Best of Neighborhood News 10/23: $15 minimum wage for St. Paul


St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and St. Paul Councilmember Chris Tolbert recently announced a $15 minimum wage for St. Paul. The first reading of the new ordinance happened on Oct. 17. St. Paul’s new minimum wage would be the same as that of Minneapolis, making the Twin Cities a $15 minimum wage metro area.

“Increasing the minimum wage is one way to close the poverty gap in St. Paul. Equally important, the City needs to provide our immigrant and small businesses with equitable support so they can successfully pay $15 an hour,” said St. Paul Council Member Dai Thao. “I look forward to working with Mayor Carter, the City Council, and our community towards an ordinance that works for our city.”

Read more at Insight News.

Coalition formed to give marginalized voices accurate media portrayal

A new multidisciplinary coalition of organizations is receiving funding from the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations and are banding together with the mission of racial healing and reevaluation of how racial issues are portrayed in the media. The coalition will help news professionals to examine their own biases in journalism and seek to change the way marginalized groups are talked about in the news.

“We know this work is only possible through effective community partnerships, and this collaborative effort is an excellent example of the creativity and fresh thinking that is possible when we invite others to the table,” said Dr. Eric Jolly, CEO of the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations.

Find the whole story at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

Adult learning program to help those with partial credit finish degrees

The Lumina Foundation has awarded a grant to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to launch the state’s new “Reconnect” program aimed to help adults with partial college credit go back to school to get their degrees. The program comes after studies have shown that there are significant racial disparities when it comes to college graduation rates in Minnesota. The program will be rolled out at four state and community colleges and offers adult students ways to work school into their regular schedules.

Meredith Fergus, head of the Reconnect program, said, “We know that students of color are actually more likely to drop out of college than white students, and low-income students are more likely to drop out than upper-income students. So by focusing on dropouts, we can also target individuals of color, as well as low-income students, to help get them back in and get that certificate or degree, which will help them, in terms of economic outcome.”

Find out more at MinnPost.