CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

As the debate over public education rages on, one area that almost everyone agrees on is the importance of parent involvement.  But what exactly is parent involvement?  How open are our schools to genuine partnerships? How well do our schools engage with low income communities and communities of color? What happens when the cultural values reflected in our public schools clash with the values and experiences of students and their families?    

This program will explore approaches that go beyond site councils and parent-teacher meetings (as important as they are) to deeper relationships between schools, parents and communities.

And to help us do that, we are drawing on the deep experience and knowledge of parents, educators, and community members who have experienced this issue from a variety of perspectives and approaches.

Join us Wednesday, Decemeber  11 at the Minneapolis Urban League (2100 Plymouth Ave N) from 6:30-8:30pm for our public discussion forum on this topic. This conversation will be taped live for radio and television broadcast. Light refreshments will be served. Children are welcome.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

CivicMedia-Minnesota is a 501c3 non-profit production company based in St. Paul, Minnesota, created to bring civic and media literacy to the Twin Cities region and Minnesota, informing, educating and empowering residents and students in local, state and regional public affairs and to amplify the voices of concerned  communities on key issues facing them every day. CMM’s main goal is to engage citizens by helping them understand issues of governance and public policy, critique media coverage of critical policy matters, encourage public discourse and help people take collective action to resolve problems and influence public policy.

On-air guests: 

Victoria Balko- Former Chair, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change Education Committee

Zuke Ellis & Rebecca Wade- Parent/Teacher Home visit program team, St. Paul Federation of Teachers St. Paul

Kristen Talbert- Participant, Absent Narratives Project sponsored by the Minnesota Humanities Commission, currently works at the Ain Dah Yung Center for Native Youth. 

Other Designated Respondants:

Tracine Asberry- Minneapolis School Board Member, District 2, former Minneapolis  Public Schools and teacher and parent, PhD  in Critical Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas

Amanda Norman- Board Member, CivicMedia-Minnesota, Project Coordinator on the documentary film project, “Increasing Parent Engagement Through Absent Narratives” from the Minnesota Humanities Commission and the Northwest Suburban Integration School District. Masters in Education from Augsburg University.

Kate Towle- Winner, St. Paul Foundation’s Facing Race Idea Challenge for her work supporting student voice as founder of Project START (Students Together as Allies for Racial Trust, Author, “Cultivating the Untapped Potential of All Parents”

Monday, December 9, 2013

Not too many months ago, a budding movement toward municipal ownership of energy generation in Minneapolis was cut short by a major public relations campaign by current private regulated monopoly providers, Xcel (for electric service) and CenterPoint Energy (formerly Minnegasco) to defeat the proposal.

The proposers were trying to take advantage of the city’s infrequent power franchise renewal process (where Xcel and CenterPoint pay fees to use public rights of way) to provide a public ownership alternative to those renewals, and they had strong support among some members of the City Council. But neither the mayor or the majority of councilmembers.

In addition to public ownership, advocates for the idea also saw the prospect of incorporating what is called distributed energy generation or very localized generators of renewable resources – like wind, solar and energy storage – into the city’s neighborhoods as well as ways for consumers to conserve.

The PR campaign succeeded in tabling the municipal ownership proposal - for the time being - but the notion of distributed and “democratized” energy as the wave of the future continues and might well include resurrected legislation to give the public a piece of the energy pie. For those who support public ownership, the idea survives the PR campaign which included promises by the big guys to work with advocates and city officials to advance these new notions of distributed power.

Minneapolis was a testing ground and may remain that way, but the revolution – or evolution - within the power generation community to change the way energy providers and users alike view renewables continues.

This is not a subject the average citizen or consumer knows much about and it will take public understanding and buy-in to see the advantages of bringing power generation into communities on a smaller scale (rather than large, fossil fuel – coal and natural gas - power plants) and storing the surplus or feeding it up to the larger power grid for savings, control and responsible uses.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with researchers and advocates who see this as the future of energy generation and distribution in hopes of bring more enlightenment to a public often satisfied by successfully switching on lights or the television set and heating the water or cooking. We’ll try to keep it simple and keep public policy concerns in mind as we do.

