Best of Neighborhood News 11/7: City of Minneapolis recognizes Lao Minnesotan artist Kaysone Syonesa

October 10 is now known in Minneapolis as Kaysone Syonesa Day in recognition of prominent local Lao Minnesotan artist. Syonesa has been active in the local theater arts scene for years and is an accomplished actor, director and playwright. She is a close friend and mentor in her community. The recognition comes at the request of the Southeast Asian Literature Interdisciplinary Theater Arts Center. Syonesa and her family came to Minnesota after the Lao Civil War. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 10/16: “Know-Your-ICE-Rights” placards to be placed on MPD cars

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is implementing policy which requires all Minneapolis Police Department squad cars to carry newly made placards which inform potential immigrant detainees of their rights. The cards are written in English and Spanish and note one’s rights not to inform police of their birth country, immigration status or citizenship status. This policy comes at the reluctance of the Minneapolis police officers union; Lt. Bob Kroll said, “We’re all for immigration, but if people are here illegally they aren’t subject to our rights.”

In regards to his decision to implement the placards, Mayor Frey said, “Our immigrant community is a huge part of what makes Minneapolis an amazing city. And as mayor, I have an obligation to do everything I can to make sure their talents and their contributions stay right here in Minneapolis.”

Read more at The Downtown Journal. Facebook as a tool for English language learning

Three instructors at the University of Minnesota, Jenifer Vandek, Kendall King, and Martha Bigelow, who all specialize in second language acquisition, recently published a report on how using the social media platform Facebook can offer immigrant students a more accessible  medium for learning. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 10/10: Native homeless encampment moved to navigation center

The Minneapolis City Council recently voted to move the Franklin-Hiawatha Native homeless encampment, known as Wall of Forgotten Natives, to a nearby “navigation center” on Cedar Avenue. This facility is to be a temporary shelter to help the homeless Native population have access to warm shelter and healthcare as the temperatures drop. The Red Lake Nation, owner of the new location, is invested in working with Minneapolis city officials to implement a long term solution, and has plans to build a six-story affordable housing complex on the location starting in 2019. “These are our people down here … The reality is, as tribal leaders, we need to step up, and it’s powerful when we do,” said Sam Strong, tribal secretary of the Red Lake Nation. Find the full story at The Circle. Continue Reading

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 10/4: Council members vote against independent investigation of MPD and improper ketamine use

In a recent decision, Minneapolis City Council members voted 10 – 3 against funding an independent investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department after a report asserting that officers improperly encouraged Emergency Medical Services to administer ketamine to people in police custody. The investigation, recommended by Mayor Jacob Frey, was to be led by acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates and King & Spalding LLP, the Atlanta-based law firm where Yates is a partner. “This is something we all agreed was necessary just three short months ago,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano (Ward 13). “We heard from the community. Their asks were clear. 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