Kevin Lindsay

Recent Articles

President Obama visits St. Paul to promote transportation budget

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Reportedly Barack Obama’s approval rating in Minnesota is at its lowest since he became president over five years ago. But based on the loud, enthusiastic reception he received last week during a stop in St. Paul, his popularity apparently has not yet wane. “We love you,” said someone from the overflow crowd. “I love you back. Continue Reading →

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President Obama visits St. Paul

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

President Barack Obama, in St. Paul on Wednesday, reiterated his vow he made earlier in his State of the Union address in January that he will take action when needed if Congress won’t. “I’m just going to do what I can…” proclaimed Obama during a nearly 20-minute speech to an enthusiastic overflowing audience at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. Continue Reading →

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Significant economic surge for the Black community by Sports Authority?

Or manipulation of numbers to conceal few Black workers?  
A week ago, at the meeting of the Stadium Equity Committee, created by the stadium authorizing legislation, Alex Tittle, director of equity for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) reported that “hours” — not persons — in the workforce would be how the 34 percent minority workers on the stadium doctrine would be counted. Thirty-four percent was advanced almost two years ago by State Human Rights Commissioner, Kevin Lindsay and put into the legislation. The euphoria was understandable. The disappointment and disillusion today is just as understandable. Continue Reading →

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So much for 32 percent Black participation in stadium construction — When will the State deposit its $50M statutory requirement?

 
 

Vikings People’s-no-new-taxes stadium is unraveling for the African American community. “It’s ours” ballyhoo regarding Minnesota has become “it’s mine” for NFL, the Wizard of Oz behind the Vikings’ curtain. • 32 percent minority participation goals of Minnesota’s State Department of Human Rights Director Kevin Lindsay were pulverized into dust. My estimate of 1-1.5 percent African American participation: too high. Actual and factual: unless there is unanticipated change, less than half of one percent, including employment and contracts. Continue Reading →

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Second Chance advocates ‘make some noise’ on the Hill

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

When Sarah Walker first lobbied the Minnesota Legislature on behalf of former offenders, she didn’t see it going over very well. “The first time I organized this, I was concerned that this would be received very poorly,” recalls Walker, the COO of 180 Degrees, Inc. 

But as a result, over 50 organizations formed the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition and started Second Chance Day on the Hill. “Since then we have gotten more legislative leaders interested in this issue. I think we really fundamentally changed the dialogue about the issue at the Capitol. We passed three bills in 2009, and we’re hopeful again this year for another good year,” continued Walker. Continue Reading →

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Sports Authority Legislative Report, with Unequal Equity Plan, sent to legislature

It is an unintended but very real sad irony of history that on the birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, the Vikings, the NFL, and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) sent its first annual report to the state legislature carrying the message that there may be some room in the People’s Stadium construction bus, but only in the back, a Minnesota refrain I’ve steadily warned about since 2005. Our community has not believed. Will they now? On page six of the MSFA report to the legislature, we can see how the MSFA blindsided Commissioner Kevin Lindsay and the African American leadership of Minnesota. The highly touted, well-publicized PR charade of 32 percent minority participation evaporated. Continue Reading →

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Stadium equity plan not yet a reality

 
Is a 32 percent people-of-color workforce goal overly optimistic?  
News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

The plans are in full swing for the new $975 million Vikings stadium. And yet again many in the Black community hold out hope that the economic stimulus the stadium promises to provide will benefit them as well. Unemployment in the Black community continues to remain high. In fact, in the last quarter of 2012 unemployment in North Minneapolis hovered around 22 percent. Continue Reading →

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MN’s sales tax highest of five-state Upper Midwest

 
Revenue commissioner talks tax reform with Twin Cities’ business owners of color
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

On December 21, Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans held the second of two minority business tax forums at African Development Center in Minneapolis. It was part of an effort by the Minnesota Department of Revenue to “get as much feedback as possible about tax reform and how the tax code impacts small businesses to ensure [Frans] is giving the best advice to Governor Dayton as he puts together his tax package for the 2012 legislative session,” according to a department of revenue community invite. Present at the meeting was also Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey. Commissioner Frans said that Minnesota’s current tax system is out of date and too complex. He also admitted that a simpler tax system is needed. Continue Reading →

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Lindsay defends higher hiring goals

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

There is nothing new about complaints from construction contractors and subcontractors that they are unable to find enough qualified, skilled Black workers to meet the hiring expectations that come with publicly funded projects. Such complaints have surfaced over the years through city civil rights departments during their monitoring of public projects, and from the Metropolitan Council in projects like light-rail construction. Recently, upon hearing such complaints again from a meeting of contractors at Summit Academy OIC, we contacted State Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsay to ask how his department determines what reasonable hiring expectations should be and why this apparent gap persists between these reasonable expectations and the actual pool of skilled Blacks in the Metro area from which contractors draw their workforces. Commissioner Lindsay recently announced new hiring participation goals for publicly funded projects: 32 percent workers of color in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, and 22 percent in other countries such as Anoka, Carver, Dakota and Washington, on state-funded projects totaling $100,000 or more. He presented his plan in a meeting with local contractors, including members of the local National Association of Minority Contractors Upper Midwest (NAMC-UM) Chapter. Continue Reading →

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Board chair: Council on Black Minnesotans ‘under the gun’

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A new executive director for Minnesota’s Council on Black Minnesotans (CBM) will be in place by June, predicts CBM Board Chairman Donavan Bailey. A Rochester resident, Bailey sat down last week at the MSR and discussed during an interview the council’s present and future. “We are in the process of starting the application process” for the vacant executive director position, he explained. He added another possibility, a “community collaboration” in the search and hiring process. Not having an executive director is “a little challenging,” admitted Bailey. Continue Reading →

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