Author

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

Minnesotans appear to be giving up on social distancing

By: - May 8, 2020

Minnesotans started off strong, but many of us are quitting right when it matters. Before Gov. Tim Walz even announced the stay-at-home order on March 25, the state had an “A” in social distancing from the “Social Distancing Scoreboard,” which tracks changes in people’s movements based on their cell phone data (creepy). Traffic data from […]

Met Council fences in homeless encampment in Minneapolis

By: - May 8, 2020

The Metropolitan Council began installing a fence around a Minneapolis homeless encampment Thursday to prevent it from growing as local officials try to figure out how to manage the numerous health and safety risks homeless people face amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of tents — now surpassing 70 — has been steadily growing on […]

State Senator says campgrounds should reopen because there are homeless encampments

By: - May 6, 2020

State Senator Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, deleted a tweet Tuesday featuring a video of him standing in front of tents pitched along a busy street in St. Paul to make the argument for Gov. Tim Walz to reopen campgrounds. “As you can see behind me, we’ve got a nice little tent city set up here,” […]

National Guard will fly over Minnesota hospitals Wednesday to honor essential workers

By: - May 5, 2020

Fighter jets with the Minnesota National Guard will fly over the state Wednesday around 11 a.m. to recognize essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “These flyovers are our way of showing solidarity for those who have stepped forward to serve during this pandemic,” Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota […]

Gov. Walz says order allowing elective surgeries to resume coming this week

By: - May 4, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz says he will issue an executive order in the coming days allowing hospitals to resume elective surgeries, which have been suspended since March to keep beds and personal protective equipment (PPE) available for people infected with COVID-19. “We’ll probably have an announcement in the next day or so (for) elective surgeries to […]

Governor says homeless encampments may be cleared, against CDC guidance

By: - May 1, 2020

When Metro Transit shut down overnight train and bus service in March because of COVID-19, Andre Adams lost his shelter. “We went to a park until we got put out of there. We went to a parking ramp until we got put out of there,” Adams said. “They are putting everybody out of every place.” […]

Rent is due. Where is Minnesota’s emergency housing assistance?

By: - April 30, 2020

Minnesota legislators have been mulling a housing assistance package for the past month, aiming to act quickly and fill in the gaps of federal relief packages as increasing numbers of tenants and homeowners are forced to skip making rent and mortgage payments. Competing version are working their way through the DFL-controlled House and the Republican-controlled […]

Twin Cities janitor dies from COVID-19; union demands PPE and hazard pay

By: - April 29, 2020

Armando Solis helped secure the biggest pay increases in the history of his union just two months ago. Last week, Solis, who worked as a janitor for 10 years in the U.S. Bank Plaza in downtown Minneapolis, died from COVID-19, leaving behind a wife and two adult sons. He was 55. “Our union is heartbroken […]

Demonstrators shut down Caribou drive-thru demanding worker protections

By: - April 27, 2020

About three dozen honking cars blocked the drive-thru of a Caribou Coffee in Roseville Monday, calling on the chain to provide more personal protective equipment, sick time and hazard pay for workers. As Gov. Tim Walz’s order closing dine-in restaurants, bars and coffee shops stretches into its seventh week, Caribou workers say they’ve been required […]

steve grove

6,000 unemployment checks are in the mail for gig workers, self-employed

By: - April 24, 2020

More than 6,000 checks went out this week to Minnesota workers who until now were ineligible for unemployment: beauticians, Uber drivers, restaurant owners and other independent contractors and self-employed workers. “This was something brand new that we had to stand up in a matter of weeks,” said Blake Chaffee, deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department […]

Minneapolis and St. Paul receive 10,000 rental assistance applications and counting

By: - April 23, 2020

More than 4,500 Minneapolis households have applied for emergency housing assistance since the city began accepting applications Wednesday morning, three times more households than will receive grants. In St. Paul, more than 5,200 people applied for housing assistance during the 10-day application period, which ended April 19. Around 1,000 eligible families will be selected to […]

Northern Minnesota counties weigh joining “reopen” movement, defying public health experts

By: - April 22, 2020

Commissioners in seven northern Minnesota counties considered similar resolutions Tuesday calling on Gov. Tim Walz to end the stay-at-home order and allow restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation to reopen. Three county boards voted to approve, one rejected, and four discussed it but took no action. Commissioners for another eight counties, which did […]