Today’s UpTake: Dayton Meets MN GOP Senate Leaders

Gov. Mark Dayton thanks Minnesota unions for helping him win the election

Freshly back from a trip to Washington, D.C., Minnesota Governor-elect Mark Dayton will meet today behind closed doors with the state’s new Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel to discuss the upcoming legislative session. Afterward, at 2:30, they’ll speak to the media. The UpTake will air the press conference, and we’re inviting our viewers — that means you — to submit questions before 2 p.m., which we’ll try and pose to Dayton, Koch and Michel. That’s citizen journalism at its best! Also at 10 a.m., we’ll be there as Secretary of State Mark Ritchie issues the election certificate to officially end the governor’s race.

Yesterday we posted videos of President Obama discussing the framework for tax cuts, following his behind-closed-doors meeting with wealthy CEOs. The White House also held a day-long environmental justice forum, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley took questions about the Obama administration’s work on behalf of the environment. And on a lighter note, the White House posted this video of “first chef” Sam Kass explaining the healthy school lunch plan to our furry friend Elmo.

Following last weekend’s nasty (and early) winter storm — the mightiest to hit the Twin Cities since 1991 — reporters from The UpTake are talking to local scientists and global climate change experts to determine whether more extreme weather (be it winter storms, droughts or flooding) are a result of global climate change. Stay tuned as we post interviews. We’re also digging our hands into whether Local Government Aid cuts has meant fewer snowplows on the roads — and thus more snow emergencies declared by Minneapolis and St. Paul, and more school closings. Again, stay tuned.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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