CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

Here you can find a listing of all shows ...

Monday, September 15, 2014

We all know that Minnesota is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. The state has many strengths to share with the world. Minnesotans are hard-working and ambitious people, and they believe in each other. Dozens of Fortune 500 companies have chosen to do business here, and our economy regularly outperforms that of other states. But the fruits of our economic success are not well distributed. In fact, Minnesota is home to perhaps the largest race-based economic inequity in the nation.  

That sobering reality begs a number of questions: What is being done to ensure that people of color have the same opportunities to succeed as white Minnesotans? And how will we get there? During today’s show, we will dive deep into the current status of people of color in various industries. We will discuss what our Governor Dayton and his administration is doing currently to provide support for, to invest in, and to retain people of color.


Monday, September 8, 2014

This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of the War on Poverty.  Like the War on Drugs and other open-ended declarations of good intentions, this battle seems never ending.  Conservatives claim that the social programs that followed Johnson’s declaration were proof positive that government is not the answer.  After all, we still have poverty, don’t we?

Progressives beg to differ. Thanks to Medicare and improvements in social security, poverty among senior citizens, once commonplace, dramatically declined.  Federal investments in low-income urban and rural communities provided jobs and services that have made a difference in literally millions of lives.  The real issue, progressives argue, is not that government was the problem, but that cutbacks in government programs undermined the great progress that was being made.

In this edition of TruthtoTell, co-hosts Siobahn Kierens and Tom O’Connell will be joined by state senators John Marty and Sandy Pappas and former St. Paul mayor Jim Scheibel. Senators Marty and Pappas were members of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 and Scheibel teaches a course on poverty and policy at Hamline University. All three will discuss the work of the legislative commission: What has been done and what remains to be done if we are to make significant progress toward the 2020 goal.

Since any significant reduction in poverty requires action by those who are directly experiencing it, TTT will also hear representatives of two campaigns representing low-wage workers: home care and fast food employees.  Workers making poverty wages represent a growing percentage of low-income Americans.  Here in the Twin Cities and across the nation, workers are pushing back.


Monday, August 25, 2014

 Join us Monday morning for a special two-hour edition of TruthToTell from 9 –  11 a.m. on KFAI celebrating the life and lessons of the late Andy Driscoll.  Be part of the show and share your thoughts about Andy with us.  Call us at (612) 341-0980 or message us on Facebook during the show.


Sunday, August 17, 2014


A lawsuit has been filed by the Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minneapolis, alleging that the SWLRT does not comply with state law. The lawsuit is addressed to the mayor and the City Council, and also to the Federal Transit Administration (Chicago) and to the Compliance Office of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at the office of the US Environmental Protection Agency (Chicago), stating that there was a failure to perform an environmental review by SWLRT.  Some groups believe that the environmental concerns have been satisfied and that the risks to the environment are minor by comparison to the benefits it will bring to the Twin Cities.  While many residents of Minneapolis don’t have a problem with the new system, many have a problem with the process by which the decisions have been made.

Join TTT co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Tom O’Connell as they discuss this contentious issue with Pastor Paul Slack (ISAIAH and a member of the People’s Transit Coalition), Judy Meath & Mary Pattock (LRT Done Right), Stuart Chazin (Lakes Park Alliance), Susu Jeffrey (Friends of Coldwater) and Anthony Newby (Neighborhoods Organizing for Change).


Call and join the conversation at 612/341-0980 or post on Truth To Tell's Facebook page.


Monday, August 11, 2014

This Wednesday, August 13th, the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County will hold a joint hearing on amendments to the Minneapolis portion of the Southwest Light Rail Transit plan (SWLRT).  The hearing marks an important stage in what has been a lengthy, complicated, and contentious planning process.  On June 14, the equally controversial Green Line opened, connecting the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, with many stops in between.  And, looking to the future, planning is underway for the Bottineau Transit Corridor.

Clearly the light rail train has left the station, but it’s not too late to ask some basic questions. 

  • What is the purpose of light rail in the first place? 
  • Who does it really serve?
  • How can light rail contribute to racial and economic equity?

How are urban neighborhoods and communities of color organizing to make that happen?

Call and join the conversation at 612/341-0980 or post onTruth To Tell's Facebook page.


Sunday, August 3, 2014


This week, Truth to Tell took a compassionate, in-depth look at the border issue, discussing the history and politics behind the current humanitarian crisis. Along with (from left) co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Tom O'Connell, guests included Prof. Andrea Moerer, Latin American History-Hamline University, Deepinder Singh Mayell, director of the Refugee & Immigrant Program-The Advocates for Human Rights; Michele Garnett McKenzie, advocacy director-The Advocates for Human Rights; and retired Pastor Keith H. Olstad.
For more information on this issue, check out the links below:

The Advocates for Human Rights

Amnesty International

The links from the show include:
Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC

Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)

"Which Way Home" - the documentary-movie about undocumented children



Monday, July 28, 2014

This Monday at 9 a.m. on TruthToTell,  we celebrate the life and work of the late Andy Driscoll, longtime host of Truth to Tell and founder of CivicMedia/Minnesota (CMM).

