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.

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon

Tenants buy properties from negligent landlord who tried to evict them

By: - May 19, 2020

Thirty-eight families in south Minneapolis will gain ownership of their five apartment buildings after spending years battling with their landlord, Stephen Frenz, who had been trying to evict them. “This is an amazing victory. I am so happy,” Chloe Jackson said in a statement Monday. She is a resident of one of the properties and […]

polling place voting minneapolis

Vote-by-mail applications surge in Minnesota

By: - May 15, 2020

More than 22,000 Minnesotans signed up to vote by mail on Wednesday, the first day voters could submit applications this year, in a clear sign that people want to avoid crowded polling places during a pandemic. Compare that to 320 voters who signed up in the first month online applications opened in 2018, and 611 […]

Minnesota will be recovering from COVID-19 for years

By: , , and - May 15, 2020

It seems like this has been going on forever. On March 6, I wrote the following in our newsletter, Daily Reformer:  With Super Tuesday over we turn our attention to the most important event happening in American politics: COVID-19. The reason I say that is because of its economic effects, which are already massive, and […]

Walz order: Workers may refuse to work if not given COVID-19 protections

By: - May 14, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order Wednesday that says workers cannot be fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions, including not having protection against COVID-19. The order also says employers may not retaliate against workers for reporting unsafe or unhealthy workplaces to health officials. “Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin weighs buying hotels for homeless people with CARES funding

By: - May 13, 2020

The Hennepin County Board is weighing buying hotels for several hundred people experiencing homelessness but delayed voting on the idea until May 19. Buying a hotel would shift the county’s focus from a short-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic to one that could last as long as two years. The move shows how some elected […]

Minnesota art museum offers virtual tour for dogs (and their hoomans)

By: - May 12, 2020

The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis is offering an only-during-a-pandemic virtual experience: a Zoom tour of their dog-themed art with a canine audience watching from home. Heather Meyer, a comedy writer with the Theater of Public Policy, introduces viewers to a range of artworks including a charming Japanese woodcut called “Dog Playing with a Sandal” […]

Few tenants have missed rent, thanks to government help

By: - May 12, 2020

The vast majority of renters continue to pay their rent despite historic levels of unemployment, landlords say, suggesting that state and federal programs to help the newly jobless are working.   Housing advocates say now is no time to let up, however, as the Legislature debates a package of up to $100 million in new rental […]

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 […]