Felix Rubio and Kimberly Rubio hold a photograph of their late daughter Alexandria Rubio

Gun violence is a proxy war on the American public

BY: - March 31, 2023

As the riot of gun violence in America produces fresh massacres by the day, firearm fundamentalists refuse to acknowledge the blood on their hands, and their suicidal stance in the face of escalating carnage is that more guns are the answer. But it’s worse than that. Take a close look at the arguments that gun […]

restaurant pic franchise

Franchise owners are colluding to suppress Minnesota workers’ wages

BY: and - March 31, 2023

In many Minnesota franchises, franchise owners within the same franchise agree not to hire from each other, keeping wages down and profits up. It is already illegal for non-franchise business owners to use this anti-competitive strategy to limit workers’ freedom. Minnesota legislators are moving to close a franchise-owners loophole, via bills (SF2216/HF1831) championed by Rep. […]

Taxes are the price Minnesotans pay for prosperity

BY: - March 30, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature is in session, and it’s a budget year, so state and local taxes are a big part of the deliberations.  Republicans are pointing to taxes in other states, which are lower than those in Minnesota, and arguing that we should lower our taxes to achieve the sort of prosperity surrounding states enjoy.  […]

Legislature should make sure people who need Medicaid can get it

BY: and - March 29, 2023

One of the important lessons we learned living through the COVID-19 pandemic was how critical it was that all of us had access to the care we needed, when we needed it. Having continuous and reliable health insurance, access to well-child visits and early screening, access to medications, mental health care, and many other supports […]

Minnesota’s tax code should be based on ability to pay, not year of birth

BY: and - March 28, 2023

As you think about who lives on your street, you probably don’t think that much about how much they pay in taxes. You may think about the economic circumstances of your neighbors, but how much they pay to support the public investments we all need is not likely top of mind. And there’s good reason […]

Um, like, the humans are speaking

BY: - March 27, 2023

In almost 20 years of teaching public speaking at a community college, I’ve seen it all. A guy who could solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 20 seconds. A dead owl passed around the class as a misguided visual aid. More than once I’ve seen a terrified person deliver a profoundly moving speech.  Public speaking […]

The exhausting struggle to find stable, affordable housing

BY: - March 24, 2023

Few things are as simple as they seem, and that includes the crucial matter of having a roof overhead that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For openers, it’s a rookie apartment hunting move to scan for affordable housing, which is often a misnomer. Affordable for whom?   At Five 90 Park in St. Paul, […]

Time to be brave and pass gun safety bills

BY: - March 23, 2023

Five hundred-seventy. That’s the number of people who died by gunfire in Minnesota in 2021. Hundreds more were wounded. These are our children, parents, neighbors, teachers.  Right now, Minnesota lawmakers have the opportunity to save some of these lives. For the first time in a long time Minnesota lawmakers have the power to pass life-saving […]

Affordable Care Act at 13: forward not back

BY: - March 23, 2023

Thirteen years ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. And about five years ago, my oncologist told me my stage 4 cancer was in remission. As a small business owner, my health insurance is through the Affordable Care Act. So these two dates are inexorably linked in my mind: The insurance which paid […]

Here’s how we can equitably fund Minnesota’s transition to a carbon-free system

BY: - March 22, 2023

Last month Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a bill ensuring 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. For those of us watching the climate crisis unfolding, this is a dream come true. Just this past fall the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened international climate talks with the following warning: Thankfully we are on our way to […]

A Ramadan primer: Why we fast

BY: - March 22, 2023

While growing up in Yemen, I was introduced to the practice of fasting. It ‎was a common practice, in which all the families ‎will encourage their children, as young as 7, ‎to practice fasting. In my household, I had ‎parents who were very observant of Islam. In fact, my father was an imam of a […]

Ignore the big numbers — surpluses can quickly become deficits

BY: - March 21, 2023

Budget season is heating up at the state Capitol, and with a surplus commonly pegged at $17.5 billion, there is a general sense that Minnesota has money to spare. Flush as the state may seem, we’d be mistaken to underestimate long-term spending needs and the budgetary challenges that could arise from ongoing tax cuts.  The […]