CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day is a time to honor the men and women who have served in the United States military—especially during times of war. But what about those who fought to prevent those wars or end them once they had started?  Shouldn’t we remember them and the movements they created, as well?

Minnesota’s rich history of anti-war protest goes back to late 19th-century imperialist adventures in Cuba, Central America, and the Philippines. In 1916, the citizens of Minneapolis elected its first and only socialist mayor, Thomas Van Lear, a union leader who shared with many Minnesotans a deep skepticism about U.S. participation in World War I, the “the war to end all wars.” Over time, the tactics, demographics, and  hair styles of protestors may have changed, but the willingness to raise the essential question remains constant: Why war? Why this war?

Tune in to Truth toTell on Memorial Day for Britt Aamodt’s powerful radio documentary, Riot Spring:  The University of Minnesota and the Anti-War Protests of May 1972, followed by a discussion of the  movement against the Reagan-era military interventions in Nicaragua and El Salvador with our special guest,  Anne-Winkler Morey,  a professor of Latin American history and participant in the Central American Solidarity Movement of the 1980s.

Monday, May 4, 2015

In the current debate about where to invest our public higher education dollars, the study of philosophy doesn’t make it very high on the priorities list.  This is especially true when it comes to institutions that serve low-income and working-class students—institutions like Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).   It’s all well and good for upper-middle-class students at private liberal arts colleges to spend time searching for the meaning of life in a philosophy class, or exploring their inner poet in a literature seminar.  But first-generation college students don’t have time for all that.  They need an education that leads to a career.  And what does studying philosophy have to do with that?

It turns out that the habits of mind and heart nurtured by philosophy are critical to both the world of work and a healthy democracy.  Joining Truth to Tell to tell us why are: MCTC philosophy professors RuthAnn Crapo and Maram Wolstan and three of their students: Priscilla Mobosi, Alberto Martell and Kelly Watson.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

From bridges to bicycle paths; poverty prevention to river protection, citizen organizations are once again hard at work at the Minnesota Legislature.  Join TruthtoTell co-hosts Tom O’Connell and Lisa Bryant as they discuss a range of critical legislative issues with staff from three of Minnesota’s most impressive citizen lobby efforts:

Bethany Winkels, field coordinator, Move Minnesota

Brian Rusche, executive director, Joint Religious Legislative Task Force

Paul Sobocinski, policy program organizer, Land Stewardship Project

Monday, April 6, 2015

Over the years, Minnesota has enjoyed a reputation as a “good government” state.  Political scientists tell us that Minnesotans are more likely to believe that government institutions have an important role to play in supporting the public good.

 But Minnesotans are hardly immune to the skepticism about government that seems baked into the national DNA.  And no wonder.  Continued problems with MNSURE and the tragic failures in Minnesota’s child welfare system are just two recent examples of state government malfunction. 

Is state government losing its mojo?  How well are Minnesota’s public bureaucracies doing the public’s work? What makes an effective public leader?  And, even more basic, what does government do, anyway?

Few Minnesotans are in a better position to discuss questions like these than one of Minnesota’s most respected public leaders, Ken Peterson.  In addition to his current position as commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry, Ken has served as deputy attorney general, deputy commissioner for utility regulation with the state Department of Public Service, director St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development Department, and chief of staff for St. Paul mayor Jim Scheibel.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 2015 legislative session began with hope and a question mark.  After important progressive gains in 2013-2014, voters returned the Minnesota House to Republican control.  Through persistent lobbying and powerful personal testimony, campaigns to restore voting rights to felons and allow Minnesotans access to a driver’s license regardless of immigration status passed the state senate and have won support from many Republican House members where these issues currently hang in the balance.

Meanwhile,  Minnesota home care workers, fresh off their historic organizing campaign of 2014, have bargained the first-ever contract for home health care working in Minnesota and are working hard to secure legislative approval.   And Invest in Minnesota, a broad-based coalition of labor, religious, and community organizations, is back once again to fight for a progressive and fair tax system.


Monday, March 16, 2015

You’ve heard of local events such as “Taste of Minnesota” and  “Taste of the Twin Cities”?  Today on Truth To Tell, in keeping with the season of KFAI's Pledge Drive, we thought we’d give you a “Taste of Truth to Tell” — inviting guests who embody some of the core values of Truth to Tell and its parent organization, Civic Media Minnesota.

Today’s  guests, like all Truth to Tell guests, are relevant, topical, and currently out on the streets making a difference. Join host Siobhan Kierens as she discusses current issues with Miski Noor and Nero Mahdi from Black Lives Matter,  V.J. Smith from Minneapolis Mad Dads, and Misty Rowan from the Minneapolis Chapter of the Anti-War Committee.

Monday, February 23, 2015

When is the last time you heard President Obama, or any other national leader for that matter, proposing a major escalation in support for non-violent, community-centered approaches to conflict resolution?  Seems idealistic right? The only response to the violence in Syria—and other global “hotspots” is more violence.  Bring in the drones!

Mel Duncan, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NVPF), begs to differ. He joins TruthtoTell host Tom O’Connell for a conversation about lessons learned from 12 years of civilian peace-making in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan and how NVPF is teaming up with local leaders in Syria to create dialogue and conflict prevention across political and sectarian divides.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Join co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Lisa Bryant as they talk with educator Valerie Littles-Butler and Grammy Award–winning music producer Andre Fischer about the power of music to inspire youth.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The resurgence of libertarianism as both a social philosophy and political movement has disrupted business as usual in both national and local politics.  While Ron and Rand Paul put a national face to the libertarian movement, libertarians both inside and independent of the Republican Party have brought fresh and passionate voices to town halls and the Minnesota legislature.

While the liberty movement threatens establishment Republicans, it drives many on the democratic left just short of crazy. For many, libertarianism is indeed a dirty word.  But wait!  It turns out that libertarian principles are baked deep into American political culture.  Whatever its merits or demerits, most of us have at least a little libertarian in us.

Monday, February 2, 2015

It is not big news to citizens who have been paying attention to developments in the Twin Cities Metro area that our suburbs are becoming more and more racially diverse. To date, however, these demographic shifts have not been reflected in the make-up of suburban city halls. This may be changing, however. In Brooklyn Center, where whites now make up a minority of city residents, April Graves was recently elected as that city’s first African-American city council member. And in Brooklyn Park, veteran community activist Joy Marsh Stephens ran a spirited campaign for mayor against a well-established incumbent—and in the process laid down a strong foundation for future efforts to build a more inclusive city hall.

Join Truth to Tell co-hosts Tom O'Connell and Siobhan Kierans at 9 a.m. on Monday as they ask April Graves and Joy Marsh Stephens to share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of building more inclusive communities and political representation in suburban Minnesota.