CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Monday, June 22, 2015

The much anticipated release of Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change was greeted with jubilation by environmentalists and social justice advocates around the world. In his 192-page message, Laudatu Si (“Praise Be”), the Pope links climate change to the over-arching theme of his papacy — fighting global inequality and poverty.

In the short time that he has been Pope, Francis has inspired millions — and not only Catholics.  Certainly his insistence that climate change is real, man-made and requires a massive response by individuals, corporations, and governments comes at a critical time. But can the Pope’s teaching and example really make a difference?  Will climate skeptics inside the Church and in the general public re-examine their views and perhaps even their conscience?

To help us understand the Pope’s message on climate change, as well as his larger impact, TTT is joined by:

Dr. Paul Wojda, associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas.

Matt Gladhue, organizer for ISAIAIH, a congregation-based social justice organization

Dr. David Pellow, sociologist and environmental justice scholar, recently with the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Minnesota

Monday, June 15, 2015

In 1968, Minnesota’s young and powerful Democratic-Farmer Labor Party faced its biggest internal crises since the Democratic wing led by Humbert Humphrey out-organized the remnants of Minnesota’s once-dominant Farmer-Labor Party.  The issue in the late ‘40s was the rise of U.S. militarism at the dawn of the Cold War.  The issue in 1968 was a legacy of that earlier era: the Vietnam War.  The most visible face of that conflict was the contest between two DFLers to replace Lyndon Johnson as president:  Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Senator Eugene McCarthy.

The conflict didn’t start, however, in 1968.   Several years earlier, people like Vance Opperman were leading anti-war teach-ins at universities, church basements, and living rooms across Minnesota.  In an age before Facebook and Twitter, millions of Americans found ways to connect with each other in a powerful movement that had a major impact not only on the course of what was fast becoming an Indo-Chinese war, but on U.S. politics as well.

Special guest-host Bob Meek will be joining Tom O’Connell to interview one of the key participants in this history, Vance Opperman.  Vance will take us through the grassroots efforts that led up to the 1968 contest, the action within the DFL from precinct caucus to state convention, and also offer some  reflections on the public careers of these two giants of Minnesota politics: Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy

Monday, June 8, 2015

We may be the Twin Cities, but Minneapolis and St. Paul are defined by our differences as well as similarities. Minneapolis is the poster child of urban cool — hell-bent to best Portland and Seattle as the hippest and most progressive city west of Madison.  St. Paul has Garrison Keilor,  and the St. Paul Saints.  And with its Winter Carnival it has all the cool it needs.

Both cities are near the top in rankings of most livable cities and are nationally recognized for strong cultures of civic participation. Yet — and here is the bad news — both Minneapolis and St. Paul also have among the nation’s highest rates of racial disparities.  What is city government doing to ensure that the good life in our Twin Towns can be shared by all? 

Joining TruthToTell to discuss these and other issues are first -erm city council members Alondra Cano, who represents the 9th Ward  in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s 1st Ward alderman, Dai Thao.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Neighborhood home-boy, 60s-era provocateur, crusading community journalist, and one-time Minneapolis City Council member, Ed Felien has been an outspoken, sometimes outrageous and often prophetic part of the Minneapolis political scene for almost 50 years.  And he’s still at it!

Join Truth to Tell co-hosts Tom O’Connell and Siobahn Kierans as we talk with Ed Felien about past campaigns, the present and future of community journalism and current political leaders and issues. 

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.