The UpTake Gets New Look, Stays True To The Truth

Happy holidays and welcome to The UpTake’s new web site! We wanted a new look for our site that would make The UpTake more user friendly and allow our supporters to comment on our stories so that they can engage in discussions on the topics and issues of the day.

Minnesota Marriage Marathon: Love Is The Law

Photo slide show for The UpTake by Judy Griesedieck

After years of struggle for the right to marry, Minnesota’s LGBTQ community partied down and tied the knot — all over the state — as the same-sex marriage law passed last spring took effect at 12:01a.m. on Aug. 1. The UpTake has covered every aspect of this story for years (see below). But here, you can just feast your eyes on the sights and sounds of the historic celebration that began Thursday as the freedom to marry finally has been extended to include all of us. Video for The UpTake by Bill Sorem

Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of Minnesota’s History

I was 30 years old, a journalist with a passing knowledge of Indian history. Yet it had never occurred to me, until I came across the name of Ernest Wabasha one day, that people still lived among us who were connected to the terrible events of 1862-63, the time of the so-called “Sioux Uprising” and the exile and banishment of the Dakota Sioux from their homeland. But there it was: The great-great grandson of Chief Wabasha was living on a reservation near Redwood Falls! I looked up Mr. Wabasha’s telephone number and called to ask if I — a complete stranger — might visit some day. “What are you doing this afternoon,” he asked.

Minnesota Gun Battle Breaks Out of Committee, Moves to House Floor

A dramatically weakened gun-safety bill eked out a narrow escape from a Minnesota House committee Thursday, keeping the explosive issue of gun violence alive, ensuring that the Legislature will be asked to consider some tightening of Minnesota gun laws, and setting up contentious floor fights over the issue in the House in the weeks ahead. After two months of debate, the House Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, passed a bill including a softened requirement for background checks on buyers at gun shows. The narrow approval, on mostly party lines, came on a 10-8 vote (one Democrat, John Ward of Baxter, voted no), that presaged a contentious floor fight ahead. Rep. Tony Cornish, a gun-carrying Republican from Good Thunder, promised as much, telling Paymar after the vote to expect an all-out effort to defeat the bill.

Last Rites In Foreclosure Fight? Minnesota Senate Dems Block Hearing on Homeowners’ Bill of Rights

This is not the way Minnesota housing rights activists thought it would turn out when Democrats regained control of the the State Legislature: Hopes for passing a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights to protect Minnesotans from needlessly losing their homes to foreclosure all but died Friday. A Homeowners’ Bill of Rights — similar to one that was adopted by California last year — would require automatic mediation between banks and homeowners facing foreclosure and prohibit the practice of “dual-tracking,” in which banks negotiate with homeowners while simultaneously moving them towards foreclosure, often without their knowledge. Activists have been hoping that the Legislature will adopt such protections to help end the foreclosure crisis but got a cold dose of political reality: Without banking industry approval, some Democrats in the Senate appear unwilling to support a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights. In a polite but tense, closed-door meeting between activists and staffers for the Democratic chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. James Metzen of South St. Paul, supporters of the proposal were told that it will not be given a hearing this session.

Gun Fight: Can Minnesota Have a Fair Gun Debate at Gunpoint?

What if they gave a debate about guns in society and there were no guns in the room?

Minnesota may never know what that would look like.

Last week’s series of hearings in the Minnesota State Capitol on legislation to reduce gun violence had an unintended and unforeseen outcome: Guns in society wasn’t the most pressing issue. Guns in the Capitol was.