charter commission

TruthToTell Mon, March 5@9AM: REDRAWING MINNEAPOLIS WARDS: Arranging the Power Bases - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TruthToTell Mon, March 5@9AM: REDRAWING MINNEAPOLIS WARDS: Arranging the Power Bases - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Now that a state panel of judges has issued new district boundaries for our state and federal legislative offices after the decennial census has revealed the usual ten-year shifting of populations, it’s time for local governments to complete their redistricting of city council wards, school districts and county commissioner districts. In the case of Minneapolis, districts for the city’s separate Park Board must also be redrawn. The Minneapolis Charter requires it redistricting to occur in the first year ending in “2” following the Census. (Because its charter requires redistricting to occur in years ending in “1”, St. Paul’s Charter Commission completed its nominal redraw last year. Few changes in ward boundaries there.)

The Minneapolis redistricting process is a truly complex one from almost any perspective. Because that city is governed by a so-called Strong Council-Weak Mayor governance system (a subject for another day’s discussion), its 13 wards are powerful entities overseeing the political landscape which includes one of this nation’s most diverse populations, albeit mostly clustered in specific sets of neighborhoods. When combined with several other state and federal requirements such as ensuring that communities of interest and commonality be preserved, meeting the numbers requirement – i.e., 29,429 residents in each ward and 63,763 in each of the six park districts – makes redrawing the ward boundaries a dicey business.

(Readers and listeners and citizens can access ALL maps and detailed explanations about this critical process with which all will have to live for another ten years HERE.)(Watch our guests, Chair Barry Clegg and Adosh Unni explain process HERE.)

Needless to say (but we will), most of the communities of interest are ethnic in composition – and with a 10-year surge in East Africans (mostly Somali), Latinos, and Southeast Asians joining with African Americans and Native Americans to form such commonalities, keeping such communities together is a serious chore for the 25 members of the Redistricting Commission – a combination of the existing Charter Commission plus additional members appointed for this task.

Well-organized testimony from Latinos and East Africans, especially, has pushed the commission into considering some fairly major changes to the commission’s original draft ward maps. White folks on the fringes of the city have not shown up in great numbers and the wards thereof reflect both that and the minimal movement of their populations.

The point of all this is, of course, to increase representation of those groups both on the City Council and in public policy clout, the usual theory of strength in numbers operating here.

Two hearings were held in cramped quarters last Wednesday (North Side) and Thursday (South Side) where testimony from Somalis and Latinos came in goodly numbers, each schooled in what to say about the Commission’s draft map and offering alternatives to maintain common interest cohesion in their respective wards. The following day at a regular Commission meeting, new maps submitted by the chair and others tried to reconcile split neighborhoods and communities, especially on the South Side and up in the Harrison and North Loop communities.

Theories abound as to the advantage of so-called “packing” of like peoples in a single ward which, although likely more able to elect one from among their number but the possible limitation in representation to a single councilmember versus “cracking” – the deliberate splitting of like peoples into fragments where their political clout might be so diluted as to render them powerless, both in electing one of their own and in pushing the City Council (or Park Board) into policies favoring their interests. We’ll talk about those pressures. Clearly, most ethnic groups wish to stay together, and hang the competing theories.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to both make sense of this complex process with a few representative members of the Redistricting Commission and citizen activists advancing their maps and suggestions for population distribution.

GUESTS:

BARRY CLEGG – Attorney and Chair, Minneapolis Charter and Redistricting Commissions

TERRA COLE – Redistricting Commission Member and Candidate for State House of Representatives in a North Side Minneapolis district.

LYALL SCHWARZKOPF – Longtime Minneapolis Official – Charter/Redistricting Commissioner, Former Minneapolis City Coordinator; former State Representative; retired Chief of Staff to the Governor

MARIANO ESPINOZA – Former Executive Director, Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, Representing the Latino Community map activists

ALSO:

MIKE DEAN – Executive Director of Common Cause-Minnesota will call in to talk about process and how citizens can dive into this morass of maps and manipulation of populations.

