Frank Hornstein

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McDonald: Folding the Council on Black Minnesotans into the State Human Rights Department is a bad idea

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


Last week, Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Executive Directory Edward McDonald responded to an audit release by the Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor’s (OLA) in March (See MSR April 17-23, “Director defends Council on Black Minnesotans: ‘We’re doing it’). Among the four recommendations the OAL offered to increase the effectiveness of the COBM was restructuring the council under the State Human Rights Department. This week, McDonald responds to this recommendation. “I think that what that [placing the councils under the Human Rights Department] would do for the council is move it into partisan swings. If there is a Republican governor, then the council more than likely will be supporting a Republican agenda. Continue Reading →

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Minimum wage increase likely

Several Minnesota elected officials from around the state took part in a Minimum Wage Challenge last month to experience what it’s like to live on the state’s minimum wage. Advocates for raising the state’s minimum wage have emphasized that it’s not just workers in large urban areas who need the increase. All too often, they say, political issues in Minnesota are presented as pitting the interests of the Twin Cities metro area against those of the rest of the state, also known as “Greater Minnesota.” But despite the rhetoric, raising the minimum wage cuts across all geographic boundaries. Heidi Durand, a city councilmember from Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the border from Fargo, North Dakota, discovered as much when she joined Working America’s Minimum Wage Challenge. “I grew up in a working class home and I always knew my mom was an expert at stretching a dollar,” Councilmember Durand said, “And like a tidal wave, this challenge has brought her values back into my life.”

The minimum wage budget in 2014 is harder to stretch than it was when Durand was growing up. Continue Reading →

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