Betty McCollum

Recent Articles

Conference recruited fighters for War on Poverty

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Fifty years ago, in 1964, then-president Lyndon Johnson mobilized the resources of the U.S government to engage in his historic War on Poverty, saying, “The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

Fifty years later, although there were some victories in the effort to end poverty, obviously much work remains before victory may be declared. To that end, on May 1 a coalition of Minnesota organizations banded together for the Minnesota Poverty Call to Action. The group was hosted by the Minnesota Community Action Partnership. Community Action Agencies were themselves created by a War on Poverty program. Continue Reading →

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We owe our fellow workers a living wage

Several weeks ago I was granted the enormous privilege to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address as the guest of Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum. My invitation to this hallmark event was accorded to me through no distinction of my own, but rather as the result of the boundless energy, tireless dedication and tremendous work of the staff, volunteers and supporters of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties. For 50 years, Community Action has provided critical and transformative services to low-income and historically underserved populations in the War on Poverty. As I listened to the president’s address, I found inspiration in the stories of ordinary Americans who are making extraordinary impacts in their communities. Two particular individuals that the president recognized in his speech were a pair of small business owners located right here in the Twin Cities, John Sorrano and John Puckett. Continue Reading →

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The Washington mascot solution is simple: Change the name!

No U.S. professional team since 1963 has established new mascots or nicknames that use racial stereotypes. Yet the Washington pro football team, which played here last week, continues its offensive nickname and logo. Current team owner Dan Snyder, when asked last May, told USA Today that he will “never” change the team nickname. His refusal, as well as virtually ignoring a new resolution by the District of Columbia City Council urging the team to change its name, as well as a U.S. House bill introduced that would amend the 1946 Trademark Act, banning the term and canceling all trademark registrations of the current nickname, is downright disappointing and insulting. We condemn Mr. Snyder’s stubbornness, greediness or both along with his argument against changing a name that originated and maintained for over eight decades, since 1932, “a legacy of racism” by the team’s late founder George Preston Marshall in. Continue Reading →

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Washington mascot protest heats up in Minnesota

Activists say R-word and N-word equally offensive
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Advocates who consider the Washington professional football team nickname racist and offensive believe that change eventually will come, but not without constant pressure on the team owner to do so. Since purchasing the team in 1999, billionaire Daniel Snyder consistently says he will not change the original nickname given by the team’s founder in the early 1930s. Some argue that Washington’s annual estimated revenue — at $245 million — is largely based on team merchandise and other apparel that feature a racially insensitive logo. But Snyder strongly contends that most fans support him and often refers to a 2004 Annenberg poll of mostly White respondents that found that nearly 90 percent of those polled were not offended by the name. “There is now a national conversation — politicians, journalists, sports figures, activists and leaders of all races — coming together to stand with Indian people in pursuit of respect and dignity,” proclaimed U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum

(D-Minn.) last week at a November 5 forum at the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Healthcare reform law now two years old — Supporters say Affordable Care Act will narrow health disparities

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March celebrated its two-year anniversary since President Barack Obama signed it into law. Since it became law, its key provisions include insurance companies now being more accountable in their practices, providing new coverage for young adults, making prescription drugs affordable for seniors, and covering preventive services with no deductible or copay. The healthcare law now prohibits insurance companies from refusing to insure children under age 19 with serious illnesses or limiting care because an individual’s expenses have reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. “A whole new set of rules for insurance companies — a new ball game,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius during a March 23 visit to the Twin Cities to commemorate the ACA’s second anniversary. Sebellius, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton all heard stories from several women on how the ACA has helped them at the home of a nurse who lives in Spring Lake Park. Continue Reading →

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Marches honored legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The traditional St. Paul MLK Day March began at 10 am in front of Central High School. Congressman Keith Ellison addressed the crowd of about 1,200 prior to the march. March leaders included Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, Congresswoman Betty McCollum and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Continue Reading →

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Congressional officers get paid by double dipping

 

 

Big cable is at it again. Comcast — the only cable company in town — slyly announced on its December billing statements that beginning January 1, a $1.99 “convenience fee” will be charged to customers who pay in person. I was outraged when I saw this. Ever since I’ve had cable three companies ago, when it was Rogers, then Paragon, then Time Warner and now the Philadelphia-based mega-company, I have handed over my hard-earned bucks to a customer service person each month. Comcast, the only cable game in town, has no competition, so we consumers have no leverage. Continue Reading →

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