With 82% support for $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis, is it time to bypass City Hall?

The majority of the Minneapolis City Council is out of step with the people of the city. Led by Council President Barb Johnson, the majority say they can’t imagine a $15 per hour minimum wage for Minneapolis. Compare that to the 82 percent (poll) of likely voters who think $15 is a good idea, according to a recent polling performed by SEIU of likely voters in Minneapolis. Continue Reading

Minnesota African American Museum

Best of Neighborhood News 10/29: Minnesota black museum locale sold, MPLS students visit Harvard

After a seven-year battle, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reports that the long-anticipated site for the Minnesota African American Museum has been sold at auction. Beleaguered by legal battles, shoddy contractors, and broken promises from the state government, the MAAM has faced many barriers due to institutionalized racism, according to activist and the project’s President Nekima Levy-Pounds. Continue Reading

Nearly half of Minnesota’s workers lack sick leave, new study says

A new study this week from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that more than a third of Minnesota’s workforce still lacks access to paid sick days.The study, which gathered and analyzed data from government surveys like the 2012 National Health Interview Survey and the 2012 American Community Survey, revealed that 41 percent of Minnesota’s workers lack access to paid sick days. According to the report, low-income workers, part-timer workers, Hispanic workers and service industry workers have the lowest access to paid sick leave in the state.“Sixty percent [of] Hispanic workers lacked access to paid sick days versus the 41 percent for the state average,” said the report’s lead author Jessica Milli. “That’s a huge disparity right there.”Milli said the data they analyzed revealed large disparities between different occupations and categories, with service industry workers having the lowest rate of access.According to the study, only 35 percent of service industry workers in Minnesota have paid sick day benefits, while 84 percent of workers in computer, engineering and science fields have access to paid sick days. The management, business and financial fields also share high rates of access with 80 percent of those workers having paid sick leave benefits.Service industry jobs include ones like food industry, daycares, and personal service and accommodation jobs, Milli said, which is particularly problematic when it comes to lacking paid sick leave benefits since those workers are the most likely to spread illness.“Not only do 40 percent of workers in general lack access [to paid sick leave],” she said. “But those workers who lack access are predominately workers in service occupations with frequent contact with the public.”It’s common that service industry workers come into the workplace sick, she said, because they can’t afford to take the day off, and it puts their customers and other employees at risk of getting sick too.The study also shows disparities between different income levels. Continue Reading