Issues

Recent Posts

Night On The Street: Kids Helping Homeless Kids

Lee Blons exults during Friday's Night on the Street event to help homeless youth in Minnesota. Click on photo to watch the video.

On any given night in Minnesota, about 2,500 young people will sleep on the streets…Homelessness among the young is a growing problem in Minnesota, one that has drawn the attention of more fortunate young people belonging to church congregations all over the Twin Cities. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of Minnesota’s History

Wabasha, Ernest

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. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Milwaukee Activists March In Immigration Action In Washington

Voces de la Frontera

More than 50 people attended a rally in front of the Mitchell Park Domes on the South side of Milwaukee Tuesday to send off immigrant activists and allies for a Wednesday march for immigration reform in Washington D.C.. They were part of a total of 200 families, some from each congressional district in Wisconsin, traveling to Washington to march in favor of ending abuse of immigrant workers and a direct path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Simultaneous rallies were held around Wisconsin to send off activists on the long bus ride to Washington. Activists planned to conduct a phone bank on the ride, encouraging Wisconsin voters to contact their Congress members to act on meaningful immigration reform. Once in D.C, activists planned to speak with their elected officials and meet with thousands of activists from around the country to march for justice for undocumented immigrants. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Busting Myths on $7.25 an Hour…An Uptake Leadership Profile: Veronica Mendez

Click on the Image of these Retail Cleaners in front of Kmart to Hear how they are Fighting for a Living Wage.

Veronica Mendez is a myth buster. Sadly, she says one of the biggest myths that needs busting is one of the myths Americans want to believe most about their country: The myth that if you work hard enough and long enough, you can succeed. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Decision Not To File Charges in Derek Williams Death Outrages Milwaukee Community

Activists protested Friday after a prosecutor refused to bring charges against Milwaukee police officers in the death of Derek Williams. Click on the photo to see the protest.

No criminal charges will be filed against three Milwaukee police officers found by an inquest jury to have failed to render necessary aid to Williams when he collapsed and died in the back of a squad car on July 6, 2011. The controversial death of Williams, a young father of three, has roiled police-community relations since the incident and community anger exploded after last week’s development. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

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

Battle Lines: Joe Olson, left, president of the MN Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, spars with Rep. Michael Paymar, D-St. Paul, chair of the House Public Safety Committee, after committee approval of a bill requiring background checks for gun buyers at gun shows. The battle over gun safety now moves to the full House.

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. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The New Watchdogs: Keeping You Posted, by Jason Barnett, Executive Director of The UpTake

What has happened to local and state government reporting in a time of legacy media budget-trimming, staff cutbacks and a loss of commitment to fearless journalism and truth-telling? I’m sure you already know the answer, and it isn’t good. That’s why I have been invited to present a panel discussion at April’s National Conference for Media Reform in Denver in order to examine the debilitated state of local government reporting across the country, and to discuss ideas to strengthen it. The title of my session is, “The New Watchdogs: Holding Power to Account.” And yes, you bet, I believe that The UpTake is one of the best emerging models out there for making sure that the public interest is upheld in the corridors of power. We’ll be talking about the decline of “accountability reporting” — the worrisome state of local political reporting across the country during an era of for-profit media disintegration and disarray, as well as strategies to improve this crucial type of reporting. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,