Vikings Stadium

Recent Articles

So much for 32 percent Black participation in stadium construction — When will the State deposit its $50M statutory requirement?


Vikings People’s-no-new-taxes stadium is unraveling for the African American community. “It’s ours” ballyhoo regarding Minnesota has become “it’s mine” for NFL, the Wizard of Oz behind the Vikings’ curtain. • 32 percent minority participation goals of Minnesota’s State Department of Human Rights Director Kevin Lindsay were pulverized into dust. My estimate of 1-1.5 percent African American participation: too high. Actual and factual: unless there is unanticipated change, less than half of one percent, including employment and contracts. Continue Reading →

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City election 2013 candidates face some tough funding issues — Paying for the Vikings stadium is chief among them


The City of Minneapolis is preparing for the elections of 2013. It will, in all probability, be a very contentious election, with a three-term mayor on the political ropes. The key factor that will influence candidates to run and determine how citizens will vote centers on developing intended and unintended consequences of the Vikings stadium funding, which in turn centers on four areas:

1. How the mayor deliberately and knowingly violated the City charter by refusing to let voters decide on any stadium bill over $10 million (the mayor being quite comfortable with having the City absorb the stadium debt);

2. How the actual numbers, with interest, are nearly 10 times the original projection for the City’s costs;

3. Continue Reading →

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Sgt. Pat King moves across the street — Law enforcement officer moves to Henn. Co. sheriff’s department


Last week there was a lot of surprise and concern in law enforcement circles regarding how this new chapter in Cowboy King’s history could take place: being transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), especially in light of his having taken personal credit for destroying the Black Police Officers Association and destroying the career of fellow officers (see my August 29, 2007 column and December 14, 2007 blog essay). In the transfer, public officials again put fellow officials’ career survival/pensions ahead of their sworn oaths to do their duties in terms of public safety. Sgt. Pat King should minimally be censured, not celebrated. In the court transcript of a couple of months ago (I attended every day of that trial), he slandered a significant number of well-respected officers as “scum of the earth.”

Besides the transcript, see my columns of February 22 and May 30, 2012. Continue Reading →

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Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring!

But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan 


At a small, special meeting I attended at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Wednesday, October 10 that included MSFA Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen and Executive Director Ted Mondale, we discussed the so-far nonexistent equity plan for the Vikings stadium that would include African American contractors and workers. The Met Council people present said there was one, online. We noted that is just not true. During the meeting we were told that 32 percent of the hours in stadium construction in the eventual plan will go to minorities and women. Really? 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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Two violations of Mpls City Charter in stadium bill


Requirement that stadium builders ‘make every effort’  to hire minorities is a cruel joke 

On the road to creating the Minnesota Sports Authority, the entity that will control and manage the construction of the Vikings stadium, the Minnesota legislature caused a second violation of the Minneapolis City Charter. The first charter violation, this one by the mayor and city council, was not holding a required referendum on stadium costs of over $10 million to the City. The second violation, this one by the state legislature and unopposed by the City, decrees sole authority to the mayor to appoint the city’s two Minnesota Sports Authority members. The charter purposefully states that Minneapolis city government is to follow a strong council/weak mayor model, a perceived strength and cornerstone of Minneapolis democracy that reduces the chance for one-person boss rule. The State, recognizing that the City already violated its charter, knew the mayor and a simple council majority would not protest this second violation (which raises the specter of a potential lawsuit that would further delay construction). Continue Reading →

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Stenglein takes on task of making downtown safe for all



A May 30 Star Tribune article, “Stenglein builds on strengths,” announced Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein becoming CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. (“…some 300 downtown businesses and large regional companies,” “movers and shakers,” with “a new plan for a vibrant and livable 24/7 downtown that can house double the 34,000 people who now live there.” It “will help forge public-private partnerships at a time of limited government funding.”)

Stenglein “has the reputation of seeing the importance of investing in the Black communities’ economic growth,” as seen in “his African-American Men Project, an effort to rethink county policy to get more young black men employed and out of trouble.”

Unfortunately, the documentation/statistics/lack of jobs shows good intentions were not met, as the African American community gained little financial stimulus. Recall the statement of former Minneapolis Civil Rights Department Director Michael Jordan, about five years ago, that Minneapolis can meet its diversity hiring goals without hiring a single Black person. Reaction? None. Continue Reading →

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Children’s voices unheard in funding debates

Declining resources deprive youngsters of quality pre-K schooling


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new U.S. report released Tuesday says per-child spending in State-funded pre-K programs has declined more than $700 over the past 10 years. As a result, say advocates for early childhood education, African American children are not getting the preparation they need to succeed in later schooling. “This is a giant step backwards,” proclaims National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) Director Steve Barnett. “If any state expanded in enrollment, the funding did not keep pace.” He and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan last week spoke to reporters, including the MSR, on a conference call about the 2011 NIEER “State of Preschool” report. The NIEER report found that 2010-11 pre-K funding had dropped by nearly $60 million — the second straight year of decline in total state spending. Continue Reading →

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