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James Everett, North Side Candidate for Mayor. He May Not Win But He Deserves To Be Heard

Story for The UpTake by Kathryn G. Nelson

Bridging the achievement gap between whites and people of color has been a central issue to this year’s mayoral race, particularly in hard-hit North Minneapolis, where citizens are quick to point out that issues of safety, police misconduct, home foreclosure, inadequate housing, unemployment and education reform are significant barriers to their success. Yet, despite all the nice-sounding talk and good intentions of the leading candidates, many residents of the North Side say they are weary of the rhetoric and skeptical of candidates offering the same-old, same-old — solutions from years past. They say they’re frustrated by the failure of the best-known candidates to address the underlying issues in their community and complain that they have been excluded from opportunities to help develop solutions which are later implemented in their own backyard. But as the campaign approaches its finish and next Tuesday’s election, one candidate has begun to gain an audience on the North Side: Community activist and North Side native James Everett, one of the many “minor” candidates in the race. North Side dissatisfaction with the “major” candidates for mayor (they include long-time North Side City Council member Don Samuels, a Jamaican immigrant) was apparent at an Oct. Continue Reading →

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Dead Men Walking: Vampires March Against JPMorgan Chase

Occupy Homes MN led a march to the Minneapolis U.S. Attorney’s office and the offices of JPMorgan Chase to demand a settlement that keeps people in their homes instead of just providing “blood money” by way of paltry settlement checks to people who wrongly lost their homes. Continue Reading →

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Ranks And Choices: A Dozen “Minor” Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates Speak Their Piece

There are 35 candidates running for Mayor of Minneapolis in the Nov. 5 election, from one who calls himself a pirate to one whose campaign videos have made himself an Internet celebrity (he says so, at any rate). The UpTake invited seven of the leading candidates to participate in our mayoral forum on Oct. 22. The other 28 candidates all were invited to sit down with us for brief video interviews. Continue Reading →

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Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton: To Solve City Problems, Bring Everyone To The Table

Interview for The UpTake by Sheila Regan

Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton will be honored tonight when a prominent bridge designed in the style of architect Frank Lloyd Wright is named in her honor. The bridge was built during Sayles Belton’s two-term tenure as Minneapolis Mayor and carries Third Avenue South across Interstate 94. It’s the bridge with the strange looking lobster antennae and curved fences (see a photo by clicking here). Sayles Belton, born and raised in St. Paul, was the first woman, and first African-American, to be elected mayor of Minneapolis, and served from 1994 to 2002. Continue Reading →

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Socialist Alternative: Minneapolis Ward 9 Council Candidate Revives City’s Socialist Heritage

People Over Profit: Ty Moore, Socialist candidate for the Minneapolis City Council

In a city where the Democrats have had a monolithic stronghold for four decades, Socialist candidate Ty Moore believes many people feel disenfranchised as the DFL increasingly becomes “beholden to big business interests.” Moore, an Occupy Homes MN organizer and community activist, is one of three candidates from the Socialist Alternative party running for city councils this autumn in big cities (the others are running in Seattle and Boston), and he thinks that the 9th ward of Minneapolis is ready for the change. Continue Reading →

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Why Asian-American Artists And Activists Are Protesting The Ordway’s Production Of Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon: Protesters in New York City in 1991. Despite more than two decades of cultural-awareness actions, the show -- and the protest -- goes on. Photo by Corky Lee.

St. Paul’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is one of four theaters co-producing a revival of “Miss Saigon” — which begins an eight-performance run tonight in downtown St. Paul — despite outcries from Twin Cities activists who say the performance is racist, colonial, romanticizes sex trafficking and re-enforces harmful Asian stereotypes.
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Ordway Production of “Miss Saigon” Ignites Renewed Protests Over Racist Stereotypes

Artist Ricardo Levins Morales lampooned Miss Saigon with a Gone-With-The-Wind-themed poster. Click on poster to see Miss Saigon protest Tumblr blog.

Over the past few months, community leaders have disparaged the Ordway’s pending presentations of Miss Saigon — a play that details the strife of a Vietnamese “bar girl” who falls in love with an American G.I, eventually bearing his child and committing suicide so the child can be raised in the United States. The community leaders have taken their cause to social media and the press to deter patrons from purchasing theater tickets, which range from $26 to $103. Continue Reading →

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Gov. Dayton on Vikings Stadium: Shocked, Shocked to Find Seat Licenses in Here!

