Commentary

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 […]

COMMENTARY

We already have a mental health crisis system — time to build on it | Opinion

BY: - October 4, 2021

There is a lot of discussion across the state — and the country — about how to help people experiencing a mental health crisis. There is general consensus — even among police officers — that it shouldn’t be police. The big question: If not police, then who?  That question has been answered in Minnesota. Public officials […]

COMMENTARY

Time to change how we assess students, schools — Opinion

BY: - October 1, 2021

Minnesota is in full back-to-school mode, and just weeks earlier, the Minnesota Department of Education released the reading, math and science results from the 2021 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). The MCAs showed what educators, families and policymakers already knew: existing opportunity and achievement disparities got worse during COVID-19. As both a parent and an educator, […]

COMMENTARY

Scrap the Hyde Amendment — Opinion

BY: - September 30, 2021

“I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”  When U.S. Rep.Henry Hyde, R-Illinois, stated his intent to make abortion inaccessible for as many people as possible, he unintentionally illustrated the […]

COMMENTARY

The hypocrisy in how refugees are treated by the U.S. government — Opinion

BY: - September 29, 2021

After horrific photos emerged of men falling from airplanes and babies in great peril at the Kabul Airport weeks ago, I noticed a dramatic uptick in my various news feeds of the phrase “moral obligation.” Across all mediums, I heard the righteous call for the United States and nations around the globe to remember promises […]

COMMENTARY

No on question 2: Do not make a risky gamble on public safety — Opinion

BY: - September 28, 2021

Everyone was rightly shocked and outraged over the murder of George Floyd, who was not the first Black man to be murdered by police.  I was a witness to the police murder of Jamar Clark. Having that first hand experience was traumatic, but then seeing Medaria Arradondo appointed chief of police made me feel that […]

COMMENTARY

Yes on question 2: There is a better way — Opinion

BY: - September 28, 2021

Every Minneapolis resident wants and deserves to feel safe. But our current policing system fails to ensure safety for all. While many residents (especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color) are overpoliced, everyone is under-protected from crime and violence. We need a public safety system that works for all of us — and we have the […]

COMMENTARY

The humbling of giants: The rise and decline of the Iron Range — Essay

BY: - September 28, 2021

Mesabi means giant.  That means that I was raised in the land of giants on the Mesabi Iron Range of northern Minnesota. In my youth, I saw those giants as the elected leaders who fought for my homeland in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. When I was 10 I watched my grandfather, Marvin Johnson, run […]

COMMENTARY

Let’s keep children’s mental health on the podium — Opinion

BY: - September 27, 2021

In July, Olympians filled headlines with their own mental health journeys on the public stage. For Minnesota children and teens feeling the pressure of worry, sadness and fear, that journey often goes quietly unnoticed. Children’s mental health was already a public health crisis before the pandemic in 2019, with an estimated 100,000 Minnesota kids suffering […]

COMMENTARY

Pandemic, technology and gambling expansion are perfect storm for problem gamblers — Opinion

BY: - September 24, 2021

We’re living in a perfect storm of an emerging gambling addiction problem. The COVID-19 pandemic left people trapped at home. Legal gambling is expanding at an unprecedented clip. And, technological advances are making games more attractive than ever.  A 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing states to legalize sports betting set off a frenzy of […]

COMMENTARY

The clean energy transformation must include rural communities — Opinion

BY: - September 23, 2021

America is at a tipping point. We need to move swiftly and boldly to a clean energy economy if we want to stave off the most catastrophic effects of climate change. This massive infrastructure change and clean economy transformation needs to include everyone — especially our rural communities.  I grew up in rural Minnesota on […]