Urban League

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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Minneapolis NAACP on the move?

 

Congratulations to the Rev. Jerry McAfee, newly elected president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP, and to the new board members. This is an auspicious time. We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites. Along with Archbishop Tutu’s “ubuntu,” he demonstrated that “truth” and “reconciliation” are more than slogans: they are action paths to unity. Minneapolis needs unity and reconciliation within the Black community and between White and Black people and institutions. Continue Reading →

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Confusion widespread on Affordable Care Act

 
Enrollment in new MN health insurance exchange begins in October 
 
 
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be in full force sooner rather than later, and U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison says every American will benefit from it. However, he sadly points out that there are “professional misinformation spreaders trying to confuse people” on the law. Ellison held two separate forums on the ACA July 2, first with local small business owners at the Minneapolis Urban League’s Northside headquarters, then with community folk across the street at the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. The first was attended by around 20 business people, but none were Black business owners. “We certainly reached out,” said Ellison of this absence. Continue Reading →

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State’s new health exchange weighs how best to enroll the uninsured

 

 

 

 
 Outreach and education essential to success
 

Open enrollment for the new MNsure health exchange program is slated to start this October. “This process of creating a Minnesota [health] exchange was a lengthy one,” states Stairstep Foundation CEO Alfred Babington-Johnson, a member of the health insurance exchange advisory task force. “The State of Minnesota was one of the first states” to work on developing an exchange since the Affordable Care Act became law three years ago, beginning with the formation of the task force. According to the state website (see below), “MNsure will be a simple, easy-to-use marketplace” for consumers to find the right health plans that suit their needs through a five-step process: 1) access the website for selection; 2) review health plans; 3) select a plan; 4) check to see if you qualify for tax credits or other health programs; and 5) complete the enrollment process. Babington-Johnson says that at least 31 percent of the state’s uninsured are low-income persons and people of color. Continue Reading →

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When will MN’s ‘no Black workers need apply’ policy end?

 
Who will monitor and enforce Black participation on the so-called ‘People’s Stadium’ project?  

 

My concern is for the ending of the discrimination patterns and practices that prevent access for Black men and women to the opportunities of Minnesota (education, jobs, housing), with discrimination led by White and Black elites (City agencies, nonprofits, foundations, churches, corporations, the NAACP, Urban League). My Solution Paper #46, on my website (www.TheMinneapolis Story.com) lists my columns providing details, enough to launch a dozen lawsuits. Minnesota’s discrimination molehills have been easy to sweep under the rug. But the discrimination mountain looming on the horizon, the billion-dollar stadium, will take the “easy” away. Continue Reading →

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Northside pastors partner to increase number of Black homeowners

 
Habitat for Humanity focuses on eight-block N. Mpls area damaged by tornado
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Homeownership among Blacks on the Northside has been waning in recent years, first because of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and secondly by the May 2011 tornado. As a result, a group of North Minneapolis pastors met a few months ago and joined collaboratively to help address this issue. This issue “is urgency to our congregations. Right now there is a small percentage of homeownership by African Americans,” explains

Bishop Richard Howell, Jr., pastor of Shiloh Temple International Ministries, a founding member of the Northside Pastors’ Collaborative, a coalition of local churches. New Salem Baptist, Kwanzaa Community Church, Greater Friendship

Missionary Baptist, New Creation Church, New Bethel Baptist, Redeemer Lutheran, Berean Baptist, Family Baptist and Proverbs Christian Fellowship are the other members. Continue Reading →

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Who’s honing Twin Cities’ media focus? Blacks in management still a rarity in local television, radio news

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Blacks are barely represented on the air and in management at Twin Cities television and radio stations. The MSRrecently examined four local station websites — WCCO (Channel 4), KSTP (Channel 5), KMSP (Channel 9), and KARE (Channel 11) and found:

WCCO: one Black female anchor, one Black anchor/reporter, one Black reporter

KSTP: No Blacks

KMSP: One Black reporter

KARE: No Blacks

The MSR also examined KSTP and WCCO Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Public File Reports for the December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2011 reporting period — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that these reports are publicly available. KSTP-TV filled 38 full-time openings, including two meteorologists and three reporters. The station also reported the Council on Black Minnesotans, the St. Paul Urban League, Minneapolis Urban League, the Minneapolis NAACP chapter and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) as among its recruitment sources. Continue Reading →

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What if Romney wins?

 

By Raynard Jackson

Guest Commentator

 

With the presidential election right around the corner and most of the pundits saying the race is Obama’s to lose, I have begun to ponder the possibility that Romney might win and the impact that would have on the Black community. Romney has been polling around zero percent of the Black vote. We all know that the usual Black liberal groups have sold out to Obama years ago — Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Urban League, etc. Romney, like Bush in 2000, will owe absolutely nothing to Blacks should he win the election. But, unlike Bush, I have no illusions that Romney will surround himself with the number of Blacks that Bush did. Romney will feel compelled to make some token hires, but not much beyond that. This will lead the above-named liberals to complain that Romney is ignoring Blacks and not being inclusive. Continue Reading →

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Northside neighborhoods reflect what it means to be diverse

 

 

There are many reasons to live in or move to the Northside. These reasons are based on the many assets of our community and the assets of many of the people who live here. Some move to the Northside because of the great housing deals, and there is no time like the present to take advantage of this. You can get a home in North Minneapolis for a fraction of the average regional cost. Young families are able to buy their first home here without going broke. Continue Reading →

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Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress

Some employees find workplace still hostile 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since MSR’s January 5 exclusive article on racial discrimination against current and former Black Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) employees, MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller, Board President John Erwin, and Minneapolis NAACP President Booker T Hodges have met several times and developed a process to address the issue of “inconsistency” in discipline matters. Whether this process and other measures will satisfy disgruntled employees remains to be seen. The MSR article, “Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” reported that after receiving numerous calls from current and former Park Board employees, Hodges initiated an investigation. The NAACP determined that Park Board supervisors used performance reviews “to systematically target minority employees to terminate them from their jobs” as well as moving longtime Black employees “to less desirable positions.”

Following that investigation and MSR’s story, nearly 80 past and current employees received letters inviting them to set up a time to meet with Miller on their concerns. A MPRB spokesperson explained that these meetings were not “grievance hearings,” but simply “meetings.” Even though the individual could bring anyone they chose to the session, no one else was allowed to speak on their behalf as might be the case in a grievance hearing. Continue Reading →

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