Municipal IDs could shape the future of immigrant rights in Minneapolis

A new form of identification –  municipal identification – will soon be implemented in Minneapolis. It is possibly a life-changing move for thousands in the metro area. Municipal identification is not a nascent thing, but rather a local, albeit legal identification that’s taken hold in large and small cities across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City and even to Northfield, Minnesota. On just a single page on the city of Minneapolis’ website, municipal IDs have certainly become part of the political lexicon, after nearly a decade of grassroots advocacy. The page begins with the declaration that, in order to show we are “One Minneapolis,” municipal IDs will “further advance the City’s racial equity goals.” The IDs, the page explains, “will connect Minneapolis residents to services, programs and benefits, regardless of immigration status, homelessness or gender identity.”

That the use of IDs now stand to be codified into law comes on the heels of years of hard work by a broad coalition of immigrant activist groups and community organizations collaborating with the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations. Continue Reading

Women who lead MPLS NAACP

Best of Neighborhood News 11/24: Women who lead MPLS NAACP, Fourth Precinct protest status

The Minnesota Women’s Press published a feature profiling the ways the new women leading Minneapolis’ NAACP chapter are taking a fresh approach that combines activism and policy-making. Revitalizing a venerable organization takes bulldog determination, says Nekima Levy-Pounds, the new president of the Minneapolis NAACP. That’s exactly the quality the organization’s first all- female elected board of directors has in abundance. In a special election in May – held because the Minneapolis branch had gone virtually dormant – NAACP members elected Levy-Pounds, first vice president Natonia Johnson, second vice president Cathy Jones, treasurer Helen Bassett, secretary Kerry Jo Felder, assistant treasurer Ashley Oliver and assistant secretary Bertha Daniels. The women didn’t run together as a slate. Continue Reading

Jamar Clark

Best of Neighborhood News 11/19: Protesters stand ground in North Minneapolis for Jamar Clark

Protesters stand ground in North Minneapolis
Charles Hallman from the Spokesman-Recorder provides for us an excellent slide show capturing the protest efforts of NAACP and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, as well as a thorough breakdown of the community’s perspective on the events leading up to Jamar Clark’s death. Here’s a brief excerpt, a quote from one of the protesters interviewed at the scene:
“We are fed up,” said Williams. If this had happened to a young White male in Minnetonka, there would be no questions and the community would not be out like this. There is a real sickness in our police department here in Minneapolis. We don’t want to sit at the table and have another conversation or another dialogue. We want real action.”
Check out the full story and many great photos here. Continue Reading

Minneapolis Mayor Hodges includes transgender courage in state of the city address

In the state of the city address on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges brought attention to issues facing the city’s transgender community and called on all citizens of the city to practice “love and celebration” in interactions with their transgender neighbors. She also called for the city to continue to adopt policies that make the city safer for transgender residents and visitors.Celebrating the courage of transgender individuals and the community was one of six themes in the mayor’s speech. Also included was increased mentoring of high school students, lowering city waste, addressing the city’s role in climate change, and making city-business interactions simpler. Hodges also included increasing police-community engagement.Here are Hodges remarks about moving the city forward on transgender inclusion:Recently, a person very dear to me let me know she was a transgender woman. My first response? Continue Reading

MN GOP Majority Leader backs anti-transgender bill

The majority leader in the Minnesota House is among 28 Republicans who have signed on to a bill that would block transgender inclusive school policies.Republican Majority Leader Joyce Peppin signed on to the bill on Monday. She is among more than a dozen Republicans who have added their names to the bill since it was introduced in early March by 17 Republicans.The bill is one being touted by anti-LGBT groups, the Minnesota Child Protection League and the Minnesota Family Council. The bill is a reaction to recent policies enacted in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts that increases safety and inclusion for transgender and gender nonconforming students. It is also a reaction to an appeals process put in place by the Minnesota State High School League that allows transgenders student to play on athletics teams based on their gender.Bill proponents missed an important deadline on Friday. Continue Reading

Special Report: Trans voices still missing from Minnesota news reporting

The Minnesota State High School League’s vote in early December to include transgender students in high school athletics made news throughout the state. For the first time in recent memory, a transgender issue was thoroughly covered through television, newspaper, radio, and the web. For many media outlets, it was one of the few times transgender issues were reported on. In some cases, that inexperience showed.

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Support for transgender students grows around the state ahead of policy vote

Just before the Minnesota State High School League’s proposed vote in early October on a trans-inclusive high school athletics policy, support poured in for transgender students. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, council members Barbara Johnson and Elizabeth Glidden, Sen. Scott Dibble, the president of Minnesota’s pro-soccer club Minnesota United, the Star Tribune Editorial Board, and the state’s teachers union Education Minnesota all wrote statements in support of transgender students.

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