CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara)Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Organizer - Kandi works on tribal colleges throughout the upper plains and western great lakes to support the development and sustainability of initiatives to reduce tribal colleges’ contribution to climate change. Reach her at the Indigenous Environmental Network at

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stand by for another minority governor.  Short of a landslide for one of the three major-party candidates for governor, the winner will take office in January having been elected by a minority – or a plurality – of those voting in the November 2nd election. This will be third governor in a row taking office with a majority of  ballots cast for someone else. Hardly a mandate to govern, and yet, with the unusual level of power vested in Minnesota’s governorJesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty wielded the authority only a majority of voters should have elected.

This year, three parties square off again and almost assuredly, Minnesota will have yet another minority governor. Mark Dayton(DFL)Tom Emmer (GOP) and Tom Horner (IP) are vying for the office and all the polls thus far point to a winner garnering less than a majority of the vote.

Does this mean we should do away with third (or fourth or fifth) parties? Certainly not. Multi-party elections are far more reflective of the electorate than trying to squeeze all others into narrow definitions of two parties. Horner’s competitive position proves this.

Perhaps predictably, the one entity just about unanimously opposed to such a change is the party most recently the beneficiary of the current plurality system – the Republicans. But DFLersIndependence Party members and Greens, among others, support ranked choice voting for statewide and local partisan elections.

This week, TruthToTell talks to prominent supporters and a detractor of RCV to lay out the pros and cons. Your humble servant has never concealed his support for the RCV remedy to achieve a majority victor in all races, so we don’t pretend to be entirely objective in Monday’s presentation of the issue. Still, the state’s most prominent opponent of RCV will join us by telephone.

Join TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN for this important conversation less than a month before the November election.


ELIZABETH GLIDDEN - Minneapolis City Councilmember, Ward 8

TIM PENNY - 2002 Independence Party Candidate for Governor; former 1st District DFL Congressman; President/CEO, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

WY SPANO - Director, Master of Advocacy and Political LeadershipUniversity of Minnesota Duluth

JEANNE MASSEY - President, FairVote/Minnesota

ANDY CILEK - President, Minnesota Voters Alliance

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MIKE LOUD (Red Lake Nation of Ojibway) has worked with youth for 25 years at The City Inc. in the inner city of Minneapolis as a counselor and program director of Oshkibug, Youth Intervention Program & Pride in the City. Mike moved to Minneapolis 30 years ago and after college went on to direct a Native culture program which leads young people to cultural experiences that they may not have access to living in an urban environment. Pipestone Quarrying and Maple Sugar Camp are part of the cultural curriculum. He is a highly respected teacher of traditional culture.

Monday, October 4, 2010

IT'S MEMBERSHIP WEEK #2 at KFAI! Please support the airing of TruthToTell, First Person Radio and other great KFAI shows where the programming is truly your community-based alternative, supporting the special communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. We're working to reach our goal of $95,000. Call 612-375-9030 or Donate online at And THANKS!


They're calling it the Minnesota March for Children. It's on October 10, thus the moniker, 10-10-10. The Children's Defense Fund says it will rally 10,000 Minnesotans at the State Capitol that day - a major effort to tell state senators and representatives that children must be the prime concern of all policy decisions made at the legislature in the 2011 Session. The day coincides with Children’s Sabbath, an effort to pull in congregations from around the state as well.

It's as clear as the recession and poverty itself, not to mention the stagnant and deficit-laden budgets of schools, healthcare programs, corrections and human services, environmental concerns, public safety - name it - that children are affected directly by each and every issue we deal with at every level of living and public policy. The fact that children are at the forefront of those affected by these issues, just because they don't vote - yet - does not mean they should not be our first priority in addressing those issue arenas.

The march itself will feature Garrison Keillor as keynoter and CDF National Founder, Marion Wright Edelman in a call to action. Join TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN as we examine more children's issues this month.