Submitted Maps (click on link)(Latest Commission plan to come):

Original Minneapolis Council Plan

"Coalition" Plan

"United Communities" March 3 Plan

TruthToTell March 5: REDRAWING MINNEAPOLIS WARDS: Arranging the Power Bases - AUDIO Podcast Below

On-air date: 
Mon, 03/05/2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now that a state panel of judges has issued new district boundaries for our state and federal legislative offices after the decennial census has revealed the usual ten-year shifting of populations, it’s time for local governments to complete their redistricting of city council wards, school districts and county commissioner districts. In the case of Minneapolis, districts for the city’s separate Park Board must also be redrawn. The Minneapolis Charter requires it redistricting to occur in the first year ending in “2” following the Census. (Because its charter requires redistricting to occur in years ending in “1”, St. Paul’s Charter Commission completed its nominal redraw last year. Few changes in ward boundaries there.)

The Minneapolis redistricting process is a truly complex one from almost any perspective. Because that city is governed by a so-called Strong Council-Weak Mayor governance system (a subject for another day’s discussion), its 13 wards are powerful entities overseeing the political landscape which includes one of this nation’s most diverse populations, albeit mostly clustered in specific sets of neighborhoods. When combined with several other state and federal requirements such as ensuring that communities of interest and commonality be preserved, meeting the numbers requirement – i.e., 29,429 residents in each ward and 63,763 in each of the six park districts – makes redrawing the ward boundaries a dicey business.

(Readers and listeners and citizens can access ALL maps and detailed explanations about this critical process with which all will have to live for another ten years HERE.)(Watch our guests, Chair Barry Clegg and Adosh Unni explain process HERE.)

Needless to say (but we will), most of the communities of interest are ethnic in composition – and with a 10-year surge in East Africans (mostly Somali), Latinos, and Southeast Asians joining with African Americans and Native Americans to form such commonalities, keeping such communities together is a serious chore for the 25 members of the Redistricting Commission – a combination of the existing Charter Commission plus additional members appointed for this task.

Well-organized testimony from Latinos and East Africans, especially, has pushed the commission into considering some fairly major changes to the commission’s original draft ward maps. White folks on the fringes of the city have not shown up in great numbers and the wards thereof reflect both that and the minimal movement of their populations.

The point of all this is, of course, to increase representation of those groups both on the City Council and in public policy clout, the usual theory of strength in numbers operating here.

Two hearings were held in cramped quarters last Wednesday (North Side) and Thursday (South Side) where testimony from Somalis and Latinos came in goodly numbers, each schooled in what to say about the Commission’s draft map and offering alternatives to maintain common interest cohesion in their respective wards. The following day at a regular Commission meeting, new maps submitted by the chair and others tried to reconcile split neighborhoods and communities, especially on the South Side and up in the Harrison and North Loop communities.

Theories abound as to the advantage of so-called “packing” of like peoples in a single ward which, although likely more able to elect one from among their number but the possible limitation in representation to a single councilmember versus “cracking” – the deliberate splitting of like peoples into fragments where their political clout might be so diluted as to render them powerless, both in electing one of their own and in pushing the City Council (or Park Board) into policies favoring their interests. We’ll talk about those pressures. Clearly, most ethnic groups wish to stay together, and hang the competing theories.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to both make sense of this complex process with a few representative members of the Redistricting Commission and citizen activists advancing their maps and suggestions for population distribution.

GUESTS:

BARRY CLEGG – Attorney and Chair, Minneapolis Charter and Redistricting Commissions

TERRA COLE – Redistricting Commission Member and Candidate for State House of Representatives in a North Side Minneapolis district.

LYALL SCHWARZKOPF – Longtime Minneapolis Official – Charter/Redistricting Commissioner, Former Minneapolis City Coordinator; former State Representative; retired Chief of Staff to the Governor

MARIANO ESPINOZA – Former Executive Director, Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, Representing the Latino Community map activists

ALSO:

MIKE DEAN – Executive Director of Common Cause-Minnesota will call in to talk about process and how citizens can dive into this morass of maps and manipulation of populations.

Submitted Maps (click on link)(Latest Commission plan to come):

Original Minneapolis Council Plan

"Coalition" Plan

"United Communities" March 3 Plan


55:55 minutes (51.19 MB)

TruthToTell Mon Oct 25 @9AM: REDISTRICTING 2011: First, Consider Your Cities; TTT Oct 18: WOMEN'S CANCER ACTION; First Person Radio Oct. 20: MPLS CITY COUNCILMEMBER ROBERT LILLIGREN

TruthToTell Mon Oct 25 @9AM: REDISTRICTING 2011: First, Consider Your Cities - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org

And now it begins - at least at the local level. The battle over who is represented by whom for the next ten years is under way with discussions about the upshot of population growth or shrinkage in some districts as well as shifts from one district to the next - or several miles away. As the 2010 Census figures are compiled for presentation early next year, coalitions are forming to ensure that statewide redistricting is seriously reformed after decades of Legislative redistricting wound up in the courts - and still safe districts for incumbents were the outcome. When once we thought it possible Minnesota's eight Congressional districts might be whittled to seven by the Census outcome, it now appears we'll hold the eight by a very slim margin - as little as 1,500 souls.