GUESTS:

JOHN FARRELL – Director of Democratic Energy and the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; authorDemocratizing the Electricity System – A Vision for the 21st Century Grid.

TIMOTHY DENHERDER-THOMAS – General Manager, Cooperative Energy Futures

Monday, December 2, 2013

AFTER BLACK FRIDAY: What’s Next for Low Wage Workers?

This past week brought a happy confluence of two very special holidays: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. But while happy (and sometimes stressed) consumers feasted and shopped, workers who make our holidays happen and their supporters, demanded an end to poverty level wages.

On Monday, November 25th 5th workers joined supporters from faith and community groups at theBrooklyn Center Walmart to demand an end to retaliation against Walmart workers who speak out for respect in the workplace and better pay.

On Tuesday, the Greater Minnesota Workers Center in St. Cloud protested exploitive labor contracting practices.

On Wednesday, about 100 airport workers and their allies rallied outside the arrivals area of Terminal 1 to show their support for unionization and state legislation to raise the minimum wage.

And on Black Friday itself, unions and social justice organizations came together for two major events: a protest at the downtown Minneapolis Target organized by Centro de Trabajadores Unido en Lucha  (CTUL) and The March Against Poverty Wages, a 1000 strong march and rally down University Avenue in St. Paul to Walmart that ended in 26 arrests.

TruthToTell host Andy Driscoll and special co-host, Tom O’Connell, retired professor of Political Studies will talk with participants about the significance of this past week’s events as well as what lies ahead in the struggle for fair wages and workplace justice.

GUESTS:

PETER RACHLEFF - Labor Historian; Retired Professor of History, Macalester College

ANDREA WILLIAMS - Our Walmart

DARCY  LANDAU - Airport Worker

DAN MENDEZ-MOORE - CTUL/SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

Sources:

www.workdayminnesota.org

http://ctul.net

www.seiu26.org

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Monday, TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathy Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

On-air guests:

KATHY VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

Monday, November 18, 2013

On Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returned to the Minneapolis Urban League for the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. In this month’s forum, TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Monday, for the encore presentation of Wednesday evening’s conversation where TTT hosts Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi talked with the panelists and audience members about policies that have already been passed, policies that are still needed, and other actions that organizers and community members could take to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected by the housing crisis. 

On-air guests:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 14 is Give to the Max Day. Click here to schedule your donation now!

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This Wednesday, November 13, TruthToTell returns to the Minneapolis Urban League to bring you the 9th in its Community Connections series of on-location public forums. This month TTT looks at the ripple effects of still ever-present foreclosures in the Twin Cities Metro and solutions for community stabilization in the wake storm (click here to see our video preview). While we keep hearing about the “improving” economy, dropping unemployment rates, and a rising Dow Jones average, the rate of home foreclosures is still much higher than we ever saw before the crash in 2007-2008, and these rates remain highest among low-wealth communities and communities of color. Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and on to the streets? Why do banks refuse to re-negotiate mortgages with homeowners based on current market rate rather than demanding exorbitant amounts of money from them to stay in their home, especially when the next step after the home owner can’t pay is usually to auction off that home at a fraction of what the bank was demanding?

As a result of these foreclosures and subsequent evictions, we see an unfortunate correlation between the rise in demand for rental properties and an increase in rental rates, as well as an increase in boarded up vacant houses and rise in homelessness. We’ll talk to our panelists, who are all organizers trying to mitigate the effects of this housing bubble. Please join us this Wednesday, when we’ll focus on policies that have already been passed and policies that are still needed to bring stability back to the communities that have been most affected. Our panelists will be:

ED GOETZ- Director, CURA Housing Forum at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

VIC ROSENTHAL- Executive Director, Jewish Community Action

JAYMIE KELLY- Home-owner facing foreclosure in South Minneapolis, recent mayoral candidate

ANTHONY NEWBY- Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

In the spirit of this Wednesday’s conversation, Monday, November 11 we bring you an encore presentation of our February 4 conversation about the ripple effects of foreclosures on the health and well being of homeowners. We spoke with Gayle Lindsey, who at the time she appeared on our show was facing foreclosure on her mortgage with M&T Bank. Shortly after her appearance on TruthToTell, Gayle was contacted by the Senior Vice President of the Loss Mitigation department at M&T Bank about renegotiating her mortgage.

