Sharon Sayles-Belton

Recent Articles

Former mayor to mayor-elect: Get public support for a change agenda

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis in a few weeks will see a new mayor and several new faces on the city council. Betsy Hodges was elected the city’s first White female mayor, and the election also achieved three other “firsts” — the first Somali (Abdi Warsame), the first Latina (Alondra Cano) and the first Hmong (Blong Yang) among seven new city council members. “One of the things I think is awfully important is that the city government [now] really reflects the constituents that live in the city,” said Sharon Sayles Belton in an MSR interview. “We always questioned whether or not the wards would ever support us being able to elect more people of color to the city council or other units of government. “It’s clear, given the changing demographics in Minneapolis and with the right political construct, it is absolutely possible. Continue Reading →

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Sandwich Man serves food 363 days per year

Retired teacher gives 1,600 sandwiches nightly to inner-city homeless 
 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

The power of caring commitment is amazing. For instance it saw, in 2012 alone, 500,000 sandwiches donated to the hungry homeless principally through the tireless energies of Allan “The Sandwich Man” Law, who has bent his back to this labor since 1967. Those sandwiches, it bears pointing out, are given out at an important time in the day — rather the night — of the disenfranchised. Shelters and soup kitchens shut down in the early evening, and if you have nowhere to go and missed that last night meal, you are out of luck. That is why Law starts his deliveries nine at night and continues until the next morning, driving throughout Minneapolis, hitting spots that include bridge underpasses and other places the homeless habitually hole up. Continue Reading →

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Cherryhomes trashed Fifth Ward’s records — Missing files raised questions of impropriety, legality

 

By Jerry Freeman

Community Editor

 

In view of former city council president Jackie Cherryhomes’ return to the political scene with her current mayoral campaign, we are reprinting, with the author’s permission, this story that appeared on MSR’s  front page March 7, 2002, five months after Natalie Johnson Lee replaced Cherryhomes as the Fifth Ward’s council member. 

 

When Minneapolis City Council Member Natalie Johnson Lee came to her City Hall office January 3 [2002], newly elected and ready to assume her duties, she expected to find the Fifth Ward’s records there, records she needed to brief and prepare herself. Instead, she found a desk, a blank computer, and a small cardboard box containing eight thin files. Certain there had to be more, Johnson Lee began opening the banks of file cabinets lined up outside her office. They were all empty. She asked Billy Binder, former aide to former council president Jackie Cherryhomes, where the ward’s files might be. Continue Reading →

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Clearly, Black Americans can succeed at anything

 

 

To all of you feeding your children that fib that we are inferior to White people and will never be successful, please stop the madness. I was talking to someone last night who told me the reason we (African Americans) cannot succeed is because since slavery we have been told this over and over again. According to this person, we have been told that we are inferior and will never amount to anything and will always be inferior to White America. I take offense to that because my mother never got that memo. I don’t know why people buy into this propaganda, but please speak for yourself. Continue Reading →

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Cherryhomes’ reign of shame

 

 

By Jerry Freeman

Guest Commentator

 

In view of the former city council president Jackie Cherryhomes’ return to the political scene with her current mayoral campaign, the MSR is reprinting, with the author’s permission, a commentary that appeared in these pages August 23, 2001, two months before the Fifth Ward elected Natalie Johnson Lee to replace Cherryhomes as their council member. 

 

Minneapolis has a shadow government, and its name is Jackie Cherryhomes. Judging from the prevailing media slant on Minneapolis city politics, the mayor [Sharon Sayles Belton] is the captain at the helm of our metropolis, steering the city through the shoals of scandal and controversy, while the city council and its president labor on our behalf in comparative obscurity behind the mayor’s lead. When troublesome issues arise, such as abuses of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), the [Brian] Herron extortion case, or reduced bond ratings, reporters and photographers show a marked tendency to focus primarily on the mayor and only secondary on the council president. In case of the TIF, major heat was applied to the mayor, while Cherryhomes got off with just a quote or two buried deep in the text. Yet the reality in Minneapolis is just the opposite: In this strong-council-weak-mayor system, Jackie Cherryhomes wields the real power, with the mayor’s role of secondary importance in the decision-making process. Continue Reading →

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Documentary sparks dialog on our future and our youth

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

 

On Thursday, June 28, the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul held the second in its “Lunch and Learn” series, an event that provides — along with a delicious lunch — opportunity for people to hear and engage with the stories of community leaders. Each Lunch and Learn is connected to a specific Humanities Center program. June’s event was tied to the program Firsts: Minnesota’s African American Groundbreakers, a documentary highlighting the achievements and challenges of six Minnesotans who were the first African Americans to represent a variety of fields and positions. It featured former Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, who is one of the interview subjects, and award-winning author Alexs Pate, who is the host, writer and producer of the Firsts program. Continue Reading →

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Community center honors 45 years of S. Mpls Black history ‘We Are Sabathani’ cultural preservation project underway

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis’ Southside Black community has a legacy worth noting. Civic leaders, business owners, musicians, doctors: all part of a rich legacy of Minneapolis’ Southside Black community not often talked about. Sabathani Community Center, a building that takes up most of the block between 3rd and 4th Avenues South on 38th Street that once housed a junior high school, served as the launching pad for numerous individuals — from artists to athletes, to politicians to preachers, and countless others — since it opened as a center in 1966 to provide structured activities for area youth. Last week the center announced a new cultural preservation project to introduce to some and reacquaint others to its rich heritage not only to the city’s South Side, but also to the Twin Cities at-large. “We Are Sabathani” is collaboration between the Council on Black Minnesotans and the Minnesota Humanities Center, and funded by money from the state Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Continue Reading →

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Fundraiser to aid 20-year-old scholarship fund

 

 

A fundraising party for the Jean M. Covington “Character Counts” Scholarship will be held Saturday, January 21, 4-7 pm, at the home of Steve and former Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton, 3233 Edmund Boulevard, Minneapolis. The Jean M. Covington “Character Counts” Scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Jean M. Covington a longtime teacher at Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis. Two “Character Counts” scholarships are awarded annually to Anwatin graduates. Recipients receive the scholarship on graduation from middle school on condition they finish high school and are accepted by an accredited four-year college or university. These students are awarded $2,000 per year during their four years of college attendance. Continue Reading →

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