COMMUNITY VOICES | Southwest Suburban Democrats parading and picnicking

 Over the past year, I carried my video camera to many DFL events staged in a civic arc that stretches from Bloomington to Eden Prairie to Hopkins and Brooklyn Park.  I’ve stitched various clips from these get togethers into a fun kind of review of the past year for the current edition of Democratic Visions.   This is not a definitive review, but it does reflect some of what I lensed in a congressional district (CD 3) that ranges from red to purple and is trending blue.Democratic Visions is handcrafted by DFL volunteers from Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka and Minneapolis.  The show looks good on large, home flatscreens via various community access channels.  Here’s the schedule -Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 -Sundays at 8:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 2 a.m. 8 a.m. & 1 p.m.Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Hopkins – Comcast Channel 15 -Sundays at 9 p.m.; Mondays at 10 p.m. & Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 -Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Continue Reading

Why suburbanites should support good urban design

Well, I had this great post thought up on why stakeholders outside the bicycling and transit communities, from all areas of our metro should support alternative transportation options. Then this crazy Brit wrote his piece in The Times, which is about 100x better than I could have done (seriously, if you haven’t read it yet, go do so). We could replace the words kilometer, pound, petrol, and theatre with mile, dollar, gas, and theater, and run the piece in a US paper and none would be the wiser. Walker Angell also put together a great piece a few weeks ago highlighting bicycle benefits. Continue Reading

It’s not really the yards

Sitting around a firepit in a South Minneapolis backyard on a recent Saturday night, it was clear: It’s nice to have a yard. You can see stars south of Lake Street! The bike ride was a bit of a schlep–when you don’t have a car, Lake Nokomis may as well be Lake Pepin if you don’t want to transfer twice on a bus–but it was one of those beautiful cusp-of-fall-in-Minnesota-type-of-nights and so it was alright. It’s good to have land. Continue Reading

A dubious urbanist wonders: Is this a good thing?

Something interesting has been happening lately. It’s a strange phenomenon that has this urbanist scratching his head. Mid-rise apartment buildings, the sort that signal a certain level of urban self-sustainability, have been popping up in locales that urbanists love to hate. This curiosity was first noticed at St. Louis Park’s mostly vacant “attempt” at creating a new “urban” destination just west of downtown Minneapolis. The quotation marks, of course, imply that this was not done in earnest. It’s the sort of place that I love to scoff at as I pull in to Costco. The cowboy bar is doing great. Continue Reading

Poverty in the suburbs – Hunger is a painful symptom

Americans moved to the suburbs after World War II to escape the problem of poverty in cities. Running away is no longer an option – the cities ‘ traditional woes are now in the suburbs, too. We have to recognize that the face of American poverty is an increasingly suburban one, and act accordingly. Continue Reading