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Redlining: Banks Still Restricting Home Loans In “Non-White” Areas

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A new report shows that from 2009 to2012, people in predominantly non-white Minneapolis neighborhoods such as Near North and Camden were three times more likely to be denied loans – - regardless of what race the person was who applied for the loan. “The lack of access to credit continues to plague communities of color in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area,” says Myron Orfield from the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. (More…) Continue Reading →

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DFL Leaders Agree To Minimum Wage Hike, Deny “Horsetrading” On Building Deal

Minimum Wage Agreement Announcement

After months of negotiations, DFL leaders from the House and Senate announced an agreement raising Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2016. The agreement also includes automatic increases in the minimum wage based on inflation. Continue Reading →

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Occupy Homes Demands Minneapolis Cops Follow Protocols

Occupy MN Boards Up Minneapolis Police HQ

Occupy Homes is calling for the Minneapolis Police Department to follow its own foreclosure protest protocol, which requires a number of steps before people can be arrested. The demand came after seven people occupying vacant houses were arrested within 10 days in March. Continue Reading →

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Forum Debates Racial Profiling: Eliminate It? Or Learn To Deal With It?

James Everett, former candidate for Minneapolis Mayor, speaks on racial profiling at Normandale Community College March 26.

It’s a given that racial profiling — when law enforcement authorities engage or enforce with an individual because of the person’s race or ethnicity –happens. But what to do about the practice was the focus of a forum this week at Normandale Community College in Bloominhton. Continue Reading →

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Hunger Strikers to John Kline: Pass Immigration Reform NOW!

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Hunger strikers from Fast for Families stood on the steps of the State Capitol Friday as part of a national tour to urge Congress to support immigration reform legislation. Calling on GOP Rep. John Kline to help persuade Speaker of the House John Boehner to allow the Senate immigration reform bill to be voted on in the House, the hunger strikers stood with local politicians, community leaders and activists to push for change. Continue Reading →

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North Side Groups Aim At Gun Violence

Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle.. the FN SCAR...Alleged to have been seen being carried by masked security guards in Wisconsin's North Woods

North Side Minneapolis neighbors took aim at the ways that systemic racism perpetuates the cycle of violence at a forum organized by Protect Minnesota. The forum, which as held at the office of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change on Broadway Avenue, included a call to oppose a bill in the Minnesota State Senate which they say criminalizes youth of color, rather than focusing on prevention. Continue Reading →

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2007 Collapse Of I-35W Minneapolis Bridge Gets “Retro” Examination

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The most recent effort by by Retro Report, a documentary news organization that tries to find out “What really happened,” “How did these events change us” and “What are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day,” is focused on a tragic story familiar to Minnesotans: The Aug. 1, 2007 collapse of the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis, which killed 13 people, injured more than 100 and prompted a national discussion on the deteriorating condition of the country’s infrastructure. Continue Reading →

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Social Justice Activists Make Waves At Capitol on School, Homeless Issues

Mass Suspensions News Conference

The day of social activism began with a coalition of African-American and religious leaders calling for an end to school suspensions and police officers in schools; later, advocates for the homeless asked the legislature to pass a $100 million bonding bill to prevent homelessness. Continue Reading →

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Crying Wolf: Activists Demand End To Minnesota Wolf Hunt

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Hundreds of opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunting season gathered at the State Capitol to lobby — and howl! — for a makeover in the state’s recent approach to management of the totemic animal that, for many, symbolizes wilderness in the state’s North Country. The day-long “Wolf Day” was organized by Howling For Wolves, a citizens’ group that supports passage of a law that would place a new moratorium on wolf hunting in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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“School-To-Prison Pipeline” Sparks Protest, School Walkout

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About sixty students from St. Paul’s Central High School walked out of their classes Wednesday (Feb. 26) as a statement against the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The students joined more than 100 protesters — many of them college students and other community members — who gathered outside the school before marching to the nearby St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church for a program-cum-protest. Continue Reading →

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Brother Ali Sings, Workers Rally To “Raise The Wage” In Minnesota

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Hundreds of people carried signs and wore “Raise the Wage” T-shirts in the State Capitol, dancing while Brother Ali sang and established a tone of jubilant expectation for a rally calling on Legislators to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage. Continue Reading →

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Controversial Education Maven Michelle Rhee Riles Up Minnesota

A Lightning Rod in the Battle Over Education Reform: Michelle Rhee

Controversial education expert Michelle Rhee, founder of Students First and former chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public school system, brought her combative education reform rhetoric to Minnesota last week, drawing a vocal protest from opponents and challenging state educators to alter teacher seniority systems that Rhee said contribute to the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Continue Reading →

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REPLAY: Hearing On “Financial Assurance” Question For PolyMet Mining Proposal

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REPLAY: A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Tuesday from environmental activists, mining advocates and other stakeholders on the controversial copper-nickel mining proposal for northern Minnesota that is being advanced by PolyMet Mining Corporation. Continue Reading →

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Privacy Watch Dog: State Cops Are Tracking Your Cell Phone

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From UpTake contributor Rich Neumeister, at Open Secrets

Since 2005, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has paid nearly $750,000 for what they call a “cellular exploitative device.” After the state’s top cop agency got their new spy tool, the Hennepin County Sheriff had to get one, too. In 2010, Hennepin County got a similar evice for nearly $400,000. The BCA wants to keep you from knowing about these secret tools. They have pulled a shade of “total” secrecy, a blackout. Continue Reading →

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Workers: Keep The Fries; We Want That $15 Hourly Wage We Need To Live

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Story for The UpTake by Sheila Regan

On the heels of last week’s large Black Friday protests in the Twin Cities, demonstrations calling for better wages for fast-food workers were staged in three Minnesota cities Thursday: Protests demanding a living wage were held outside fast-food restaurants in Minneapolis, Lakeville and Cambridge as part of a nationwide effort called Fast Food Forward, a campaign which originated in New York City demanding that hourly wages be increased to $15 an hour. In Minneapolis, about 45 people gathered in front of the McDonalds and Burger King restaurants on Stinson Boulevard in Northeast Minneapolis. The local action, organized by SEIU and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, lasted about 20 minutes in the sub-zero windchill. Organizers said that no workers left their jobs to strike in Minnesota, as was the case in some other states, but that the action here was meant to raise awareness of the issue of poverty wages. Anytrea Baker, a food service worker at Minneapolis Public Schools and a member of SEIU, said she came out to support her fellow food service workers. Continue Reading →

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