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.

Minneapolis aims to provide lawyers to all low-income renters in eviction cases

By: - October 8, 2021

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a so-called “right to counsel” ordinance on Friday that aims to provide all low-income renters with free legal services in eviction cases. While the U.S. Constitution grants everyone the right to an attorney in criminal cases, evictions and other housing disputes are civil matters and the vast majority of […]

Where Minneapolis mayoral candidates stand on strong mayor ballot question

By: - October 7, 2021

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is for it. Sheila Nezhad is against it. But Kate Knuth, the third major candidate for mayor, says she doesn’t yet have a position on the so-called “strong mayor” ballot question that would give the mayor’s office more authority over city departments. “I can see the desire for having more executive […]

Landlords, realtors and carpenters launch anti-rent control campaign in Twin Cities

By: - October 5, 2021

Groups representing landlords, realtors and union laborers urged voters in Minneapolis and St. Paul to reject rent control ballot initiatives, saying they will hamstring development amid an ongoing housing shortage. “The answer to affordability is supply, and this will have a chilling effect on supply,” said Adam Duininck, director of government affairs for the North […]


How Mary Moriarty would prosecute

By: - October 1, 2021

As a public defender, Mary Moriarty spent her entire career trying to keep people out of prison. Now she’s running to be Hennepin County attorney and looking to transform an agency she spent decades fighting against. “Even the best public defender is still confined by the framework created by the prosecutor,” Moriarty said. “Because prosecutors […]

Minnesota Housing says it’s speeding up rental assistance payments as thousands wait for help

By: - September 30, 2021

Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho said on Thursday that they’ve been able to speed up rental assistance payments and met a key congressional benchmark for distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid. She also admitted that they’re not yet where they should be. “I want to acknowledge how incredibly stressful this whole period […]

Judges raise alarm over Hennepin County’s closure of sole youth correctional facility

By: - September 29, 2021

Just two boys remain on the sprawling, 139-acre wooded campus of the Hennepin County Home School in Minnetonka, which for over a century has housed kids guilty of armed robbery, rape and other serious crimes. When the facility closes for good early next year — or likely sooner — there will be no other like […]

Michaels stores and Brooklyn Center police discriminated against Black teen, Human Rights Department finds

By: - September 23, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced on Thursday that Michaels, the craft store chain, and the Brooklyn Center Police Department racially discriminated against a Black teenager who wanted to apply for a job and was instead roughly arrested without cause. “The facts of this case are both shocking and unsurprising. There was no reason […]

6 years after proposal, Minneapolis disposable bag fee to take effect Oct. 1

By: - September 22, 2021

Stores in Minneapolis will be required to charge customers 5 cents for each disposable bag they use beginning next month — nearly six years after first being proposed by the City Council. The ordinance aims to nudge customers to bring their own reusable bags, reducing the prevalence of plastic bags that require petroleum to produce […]

The Minneapolis City Council defunded mounted patrol last year. The unit still exists.

By: - September 20, 2021

In December 2020, after a flurry of amendments and hours of heated debate over the police department’s budget, the Minneapolis City Council voted 11-2 to cut funding for the mounted patrol unit. The amount was small — just $230,000 of the police department’s roughly $165 million budget — and it passed without much discussion as […]


140 years of redistricting failure

By: - September 17, 2021

The Minnesota Legislature hasn’t successfully redrawn legislative and congressional districts on time without intervention by the courts in 140 years. This time around looks to be no different. For the past 50 years, the courts have taken to drawing them when the Legislature reliably fails to agree to new boundaries. The courts don’t do this […]

St. Paul mayor resists taking a position on rent control ballot question

By: - September 15, 2021

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is declining to say where he stands on a citizen-led rent control proposal, which if passed, would be one of the most stringent rent control regulations in the country, limiting increases to 3% per year across all properties in the city. Asked for an interview on the proposal and how […]

Amid historic shortage, school bus drivers push for higher wages and unemployment benefits

By: - September 13, 2021

Unionized school bus drivers say they know how to fix the historic shortage of drivers that’s led to hour-long delays for students: Give drivers higher wages, more hours and access to unemployment benefits. “We need more money. We need more hours. We need these to become real jobs,” said Kelly Gibbons, a former school bus […]