Commentary

COMMENTARY

Reformer readers react to ‘deep canvassing’

BY: - October 22, 2021

Thursday’s Daily Reformer featured a New York Times story datelined Minneapolis about what’s called “deep canvassing.” This is a technique in political campaigns in which the canvassers spend lots of time with an individual voter — and more time listening than talking. They hope to develop a connection, with the possibility of persuading the person […]

COMMENTARY

Fix policing? Sure, but don’t forget poverty at the root of crime | Opinion

BY: - October 21, 2021

The headlines about crime in Minneapolis are sensational.  “Violent crime surges across Minnesota with record murders,” reads the headline of a July Associated Press article.  “Minneapolis’ bloody summer” reads another from the Star Tribune in September.  “Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves,” reads yet another, this one a November 2020 piece […]

COMMENTARY

A rabble rouser gets the boot | Column

BY: - October 20, 2021

In a recent essay in The Atlantic, the historian Anne Applebaum called out cultural institutions like universities, newspapers, foundations, and museums as “The New Puritans.” “Heeding public demands for rapid retribution, they sometimes impose the equivalent of lifetime scarlet letters on people who have not been accused of anything remotely resembling a crime. Instead of […]

COMMENTARY

“We help women run for office, and win”: Q&A with Run Vote Lead’s Beth Peterson

BY: - October 15, 2021

Before running for Eveleth City Council, Beth Peterson connected with Vote Run Lead,   a national organization that provides training, networking and other tools to encourage women to run for office. She won and served a single term. Now she’s the state director for Vote Run Lead in Minnesota. She talked to the Reformer about […]

COMMENTARY

Land acknowledgments too often erase American Indians and sanitize history | Opinion

BY: , and - October 14, 2021

Many events these days begin with land acknowledgments: earnest statements acknowledging that activities are taking place, or institutions, businesses and even homes are built, on land previously owned by Indigenous peoples. And many organizations now call on employees to incorporate such statements not only at events but in email signatures, videos, syllabuses and so on. […]

COMMENTARY

Living with rent control, from someone who grew up in rent-controlled housing | Column

BY: - October 13, 2021

I grew up in San Francisco, raised by low-income Chinese immigrants in a building where every unit is rent-controlled. San Francisco has had rent control since the late 1970s. Last year, California adopted rent control statewide, covering buildings built within the past 15 years. Although I struggled with growing up in a rent-controlled unit, I […]

COMMENTARY

End taxation without representation and give D.C. residents statehood | Opinion

BY: - October 12, 2021

A phrase almost universally known from as early as grade school in the United States is “No taxation without representation.” The expression is likely even more well-known in Washington, D.C. If you ever visit D.C., take a look at a license plate, you’ll see the “no taxation” maxim printed on the bottom. The reason? It’s […]

COMMENTARY

Counting everyone so everyone counts: A Census worker on what it’s like | Essay

BY: - October 11, 2021

Last summer, in the middle of the pandemic, I spent several weeks approaching strangers, banging on their doors and peppering them with questions about who, and what, they were.  It’s an awkward thing to do, even in normal times, asking: What’s your race? What’s (literally) your tribe? What’s your phone number? Do you own or […]

COMMENTARY

Congrats on the baby — now pay up | Column

BY: - October 8, 2021

Here’s a notice a new mom shouldn’t receive: “Your doctor ordered a test to see if the membranes around your baby were leaking.  The procedure is not approvable under the plan clinical criteria because there is no proof or not enough proof that it works as well as other tests to check for ROM.  For […]

COMMENTARY

The Child Tax Credit is helping parents and providing hope — make it permanent | Opinion

BY: - October 7, 2021

I felt like all I ever said was “No.” I made sure that I also said “I love you” often, but it still felt like “No” was all they ever heard. When you live in poverty, the answer, nearly all of the time, has to be no. The complete answer is actually something more like […]

COMMENTARY

Amid our fellow citizens’ foolish choices, how do we maintain our empathy? | Essay

BY: - October 6, 2021

A distant cousin of mine recently died of COVID-19. We had long ago lost touch when we both moved from our North Dakota hometown, me to Minnesota by way of stops in Florida and Georgia, and she to Texas, where she worked as a teacher, got married and raised a family for more than 30 […]

COMMENTARY

Yes on Question 1 for democratic accountability | Opinion

BY: - October 5, 2021

Let’s get this straight. There is no one employed by Minneapolis city government who reports to 14 bosses. No one on the City Council can call a department head and tell them they must do as a boss can tell an employee. When you or I think of what it would mean to have 14 […]