Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Previously, 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.

Tiny house village inside old Kmart could shelter 200 people

By: - July 15, 2020

A group of housing advocates is proposing a tiny house village for nearly 200 people experiencing homelessness as a safer alternative to tent encampments. The plans put the entire community indoors — in a warehouse or empty big box store like the shuttered Kmart in Minneapolis — to provide a low-cost, climate controlled environment during […]

Half of people living in Powderhorn encampments are Native

By: - July 13, 2020

More than 500 tents are spread across two encampments in Powderhorn Park, but the number of people living there according to a recent survey of its residents is far fewer: 282. The encampments have swelled in Powderhorn Park and in other parks across Minneapolis since the Park Board approved a resolution on June 17 declaring […]

Minneapolis Park Board to vote on repealing nudity ordinance

By: - July 12, 2020

The Minneapolis Park Board will vote Wednesday on repealing restrictions on nudity that applies to breasts in order to allow people of all genders to be topless in public. The city of Minneapolis already allows anyone to go topless — a fact laid bare by Helena Howard, a woman famous among cyclists for her topless […]

apartment building

St. Paul council passes strongest tenant protections in Minnesota

By: - July 9, 2020

The St. Paul City Council unanimously passed five new renter protections Wednesday, including capping security deposits, limiting background checks and prohibiting landlords from terminating leases without just cause, a first in the state. Council Member Mitra Jalali connected the renter protections to the national reckoning taking place around racial inequality following the police killing of […]

‘I didn’t see race in George Floyd.’ Police union speaks for first time since killing.

By: - June 23, 2020

Minneapolis Police Officers Federation President Bob Kroll called the video of the police killing of George Floyd “horrific,” but he denied the police department needs fundamental change or that racism is common in its ranks. “Our job is to respond to the crimes that we’re dispatched to and to stop and detain and arrest, if […]

Hennepin Commissioners want to declare racism a public health crisis

By: - June 19, 2020

Update: The Hennepin County Board approved the resolution declaring racism a public health crisis on June 30. Hennepin County Commissioners Angela Conley and Irene Fernando plan to introduce a resolution on Tuesday declaring racism a public health emergency in the county. “We need to be explicit about racism,” Conley said. “We need to say that […]

Minneapolis Park Board declares parks are ‘refuge’ for homeless

By: - June 18, 2020

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board approved a resolution Wednesday declaring parks are “refuge space” for people experiencing homelessness, as two encampments in Powderhorn Park have swelled to around 200 tents in less than a week. After adding the resolution to the agenda Wednesday to quickly sanction the Powderhorn encampment, the Board voted 6-2 to […]

Target to observe Juneteenth as company holiday 

By: - June 16, 2020

Target will begin honoring Juneteenth, a holiday long observed by many Black Americans commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865 — more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation — union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that enslaved people were free. “We recognize that the racial trauma […]

Minneapolis Police shut down former hotel-turned-homeless sanctuary

By: - June 16, 2020

Minneapolis police and community groups cleared a former Sheraton hotel Monday morning, following several days of 911 calls and reports of gunfire, sex trafficking and drug dealing. “It was just inhabitable for people,” said VJ Smith, president of MAD DADS of Minneapolis, which is a community-based security nonprofit. “Broken glass, needles everywhere. People were being […]

Minneapolis Parks reverses eviction, allows people living in Powderhorn encampment to stay

By: - June 13, 2020

About two dozen homeless Minnesotans were spared eviction from Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis Friday, as parks officials reversed themselves after police issued each resident a 72-hour eviction notice early Friday. “I feel so relieved,” said Dennis Barrow, who set up a tent in the park a few days before. Barrow sought refuge in the […]

Native activists pull down Christopher Columbus statue at State Capitol

By: - June 11, 2020

Activists led by members of the American Indian Movement tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus at the State Capitol Wednesday. Once it toppled, they sang and danced around it in a dramatic show of defiance against a significant figure in the recent history of the Americas whose reputation is now associated with murder and […]

Former Sheraton turned homeless sanctuary closing up

By: - June 10, 2020

Activists and volunteers who took over a former Sheraton hotel in Minneapolis and turned it into a shelter for people experiencing homelessness ended the experiment at 8 p.m. Wednesday. “It is clear that the need for emergency housing cannot be sustainably supported by volunteers. Therefore we are ending the mutual aid component of the work […]