There is a serious question tonight in the Twin Cities: Why, with all the supposed prosperity we are told in print and broadcast media, not to mention in election campaign statements, is there violence protesting a lack of prosperity? We’ve all seen the sudden emergence of periodicals and news stories about prosperity in the Black community. We were even told a specific number: $70 million poured into the African American community. Really? Who got it?
We assume those proclaiming prosperity have the necessary documentation to verify their claim. We request such documentation be made public. Clearly, too often, people don’t do what is expected, only what is inspected. Who is inspecting the real employment and prosperity numbers?
US Bank Stadium has realized its goal: a sellout of Vikings home games. Does that indicate more prosperity for all? If so, wouldn’t 15 percent of season ticket holders be African American and 32 percent of the workforce during the three years it took to build US Bank Stadium be African Americans and people of color as foretold, as well as exceeding requisite minority subcontractor participation, as claimed? Where is the confirming documentation, including by ZIP code as legislatively mandated?
Were 15 percent of workers on the Vikings stadium really African American as also mandated in the stadium authorizing legislation for the construction of the stadium? Again, with all this prosperity, why is there violence on our streets?
Six were shot and wounded in Minneapolis, Sunday evening, October 2, 2016. With all of the prosperity hype, one wonders how, with all of the economic opportunities and success going on, do young African Americans have time for acts of violence? Will our African American leadership give us the answer to the puzzling question of why the levels of violence, or are they covering up something?
Prosperous communities surround the Twin Cities. They have significant safety. They take significant advantage of educational and economic opportunities. So the mystery remains: Why is there violence in the midst of all this prosperity, especially in communities of color? When will we receive an answer? Don’t mass shootings, particularly in downtown Minneapolis and the surrounding communities, indicate a lack of prosperity?
As noted, we heard there was an infusion of $70 million into our community, with better than $3 million in salaries for African Americans working stadium construction? Where is the documentation of proof? Without proof serious questions and doubt remain.
Documentation is what authenticates and verifies jobs and prosperity claims. So in preparing for this column we did the following: We went back and reviewed House File 2958, and then we reviewed Minnesota State Facilities Authority’s report dated January 15, 2015.
We await the August 1, 2016 report that will finalize the stadium numbers. Given the amount of tax money paid and amounts transferred from community to stadium, we have “bought” the right to see the numbers supporting the claims of tremendous community economic success from the construction of the Vikings’ US Bank Stadium.
We invite all to review Subsection 9, under “Research,” in the stadium authorizing legislation as we did of the legislative language reflected in House File 2958. Why hasn’t the final “compliance” report been filed by the joint legislative commission, as mandated, by statute, to occur within 60 days after the formal completion of all contractual obligations pertaining to Section 15, Section 473j, point 11, “Stadium Design and Construction.”
Why has the document showing this great prosperity for the African American communities’ renewal not been filed, let alone reported and fully published in all legal and relevant publications? Our interest particularly focuses on the “In Conclusion” section: “Employment.”