Don’t mix shall with cannabis

BY: - October 2, 2023

When the governor successfully hires a new director for the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, let’s wish that person luck with the massive undertaking of establishing a high-profile agency and also writing a half-dozen or so new rule chapters needed to implement the office’s regulatory scheme.  One simple yet effective way to ease this task […]

Abortion reimbursement rates must increase if we’re to provide health care to people who need it

BY: - September 29, 2023

I am proud to claim Minnesota as the state where I was born and raised. I am equally proud to be an independent abortion provider as I reflect on this year’s anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, a federal budget amendment that bans federal funds from going toward abortion care.  In August of 2022, with a […]

We can’t feed the hungry without SNAP

BY: - September 27, 2023

Minnesotans not experiencing food insecurity may be surprised to learn that hunger rates are at an all-time high, having matched and, in some instances, surpassed even peak pandemic levels. Food shelf visits continue to increase as more Minnesotans struggle to afford still-high grocery prices on top of rising energy, gas and housing costs. This combined […]

Farm Bill needs to make land accessible for young, less affluent and BIPOC farmers

BY: , and - September 26, 2023

More than 40% of U.S. farmland is expected to change ownership over the next two decades, and purchasing affordable land is a challenge for most farmers in our region, according to a survey of farmers in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition, the Land Stewardship Project, and Midwest Farmers of […]

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 […]