Stadium update

Is 34 percent minority participation goal being met?

ThroughMyEyesnewAs Vikings fly up and down the field in training camp, our City Council is concerned about birds flying into the Viking Stadium glass walls. Why? They were unconcerned about letting stadium tax dollars fly into the stadium walls without taxpayer required approval. They seem unconcerned about birds flying into blades of giant renewable energy wind mills. And they seem unconcerned as construction jobs, hours, and pay of minorities fly into the stadium glass wall of broken promises and statutes, just as done with new stadiums for the Gophers, Twins, and Wild.

As the city and state chose the architect and the contractor, isn’t this their problem? Why are they not using the contingency – emergency funds of this $2 billion stadium? Why now the million dollar bird fix demand? What other non-agreement “fixes” await in the wings that the Vikings will be called on to pay if this precedent setting extortion works?

Is this about birds or about those who are anti-stadium, anti-growth, anti-rich corporations, anti any change to the environment, or anti something else? Anyone see a stadium environmental study?

And now that the Minneapolis Park Board refuses to bail out the People’s Park to be out front of the stadium. Who will be asked to pay for that? What else is being hidden from the public by the Sports Authority, ready to surface, expecting the Vikings and/or tax payers to pay? What other “cooking of the books” is going on?

The Star Tribune recently reported Polar Explorer Will Steger hired two Summit OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center) graduates, a White female and a Black male. Steger’s 25-year project in the North woods around Ely, MN, to create a conference center far from everyone, where the “thinkers” of the world can gather to think about how those not there should live, exposes the level of training of Summit OIC graduates. The article clearly suggests they aren’t qualified for stadium construction work. How many Summit graduates are?

Do they have licenses as journeymen or apprentices? What do their certificates of completion mean? Summit OIC claims they can “take a person earning an average of $5,500 a year and after just 20 weeks of training, start them at a job that will earn an average of $26,000 annually.”  How many Summit OIC graduates have actually done so? With 12 percent of Whites and 26 percent of Blacks living in poverty in America today, how come Summit OIC grads are not being lifted out of poverty?

The Vikings stadium construction appears to be bypassing African Americans as was done Gophers, Twins, and Wild. Where is the report on the numbers of hours worked by women and minorities on the Vikings stadium so far? The Sports Facility Authority indicated December 3, 2013, that, to meet its commitment, 32 percent of the hours worked on the stadium would indeed be by women and people of color (we asked that figures be broken down by women and people of color, and not be combined).

Thirty-two percent of hours for women and people of color translates into close to a million and a half hours. Where is the report attesting to that? We are asking for verification.

Thirty-two percent of hours, at an average salary of $27 per hour means an economic surge in the African American community. Where’s that surge? Where’s the signed report? How many Summit graduates are employed at the stadium?

This column asks for the release of the certification of hours employed by the African American community and others of color on this stadium project. In what way is prosperity here again for the African American community?

Stay tuned.


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