Cirien Saadeh

Cirien Saadeh

Recent Posts

Dean Phillips discusses impeachment, guns during Sept. 7 town hall

Dean Phillips

Phillips continues to hold frequent town halls as he met with hundreds of constituents in the Chanhassen High School auditorium during a Sept. 7 town hall meeting. Phillips discussed his personal observations of Congress, citing thee separate busses for each party, the lack of any meetings other than hearings, “with our backs to each other.” He has worked to build bi-partisan actions and mentioned Ted Cruz and Mark Andrews as possible partners. The first question was on impeachment. Continue Reading →

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Losing a job unexpectedly is devastating

Bosteya Jama. Photo by Jessica Webster.


According to the state data, low-wage earners do not make use of the state’s unemployment insurance program. 

The fear of losing housing, food, transportation, and basic necessities can be overwhelming. The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program is supposed to protect workers from these harms. Through this program, a  full-time minimum wage worker who accesses unemployment insurance (UI) receives about $800-$1,000/month for six months while searching for work. But UI does not protect all workers equally. State program data illustrate that the program heavily and disproportionately serves white males in the construction trades. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Funding journalism and building support for independent journalism

High school students Datelle Straub (Left) and Danae Lawson (Right) recently went through the Journalism of Color training program that The UpTake now offers. Photo by Cirien Saadeh.

High school students Datelle Straub (Left) and Danae Lawson (Right) recently went through the Journalism of Color training program that The UpTake now offers. Photo by Cirien Saadeh. Hello UpTake supporters -

It’s been an amazing week for our organization and we’re grateful for you. I want to talk about the stretch goal we launched last week and why it’s so important we invest in training and paying freelance journalists. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Big news from The UpTake

"The Quilt," as a title, is meant to honor the ethnic and communal backgrounds of UpTake and Voices staff.


Thank you to all who joined us for our first Community Cafe at Sammy’s Avenue Eatery on Tues. the 16th! Many of you might not know this but The UpTake has been going through a period of transition since I’ve taken over. News organizations, including our own, have struggled to find sustainability and, even more so, we’ve struggled to understand what our role is in an ever-changing world that distrusts journalism and journalists. We also believe that it’s time for journalism to reconsider who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Continue Reading →

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Dean Phillips speaks at June town hall

Dean Phillips

Story and Video by Bill Sorem
New CD3 Congressman Dean Phillips had promised town halls every month in his district, moving around the area to make it easier for constituents to participate. A crowd of about 300 gave him a standing room only audience in the Gillespie Center in Mound on June 15. His brief introductory remarks take about his new experiences in Washington and his steadfast refusal of PAC money. He commented on overtures from Republicans Senator Ted Cruz and House member Mark Meadows to work on joint legislation, two members of Congress with strongly opposing political views. Phillips had visited the southern border with a group of Congress members and he says he was deeply moved by what he saw. Continue Reading →

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Don’t Let the Moment Pass, says civil rights leader Josie Johnson


Story and Video by Bill Sorem
Josie Johnson spoke at the Minneapolis League of Women Voters 2019 Annual Meeting in North Minneapolis. Johnson, active civil rights leader, former acting director of the Minneapolis Urban League, University vice president and provost, and the first Black Regent at the University of Minnesota spoke to LWV members and friends at the Annual Meeting, June 11, 2019. (more…) Continue Reading →

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10 Minute Walk to a Park

LVW Screenshot

Story and Video by Bill Sorem
A 10 minute walk to a park for 97% of the Minneapolis population was one of the metrics that has traditionally kept Minneapolis on the top of the listing of cities park systems by The Trust For Public Land. The 2019 listing had Minneapolis in 3rd place, behind St.Paul which was in second. First place went to Washington D.C. In 2018, Minneapolis was in first place for the 6th consecutive year, with St. Paul 2nd. Christensen noted that this was a nice honor, but only one of the considerations in park system planning. Continue Reading →

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Legislature Fails To Protect Poor From Financial Predators

Grant Stevensen- ISAIAH

Businesses are driving poor people further into poverty says a group of Minnesota religious leaders. Their new report on “poverty profiteering” says inaction by Minnesota lawmakers is to blame along with payday lenders, big banks, and wall street. Continue Reading →

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Lowry Grove Residents Refuse to Lose Homes After Surprise Property Sale to Corporate Developer


Lowry Grove residents own their own homes, but not the land under them. The land owner plans to kick them out, demolish the homes that can’t be moved and sell the land. Residents are trying to raise $6 million to stop the sale before a June 11 deadline. Continue Reading →

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