REP. SANDRA PETERSON (DFL-45A [NEW HOPE]) - Member, Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division

DARRELL YOUNG - CDF Young Advocates Leadership Trainee

NICOLE HERNANDEZ - Youth Programs Director, Children's Defense Fund

KARA ARZAMENDIA - Research DirectorChildren's Defense Fund

LAURA LaCROIX-DALLUHN - Exeecutive Director, Youth Community Connections

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This week's guest is Elona Street-Stewart, chair of the St. Paul Board of Education. Street-Stewart is the first American Indian elected to the Saint Paul School Board and the first to serve on an urban school district board in Minnesota. She also chairs the American Indian Family CenterHer focus has long been on multicultural and cross-cultural issues.

Street-Stewart was cited this year by WomenWinning , an organization dedicated to electing women to public office, as being committed to providing a respectful, safe, nurturing and equitable learning environment where a diverse student body can meet the highest district and state standards. She is also devoted to helping students understand the relationship between their lives and the lives of others, and the relevance of their educational experience to their roles in society.

An elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and an advocate for racial justice, peace and equal opportunity, she has served at all levels of the church, becoming one of four women honored July 4th of this year for their passion, dedication and faithfulness at the church's annual Women of Faith Awards breakfast at the 219th General Assembly (2010).


Monday, September 27, 2010

IT'S MEMBERSHIP WEEK at KFAI. Please support the airing of TruthToTell, First Person Radio and other great KFAI shows where the programming is truly alternative, supporting the special communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Call 612-375-9030 or Donate online at And THANKS!


The disaster that can be the children left behind when one or more parent is sent to jail or prison is one of the least-known in a society already racked with poverty, unemployment and disproportionate education resources. Think about it:

According to several studies, most kids left behind when one (or more?) parent(s) are sent off to prison are also often left for others to care for, but the effect on their welfare is rarely known unless they're placed in some sort of foster care - or what is termed "out-of-home placement."

Beyond the obvious deprivation of what may have been (or not) adequate food, shelter, clothing and education is the emotional and societal toll taken by children who must walk through a world where they, too, might be blamed or ridiculed for having a parent behind bars, not to mention the pure trauma of parental "abandonment."

Several state and local advocate agencies are taking on this issue - an issue that goes well beyond the usual child welfare schemes of state and county authorities and case workers - and trying to consolidate their efforts to give rise to legislative remedies for this unseen population of young people.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with at least one legislator and several advocates in the field of criminal justice to find out just what is going on in this obscure arena of Children of Incarcerated Parents.

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray - Vice-Chair, MN Senate Health, Housing and Family Security  Committee

Sarah WalkerOperations Director, 180 Degrees 

Melissa Froehle, Policy & Program Director, MN Fathers and Families Network

Ebony Ruhland, Director of Research, Council on Crime and Justice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jack Jackson, Jr., a member of the Navajo Nation, is from the Near The Water (Tó’áhaní) Clan, and born for the Towering House (Kinyaa’áanii) Clan. His maternal grandfather is from the Water’s Edge (Tábąąhá) Clan, and his paternal grandfather is from the Salt (Áshįįhí) Clan. He was born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.

Jackson is a lifelong Democrat and is now his party's nominee for the Arizon Senate from a Northern Arizona district, which, after a bruising primary contested by four other Navajo candidates, virtually assures Jackson's election. In 2005, he ran unsuccessfully to represent Congressional District One.

From 2006 to 2009, Jackson worked as the Director of Community Relations for AeroCare Medical Transport, Inc., a fixed-wing air ambulance company providing service to the Navajo Nation and Northern Arizona. In October 2007, he became one of five co-owners of the company, establishing AeroCare as a native majority owned business.

In October 2007, Jackson was confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council to serve on the Navajo Gaming Enterprise Board. He and the other board members worked at establishing the first Navajo Nation casino. The Fire Rock Casino opened on November 19, 2008. This was the first Native American gaming enterprise in the United States ever to be funded solely through tribal monies.

Back in February, 2010, Jackson was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He previously sat on President Clinton’s HIV/AIDS Council in 1999. He has also served on the boards of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, Phoenix Body Positive, Arizona Real Estate Advisory Board, Arizonans for Cultural Development, and Arizona League of Conservation Voters.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How should our kids learn their school subjects? The issue has been considered critical for educators and lawmakers across the country. Thirty-seven states have adopted the curriculum standards known as the Common Core standards. Minnesota, although having adopted the Common Core English Language Arts Standard (encompassing English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects), is among the few that has balked at fully adopting the part of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice describing how mathematics should be taught, what students should learn and how their knowledge of these subjects should be measured as they head for graduation. Most parents and citizens know little, if anything, about these seemingly arcane discussions. We just want the kids to know what they need to know to enter college or get a job or understand the world around them and to live within in it. (Herewith an additional link to the Grammar Guide for Web 2.0 from Online College.)