We also had Rachel Fang, who was using an online survey  to write her PhD dissertation on the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Fang says, our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging.

And we also had with us Chris Gray of Occupy Homes MN, talking about the scope of the foreclosure problem and the actions that Occupy Homes MN was and still is taking to mitigate the effects of foreclosures locally.

Join us for this encore presentation, and then come on down to the Minneapolis Urban League this Wednesday, November 13 for this important community conversation. TruthToTell: Community Connections events are free and open to the public. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

Monday, November 4, 2013

This Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Washington Redskins at the Metrodome and the American Indian Movement (AIM) will be there in throngs,  signs in hand, to educate football fans about why the Washington D. C. Mascot is a racist emblem. This week’s protest will not be the first, just last weekend the Washington team was met by protesters at the Mile High stadium in Denver, and these demonstrations will continue across the country as the movement catches fire. This controversy has had a slow build, but now in 2013 a burst of new major publications and broadcasters have joined the boycott of the team’s name, including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Native Nations all over the country have been standing up to team owner Dan Snyder, who publicly stated last week that he still  has no intention of changing the team’s mascot, even after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a personal meeting with Synder over the mascot issue. This meeting was arranged on behalf of the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York who first called a meeting with Goodell. Even President Obama has weighed in on the debate saying if he were the Redskins he’d "think about changing it."

There are many arguments about why the mascot shouldn’t be changed. Some say the tradition should overshadow the controversy. Some say it pays homage to the Native Americans, and should not be construed as a mockery of their culture. Some point to mascots like Minnesota’s own Vikings as a comparable caricature and a reason we should not be able to be offended. But critics say, why choose something that could be offensive at all if there are plenty of other mascot options that are far more benign? Ultimately, who gets to decide if it’s racist? This Monday morning, TTT’s own Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi discuss these points and more with our guests: 

CLYDE BELLECOURT– Executive Director of the AIM Interpretive Center and co-founder of the American Indian Movement; former Minneapolis School Board Member

JOEY BROWNER-Former Vikings All-Pro Safety, Vikings Ring of Honor Inductee- One of just 21

 

 


CROW BELLECOURT- Musician, recorded the ‘Redskins!’ song with Larry Long.

LARRY LONG- American singer-songwriter

Monday, October 28, 2013

Next week, Minneapolis will vote on whether or not to adopt a new ‘Plain Language’ version of its city charter. The Charter Commission is proposing two amendments on the ballot which completely rewrite and modernize the City’s Charter. The Commission says this new revision eliminates outdated details (the original version was written almost a century ago), clarifies ambiguous language, and re-organizes information, making it easier to reference, while at the same time preserving the way Minneapolis has traditionally been governed. This means there are no changes to the roles of the Mayor, the City Council, or the roles of our independent Boards, such as the Parks Board and the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

Careful attention has been applied to this revision process (watch video), which has taken over a decade to complete, but is it possible to preserve all of the same parameters of governance in this new charter draft that is merely one third the length of its predecessor? Is simplicity a virtue in the city’s supreme legal document? City Attorney, Susan Segal has stated that she sees ‘more risk than benefit,’ but can anyone really know without putting the new charter to the test? If adopted, there would be one year between the time the new charter draft is adopted to the time it is implemented. This would give the City Council and the City’s Independent Boards time to respond to any resulting ambiguities left by the new language and pass clarifying ordinances.

This revision proposal is not without precedent. St. Paul drafted and adopted an updated City Charter in 1972, and just two years later Minnesotans took an affirmative vote to redraft the Minnesota State Constitution. Has the last four decades been enough time for Minneapolis to catch up? Can its residents be confident this plain language draft will serve them the same as the current charter has? TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi discuss this and more with this Monday’s guests. 

On-air guests:

DAVID TILSEN – Member, Minneapolis Farmer-Labor Association; former Mpls. School Board member

LYALL SCHWARZKOPF- Former Minneapolis City Clerk and Minneapolis City Coordinator,  Secretary, Minneapolis Charter Commission.

