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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

To protect the right to vote, kill or change the filibuster — Opinion

BY: - September 22, 2021

Democrats in the U.S. Senate recently introduced a new piece of legislation, the Freedom to Vote Act. Minnesota’s very own DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the lead sponsor on the bill. This proposal represents the latest efforts by members of the Senate to pass comprehensive voting rights and pro-democracy legislation. Earlier legislation on these issues […]

Franklin encampment crisis should spur us to do something about homelessness — Opinion

BY: - September 21, 2021

The recent Reformer article on the Franklin Street encampment highlighted the ongoing crisis of unsheltered homelessness, especially in the Indigenous community. There is undoubtedly a housing and homelessness crisis in Minneapolis and in communities all across Minnesota. State and local governments must invest in the services and infrastructure to address it on a systemic level. […]

Police unions should be illegal — Column

BY: - September 20, 2021

Imagine in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal or the massacre at My Lai, the union representing American soldiers sent out virulent statements of support for the accused officers and enlisted men. Picture the leadership of the soldiers’ union going on TV to defend the actions of their union brethren, warning Americans […]

Minnesota must prepare for its role in a post-Roe world — Opinion

BY: and - September 17, 2021

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to enforce Roe v. Wade and allowed a Texas abortion ban to go into effect. SB 8 is a Texas law that deputizes individuals and anti-abortion extremists to enforce the state’s six-week abortion ban. Right now, any individual in the state of Texas can sue anyone who helps another person obtain an abortion — even […]

Standing up to special interests — Opinion

BY: , , , and - September 16, 2021

Today, we are at the crossroads. On the one hand, we have the growing threats of climate change, which threatens us with fires, droughts and violent weather. On the other hand, we have a government that is increasingly being captured by special interests, which — as a result of the 2010 Supreme Court decision known […]

What was it all for? — Essay

BY: - September 14, 2021

I can still taste the sand, feel the heat on my skin.  We were told to smell our water before we drank it, just in case something had been added to it. I remember the faces, including my own, when brothers or sisters in arms lost their lives.  I remember the look of shock from […]