[PHOTOS] The power of participation on Election Night in Minneapolis

Historic victories for candidates of color shook up the Twin Cities political establishment on Tuesday night. While St. Paul elected Melvin Carter as its first Black mayor, three candidates of color – two of whom are transgender, none of whom have ever held public office – will ascend to the Minneapolis City Council dais in January, joining incumbents of color Alondra Cano and Abdi Warsame. Andrea Jenkins in Ward 8, Jeremiah Ellison in Ward 5 and Phillipe Cunningham in Ward 4 are bringing a new face to the Minneapolis City Council. Voter turnout throughout Minneapolis was the highest it’s been in two decades, with no exception for Wards 4, 5 and 8. Continue Reading

Three years after ‘Ban the Box,’ Minnesota ex-offenders find mixed prospects upon re-entry

With a first degree possession of a firearm and a second degree possession of a controlled substance on his record, Jason Sole had a tough time finding meaningful work when he got out of prison. “[Employers] didn’t see my value, they only saw me as a deficit,” said Sole. His first job out of prison was working at a Holiday Inn for $10 an hour.  Sole pointed out that employers know there are a limited amount of jobs, so when they see you’re an ex-offender, they take advantage of it. “The things they make you do because you’re an ex-offender is appalling,” adding, “They just wanted me to be a worker, they weren’t trying to make me a boss.”

Sole didn’t want anybody to be able to oppress him so he figured out how to be his own boss. Continue Reading

St. Paul’s growing political will for $15 minimum wage may mean a faster track for passage

Samuel Callahan is a single father raising his 14-year-old daughter, the youngest of his seven children. The father-daughter pair share a one-bedroom apartment in North Minneapolis. It’s cramped quarters, and yet the small family still does not get to spend enough time together. Callahan has been working at a Taco Bell for the past four years, but in 2016 he also started picking up shifts at a McDonald’s in order to make ends meet. In total, Callahan works 17 hours a day, six days per week. Continue Reading