Bobby Joe Champion

Recent Articles

Confusion widespread on Affordable Care Act

 
Enrollment in new MN health insurance exchange begins in October 
 
 
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be in full force sooner rather than later, and U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison says every American will benefit from it. However, he sadly points out that there are “professional misinformation spreaders trying to confuse people” on the law. Ellison held two separate forums on the ACA July 2, first with local small business owners at the Minneapolis Urban League’s Northside headquarters, then with community folk across the street at the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. The first was attended by around 20 business people, but none were Black business owners. “We certainly reached out,” said Ellison of this absence. Continue Reading →

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Concentration of Level 3 sex offenders on North Side ‘dumping ground’ opposed

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ (DOC) latest reporting, there are 1,428 total sex offenders in the state. Of the 134 registered Level 3 Sex Offenders (L3SOs) in Minneapolis, 37 percent live in the 55411 and 55412 ZIP codes, which are located on the city’s North Side. Residents objected to this concentration at a June 25 community meeting at North Regional Library. A DOC spokesperson told the MSR last week that the State updates the Level 3 registered list twice a year — January 1 and July 1. “[The registered list is] always changing, constantly evolving. Continue Reading →

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Clearly, Black Americans can succeed at anything

 

 

To all of you feeding your children that fib that we are inferior to White people and will never be successful, please stop the madness. I was talking to someone last night who told me the reason we (African Americans) cannot succeed is because since slavery we have been told this over and over again. According to this person, we have been told that we are inferior and will never amount to anything and will always be inferior to White America. I take offense to that because my mother never got that memo. I don’t know why people buy into this propaganda, but please speak for yourself. Continue Reading →

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Does Minnesota need a ‘13th’ grade?

 

 

By Donald Allen

Contributing Writer

 

The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in postsecondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year 13th-grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education [if any] in the Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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No More Excuses

Too many have sacrificed for us to give up now
Most of the excuses we make up make it hard for our life on this earth. Everything that really matters we make excuses for: excuses why we won’t go to school, why we don’t listen to our parents, why we don’t stay out of trouble, why we end up in jail, why we have a criminal record, why we have felonies. More excuses: I don’t have a job because I won’t work for less than $10 an hour. I don’t have a job because no one will give me a chance. If you don’t listen to your parents and drop out of school, your chances of being successful are slim to none without education. Continue Reading →

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Hometown talent celebrate BMA’s 25-year anniversary

 
African American cable music company saluted by local music artists
 
By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

“Coming here tonight, I see so many great friends in the house who are here with us tonight…Without you there would be no us,” Pete Rhodes, the founder of the BMA Network, said at its first BMA Channel celebration held at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on Friday, December 21. This three-hour event, which Rhodes hosted, was free and open to the public. A first-of-its-kind event, it also served as the 25th anniversary of the BMA Network. Sponsors of the event included IPR, Comcast, and the Minnesota State Lottery. Technically speaking, BMA has been around for 28 years, but as far as formal annual celebrations go, the number 25 works. Continue Reading →

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‘Long overdue’ Black museum dedicated

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Roxanne Givens’ dream of a Black museum finally became a reality as the Minnesota African American Museum (MAAM) was formally dedicated last weekend. Those present for the ceremony agreed they were sharing a momentous occasion. “When Roxanne had the epiphany, I was just as excited as she was,” says Judie Carmichael Brown of the museum’s founder and acting director. Brown, herself a founding board member and public relations chair, told the MSR that an estimated 200 persons attended last Friday’s three-hour event at the former Coe mansion, which the museum board acquired in 2008, located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 18th Street South. Master of ceremonies T. Mychael Rambo called the event the “Who’s Who of everybody,” including as it did local and national politicians, business leaders and community folk. Continue Reading →

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Black votes on the line with Voter ID

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer 

 

A year after the 2008 presidential election, calls for new voter identification laws were heard in many states, including Minnesota. Led by a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) composed mostly of Republicans, proponents claim that such a law is needed because there is “rampant voter fraud.”

ALEC’s public safety and elections task force drafted the Voter ID Act in the summer of 2009, which would require “proof of identity” to vote. Those without a valid photo ID must fill out a provisional ballot that is only counted if the voter produces an ID by the Monday following the election. It also suggests that ID cards be made available free of charge to eligible voters without a valid driver’s license. ALEC is a Republican-favored organization that is promoting “its right-wing agenda” in all 50 states, says Color of Change.org, a national activist group that has launched a national campaign calling for corporations and others to stop financially supporting the organization. Continue Reading →

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