Back in December, 2012, Kel Heyl, the current chair of CMM, convinced Andy to turn the spotlight on himself.  With the help of KFAI news director Dale Connelly and some of Andy's friends and family, Andy reluctantly moved across the table.  What followed was an interesting look at Andy's life and motivations for some of the work he's done over six decades of broadcasting, public service, and acting.

Please join host Siobhan Kierans and Andy's son, Brian Driscoll, on Monday morning for this special edition of TruthToTell.

Call and join the conversation at 612/341-0980 or post onTruth To Tell's Facebook page.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fifty years ago, more than a thousand mostly young people from the North joined thousands of black Mississippians in a courageous campaign to win voting rights for African-Americans. Of course, the campaign was about more than voting.  In bringing together whites and blacks as social equals in a campaign led by the Southern Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and other predominately black  organizations, Freedom Summer was a direct challenge to Mississippi’s white supremacist social order. Segregationists responded as they always have—with violence. The murders of civil rights workers shocked the nation and directed attention to a state where violent repression of African-Americans was almost routine.

Freedom Summer did not end the Jim Crow system in the South, but it galvanized a movement that would bring that day much closer. Thousands of black Mississippians participated in Freedom Schools, where they learned the basics of political organizing while honing their skills at reading, writing and arithmetic. Many participated in the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which directly challenged the legitimacy of the whites-only Mississippi delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. 

For both white and black participants, the experiences of that summer were life changing. Joining Truth to Tell co-hosts Siobahn Kierens and Tom O'Connell to recount his experience as a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer is Dean Zimmermann. Zimmermann is well known to citizens of Minneapolis.  He served 10 years on the Minneapolis Park Board and represented the 6th Ward on the Minneapolis City Council from 2002-2005 as a member of the Green Party.

Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison will be joining us for the second half of the hour to discuss the legacy of Freedom Summer. First elected to Congress in 2006, Ellison is one of our country’s strongest advocates for economic equality and racial justice.

Call and join the conversation at 612/341-0980 or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruth To Tell's Facebook page.


Andy Driscoll (1940–2014)

"It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of our friend, journalist, and founder of TruthToTell and Civic Media/Minnesota, Andy Driscoll.

On behalf of the board of directors for CMM, we extend our sympathy to his family and friends. We have lost an amazing individual and valued colleague."

 Siobhan Kierans                           

 Executive Director                                                                                                        


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just as Christians fast and make sacrifices during Lent, Muslims sacrifice during the month of Ramadan that leads to the feast called Eid Al-Fitr , on July 28. Islam, derived from the Arabic word salam, which means peace, is one of the fastest growing religions in the U.S., and probably one of the most misunderstood.

Former boxing great Mohamed Ali and Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison are some of the people we know who adhere to the Muslim faith, but some people would be surprised to know that TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, and comedian Dave Chappelle also practice Islam.

While most believe that religion is a very personal thing, it is a right granted to the United States based on the First Amendment to the Constitution. As founding father Thomas Jefferson has so eloquently stated:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions in matters of Religion.”

What does it mean to be a Muslim in America in the 21st century?  What are the core beliefs of the faith? How different or how similar are Muslims to Christians and to Jews?  What is Jihad, Sunni and Shiite? What do we really know about Muslims, and what do we assume to know based on misinformation and media bias?

Join us Monday morning when TruthToTell co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Ahmed Al-Beheary discuss the meaning of Ramadan and the rise of Islam with Kim Olstad of the Minnesota Council of Churches, Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota, Kaethe Eltawely, an American who converted to Islam, and Islamic educator Sheik Joussef Soussi.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

In honor of the 80th anniversary commemoration of the strike on July 20th, Truth to Tell explores the dynamics of this history-changing struggle.  What was life like for workers in Depression-era Minneapolis?  Why was Local 547 successful in defeating the all-powerful employers group, the Citizen’s Alliance, when other efforts had failed?  What were some of the struggle’s defining moments?  And what was the impact of the ’34 strike on the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota, and the nation as a whole?

On-air guests: 

  Bryan Palmer is author of Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Teamsters    Strike of 1934



 Mary Wingerd is an associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University, with  a focus on working class and community history and is the author of North Country:  The Making of Minnesota



 Dave Riehle, is the retired chair of Local 650, the United Transportation Workers,  labor historian and active member Remember 34.