Civil Rights

Minneapolis investigating major landlord for discrimination, hostile housing environment

BY: - April 14, 2020

The Minneapolis Civil Rights Department is investigating allegations of discrimination and retaliation against one of the metro area’s biggest landlords, according to public records obtained by the Reformer. The city’s civil rights agency has spent nearly six months investigating Sherman Associates for alleged violations at Riverside Plaza, a complex of six towers in the Cedar […]


COVID through the gender lens

BY: - April 13, 2020

In times of crisis, we look to the people we depend on.  For many of us, that means calling our parents, checking in on our friends, holding our chosen family close. As we adjust to the social distancing and stay-at-home orders designed to keep us healthy, we have had to face a new reality where […]

polling place voting minneapolis

Who Has Emergency Authority Over Elections? Nobody’s Quite Sure.

BY: - April 7, 2020

This story was first published by ProPublica.  In each of the past seven years, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has sought authority to revamp or reschedule elections in case of emergency. Every time, the legislature has blocked him. These rebuffs had repercussions in Westborough, a Boston suburb that was set to hold its town […]


Among the homeless, you’ll find people more like you than you realize

BY: - March 30, 2020

We carelessly attach words to homeless people: panhandler, drunk, lazy bum. At Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish shelters, which have 80 beds in Minneapolis, I tried to come up with more accurate descriptions.  Take a moment, if you would, and see if you can find yourself in these people.  It’s taken a pandemic, but […]

Indian Country leaders urge Native people to be counted in 2020 Census

BY: - March 26, 2020

Native Americans living on reservations and in traditional villages were the most undercounted people in the 2010 U.S. Census. This year, tribal leaders throughout the U.S. are urging American Indians and Alaska Natives to be seen and counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. The Census, mandated by the Constitution, counts all people living in the […]

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any night in 2018, report says

BY: - March 26, 2020

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any given night in 2018, according to a new study released Wednesday. The estimate comes from Wilder Research’s most recent one-day study of homelessness in Minnesota, conducted in 2018. The nonprofit research group counted 10,233 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in October that year, up 10% from […]

homeless shelter

Shelters are defenseless against the spread of COVID-19

BY: - March 16, 2020

At 7 o’clock on a recent evening, people began filing into the basement of a church in northeast Minneapolis for a free dinner of lasagna, green beans and corn. Staff from the church had cleaned all the surfaces with disinfectant wipes and placed bottles of hand sanitizer on each of the round folding tables. Those […]

target employees stock shelves

Thousands of Target employees work over 50 hours a week. Why don’t they get overtime?

BY: - March 11, 2020

Target Corp. has quietly settled half a dozen class action lawsuits and still faces two more from workers who allege the company has failed to pay overtime they’re owed. Target calls these workers “executive team leaders” and pays them managerial salaries — as opposed to hourly wages — that keep them from earning overtime. But the […]

iris altamirano

Janitors threaten open-ended strike as Minnesota prepares for coronavirus outbreak

BY: - March 5, 2020

Minneapolis city leaders are calling for a deal to be reach with 4,000 commercial janitors who clean buildings across the 7-county metro area, including the airport and most buildings in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. The commercial janitors, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 26, say they will go on an open-ended strike beginning […]

mitra jalali

St. Paul proposes 5 new ordinances to protect renters

BY: - March 5, 2020

St. Paul aims to pass renter protections this year, including capping security deposits to one month’s rent, shielding renters with bad credit or old evictions and temporarily freezing rent increases after a property is sold. Deputy Mayor Jaime Tincher and Councilmember Mitra Jalali announced the agenda — called Stable, Accessible, Fair and Equitable (S.A.F.E.) Housing […]

Marshall is the site of a potentially litigious battle over a rainbow flag at a middle school

BY: - March 3, 2020

MARSHALL — The battle over a flag supporting LBGTQ students at a middle school here rages on amid threats of litigation on both sides. Advocates for LBGTQ students at Marshall Middle School said they have contacted the ACLU and will consider legal action if district administrators remove a rainbow pride flag that has sparked debate in […]

Culture war rages in southwest Minnesota over rainbow flag

BY: - February 24, 2020

MARSHALL, LYON COUNTY — A rainbow flag displayed for a public middle school diversity project has met fierce opposition and a threat of legal action from religious leaders. At two packed school board meetings earlier this month, Marshall students, parents, teachers and community members debated whether displaying the LGBTQ flag offers positive support for students or […]