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.

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 […]


Who is Operation Safety Now?

By: - June 4, 2021

Facing an existential threat to his department, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo found support among a group of vocal, concerned citizens. A pro-police grassroots movement? Not entirely. Hundreds of emails obtained by the Reformer show Arradondo coordinated closely with a start-up group called Operation Safety Now devoted to swaying public opinion and showing strong support […]

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 […]


Marathon vs. the Teamsters

By: - May 28, 2021

One-hundred-twenty-seven days ago the Teamsters Local 120 called a strike at the Marathon oil refinery in St. Paul Park alleging unsafe working conditions and unfair labor practices. Some 200 workers haven’t returned since. Marathon says it has rigorous health and safety standards and an exemplary record. Workers say a disaster is all but certain. This […]

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 […]


Rep. Betty McCollum on U.S. aid to Israel

By: - May 24, 2021

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum is a fierce and longtime critic of Israel’s military occupation and human rights abuses. It was once a lonely and politically precarious stance in Congress, before her position was bolstered by a new generation of Democratic lawmakers. After the latest conflict left at least 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead, we […]

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 […]


The chaotic and unproductive 2021 session

By: - May 21, 2021

It was supposed to be one of the most consequential legislative sessions in nearly a decade. But after debating tax hikes, police reform, COVID-19 precautions, the governor’s executive powers, vehicle emissions standards, marijuana legalization, voter ID, rent control, abortion clinic licensing and other thorny political issues, lawmakers adjourned with only a “numbers only” budget agreement […]

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 […]


Sammy’s survival year

By: - May 14, 2021

Sammy McDowell didn’t set out to create anything more than a restaurant. But Sammy’s Avenue Eatery has become ‘the Cheers bar’ for people of all walks of life in north Minneapolis. Sammy talks about making it through a year that has been ruinous for restaurants, small businesses and Black-owned businesses. He weathered COVID-19 shutdowns and […]