BARRY CLEGG- Chair, Minneapolis Charter Commission, Business and Tax Attorney for Gray, Plant, Mooty

Monday, October 21, 2013

It’s week two of KFAI’s Fall Pledge Drive! Call in on Monday morning to pledge your support at 612-375-9030 or donate now online.

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Note: In light of the upcoming vote to ratify the current proposed draft of the White Earth National Constitution, we feature exclusive live conversation with White Earth Luminary Winona LaDuke on this monumental decision for their tribal members before our encore presentation. We have also invited Attorney Frank Bibeau, and Constitutional Reform Manager Terry Janis to comment on Monday’s special edition encore.

In concert with production partner, KKWE/Niijii Radio, TruthToTell traveled west on August 14th, to the White Earth Reservation to air/televise the 7th in our series of LIVE Community Connections forums on critical Minnesota issues in the rooms of Community Partner Shooting Star Casino – where we taped an debate on the meaning and impacts of a proposed new home rule constitution to be voted on by White Earth Nation tribal members this Fall. This is a burning issue among members of the entire Minnesota Chippewa Tribe(MCT), whose current Constitution currently governs all Minnesota bands under its jurisdiction.

The audience consisted of all residents and enrollees affected by the proposed constitutional provisions and commentators and analysts from various Chippewa nations in Minnesota. So lively was this debate, we went almost two hours. Which is why this week, we bring you Part II of the discussion, which largely consists of the audience commentary and debate. If you missed our broadcast of Part I of this forum, watch the video here.

Producer/Host Andy Driscoll and Associate Producer/Co-host Michelle Alimoradi, in concert with community and media partners wanted to bring this Community Connections program to affected residents of the Reservation and its neighborhoods/communities, conversations that strike at the heart of the White Earth Band’s quality of life, as well as its integrity in protecting the longstanding treaties negotiated over the ability to govern by democratic vote.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI community radioSt. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

CivicMedia-Minnesota is a 501c3 non-profit production company based in St. Paul, Minnesota, created to bring civic and media literacy to the Twin Cities region and Minnesota, informing, educating and empowering residents and students in local, state and regional public affairs and to amplify the voices of concerned  communities on key issues facing them every day. CMM’s main goal is to engage citizens by helping them understand issues of governance and public policy, critique media coverage of critical policy matters, encourage public discourse and help people take collective action to resolve problems and influence public policy. More information and past show archives can be found at www.truthtotell.org.

ERMA VIZENOR - White Earth Tribal Chair

GERALD VIZENOR – Author/Poet, Constitution Writer

MICHAEL DAHL - White Earth Land Recovery Project Community Liaison and Niijii Radio

SHARON ENJADY - Anishinaabe Grandmother

TERRY JANIS (Lakota) - Attorney, Constitutional Reform Manager, White Earth­

Monday, October 14, 2013

 

It’s week one of KFAI’s Fall Pledge Drive! Call in on Monday morning to pledge your support at 612-341-9030 or donate now online.

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With all the media attention the upcoming, highly-contested Minneapolis Mayoral Race is getting, isn’t it about time we all ask ourselves, how important is the mayoral office in implementing change? TTT’s Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi discuss the key people, institution, and otherwise that are making things happen in Minnesota’s biggest city. More importantly, we discuss with our panelists and audience members ‘Who should run Minneapolis?’ We consider what all of our roles are as citizens, voters, tax-payers, parents, students, and the like. How do we make Minneapolis a city that truly works for everyone? Join us for this important pre-election discussion.

TTT partners with the Community Development Club and the Center for Civic Engagement at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College to present this one-of-a-kind public forum.

The telecast of this forum will air Monday, October 14 at 8pm on SPNN St. Paul Cable Channel 19 and MTN Minneapolis Cable Channel 16Subsequent broadcasts will also be available to northern metro suburban cable subscribers and online.

TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI Fresh Air Radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

PANELISTS: 

CAM GORDON- Minneapolis Ward 2 City Councilmember

CAT SALONEK- Community Organizer, OccupyHomesMN

LENA JONES- MCTC Political Science Instructor

BETH HAWKINS- Freelance Twin Cities Journalist/Blogger