TruthToTell Monday, May 5- 9AM: CINCO DE MAYO: The Little Battle that Could; TruthToTell, April 28: MINNESOTA COOPS: 80 years and Start of People-Powered Ownership - AUDIO HERE


Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, May 5, 2014


Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.



And all this time, most of us believed Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration of…what?

This year’s parade, etc., took place Saturday, the 3rd, but Saturday is always parade day.

Parades, colorful Mexican costumes, great food, a daylong gathering of the Mexican and Anglo communities, but just how much have we really known about Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May?

Some of us know that Cinco celebrates a victory for Mexicans, but of what?

Turns out in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is less important than Mexican Independence Day(September 16), but the Cinco celebrations themselves are even more rooted in the American culture. We’ll find out why.

We thought we’d talk about the history of Mexican batallas -  battles - of which Cinco de Mayo – known in Mexico as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla) ­- is considered in Mexico is somewhat less than the most important victories for Mexico. Still, they defeated the French occupiers in 1862. Mexico has always been in battles for their independence against the Spanish, the Americans, the French.

We talk about that history and of how Cinco de Mayo annually grow for Mexican-Americans and the rest of us look forward to the hoopla.

TTT ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS sit down with the Minnesota Mexican consul titular and others tied into St. Paul’s and Minnesota Cinco celebrations.


Alberto Fierro Garza - Head (Titular) Mexican Consul for Minnesota

Carolina Marañón - Consul Assistant and Cultural Affairs Director



Rosanne Bump - Producer of Cinco de Mayo Saint Paul’s West Side Celebration (Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation)

Jose Ruiz, Jr. – Co-Founder / Vice President, Manhattan Film Festival

Alicia Lucio – Volunteer Coordinator, Cinco de Mayo

AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.



This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party’s Cooperative Commonwealth Platform—the boldest vision for a new society every adopted by a successful American political party. What made the platform more than a utopian fantasy was the daily experience of thousands of Minnesotans who were busy building cooperatives across the length and breadth of our state. 

By 1935, Minnesota could boast 2,886 consumer coops with a combined membership of 531,180, the most in the nation. Notable is the Rural Electrical Coop system to deliver electricity to otherwise energy-deprived farm operations.

Today, the cooperative movement remains strong in Minnesota, even if the vision of social transformation isn’t as wide-spread as it was in the 30’s.The most obvious example is theremarkable growth of food coops. Of special note is the expansion of Seward Coopand Mississippi Market to serve lower income and more ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

But there is more to the cooperative movement than food coops – and not all entirely benign. Massive energy distributor and producer cooperatives have often stepped into the corporate model of governance and less transparent, not to mention questionable huge coop owners.

Land-O-Lakes, CENEX, Twin Cities Milk Producers, whose products may be quality competitive, but not always the most affordable and often have been allowed by state agencies to run roughshod over farmlands with dairy, corn and livestock “cooperative” producers not always operating the public interest environmentally and open governance.

And yet! Credit unions, senior housing, health care, and the hardware purchasing coops that make the small-town independent hardware store possible, are all part of a larger and not always well understood story.

TTT’s TOM O’CONNELL and SIOBHAN KIERANS explore the dynamic growth of coops in Minnesota and do some forward thinking about the potential - and challenges – the state and the movement itself faces the future.

Our guests:

LADONNA REDMOND, Co-Director, Agriculture and Justice (HECUA), Education and Outreach Coordinator, Seward Coop; Student of the African-American cooperative tradition and veteran of the food justice movement.

JILL LIVINGSTON, Capitalization Specialist with Seward Coop, Friendship Store Project organizer.


DAVE GUTKNECHT, Editor, Cooperative Grocer; and pioneer in the Twin Cities food cooperative movement.

JOAN STOCKINGER, development specialist with Cooperative Development Services, and co-author with Dave Gutknecht of a recently released case study of the cooperative local food system.

AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.