Commentary

The state should not be allowed to ignore the open records law

BY: - September 23, 2020

Minnesotans are demanding accountability from government officials at every level, and rightly so.  From the police killing of George Floyd to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesotans are entitled to know what their leaders are doing in their name.  As it turns out, there is a long-standing Minnesota law meant to bolster this […]

Early Voting sign in Minnesota

Voters aren’t used to voting this way. Here’s how to help them.

BY: - September 22, 2020

A version of this article originally appeared in the Behavioral Scientist, a magazine that examines the world through the science of human behavior. With COVID-19 scrambling the traditional fixtures of voting in jurisdictions across the United States, millions of voters will be participating in the 2020 election in ways that will be new and unusual […]

family evicted nevada

Why the eviction moratorium is so important for the Minnesota economy

BY: - September 17, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz has continued to extend a ban on evictions resulting from non-payment. The most recent executive order, which became effective August 4th, prohibits evictions except in cases in which tenants have caused significant damage to the property or are performing illegal activities, or if the  owner needs the property for personal or family […]

Why I left the teachers union

BY: - September 16, 2020

My name is Lee Carlson, and I am beginning my 32nd year as a teacher, coach and advisor.  I was advocating for teachers before I became one, and volunteered to fill an official role within the teachers’ union, where I held membership and later served on the Education Minnesota Governing Board from 2003-2019. My motivation […]

The Legislature needs to make diversity of the teaching corps a priority

BY: - September 15, 2020

In the wake of the pandemic, the resulting budget crisis and now the civil unrest in Minneapolis and beyond, the question of which agencies and programs should be funded looms over Minnesota like storm clouds. But there’s one unassailable investment that should be on every leader’s mind right now: Recruiting more teachers of color to […]

The Challenge Incarceration Program helps inmates and communities

BY: - September 10, 2020

In early August, the Minnesota Department of Corrections announced the pending closure of two of its prisons due to the state’s budget crisis. Both are among the smallest of our prisons. They are also the two sites of the Challenge Incarceration Program, a widely heralded and successful program enabling first time offenders to do community […]

September is Recovery Month: It will work if we work it

BY: and - September 9, 2020

September is Recovery Month in Minnesota and across the country. From Florida to Washington state, California to Maine, millions of Americans who are in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) — you probably call it addiction — will celebrate their freedom from one of the most misunderstood medical conditions in the world today. It is estimated that […]

Mom and Dad thought the coronavirus was overblown. And then they got it.

BY: - September 8, 2020

Mom was in CVS when I texted her Sunday, letting her know I was headed to North Dakota. She and Dad had been diagnosed with COVID-19 nearly two weeks prior. They’re both 79 years old, and their texts seemed to indicate they were weathering it pretty well.  But on Sunday, she was in CVS looking […]

Memo to Washington: We need another COVID-19 relief bill — now

BY: - September 7, 2020

What are they waiting for? Back in the spring, federal policymakers acted quickly to address the emerging pandemic and economic disruption. Among various measures taken, they expanded unemployment insurance to respond to the record number of people out of work. They boosted federal dollars for affordable health care through Medicaid, and provided some modest funding […]

Daily Reformer: Reformers are not suckers and losers

BY: - September 4, 2020

Good afternoon. (You can receive Daily Reformer by signing up here.)  Programming update. No newsletter Monday to celebrate the long struggle working together for better wages and working conditions!  Former intern Aviva Waldman spent the summer hangin with the youths to get their impressions of the risks of COVID-19 and, as it goes with the […]

Sure, have your barbecue, but work for workers on this Labor Day, too

BY: - September 3, 2020

Toward the end of the 19th century, the average American worker labored 12 hours per day, seven days per week— all to earn a basic living. I became acutely aware of this when I learned stories of Jews at the time who had to quit their job every week simply to observe the Sabbath, with […]

Daily Reformer: I’m so angry I’m gonna write a letter

BY: - September 3, 2020

Good afternoon. Sign up here to receive Daily Reformer in your in-box.  The once civil relationship between Gov. Tim Walz and state Sen. Paul Gazelka has broken down, albeit in the most passive-aggressive Minnesota way imaginable. Like neighbors who leave notes on your door when you don’t shovel your driveway, they’re engaged in a persnickety […]