Sports Facility Authority and the Minnesota Vikings
Will the “Stadium Powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Facilities Sports Authority that oversees the stadium construction project), all regarding the Vikings (“people’s” “no new taxes”) stadium, stand up for fairness in employment and equity or hide behind the skirts of a “best effort” calendar? January 15, 2013: The Sports Authority is to file its first annual report to the Minnesota State Legislature’s super-commission. Report only. No public hearing. No public comments. Continue Reading →
By Elizabeth Ellis
On October 19, from 7:30-9 am at Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave. South, Minneapolis, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, by invitation of City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, discussed the challenges to Minnesotans this election season regarding the proposed constitutional voter ID amendment on the ballot. “Changing Minnesota’s constitution,” Ritchie argued, “should not be taken lightly. Our state constitution is sacred to daily life.”
In his remarks, Ritchie emphasized that amending the constitution could cause changes to local taxpayers. Voting is community based, but with many different faces, such as small rural, out-state townships with 500 voters who vote by mail verses large urban counties. Continue Reading →
According to a recent City of Minneapolis press release, the $65 million renovation of 1,303 affordable housing units at the iconic Riverside Plaza is now complete. The renovation is one of the largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-supported projects in the country.
An event was held at Riverside Plaza October 10 to celebrate the revitalization of the property. The housing unit improvements include upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems that will extend the lifespan of the property for another 40 years. The exterior and site work focused on returning much of Riverside Plaza to its original 1970s appearance. The two-year construction period provided 200 construction jobs, 90 of which were reserved for Minneapolis residents with an emphasis on hiring Riverside Plaza residents and residents of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Continue Reading →
The Minneapolis City Council passed a binding resolution May 10, 2012, directing the Civil Rights Department to report to the June council meeting: “1) Master agreement details, including stadium equity plan; 2) Enforcement and reporting structure relating to Stadium Equity Plan” (see City Council website, www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@clerk/documents/webcontent/wcms1p-093512.pdf. It was approved by Mayor Rybak May 25, 2012. Velma Korbel and her Civil Rights Department has yet to report. Are the State, authority, city council and mayor paying lip service to the stadium legislation or are they serious? No report nor steps to correct reflects “not serious.”
The resolution identifies expectations and reporting responsibilities within the city council’s structure, as defined in Article 1, Section 16, of the stadium legislation. Continue Reading →
Who will ensure the promises are kept?
Mayor R.T. Rybak stated in his February 6 press conference that he was pressing hard for the Minneapolis City Council to support his dream of a Vikings stadium near the Metrodome. (Star Tribune, “Flanked by union workers, Rybak pleads for Vikings stadium”)
The mayor’s declaration reminds me of Isabel Wilkerson’s current best seller and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Warmth of Other Suns, a moving, well-researched story of the promises made to Negroes of the World War II era that influenced the great racial migration from the South to the North. Their dream: good employment, good education for their kids, and a good future. The Oct. Continue Reading →
Is ‘Heritage Park fatigue’ causing City leaders to neglect the historic project? Or is a land grab underway?
By Charles Hallman
The Minneapolis City Council recently voted to begin foreclosure proceedings against properties in North Minneapolis’ Heritage Park, once billed as the most ambitious housing start-up in city history. A Black developer formerly praised by City officials for his investment in the project now worries that his losses may become someone else’s gain and the Black community will be the poorer for it. Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Senior Project Coordinator Matt Goldstein said that the City’s action, which took place December 16, involves two loans totaling an estimated $2 million owed by Heritage Housing, LLC. “The foreclosure is only [about] those two loans,” he noted. Continue Reading →