Social Security for U.S.

BY: - September 4, 2023

Editor’s note: The following is a national radio address delivered by U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins on Feb. 25, 1935. I have been asked to speak to you tonight on the administration’s program for economic security which is now, as you know, before Congress. It seems to me that few legislative proposals have had […]

The Man With the Hoe

BY: - September 4, 2023

Editor’s note: American poet and educator Edwin Markham wrote the following poem after seeing Jean-François Millet’s painting “L’homme à la houe” (“Man with a Hoe”). It was published in the San Francisco Examiner in January 1899 after an editor heard Markham recite it at a New Year’s Eve party. It was reprinted in periodical across […]

Minnesota’s got big infrastructure goals. Now we need to train the next generation of workers.

BY: - September 1, 2023

As a young single mom, Laura Wolnik knew she needed to support her son. Wolnik always had an interest in following in her dad’s footsteps after growing up watching him build a successful career in construction with a good-paying union job and strong benefits. She enrolled at the Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest […]

Ending minimum parking requirements was a policy win for the Twin Cities

BY: - August 31, 2023

Three years ago, anybody constructing a building in most parts of St. Paul or Minneapolis would have had to deal with a long set of parking requirements. These requirements ranged from seemingly reasonable (though arbitrary) to fully absurd. St. Paul, for example, required an apartment building to have one parking space for each 1- or […]

Minnesota in the age of smoke and fire

BY: - August 28, 2023

In hot, dry conditions with high winds and ample fuel, wildfire moves faster than you can run or drive. It envelops you like a dragon swallowing an unlucky knight or maiden. You keep running until the oxygen is sucked from your lungs, unable to scream at what comes next. The Cloquet-Moose Lake fires of 1918 […]

A playbook for the new Metro Transit general manager 

BY: - August 28, 2023

Just months ago, Metro Transit faced a projected $130 million annual operating shortfall.  Now, thanks to decades of advocacy from community members and bold leadership from legislative champions, Metro Transit is a solvent agency with abundant resources to invest in our region’s future. With upwards of $450 million annually in new funding, Metro Transit’s strong […]

U.S. Supreme Court has put precious wetlands in peril

BY: - August 25, 2023

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court strips away protections from our nation’s remaining treasure of isolated wetlands. The court has reverted to the dark days when wetlands were viewed as dirty swamps to be drained — habitats with no value. There’s a convoluted legislative and regulatory history which gave the U.S. Army Corps […]

For downtown revival, remember the workers, too

BY: - August 24, 2023

I have lived in a downtown condo for nine years, and I love being part of this community. I appreciate being close to my work, access to great services and amenities, the fellowship of condo living and proximity to the Mississippi River. It is truly remarkable! I’m also an engaged 37 year resident of Minneapolis.  […]

REAP: The federal solar grant all Minnesota rural businesses should know about

BY: - August 23, 2023

Minnesota passed legislation this year mandating 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, so we know our energy systems are going to change. That includes where and how energy is produced, sold and transported.  As this transition unfolds, rural communities have the opportunity to directly benefit from it.  You may be familiar with the clean energy tax […]

St. Cloud State cuts will be devastating to Minnesota’s mental health workforce

BY: - August 22, 2023

Minnesota is struggling to keep up with the mental health crisis. Across the state, 80% of Minnesota counties have a mental health worker and facility shortage. Too many people are in need of help, and there are not enough therapists to help them.  Untreated mental health conditions can have devastating consequences, such as loss of […]

How Minnesota lawmakers helped stop a harmful hospital merger

BY: - August 21, 2023

Editor’s note: The author is not the same person as state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington.  Late last month, the Minnesota-based hospital system Fairview Health Services announced that it was pulling the plug on a proposed merger with South Dakota-based Sanford Health Services. This marked the second time these two health care systems had failed to […]

What else do Watergate and Trump’s alleged crimes have in common? Wayward lawyers.

BY: - August 18, 2023

A disturbing feature of the multiplicity of criminal charges against former President Donald Trump — especially the latest federal and Georgia state proceedings alleging a conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election — is the centrality of lawyers in the morass. Five of the half-dozen unindicted co-conspirators in the federal case are attorneys, and the unidentified […]