ISAIAH

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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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Religious Activists Applaud Vote To Slash Sentences For Drug Offenders

Alonzo of MAD DADS

“Don’t take the money and throw it at putting people in a box,” an ex-felon told a state commission that voted to slash recommended sentences for drug offenders who have swelled Minnesota’s prison population beyond capacity. Continue Reading →

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Parents Cheer As Minneapolis Schools Back Off On Suspensions

Rev. Paul Slack

Parents and religious groups are cheering a policy change putting a moratorium on suspensions in Minneapolis elementary schools for non-violent behavior. African American children are disproportionately the ones who have been suspended. Continue Reading →

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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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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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Push for Anti-Foreclosure Legislation Wins Abbreviated Homeowner “Bill of Rights”

Click on Photo to watch video on How Rose McGee's Struggle Led to the Homeowner Bill of Rights Passing in Minnesota

Minnesota homeowner Rose McGee won a year-long struggle with CitiBank to keep her home. Along the way, she became a champion of anti-foreclosure movement, which pushed the state legislature to pass a Homeowner Bill of Rights. Continue Reading →

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

Prayers May Not Be Enough: Click on the photo to see video of activists pushing for 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. Continue Reading →

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