Minneapolis has a question on the November 2nd ballot asking whether the city's Charter Commission should be the body to redraw City Ward and Park District lines, unlike the political-party-appointed Redistricting Commission, which ten years ago found itself under a cloud for its DFL-heavy redistricting out of Green Party incumbents and other anomalies which landed the entire process in court. This time out, the struggle is over whether the Charter Commission, itself questionably representative of the city as a whole, is likely to properly redraw the city's lines of representation. (Under state statute, all Charter Commissions are appointed from pools of self-selected applicants by the chief judge of the appropriate district court of jurisdiction, in this case the Chief Judgeof the Hennepin County District Court.)

Saint Paul's Charter Commission is itself the city's redistricting commission (Disclosure: your servant was a member of that body for eight years back in 1990 and was part of the redrawing of St. Paul's Ward boundaries). Many think that's enough. But, again, with chief judges appointing (Ramsey County, in this case), can it be as representative of the city's diversity or not?

And yet, how to ensure diversity, anyway?

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN query those zeroing in on this issue - some for the coming referendum in Minneapolis, the others for Saint Paul or the statewide planning process quickly coming into place for 2011 and 2012.

GUESTS:

KEESHA GASKINS - Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Minnesota

MIKE DEAN - President, Common Cause, Minnesota

BARRY CLEGG, Chair, Minneapolis Charter Commission and Attorney, Gray Plant Mooty

JOHN VAN HECKE - Chair, Saint Paul Charter Commission and Executive Director, Minnesota 2020

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TruthToTell Oct 18: WOMEN'S CANCER ACTION: A Very Different Race - PODCAST HERE

For years, we have known of the environment's assault on our breathing and other health issues, but not every neighborhood is afflicted with tar companies, toxic run-offs from factories old and new whose owners have ignored health concerns of employees and neighboring communities - more often than not, low wealth communities and people of color, depending on the state and locale - in the pursuit of cheaply earned profits. Minneapolis-St. Paul is ranked 5th for the greatest number of contaminated sites across the country (65,969 - one for every 48 people – plus 4,444 leaking storage tanks) with a mere 54 corrective action reports. We could go on about how the MPCA ignores the reality of polluting facilities, especially in this Metro Area.  It's enough to know that our air and groundwater, foods, drugs, etc., are likely killing us before our time.

But this is an even larger system issue our policymakers and regulators and health care providers, especially pharmaceutical corporations, fail to address adequately to protect our children as well as our adults and stop the record number of cancer cases growing out of these toxic cities.

Although breast cancer runs rampant through the ranks of women for any number of reasons, environmental catalysts are certainly a clear cause of the majority of them. What else could yield such an epidemic as women have experience over the last 40-50 years? Other cancers in both men and women, not to mention children’s leukemia cases, are decimating our ranks. These are preventable cancers.

Toxicity and contamination from negligent corporations is not limited to leaking tanks and  factories sites, power plants and farmlands. It can be found in our foods and cleaning products, our packaging and commercial operations at all retail levels, to mention but a few.

But few organizations have been successful in addressing those real causes, and why? Often co-opted by those corporations or needing to survive as institutions rather than working themselves out of jobs as cancer “preventers” and cure developers, they accept contributions from and come to rely on major corporate interests for their sustenance and, in the process, dispense with the soul of their existence. Has this happened with the pink movement? Some claim it has in the usurpation ofBreast Cancer Awareness Month.

Back in April, Women's Cancer Action, formerly Women's Cancer Resource Center, launched a non-profit organization and website, womenscanceraction.org, focused on cancer prevention and support. A new frontier in cancer resources and advocacy, WCA emerges uniquely grassroots and independent.

With the website as its communication and organizing hub, WCA is focused on exploring the link between cancer and the environment, connecting those in need with support, and encouraging bold action to address the political, personal, and societal challenges of cancer prevention.

