Heat but no light about school safety

BY: - September 25, 2023

The police are likely coming back to schools — without a special legislative session or a change in the law — revealing what many of us suspected: This “debate” was a lotta sound and fury, signifying nothing.  A hackneyed Shakespearean phrase, but a true one regarding the past month of frequently phony arguments about whether […]

Public policy gets all the attention, but operations can make or break a policy

BY: - September 20, 2023

A former colleague recently recommended I read “Re-Coding America,” by Jennifer Pahlka. Pahlka is the founder of Code for America, a non-profit that aims to help all levels of government make it easier for people to use government services. Pahlka also spent several years working in California state government and the federal government.  As the […]

Minnesota needs to prepare for extreme heat and the urban heat island effects

BY: - September 20, 2023

Recent Minnesota summers have brought warmer temperatures, drought conditions, and — due to Canadian wildfires — air quality issues. On August 23rd, the Twin Cities broke a 1948 heat record when temperatures reached 98 degrees at MSP airport. This Labor Day weekend, the Twin Cities tied longstanding heat records.  Urban communities are experiencing so-called urban heat island […]

Report identifies major gaps in MPD’s response to domestic violence

BY: and - September 19, 2023

In 2022, 21 people in Minnesota were killed by a current or former intimate partner, according to our analysis at Violence Free Minnesota. Of the women killed, at least 20% were separated or trying to leave their relationship.  In Minnesota, at least 16 children were present at the scene of a homicide, or directly witnessed […]

Minnesota Democrats passed their program — can they make it work?

BY: - September 15, 2023

Consider a scenario that could play out in early 2026 as Minnesota’s new paid family and medical leave law takes effect, 10 months before a midterm election when voters will choose a governor and all 201 legislators.  Picture a major IT failure or breach, the wrong taxes imposed on the wrong people, or workers owed […]

There’s a class war in our schools, and the rich are still winning

BY: - September 14, 2023

As the academic year start back up, it feels like a good time to step back and take stock of what is really happening in public schools across our state and nation. I’m proud to be the leader of a union that represents nearly 10,000 education support professionals across Minnesota. Our members are the backbone […]

Dems are right to keep pushing on affordable, accessible, quality health care

BY: - September 11, 2023

I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 25 years. Type 1 diabetes is just one of the many diseases that people experience through no fault of their own. For me, taking insulin to treat my diabetes isn’t optional — it’s my life support. Health conditions like diabetes put me and millions of other Americans at the […]

Ford’s pardon of Nixon created a bad precedent

BY: - September 8, 2023

Most of former President Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination have given full-throated support for him in his current criminal travails, even saying they would pardon him if he is convicted of any – or all – of the 90-something charges. The notion that a president could be pardoned for criminal offenses would have […]

Gov. Al Quie: An appreciation

BY: - September 8, 2023

Editor’s note: Funeral service for Gov. Al Quie will be at Central Lutheran Church, 333 S. 12th St., Minneapolis, Saturday, September 9, at 1:00 pm, preceded by a visitation at the church at 11:00. Here’s an appreciation.  A Jewish philosopher now lost to the ages wrote: “The meaning of life is that it ends.” Expressed […]

Construction industry must confront suicide crisis

BY: and - September 7, 2023

The top priority on a construction site is to send everyone home safely. But today, a serious threat is taking the lives of construction workers at an alarming rate. The industry must take notice. This week is Construction Suicide Prevention Week, and the problem is urgent. Last year saw the highest number of suicides ever recorded in the […]

DFL voters reject tax cuts and neoliberalism at the State Fair

BY: - September 6, 2023

At the State Fair, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party conducted a highly scientific study of voter preferences. Visitors to the party’s booth were given a small number of soybeans and prompted to vote for their favorite policies passed during the 2023 legislative session. As of 5 p.m. on Labor Day, the rankings (see photos above) were […]

Corporate consolidation is hurting Americans. Now is the time to rein it in.

BY: - September 5, 2023

Just weeks after Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services called off a mega-merger that would have remade Minnesota’s healthcare system, Cleveland-Cliffs announced its interest in acquiring U.S. Steel, a combination that would remake Minnesota’s Iron Range. The relentless pace of merger news is no anomaly though. In 2021 merger activity set an all-time high helping […]