to “organize across boundaries and bring together groups usually not associated with each other.” Each affiliate organization has their specific focus, but they are coming together around the common goal of eliminating poverty while creating environmentally sound communities. Continue Reading