This year has been a lot to handle. It’s the fourth year of a bumbling fascist as US President; a pandemic has killed 124,000 Americans and counting; there’s deepening economic misery for millions. And our city is at the epicenter of a global protest movement, kicked off by a Minneapolis cop casually pressing the life out of a man, while three other officers looked on and did nothing for nearly eight minutes.
You’ve got your pick of social, economic, and historical forces to explain how we got to this specific moment, with things spinning out of control. Choose one. Choose a little of each. In the midst of cascading disasters, it’s easy to lose track of it all. But we shouldn’t forget George Floyd, a black man who should still be alive. And we shouldn’t forget that the men responsible for taking his life were employees of the City of Minneapolis, acting ostensibly on our behalf.
Continue reading “Some Minneapolis City Council Members Double Down on Call to Replace a Failing System (That is Very Much Still in Effect as I Write This Headline)”
I don’t usually direct my evening walks through Uptown on a weekend, but on Saturday I had the expectation that something might happen. Friday night had been chaotic, even by Uptown standards (I watched from home on snapchat). Fireworks in the street outside the bars, street racing, tire burnouts, doing donuts in the intersection. Would it happen again? Would the police try to take control? I wanted to see.
Continue reading “With 24 hours to prepare, Minneapolis police fail to stop gunfight”
On Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council’s POGO Committee took the first step towards closing a projected $156 million budget shortfall by approving $58 million in cuts across all city departments. A final vote will happen at next Friday’s City Council meeting. To put the cuts in context, the city’s total budget for 2020 was approved last December at $1.6 billion.
Continue reading “Minneapolis Council Committee Approves $58 Million in Phase I Budget Cuts”
The official Twitter account for Minnesota Governor Tim Walz posted a photo Tuesday evening showing the Governor signing a $62 million Covid-19 relief bill while wearing a short-sleeve Sasquatch-print shirt. The shirt — which according to retailer REI, “celebrates the hirsute Sasquatch legend with a refined collar and interior logo jacquard tape” — is currently on sale for 50% off.
The creature, whose real life existence remains a matter of dispute, is depicted on the Governor’s shirt engaging in activities like walking through the woods, sitting around a camp fire, and hiding in a tree.
Continue reading “Finding Bigfoot: Governor Tim Walz Spotted in Sasquatch Shirt”
On Sunday, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council stood together on a stage with the words “Defund Police” draped across the front in giant letters. At a rally organized by Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, City Council President Lisa Bender told the crowd, “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed… Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it.”
While this amounts to a veto-proof majority of the council, the nine haven’t yet developed or agreed to a specific plan to “Defund Police.” But the police murder of George Floyd has convinced them once and for all that MPD doesn’t actually make everyone safer — and is so broken that it can’t be reformed. The nine council members have committed to a year-long engagement process to determine how to replace the city’s broken system of public safety. This timeline puts the issue square in the middle of a city election year.
Continue reading “2021: The “Defund Police” Election in Minneapolis”
We’ve had a lot of time on our hands over the last month and a half. Many of us have spent more time with our electronic devices. Some people have picked up other hobbies. Instead of growing virtual fruit trees in the smash hit life-simulation video game Animal Crossing, Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon has grown a beard.
Continue reading “Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon is Growing a Beard”
People are coming to conclusions about what a pandemic means for cities, transportation, public spaces, and other hot button issues. Turns out they’re drawing the same conclusions as before. Density is deadly. Transit is a petri dish for disease. Bikes are in the way.
Continue reading “Pandemic Teaching Us What We Already Knew About Cities”
Mayor Frey announced Friday that Minneapolis has 81 confirmed cases of Covid-19. When compared to total confirmed infections in Hennepin County (235 at the time the Mayor spoke Friday morning), the city’s rate of positive test results is proportional to the city’s share of the county population.
Continue reading “Minneapolis Has 81 Cases of Covid-19; City Budget Shortfall Projected at $100 to $200 Million”
In a sign of how bizarrely partisan the response to a pandemic has become, Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan called the Minneapolis Park Board communists for closing the city’s beaches through August.
Continue reading “Mpls Park Board Responds to Pandemic; MN GOP Chair Accuses Them of “Extreme Communist” Plot”