The Temple to the Gods of Football. Click photo to see video of Gov. Mark Dayton Approving the Seat Licenses He Opposes

Story for The UpTake By Andy Birkey/Video by Bill Sorem

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority met Thursday evening to finalize agreements with the Minnesota Vikings for a new stadium scheduled to open in 2016. Instead of a celebration, however, the meeting devolved into an angry shouting match at times, as residents criticized the lack of public input in the process. To add to the strained atmosphere, Gov. Mark Dayton held a press conference before the meeting at which he begrudgingly accepted that private seat license fees — a revenue-raising gimmick he has said he strongly opposes — are part of the deal. It was all part of an increasingly pressurized effort to keep the $1-billion stadium deal rolling despite a number of problems that have cropped up in recent months — from the fraud conviction of the Vikings’ owners in a New Jersey court to Dayton’s claims that he didn’t know that the legislation he signed last year allowed the Vikings to collect millions in seat licenses. Unless ground is broken for the new stadium this fall — no date yet has been set — the timetable for the project may be thrown off schedule. Continue Reading →

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Milwaukee School Supporters Rally to Fight Funding Cuts, Privitization

MIlwaukee School Supporters Rally. Click photo to watch video.

As the national debate over the direction of education rages, Milwaukee appears to be ground zero for the school choice movement, cuts in public education and expansion of charter schools that many public education advocates believe are detrimental to students and schools in the city. Continue Reading →

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Affirmative Action UpDate: DFL Party Continues Effort to Soften “A-Words”

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Some old school Democrats fear that the party is abandoning the affirmative action term as a sop to the right wing in an era of conservative court rulings and assaults on the very concept of “affirmative action.” For some high party officials, however, “affirmative action” is a phrase that has out-lived its usefulness and is too polarizing to be productive. But African-American DFLers want the phrase restored to prominence as a signal of the party’s determination to promote racial and economic equality. If “Affirmative Action” isn’t important to the DFL, they say in a not-so subtle threat, maybe the votes of African-Americans aren’t, either. Continue Reading →

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Inventing “Minneapolis Police 2.0:” Chief Wants More Diverse, More Community-friendly Cops

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau

It’s been a rough first year for Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who took over as chief in January. With numerous protests spurred by the death of Terrance Franklin, who was shot by police in May, to recent incidents involving racial slurs by Minneapolis Police Officers in Green Bay and Apple Valley — including homophobic remarks about Harteau, a lesbian — the 48-year-old chief has her hands full.
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School Reformers’ Choir: Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates All Sing From Same Hymnal

Minneapolis Schools: Slippery Roads Ahead

Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, The UpTake live-streamed a Minneapolis Mayoral debate on education. The candidates seemed remarkably similar in their stances, considering the intensity of the debate surrounding public schools. So we asked Rob Levine, a critic of the school reform movement, to give us his take on this important issue. Guest commentary for The UpTake from Rob Levine

“That sounded like a sermon -– wow!” So enthused Nekima Levy-Pounds, moderator of Monday’s Minneapolis Mayoral Education Forum at the Mill City Museum at the conclusion of candidate Don Samuels’ rousing remarks. Continue Reading →

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Stroller-Jammin’ Moms Beat Gun Lobby in Shootout at St. Paul Starbucks

Some of the Moms Deman Action supporters who demonstrated outside the Grand Avenue Starbucks in St. Paul on Saturday, Sept. 7 to demand that Starbucks stop letting gun owners from wearing and openly displaying weapons inside Starbucks coffee shops. The Moms beat the Guns.

Starbucks finally woke up and smelled the coffee!

The giant coffee chain announced late Tuesday that it will no longer allow the open carrying of guns in its properties, banning the display of guns — even legally licenses weapons — both inside its restaurants and in outdoor seating areas. Stroller-jammin’ moms in St Paul helped win the fight. Continue Reading →

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Family Values II: Baby Grady: The Happy Face of Minnesota’s Same-Sex Marriage Law

No Wonder He's Smiling: Grady Edward Nelson Calhoun -- Born August 5, in Minneapolis, to two moms who were married four days earlier, under Minnesota's new marriage equality law. Click on the photo to see the whole story.

Story by Nick Coleman, Executive Editor

Yesterday, The UpTake brought you the story of a baby boy named Emil , born Aug. 22nd to a lesbian couple, and asked whether Emil might be the first child born to a married same-sex couple after Minnesota’s new marriage equality law took effect Aug. 1. Well, it turns out that Emil and his moms were close, but no cigar. We still love Emil and his moms, but Emil arrived a couple of weeks late. Continue Reading →

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Family Values: Is A Baby Boy Named Emil A Minnesota First?

Family Values: Anj Ronay (left) and Steph Johnson pose for a family portrait with their infant son, Emil, who was born Aug. 22. Big brother Arlo looks on. Click on picture to see the full story. Photo by Sheil Regan

Editor’s note: Is a baby from Minneapolis named Emil — who has a big brother named Arlo — the first Minnesota child born to a same-sex couple whose marriage is recognized by the state? Well, he just might be — unless we hear of a baby born before Aug. 22 to another married same-sex couple. It’s not an important distinction — all children of same-sex families are precious, of course, like all children. Still, it’s fun to think how Minnesota families are evolving. Continue Reading →

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