Best of Neighborhoods News 05/08/2019: Bde Maka Ska is Lake Calhoun again, appeals court rules

Bde Maka Ska is Lake Calhoun again, appeals court rulesOver one year ago, along with the support of the Hennepin County Board, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr reverted a Southwest Minneapolis lake to its original Dakotan name, “Bde Maka Ska,” meaning “white earth lake.” The lake was named after then-Vice President John C. Calhoun, a proponent of slavery and eventual ideologue of the Confederate south. Many took solace in the strides that this symbolic moment represented in the larger efforts in the country to remove Confederate iconography and other merchants of hatred from public space. But on April 29 of this year, Minnesota’s court of appeals may have undone this when it ruled that Commissioner Landwehr lacked authority to rename the lake. The three-judge panel found that “only the Legislature can change the name of lakes that have been in state records for more than 40 years.”

Read the full story on Southwest Journal. Minnesota House Passes Measure to Create Hmong Veterans DayApril’s end was marked by more than just the hopeful bromides about spring’s arrival in Minnesota and the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Continue Reading

Not your backbone: Black women want more from the DFL

This piece is part of Twin Cities Daily Planet’s series covering the 2018 elections season. Every year we’re moving towards a possibility of a more diverse legislature. And with it, we hope comes increased opportunities for communities historically shut out of political processes and power to imagine and enact policies to create a Minnesota that benefits all its constituents. Earlier this year, Ken Martin, chair of the Minnesota DFL, released a Black History Month statement acknowledging that Black women are essential to the party. In his statement, which was released shortly after several women from local organization Black Women Rising called for a meeting with the Chair, Martin wrote “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party. Continue Reading