Senator Al Franken

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Geoffrey Canada creates ‘A Small Army of Love’

Harlem Children’s Zone founder gives feedback on Northside Achievement Zone

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer


If a revolutionary is a person dedicated to change in any establishment, like a school system, business, or a government agency, then one might consider the appointment of Geoffrey Canada as the commander and chief of an education reform revolution. On October 2, Canada, who is nationally recognized as an educator, mentor, children’s education advocate, poet and the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, accompanied by U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), made a visit to the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) in North Minneapolis. NAZ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education project that was formerly the Peace Foundation, which had a focus of stopping violence in North Minneapolis. Since changing to NAZ, their goal is to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Lead by President/CEO Sondra Samuels, the mission of the NAZ is to build a culture of achievement in a geographic zone in North Minneapolis to ensure that all youth graduate from high school college ready. Continue Reading →

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Healthcare reform law now two years old — Supporters say Affordable Care Act will narrow health disparities



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March celebrated its two-year anniversary since President Barack Obama signed it into law. Since it became law, its key provisions include insurance companies now being more accountable in their practices, providing new coverage for young adults, making prescription drugs affordable for seniors, and covering preventive services with no deductible or copay. The healthcare law now prohibits insurance companies from refusing to insure children under age 19 with serious illnesses or limiting care because an individual’s expenses have reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. “A whole new set of rules for insurance companies — a new ball game,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius during a March 23 visit to the Twin Cities to commemorate the ACA’s second anniversary. Sebellius, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton all heard stories from several women on how the ACA has helped them at the home of a nurse who lives in Spring Lake Park. Continue Reading →

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