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.

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County will spend millions more on hotels for homeless, housing assistance

By: - April 21, 2020

Hennepin County commissioners on Tuesday approved spending another $4 million on COVID-19 response efforts, which includes moving 200 people out of the county’s two largest homeless shelters and into hotel rooms to reduce the risk of an outbreak. The additional funding is on top of the more than $2 million the county has spent on […]

Most vulnerable leave homeless shelters just as COVID-19 arrives

By: - April 20, 2020

Three weeks ago, Barbara Williams moved out of a shelter in Minneapolis — where 15 women sleep on bunk beds in a large, open room —  and into a hotel suite with its own bathroom, queen-sized bed and TV. Even though it’s an upgrade, Williams was worried about being socially isolated. “I didn’t want to […]

Minn. Senator joins calls for suspending rents and mortgages during pandemic

By: - April 17, 2020

State Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, joined a growing chorus of progressive local leaders calling for the state to suspend rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the health emergency caused by COVID-19. “The executive order where people can’t be evicted at some point is going to end,” Hayden said. “And if people have not […]

apartment building

Senate Republicans announce bipartisan housing assistance bill, blindsiding Democrats

By: - April 16, 2020

Republican and DFL legislators appeared to have an agreement on a bill providing millions in rental and mortgage assistance to Minnesotans affected by COVID-19, but the Democrats seemed not to know about it. Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, and Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, announced Thursday a bipartisan deal that would provide $30 million in funding […]

Land O’Lakes quietly gets rid of iconic Indian maiden mascot

By: - April 15, 2020

For nearly a century, the Land O’Lakes Indian maiden has kneeled by the side of a blue lake holding out an offering of a 4-stick box of butter. No more. The Minnesota-based farmer cooperative has redesigned its packaging to focus on celebrating farmers ahead of its 100th anniversary next year. “We need packaging that reflects […]

Upper Mississippi River named most endangered river of 2020

By: - April 14, 2020

The portion of the Mississippi River running through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa has been named the most endangered river in the country by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers. “Climate change is driving more intense rainstorms, leading to more frequent and prolonged flooding in the Upper Midwest,” the group said in announcing the ranking. […]

First two homeless Minnesotans test positive for COVID-19

By: - April 10, 2020

Two people experiencing homelessness tested positive for COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Friday. Both individuals live in Hennepin County but don’t appear to be connected. One person is in their 50s and the other is a young adult over 18 years old. Neither are in critical condition and both are in isolation. Around […]

Minneapolis has closed more miles of road to cars than any city in America

By: - April 9, 2020

Minneapolis’ park system, rated No. 1 six years in a row, has a new title: most miles of road closed to cars during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 27, when Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order first took effect, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has closed more than 18 miles of road around lakes and […]

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon

With no money or jobs, renters refuse to pay

By: - April 9, 2020

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon and her husband struggled to make ends meet even before COVID-19 stole their jobs. Del Campo Chacon earned $200 a week looking after her neighbors’ children. Her husband, Oscar Romero Hernandez, earned $600 a week delivering furniture. Between their two incomes, they were able to pay $1,000 a month in rent […]

steve grove

Minn. begins distributing extra $600 a week in unemployment, among first in nation

By: - April 8, 2020

Minnesota is among the first states in the nation to begin approving the additional $600 per week in unemployment insurance from the federal government’s $2.2 trillion economic relief package for COVID-19. In an email to staff Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said the department had already authorized 192,135 […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County approves additional $1 million for quarantine space for homeless

By: - April 7, 2020

The Hennepin County Board unanimously approved spending an additional $1 million to lease hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness who are at high-risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19. “I’m really proud to see us making this investment,” Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene said. “The Board is voting on these investments unanimously, and I […]

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Minneapolis creates $5 million COVID-19 relief fund available to undocumented residents

By: - April 3, 2020

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday he will use his emergency powers to create a $5 million forgivable loan program to help renters and small businesses affected by the economic fallout from the spread of COVID-19. Unlike federal and state relief packages, families will be eligible for assistance regardless of their immigration or documentation status […]