Truth to Tell

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Andy Driscoll - TruthToTell & CivicMedia/Minnesota

On-air date: 
Mon, 08/25/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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 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.

PLEASE DONATE $10 TO HELP TTT HERE!

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!

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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 Feb 28: ARTS AND ENDING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS - Audio BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/28/2011

That most invisible segment of our culture is that segment we often ignore. We don’t always see our homeless brothers and sisters, because we don’t want to. Perhaps we don’t want to believe so many of our neighbors are without places to live. Perhaps we feel powerless to do anything about this plague on the richest society in the world.

Young people are among the most harmed by homelessness. Of the 13,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness every day, 2,000 are young people, 34% of the total in Hennepin County alone*. Many of the adults are veterans, some are the parents of these youth for whom the instability of homelessness is something none of us would want for our own – or ourselves. (* Wilder Research, 2009 Statewide Homelessness Survey)

But, some of these young people have come forward into the limelight of artistic expression – in words and pictures – through the Arts & Civic Engagement Initiative. Their work and the work of their mentors in agencies working to end homelessness is on exhibit through May 14 at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis. Among the exhibitors are the great community photographer, Wing Young Huie, Hennepin County Coordinator to End Homelessness Cathy Ten Broeke doubling as artist, work created by youth experiencing homelessness in collaboration with Peter Haakon Thompson, and work from the exhibition Home Is Where You Make It - six temporary sculptures produced by youth experiencing homelessness with Lauri Lyons, Tish Jones, and Megan Madland.

All of this to reach these goals:

• Highlight the plight of youth struggling with homelessness and other loss of shelter in the Twin Cities through the work of Minnesota artists

• Spark dialogue and increase awareness about ongoing programs and legislative work to end youth and child homelessness

• Celebrate the strengths, capacity and contributions of youth

• Deepen the capacity and commitment of the community to address the issues related to youth homelessness

• Build awareness of the power of the arts to create meaning and beauty from hardship and struggle

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with artists and leaders in this project to end youth homelessness. We’ll be streaming the program online and showing some of the art on exhibit even as we explore the issues leading to such a serious level of youth homelessness and what we can all do about ending it.

GUESTS:

• CATHY ten BROEKE – Photographer, and Coordinator, Heading Home Hennepin program to end homelessness 

• SUSAN PHILLIPS – Director, LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Youth Homeless Services

• REGGIE PRIM – Organizer, Growing Home ExhibitArts & Civic Engagement Initiative and Center for Changing Lives


59:26 minutes (27.21 MB)