Hennepin County sheriff’s office and the consequences of authority

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. Brian Fullman, an organizer with ISAIAH, a multiracial, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities focused on housing and racial equality in Minnesota, wants a sheriff who represents community. “I would like to see somebody who has directly been impacted by immigration or mass incarceration. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 7/19: Corcoran tenants rally for renters’ rights, affordable housing

Recently, tenants of buildings in Corcoran organized a block party and rally to advocate for housing rights and the formation of a tenant-owned co-operative building. Tenants renting with The Apartment Shop, owned by Stephen Frenz, experienced neglected building maintenance, including pests like roaches and mice, mold, and indoor winter temperatures as low as 45 degrees that led to health problems. At the rally, the tenants spoke out in favor of rent control and a tenant bill of rights. “Gentrification is happening all over,” said Bonnie Beckel, a Corcoran resident at the block party who lives just south of the apartments. “There’s no question that they’d do a better job of taking care of their buildings.”

Get full details at MinnPost. Amidst opposition from Native nations, Public Utilities Commission approves Line 3 pipeline route

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted to approve the Certificate of Need for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, an oil pipeline that would run from Canada through Minnesota. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 7/11/18: City Council members consider change to charter providing council oversight on police department

Within the current city charter of Minneapolis, the mayor has “complete power over the establishment, maintenance, and command of the police department,” including hiring and firing of officers and chiefs. In response to the recent fatal police shooting of Thurman Blevins, several City Council members expressed interest in modifying the charter to give City Council members oversight on the police department, mitigating the power afforded to the mayor and creating another avenue of accountability. “Right now, we have more oversight of our potholes than we do of our police,” Council Member Andrew Johnson (Ward 12) said. Activists and others have also weighed in on the issue, including Nekima Levy-Pounds. “We want support from the city,” Levy-Pounds said. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 7/5: MPD officers encouraged use of ketamine to sedate suspects

A new report indicates that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has encouraged Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to use ketamine to sedate suspects, even in cases when the individual was already restrained and in cases when there was no evidence of any crime committed. The report states that the use of ketamine on those arrested has increased from three usages in 2012 to 67 in 2017. Ketamine is a powerful sedative drug that creates a trance-like state as well as inducing hallucinations and memory loss. “I would say fairly comfortably based on conversations I’ve had with folks [that] it is Black folks who are ‘noncompliant,’ that are being affected the most,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham. “That’s frustrating.”
Read more at The Spokesman-Recorder. Continue Reading

Asylum for migrant minors – A letter to HHS and DHS from teachers

This letter was sent to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, and Jeh Johnson
, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, on behalf of the League of Latino Educators:Dear Secretary Burwell & Secretary Johnson,On behalf of the League of Latino Educators (LLE) and our teacher members, I write to urge for the humane treatment of the unaccompanied migrant minors fleeing to your care. These minors are refugees in need of asylum. LLE opposes the expedited deportation of these minors and requests that their human rights be honored and protected. We condemn the actions of hate groups posing as patriots staging rallies and protests to stop busses and prevent migrants from accessing the rights afforded by our own laws.As teachers, we welcome any student that walks into our classroom with open arms, no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, income, family background or immigration status. We understand the challenge of meeting their diverse needs, but we wake up everyday determined to do what is right for these children, our children, and the future of our country. Continue Reading