[PHOTOS] Monumental wins for Hennepin County Board of Commissioners

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. The election-night watch parties of Hennepin County Commissioner-elect Irene Fernando (District 2), held at La Doña Cervecería – photographed by Nancy Musinguzi – and Hennepin County Commissioner-elect Angela Conley (District 4) held at Du Nord Craft Spirits  – photographed by Anna Rajdl began in anticipation and ended in celebration. Both women are the first people of color elected to serve on the Board of Hennepin County Commissioners, which has been all white since 1852. Continue Reading

A challenge to Stanek’s incumbency in the struggle for race equity

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. Robert Pilot, an educator and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, said he and many other people in the Native American community started talking about the need to replace current Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek in Oct. 2016, after Stanek sent equipment and 30 deputies to Standing Rock in North Dakota. Continue Reading

Mere visibility or political power? Native women vie for lieutenant governor

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. In this year’s Nov. 6 general election, no matter which party prevails, our lieutenant governor will be a woman. Continue Reading

Hennepin County Commissioner Board has been all white since 1852 – and that might end on Nov. 6

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. “If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of color because we know where justice is. We are closest to the pain, which makes us closest to the solutions. 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

The next Hennepin County Attorney will control the criminal justice system for 1.2 million people

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. “The prosecutor is single-handedly the most powerful person in the courtroom,” said Elizer Darris, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice organizer. Darris is spearheading doorknocking about the role of prosecutors, elected officials known in some states as district attorneys and here in Minnesota as county attorneys. 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

New politicians, renewed responsibility for constituents to hold them accountable

 

In the 2017 election, the Minneapolis government experienced the largest shakeup in local government in recent history. Along with new mayor, Jacob Frey, the city council received five new members as well. With a new progressive majority on the City Council, local advocates are looking forward to the next four years but also realize they can’t be complacent in holding candidates accountable. Alex Boutrous, president of the Minnesota Young DFL (MYDFL) is feeling positive about the potential for change. “We have this very young and progressive council who is really committed to doing this work and really moving our city forward in creative ways,” said Boutrous. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 2/8: Candidate hopes to change historically white Hennepin County board

LaDonna Redmond, a Twin Cities food justice advocate, is vying to be the first person of color to serve on Hennepin County’s commission. According to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, Redmond, running for District Three, wants to empower historically disenfranchised people. “The County is really an unknown governmental layer. It is a very powerful layer. [It] distributes $2 [billion] a year in funding across the system. Continue Reading