Doomscrolling? Catastrophizing? This writer is calm and optimistic. Here’s why.

BY: - November 2, 2020

Which do you think will win “Word of the Year” for 2020: doom-scroll or catastrophize? The closer we draw to tomorrow — what would have been known, in the quaint-seeming past of just a year or two ago, as “Election Day” — the deeper these sorts of strange words resonate.  I’ve spent a good chunk […]

On Tuesday, Hennepin County Board will also cast a critical vote — whether to spend $88 million on flawed “affordable” housing project

BY: - November 2, 2020

The Hennepin County commissioners recently voted in favor of issuing $88 million in bonds for an astronomically expensive housing project known as the Upper Post Flats. The project will not result in a single apartment that’s affordable to the growing number of families who most desperately need housing in the Twin Cities. The calculations behind […]

Here’s how to prevent the spread of misinformation

BY: and - October 30, 2020

A version of this article originally originally appeared in the Behavioral Scientist, a magazine that examines the world through the science of human behavior. If you were trying to picture a misinformation spreader, your first step probably wouldn’t be to look in the mirror. But in our work examining the psychology of misinformation, we discovered something surprising: Not […]

I’m 18 and I’m voting because my brother can’t

BY: - October 29, 2020

This year hasn’t turned out how I expected it to. This was a year with a lot of milestones for me. I was turning 18, graduating from high school, starting college and voting for the first time.  COVID-19 has affected every one of those milestones. I graduated from high school in a virtual ceremony, instead […]

polling place in Minnesota vote here

Minnesota has a Voters’ Bill of Rights. Don’t waste it: Vote.

BY: - October 29, 2020

This year has been so tough because too much seems outside of our control: An unstable economy and soaring unemployment, a rampant pandemic that’s only worsening, white supremacy proudly prowling the streets.  But one thing remains within our power: Our right to vote. This fundamental right is the most precious because, in the words of […]

Abuse directed at rural Democrats isn’t the whole story; there’s been kindness, too

BY: - October 27, 2020

Last week the Reformer published a guest commentary about the harassment the Lyon County Democrats suffered when they went out to campaign this year. The essay was one of our most read last week. But there’s more to the story, says Lyon County DFL Chair Anita Gaul.   The harassment we experienced was appalling and, at […]

Finding serenity in tears, in these pandemic times

BY: - October 26, 2020

On several outdoor runs this past week, the brisk autumn air led my eyes to water uncontrollably. The tears were flowing so quickly that it must have looked like I was hysterically crying. I have been running a lot more lately in pursuit of a stress-dissolving outlet during this pandemic. Playing beer-league ice hockey previously […]

Not fun being a rural Democrat these days

BY: - October 23, 2020

Have you been harassed because of your political beliefs? Tell us about it: [email protected]. For the past four months, the Lyon County chapter of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has been hosting weekly pop-up offices in various cities and towns around Lyon County. At each pop-up event, we erect a tent and staff it for several hours […]

In the courtroom and in politics, when you got nothing, you gotta give em something

BY: - October 21, 2020

A recent Minnesota Reformer piece cited Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” — when you ain’t got nothing you got nothing to lose — as one of the songs which describes our current political moment. I agree. But we should not lose track of the implied corollary: When you ain’t got nothing, you gotta give […]

Please look out for small businesses owned by women of color

BY: - October 20, 2020

When I opened my business, The Nail Bar, in June last year, I never could have anticipated the challenges that would come just a few months shy of our one year anniversary. A few months before COVID-19, The Nail Bar moved from its pilot space in Northeast Minneapolis. We came to share a space with […]

How practical wisdom can help us deal with the stress of uncertainty

BY: and - October 16, 2020

A version of this article originally appeared in the Behavioral Scientist, a magazine that examines the world through the science of human behavior. The stress of uncertain pain is greater the stress of certain pain. These were the results of a 2016 study, published long before the uncertainty of pandemic 2020.  In the study, participants […]

Democracy may be boring and frustrating, but it’s what we’ve got, so fight for it

BY: - October 15, 2020

Democracy is boring. There are a lot of rules. Policy is weedsy. Electioneering is repetitive. And there are way too many meetings. Democracy includes a lot of people you don’t like. They also come to the meetings. And they’re wrong about everything, so wrong.  But it’s what we’ve got: imperfect, but promising. Every two years […]