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.

Homeownership slips in Twin Cities as developers focus on apartments and high-end homes

By: - June 11, 2021

For decades the Twin Cities has boasted one of the highest rates of homeownership in the nation. But a surge of demand and a lack of building — especially after the housing crash and Great Recession — have created an acute shortage of homes that are affordable for most Minnesotans. “Demand for lower-priced homes has long exceeded […]

Tax revenue way over forecast

By: - June 10, 2021

The state of Minnesota collected $3.3 billion in May, a stunning $1.5 billion or 119% more than forecast, according to Minnesota Management and Budget. Some of the discrepancy comes from the late tax filing season this year, but it’s also a sign of the state’s red hot economy coming out of the pandemic. Gov. Tim […]

Minnesota lawmakers agree to spend $400,000 on preventing catalytic converter theft

By: - June 7, 2021

Minnesota lawmakers have agreed to fund a new pilot program aimed at deterring catalytic converter thefts, which have skyrocketed in recent months along with the price of the precious metals. The thefts have affected hundreds of Minnesotans over the past year, who have had to pay up to $3,000 to replace a sawed off catalytic […]

City workers work to reopen George Floyd Square to traffic

By: and - June 3, 2021

They arrived before sunrise, working quickly to begin stripping away the barricades that have kept the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue closed for more than a year since George Floyd was murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin there. City crews, escorted by members of the Agape Movement, made the first steps towards […]

Reformer Radio: Marathon v. the Teamsters

By: - May 28, 2021

Workers at the oil refinery in St. Paul Park say the plant’s owner, Marathon, has put them on a path to catastrophe. “Safety’s kinda went on the backburner.… Especially now that big corporation Marathon owns us. It’s pretty much corporate greed over safety,” said Matt Foss, a fire mechanic and rescue squad lieutenant who’s worked […]

Rep. Betty McCollum: ‘Not one U.S. tax dollar for taking Palestinian lands’

By: - May 24, 2021

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum wants to stop American tax dollars from funding human rights abuses of the Israeli government’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory. Before the latest 11-day war left more than 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead, McCollum introduced a bill in April that would prohibit Israel from using the roughly $3.3 billion in […]

What happened over the past four-and-a-half months at the Minnesota Capitol

By: and - May 21, 2021

It was supposed to be one of the most consequential legislative sessions in a decade. Instead, lawmakers adjourned on Monday announcing only a broad “numbers-only” budget that still needs to be crafted and passed by June 30 or force the state into a partial government shutdown. Faced with an $883 million budget deficit, a state […]

Sammy’s Avenue Eatery weathered a pandemic and civil unrest and came out stronger

By: - May 14, 2021

Sammy McDowell just wanted to be his own boss and make good food for people.  But Sammy’s Avenue Eatery became much more to the people in north Minneapolis — “like the Cheers bar” — which helped his business weather a year that’s been brutal for restaurants, small businesses and Black-owned businesses.  In an interview on […]

Walz wants end to low-level traffic stops, says state board should regulate tear gas

By: - May 7, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz promised more police reform after Daunte Wright was killed, but he’ll have to beg and barter to get it through a divided Legislature. In an interview on the debut episode of Reformer Radio, Walz said he wants to “show movement” by passing policies that would yield immediate results like an end to […]

DFL says police reform is urgent; Republicans say new legislation unlikely this year

By: - April 29, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, indicated major police policy changes were unlikely to pass before the end of the legislative session next month, even as Gov. Tim Walz and Democratic-Farmer-Labor legislative leaders said Thursday policing reform is among their top priorities.  Gazelka, speaking at a news conference Thursday, said he was satisfied […]

Where is the rental assistance?

By: - April 29, 2021

It’s been three months since Minnesota received $375 million from the federal government for emergency rental assistance, but landlords and renters have yet to receive a single dollar, and the state’s housing agency still can’t say for certain when they will. Some hope for landlords and renters came just last week, when the state housing […]

U.S. Justice Department will investigate Minneapolis for discriminatory, abusive policing

By: - April 21, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Wednesday the Department of Justice would conduct a sweeping investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department to see if it has a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.” The news came a day after a jury in Hennepin County found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on […]