Community Comes Together in Fire Relief Efforts

On the morning of Wednesday, April 15th, a fire completely destroyed a row of apartments and storefronts on West Broadway. Approximately 30 persons residing in 11 households were displaced by the fire, with several stores and offices destroyed. This event was indeed a tragedy, but the swift response from neighbors affirms some of the values central to the Northside: collaboration, resilience, and community. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Minneapolis cab drivers perpetrate racism as Star Tribune reporters witness blatant bias

After graduating with honors from Grambling State University this past Spring, Brittany Bentley returned to Minnesota to participate in the Teach for America program. Out of ten choices, Minneapolis was her fifth.  We moved to Minneapolis when my daughter was eighteen months old, but she has always believed she’d feel more welcome in other parts of the world. My daughter has grown to accept her placement here after meeting some of the 5th graders she will be teaching in the fall. Her experience this past weekend brings some realities back to the forefront. The race relations issue in this state exists at every level of the spectrum. Here is an account of what she experienced this past weekend while trying to hail a cab in downtown Minneapolis. “Two Caucasian reporters from the Star tribune come up to me and ask how long I’ve been waiting for a cab. I tell them that I’ve been waiting for over an hour. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | West Broadway business profile: Paradise Beauty Salon

Marie Egbujor has been operating Paradise Beauty Salon on West Broadway in North Minneapolis since 2009. The inviting salon is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm. Ms. Egbujor is kept busy by her loyal clients; Paradise Beauty is famous for its Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday-only specials: $75 for a full weave sew-in, and dread retouching for just $40. Egjubor’s expertise is evident in her clients’ satisfied faces; “She’s very gifted at what she does; her hands are blessed” explained a client named Tiquita, who only entrusts her hair to Egjubor. However, what’s truly remarkable about Paradise Beauty Salon is the sense of calm, care and tranquility that one feels almost immediately upon stepping inside. “When you come in you feel the difference. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Hmong families tour Minneapolis bikeways, vote to keep streets as is

 To learn more about the possible impact of the proposed North Minneapolis Bikeway, On May 16, North Minneapolis Hmong families packed a van and went on a tour of Minneapolis bikeways.All the participants live on one of the proposed routes for the North Minneapolis Bikeway.The Hmong families toured four Minneapolis bikeways: Milwaukee Ave., Midtown Greenway, Bryant Ave. S., and 37th Ave. N.During their tour, the families saw all three major types of bikeways as described by the city of Minneapolis:Bike boulevard. Bicycle symbols and traffic calming features, parking and street remain. Seen by Hmong families at Bryant Ave. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Councilmember Blong Yang gives City Hall tour to North Minneapolis Hmong students

On March 28, Newly elected Minneapolis councilmember Blong Yang gave a tour of City Hall to 20 North Minneapolis Hmong students on spring break from school.trying on hardhat councilmember Yang uses in city tunnelsFirst they crammed into councilmember Yang’s office.  Then they walked the halls of city hall.Some are more spellbound than others by councilmember Yang’s wordsThe students got to see council chambers where for 30 minutes they took over city council. They also saw the office headquarters for Minneapolis police, firefighters, and  Hennepin County sheriff’s office.The new mayor of Minneapolis – at least for the next 30 minutesAlong the tour, students talked with councilmember Yang about what they wanted improved in their neighborhood, from fixing potholes to fewer gunshots to more soccer fields to less snow.The next councilmember YangCouncilmember Yang talked about how important it was to stay in school, and hoped some of them would follow him as members of the Minneapolis city councilPractising his best Law and Order courtroom staredownBlong Yang is Minneapolis’s first Hmong councilmember. Many of these students know him better as soccer coach for the Farview Park soccer teamAfter the tour of city hall, the students got a chance to walk through the skyways and try some pizza.Hmong students run into councilmember Cam Gordon outside city hall, thank him for supporting Hmong police officerEnjoying some downtown pizza after city hall tour Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | North Minneapolis Hmong Families Question Proposed Bikeway

  North Minneapolis Hmong Student Surveys Hmong Families Living on Proposed Bikeway Routes During the first three weeks of March, North Minneapolis Hmong students interviewed 20 Hmong families about  a proposed bike path in North Minneapolis.  All 20 families surveyed  live on one of the proposed routesThe City of Minneapolis has announced that plans are being developed for a greenway and bike path  in north Minneapolis, and has offered three different possible routes.  The Hmong families were given maps showing the possible bike routes, and then asked  these questions: Did you know about the proposed bike path? Answer: 19 out of 20 families said they had not heard of the proposed bike paths.  1 woman said she had heard of the proposed bike path.Has anybody asked you your opinion of the proposed bike path? Answer: All twenty families said that nobody had asked them of their opinions of the              proposed  Bike pathBased on the map, do you want to see the bike path go in, or keep your street the way it is? Answer: 19 ½ families said that they prefer to keep the street as it is.  At one house the younger sister said she wanted the bike path, her older brother said that he wanted to keep the street as is.Many Hmong families surveyed mentioned losing parking as a top concern.  They said that many Hmong households have a lot of family members and several  cars, and need  to be able to park their cars on the street in front of their house.  Several surveyed Hmong families also said that they frequently have gatherings with many guests, and they need the street parking to accommodate their guest’s vehicles. One student surveyor said his family just bought a new car for his sister to get to work, and his family doesn’t  have space in the back to put the new car. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading