A May 30 Star Tribune article, “Stenglein builds on strengths,” announced Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein becoming CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. (“…some 300 downtown businesses and large regional companies,” “movers and shakers,” with “a new plan for a vibrant and livable 24/7 downtown that can house double the 34,000 people who now live there.” It “will help forge public-private partnerships at a time of limited government funding.”)
Stenglein “has the reputation of seeing the importance of investing in the Black communities’ economic growth,” as seen in “his African-American Men Project, an effort to rethink county policy to get more young black men employed and out of trouble.”
Unfortunately, the documentation/statistics/lack of jobs shows good intentions were not met, as the African American community gained little financial stimulus. Recall the statement of former Minneapolis Civil Rights Department Director Michael Jordan, about five years ago, that Minneapolis can meet its diversity hiring goals without hiring a single Black person. Reaction? None. Continue Reading →
A Spanish all-sports station may soon debut in New York City. Yet there’s still not an all-Black sports radio station anywhere in this country, neither on terrestrial regular radio nor on the nation’s only satellite radio service, SiriusXM. Before the FCC approved the Sirius-XM merger in 2008, we were told that new channels for underserved communities would be established. However, only one Black-oriented channel from Howard University has been added post-merger. There’s a “Mad Dog” sports channel and a fantasy sports channel, but not one channel with Blacks talking sports all the time. Continue Reading →
Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twin Cities’ two cities, are very close in population and size and just 15 minutes apart. One is known for being the place to be, where most everything goes on; the other is the Capital city where all the state-wide decisions are made. Minneapolis has the Vikings-Twins-Timberwolves-University of Minnesota and Lynx; St. Paul the Wild and Saints. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Editor’s note: The Minnesota Legislature last week approved a Minnesota Vikings stadium bill. The team agreed to pay 49 percent ($477 million) of the building costs, but the City of Minneapolis ($150 million) and the State ($348 million) will be responsible for the rest. This week we are re-running a previous “Another View” column from October 27 last year regarding the proposed football stadium. It seems more relevant now than ever.
I won’t waste time on whether the Minnesota Vikings’ longtime argument for a new football stadium is valid or not. Continue Reading →
Will entrenched injustices cut us to pieces?
The death of Trayvon Martin on February 26 was not just another event in America’s troubled and tainted history of abusing the rights of African Americans. The controversy surrounding his death highlights a pivotal time in the history of our race relations. For every Trayvon there are 50 other Trayvon Martin cases that are never addressed for a variety of reasons: The community is not organized; the community is not aware; the community is frightened and intimidated; the community receives poor and ineffective legal counsel; and our community is often at war with itself. Not enough in Black and White America recognize that where there is a spark there is a potential for a full-fledged inferno that burns away and obstructs the quest for justice. Continue Reading →
Are job opportunity plans for Blacks mandated and in place for the Vikings stadium project and the development to take place around it? If yes, let’s see it. If no, set a date for revealing the mandates of a hiring compliance plan. A week ago, the Rybak Administration announced it had the seventh vote needed to move stadium financing ahead without a referendum before the voters. Hiring Black construction/transportation/planning firms and workers has been a Minneapolis Potemkin Village, a movie set, street facades and few results for Blacks behind the facade. Continue Reading →
MPD takes possession of Civilian Review Authority
On the international scene last year, the Arab Spring brought an offensive of hope for positive change in the Middle East, led by the young and unemployed. It also brought an offensive uprising of violence and confrontation by those wanting to dash hope and prevent needed change. Is this what’s in store for Minneapolis? My concern is not what happens with the 21st-century Arab Spring, but rather with the Minneapolis Spring of 2012 and the disturbing pattern of developing violence (drive-by shootings, gun battles in the street, White and Black youth fighting together and against each other in and through downtown). This is a concern for everyone, not just Blacks, not just Whites. Continue Reading →
Rybak administration and Civil Rights Department blindsided
One wonders how long it took the Rybak administration to realize the powerful Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis had turned to the Republican majority in the Minnesota legislature. Unlike Black organizations that do nothing when ignored and are thus taken for granted, the Police Officers Federation, ignored by the City, went to the other party. It’s a White thing Blacks need to learn how to do, which won’t happen as long as they stay self-glued to one party. As legislative lobbyists, special-interest advocates, and legislators themselves keep their supporters informed about legislation that will affect them, I wonder why the two Black state legislators for the City of Minneapolis didn’t give our community a heads up? It could have made a difference, and it could have resulted in the federation taking a softer position instead of setting up the demise of the Civilian Review Authority (CRA). Continue Reading →
Pardon me if I’m not walking straight these days for the first time in my life. I understand now what pain my sons have been going
through since April 2003. Ms. Sally Fitzgerald, 78, my beloved mother, died February 22 during Black History Month. Even though it’s been about two weeks, I’m still in disbelief. She was such a strong and loving mother. Continue Reading →
Is it too expensive for the average citizen?
The Star Tribune story “New names, old pains on Minneapolis police review panel,” February 20, 2012, reported on what we have reported on for a decade: the slow, continued collapse of the Civilian Review Authority (CRA) and, by extension, the collapse of its parent, the Civil Rights Department (CRD). Thus words in the story were not a surprise to us: “ranks depleted…investigative staff overwhelmed…recommendations routinely ignored,” with the CRA “far weaker” in its investigation “of complaints against the police.”
We know that the quality of professional investigation in the CRA leaves a lot to be desired. We understand why the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Tim Dolan thinks the CRA is incompetent. This is one the dark holes that the Rybak administration needs to be concerned about falling into. Continue Reading →