Several women who have lived with cancer are the root of this movement and organization and are prepared to pour resources and energy into getting into the fight to install policies and processes to prevent cancer, especially in women, but anything done for women will surely ripple into all segments of the society.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with the founders, supporters and professionals involved in Women’s Cancer Action and how and why they came into being in the midst of a plethora of other groups claiming to do the same.

On-air guests: 

GUESTS:

BARBRA WIENER - Chair of the Board, Women's Cancer Action; Founder, Women's Cancer Resource Center (has lived with cancer)

DEANNA WHITE –Executive Director, Clean Water Action-MNHealthy Legacy co-director

KAREN EINESMAN – Program Director, Women's Cancer Action

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

"Think Before You Pink"

(National) Breast Cancer Action

TRAINING:

Telling the Story of Toxics and Health - A Media Training for Health Professionals and Advocates

Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 | 9am-5pm
JACCC | 244 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
PSR-LA Environmental Health Ambassador Program

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First Person Radio Weds- Oct 20: ROBERT LILLIGREN (Ojibway): Minneapolis City Councilmember, Ward 6 PODCAST HERE

Minneapolis City Council Member Robert Lilligren has represented the 6th Ward of the City of Minneapolis since January, 2006. He was first elected to represent the 8th Ward in November 2001. With no political background or experience, he entered public life because of a strong desire to help his fellow Minneapolitans and to bring a strong voice to core-city concerns.

He has a strong background in community activism, housing development, and on transportation issues.  He is a self-employed small-scale housing developer/property manager. When first elected to office, Lilligren was serving as a volunteer on eight different community boards and commissions including as a founder and vice-chair of Phillips West Neighborhood organization, the Midtown Greenway Coalition (a bike/walk advocacy group), the Hennepin County-appointed I-35W Project Advisory Committee and as an advisor and board member to non-profit housing groups throughout South Minneapolis. 

He has led efforts to invest a $25 million federal grant to Minneapolis to shift people from motorized to non-motorized transportation. He was appointed to the Bike Walk Advisory Committee to advise the board of Transit for Livable Communities on these non-motorized investments. Also, he holds the City of Minneapolis appointment on the recently formed Grant Evaluation and Ranking System committee created by the State Legislature to bring more meaningful local voices to regional transit investments made by the Counties Transit Improvement Board with the counties quarter-cent sales tax for transit.

TruthToTell Oct 25: REDISTRICTING 2011: First, Consider Your Cities - Audio file below

On-air date: 
Mon, 10/25/2010

And now it begins - at least at the local level. The battle over who is represented by whom for the next ten years is under way with discussions about the upshot of population growth or shrinkage in some districts as well as shifts from one district to the next - or several miles away. As the 2010 Census figures are compiled for presentation early next year, coalitions are forming to ensure that statewide redistricting is seriously reformed after decades of Legislative redistricting wound up in the courts - and still safe districts for incumbents were the outcome. When once we thought it possible Minnesota's eight Congressional districts might be whittled to seven by the Census outcome, it now appears we'll hold the eight by a very slim margin - as little as 1,500 souls.

Minneapolis has a question on the November 2nd ballot asking whether the city's Charter Commission should be the body to redraw City Ward and Park District lines, unlike the political-party-appointed Redistricting Commission, which ten years ago found itself under a cloud for its DFL-heavy redistricting out of Green Party incumbents and other anomalies which landed the entire process in court. This time out, the struggle is over whether the Charter Commission, itself questionably representative of the city as a whole, is likely to properly redraw the city's lines of representation. (Under state statute, all Charter Commissions are appointed from pools of self-selected applicants by the chief judge of the appropriate district court of jurisdiction, in this case the Chief Judgeof the Hennepin County District Court.)

Saint Paul's Charter Commission is itself the city's redistricting commission (Disclosure: your servant was a member of that body for eight years back in 1990 and was part of the redrawing of St. Paul's Ward boundaries). Many think that's enough. But, again, with chief judges appointing (Ramsey County, in this case), can it be as representative of the city's diversity or not?

And yet, how to ensure diversity, anyway?

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN query those zeroing in on this issue - some for the coming referendum in Minneapolis, the others for Saint Paul or the statewide planning process quickly coming into place for 2011 and 2012.

GUESTS:


59:54 minutes (27.42 MB)