[From left to right: demonstrators fighting to repeal “lurking” and “spitting” laws, Congressman Keith Ellison, and demonstrators fighting for higher wages at the airport.]
Pushing anti-trans laws, and more in GTBLA news
As the state political leaders negotiate a budget deal to avoid a government shut down, GOP legislators tried to slip in rules that would “block transgender-inclusive policies in Minnesota’s public schools.”
The colu.mn reports on the two House Representatives efforts, including a letter to the editor that they wrote. Meanwhile, Bluestem Prairie has some highlights from their Twitter feeds, including one Representative who had compared transgender students to sexual predators.
Thankfully, as Bluestem Prairie reports, the House Speaker has stated that the legislation won’t be in the final negotiation.
And in other GLBT news, the Minnesota Daily describes how University of Minnesota policymakers are, for the first time, going to cover treatment for “gender identity disorder” in its health insurance policy. The move allows help for students “who experience discontent with the sex and gender they were born with.” About time!
Meanwhile, via The colu.mn, Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison is co-sponsoring a Federal ban on “ex-gay therapy”, while Minnesota Women’s Press offers a long story on the upcoming concert by One Voice Mixed Chorus, the largest LGBTA choir in the country.
Fixing police discrimination in Minneapolis
Repeal of the long-standing “lurking” and “spitting” city ordinances is the big issue in Minneapolis City Hall, and the Spokesman-Recorder reports on the debate downtown. “The two laws are both outdated and seem unequally enforced and need to be abolished,” states Neighbors Organizing for Change director Wintana Melkin, in the piece.
After a committee hearing full of African-American citizens testifying about being harassed by police, the repeal passed and will be held by the full council soon. The repeal of the ordinances is opposed by (Northside) Council President Barb Johnson and the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Daily details a report from the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, which hopes to improve how the Minneapolis Police count and explain “stops” of pedestrians and drivers. Currently, many police officers are not required to give details, which leaves them unaccountable.
Higher wages at the Airport, computers for kids in poverty, and a heroin epidemic
At the airport, Workday Minnesota reports on Kip Hedges, a baggage handler who was fired for saying that he supported low-wage airport workers. Hedges is filing a lawsuit, and efforts to organize airport works continue. Labor leaders are asking that workers be paid $15/hour.
Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) is raising money to provide computers for low-income school kids, and has $500 so far. As anyone who has ever glanced inside a Saint Paul library knows, many people don’t have their own computer and struggle to have access to the internet.
And ending on a downer, Southside Pride has a sad story about a heroin epidemic that’s sweeping through South Minneapolis’ Native American community. Six people in Little Earth have died in the past six months: “I don’t know what happened to the kids,” said Clive Bellecourt, about a recently deceased father.
PS. In case you missed it, see previous week’s roundup here: Saints Stadium, Young People’s Stories, Justice4Taye and more.
[For a Google Map version of this roundup, click here.]