But those reasons are precisely why all of us should wonder - and, perhaps, worry - how the kids are faring in learning these important subjects, and you should listen to the pros and cons of Minnesota's adopting the Math Standards, now.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN discuss the issues surrounding the Common Core with an advocate and a skeptic and an involved observer of the process Monday morning at 9:00.

Additional Resource: Australia's Open College System



ELLEN DELANEY – Associate Principal, Spring Lake Park High School

MIKE LINDSTROM – Immediate Past Executive Director, SciMathMN

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CivicMedia/MN Executive Producer-Host Andy Driscoll looks at two more of four major community centers in Minneapolis and St. Paul which started life as Settlement Houses, where well-heeled families bought buildings, lived in poor neighborhoods and served their neighbors and new Americans providing opportunities to eat, play, gather, and learn how to be citizens, homemakers, and speak English, while preserving tradition, language and culture. LISTEN BELOW.

* * *

Some called it Americanization (a good thing at the time-or was it?), some called it social engineering or control (always controversial), but Settlement Houses are celebrating yet another milestone with Jane Addams’ 150 birthday and the 100thanniversary of her biography, the story of the patron of Chicago’s Hull House among the great celebrated advocates of the East End London-born movement of 1880, and picked up by groups in New York City.

In Part I, Andy spoke with key movers at Minneapolis’ Pillsbury United Communities (which combined Pillsbury House, Waite House and Unity House in Cedar-Riverside, South Minneapolis and North Minneapolis) and St. Paul’s Hallie Q. Brown Community Center – a tribute to St. Paul’s African-American leaders’ resolve to provide the same serves other settlement houses had provided for some 30-40 years, but had denied access to them.

In Part II, we hear from leaders at two other historic settlements – the venerable Phyllis Wheatley Community Center – the Minneapolis counterpart to Hallie Q. Brown – and gritty Neighborhood House, which started serving St. Pauls’ Russian Jews in the 1880s, became a Mexican centerpiece and evolved into a  durable community center serving all new Americans and always on St. Paul’s West Side.


BARBARA MILON - Executive Director, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center

THEARTRICE "T" WILLIAMS, Past Executive Director, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center

ARMANDO CAMACHO - Executive Director, Neighborhood Houseaka, Paul & Sheila Wellstone Community Center

GILBERT DE LA O - Retired Youth Leadership Director, Neighborhood Houseaka, Paul & Sheila Wellstone Community Center

Monday, September 13, 2010

TruthToTell and CivicMedia are having our first fundraiser Wednesday, September 22nd from 7:00-9:00PM, hosted by Barbra Wiener and co-hosted by 35 Friends and Fellow Travelers. The event will be held at the home of George Reid, 3114 W 28th St Minneapolis, MN 55416 View Larger Map. Please join us for an evening of great food and fun - and a little more about TTT and CivicMedia and First Person Radio, TTT's newest sibling.  RSVP HERE. Hope to see you on the 22nd. DONATE HERE or HERE. And thanks.


Do Target and Best Buy serve as prime examples of why corporate donations to political campaigns may not be wise investments? Is the flap over donations to Republican Tom Emmer's campaign a short-sighted result of not thinking ahead to the effect on bottom lines and shareholder discontent, not to mention customer backlash.

This may be the first inkling of the fallout over the US Supreme Court's Citizen United decision granting corporations the freedom to donate directly to political campaigns, not just to independent expenditures and phony fronts that try to undermine candidate credibility.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with proponents and opponents of the new campaign finance paradigm in light of public disclosures of corporate partisanship and the marketplace and public relations wisdom in using that new freedom to affect electoral outcomes.

Guests include: 

MIKE DEAN - President, Common Cause Minnesota

DAVID SCHULTZ - Author, Adjunct Professor of Law, Hamline University, Campaign Finance Specialist