Minneapolis Civil Rights

Recent Articles

The MSR 2013 year in review

The local Black press continues to publish stories “from our own lens”
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

This year, 2013, was historic as well as a year-long full of highs and lows: Two MSR reporters were among the national and international press that covered America’s first Black president’s second inauguration in January. Said Atlanta Daily World reporter Kenya King, a member of the Black press who was covering the Obama inauguration for the second time, “I’m here to capture…the moment of this historic occasion [and] to make sure that the message that should get across, does get across.”

A ‘new Black agenda’ was discussed by the Council on Black Minnesotans and others during the organization’s Lobby Day at the State Capitol on March 19. The MSR asked several Blacks in attendance that day if they felt new voices and perhaps a new message is needed from Black Minnesotans. “I think it is time for new voices to be heard,” believed Greater Friendship Missionary

Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Billy Russell in our March 28 front-page story. The MSR also continued its coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the introduction of MNsure, the state’s new health-insurance exchange program and how the new healthcare law will benefit Blacks. Continue Reading →

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Most Mpls workforce hiring goals currently unmet

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

 

The City of Minneapolis’ workforce goals for construction projects involving City funds are 32 percent minority and six percent female. However, according to the latest monthly contract compliance report by the City’s Civil Rights Department, only two of 60 large construction projects have thus far met both goals. All others have thus far met one goal only or neither goal. For example, Shaw-Lundquist, which was awarded the $2.543 million Minneapolis Convention Center restroom remodeling project, shows only 15.86 percent minority and 4.95 percent female were hired. When asked why the company didn’t meet the stated goals, Project Manager John Myers responded, “I believe that we did.”

However, he pointed out that the job, which he said was completed in late January, mostly required electrical and plumbing work. Continue Reading →

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Mpls civil rights director to ‘ride herd’ on hiring goals

 

 
But reporting specifically on hiring of Blacks still won’t happen
 
 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel pledged recently that her department will have a “distinct presence” in addressing issues of employment equity and monitoring construction hiring goals in the city. She also said, however, that the department is still not in a position to specify how many African Americans have found work on publicly funded construction projects. “The [Minneapolis] City Council was very clear that they needed someone riding herd on the work that happens” in the city, said Korbel recently to a small group of city residents March 22 in South Minneapolis at an Early Mornings with [City Council Member] Elizabeth [Glidden] event. “One of the main things we are working on right now is the NFL stadium,” she pointed out. The Minnesota Vikings stadium workforce goals are 32 percent “minority” and six percent women. Continue Reading →

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School district provides ‘Kindergarten Report’ on HQ construction

 
Will Vikings stadium reporting be the next fairy tale?  

At the Minneapolis School District (MSD) sub-committee meeting of September 24, a final report was presented — “Minority, Women and Diversity Business Participation Oversight Committee” (MWDB-POC Report) — on the construction of the MSD Headquarters (HQ) building in North Minneapolis, including reporting on minority hiring compliance. I call it a “Kindergarten Report” because the report is long on words, short on numbers, and fanciful with the truth. This is not to put down kindergarten children. They are too honest and innocent to present as truth the fabrications presented in what was more like a Star Chamber-type report, a report in a style children like: fanciful fairy tales. Continue Reading →

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