Best of Neighborhood News 2/26/2019: Youth-led climate movement taken to the State Capitol

Youth-led climate movement taken to the State CapitolMinnesota Can’t Wait, a broad coalition of youth, has changed the course of Minnesota’s progressive climate politics when they packed the State Capitol in early February to enshrine the Minnesota Green New Deal. Modeled after the eponymously named federal legislative version, spearheaded by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), the Minnesota Green New Deal also proposes similar programs addressing climate change through the remaking of the economy. The Green New Deal demands an “equitable” transition to renewable energy sources by 2030; it now makes its way through the state legislature. This moment in Minnesota’s nascent climate justice movement is what one young activist calls “a model for other states and the Federal Government to bring about additional Green New Deal legislation.”

To learn more, read the Southwest Journal. Amplifying voices: The SEAD Project uses storytelling to capture historyStorytelling and art are the centerpieces of a recent initiative led by the Southeast Asian Diaspora (SEAD) Project to highlight the forgotten histories of the millions who were borne out of the U.S. involvement in the French Indochina wars. Continue Reading

Duchess Harris

Whose work gets to be considered activism?

Photos by Kayla Steinberg
It would be easy to say from interviewing Duchess Harris that her wisdom comes from her nearly 30 years as a scholar and professor, teaching about the mechanics and dynamics of how race and racism works, particularly on how they infuse the laws that govern the nation, this state and our lives. Easy, yes—but not quite correct. Harris knows what she knows because she occupies an uneasier position: activist-scholar. She’s that professor who believes what she and her colleagues posit, preach and produce in peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books needs to be available to the rest of us outside of academia. Her teaching and her civic involvement in local politics is how she helps bend the arc toward justice. Continue Reading

Latino renters allege mistreatment in Lyndale

Inquilinos Unidos por Justicia (United Renters For Justice), along with several leaders of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA), gathered outside the Q.T Properties office on Hennepin Avenue  to protest the numerous fines and alleged mistreatment levied by the building owners. The associations wielded letters from tenants, and a petition demanding better conditions, demanding management to come outside and negotiate. Some were holding signs, and all were holding a sense of frustration.For the past year, there have been frequent complaints of mistreatment and deterioration of conditions at the buildings from Latino renters, along with difficulties in resigning their leases.“Every other moment they have letters saying we’re going to be fined, for their children playing in the hallway, for using the common area outside the apartment spaces, for leaving shoes or bicycles in common areas. These are things people should be able to do in their living spaces, and not have to fear for retaliation,” said Natasha Villanueva, LNAAs each speaker went up to list off their complaints, a common theme was clear: The heavy fines and shifting lease agreements seem designed to push them out. Most of the latino renters are working-class families who can’t afford to take time off work to deal with management, and the persistent fines are taking a toll.“They fined my car twice, which cost me $700. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Meet Shahar: Iraqi Polish Israeli Jewish American Immigrant Social Activist Singer Songwriter Lover Human Being

Meet Shahar Eberzon: part musician with an album in the making, part social activist, and part backbone of the growing artist community that is Face Forward  With all these projects, and with legendary Minneapolis stages requesting her presence, she is one to keep an eye on.However, I don’t care about any of that today. Today I have a different agenda.   L: I know you’ve had some immigration issues this year, and this kind of gets more to the root of what we are talking about. When did you come to the United States first?S: I came to the U.S. August 2008, five years ago, but I’ve been away from Israel since I was 17 because I was in Italy for two years.L: What was the strangest thing about coming here?S: Um. The passive aggressiveness. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Organizers, immigrants explain October 5 march in Minneapolis

Hundreds are expected for the National March for Dignity and Respect in Minneapolis on Saturday, October 5. The City of Minneapolis permits are approved. It will start at noon from the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, and will finish at the Hennepin County Government Center with speakers from labor groups, faith organizations, immigrant communities and allies. The forecast predicts 60 percent chance of precipitation and organizers are asking attendees to plan accordingly. Organizers are excited and hopeful.FULL DISCLOSURE: Emilia Gonzalez Avalos is one of the organizers of the march.Emulating actions across the nation, the March for Dignity and Respect aims to continue the pressure on the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive immigration reform. Continue Reading