Insight News

Feb 11th


From Candidate to Elected Official: How Does a Person Get to the Ballot and Elected to Office?

From Candidate to Elected Official:  How Does a Person Get to the Ballot and Elected to Office?Filing deadlines have passed, endorsement conventions are complete and we are getting ready for the statewide primary election on Tuesday, Aug, 10.   In this week’s column I will address the following questions:  How did the candidates get on the ballot?  What is the party nomination and how is that different from party endorsement? 

Minnesota has three major political parties, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) , the Republican Party (GOP), and the Independence Party (I).  Minnesota has one minor party, the Green Party.  All remaining political parties are, in fact, political committees. 

New Federal Program funded for the community to report non-compliant sex offenders

Sex Offender Registration Tips (SORT)

Parents For Megan's Law and the Crime Victims Center (PFML/CVC) announced the expansion of their Sex Offender Registration Tips Program (SORT) to include communities in Minnesota.

The agency is now providing parents and community members across Minnesota two interactive resources, the agency Megan’s Law Helpline, (888) ASK-PFML, and their website ( to report registered sex offenders who are believed to be out of compliance with registration requirements, employment restrictions, conditions of probation or parole or who are in positions of trust where they have access to potential child victims.

Despite murder, film signals game change

Two events last week made indelible impressions on our perception of our neighborhood and our people. One was the tragic murder of a young man, who according to published reports, was a gentle fellow, whose presence enriched the lives of all who knew him. The other event was viewing the new Karate Kid movie starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, a coming of age tale produced by Jaden’s parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The June 11 murder, the city's 22nd homicide of the year, was brazen and senseless. A shooter hid between two houses on Thomas Avenue in North Minneapolis and fired into a crowd of young men in the alley  across the street. The alley, between Plymouth Avenue and Farwell Place, separates Homewood Apartments, the twin buildings facing Thomas Avenue and Sheridan Avenue  with a commons courtyard between them and the residences on Farwell.

The Diaper Drive hosts first metro-wide diaper collection on Dad’s Day

To celebrate Dad’s day… and to help eliminate the diaper gap in the social services network, on Sunday, June 20 from 12 to 4 pm, volunteers with The Diaper Drive will collect donations at designated Rainbow Food Store locations across the metro area.

As a rising number of Minnesota families struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, households with young children face the added burden of providing diapers, an often-overlooked expense that is not covered by food stamp or WIC (Women, Infant & Children) programs.

Low-income parents who are struggling to become financially independent cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at childcare centers. Without access to daycare, parents are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis. This in turn leads to increased economic instability and a continual cycle of poverty.

Juneteenth commemoration law recently signed into law

Juneteenth commemoration law recently signed into lawA bill calling for an official proclamation by the Governor to commemorate Juneteenth was recently signed into law by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Authored by State Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-58B) and by State Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-58), the new law creates an opportunity for the governor to issue a proclamation recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth.

“On a day when people of all races, nationalities and religions from across the country join hands to acknowledge a period in our history that continues to shape our society today, it’s fitting that the leader of our state weighs in to help us reflect, remember and continue to move forward in a positive way,” said Champion following the bill’s passage.

Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Set for the third Saturday in June, it recognizes the public pronouncement of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was read for the first time publicly in Texas. The announcement came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender in April 1865.

Anti-Muslim attacks at Minnesota public schools reported

Anti-Muslim attacks at Minnesota public schools reportedThe U.S. Department of Education has agreed to look into possible civil rights violations at two Minnesota public schools, after a group based in St. Paul filed complaints against the two districts.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the complaints in March, saying Somali and Muslim students were harassed about their race and religion.

These included name-calling, vulgar language, derisive comments about Muslim traditions and obscene gestures, threats on Facebook and the refusal of a school bus driver in St. Cloud to pick up Muslim students at bus stops.

Taneeza Islam, civil rights director for CAIR, a Muslim advocacy organization, said the organization is pleased that a neutral body will look into its complaints.

The Saint Paul Foundation receives $1.8 million grant to fight racism in Minnesota

The Saint Paul Foundation receives $1.8 million grant to fight racism in MinnesotaThe Saint Paul Foundation’s Facing Race We’re All in This Together initiative received a grant of $1.8 million to expand its Saint Paul-focused anti-racism work to the entire state of Minnesota. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded grants to 119 organizations as part of its America Healing initiative to support racial equity and healing.

“Our community has some very stark racial disparities, and racism has played a very real and insidious role in creating these imbalances,” said Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of The Saint Paul Foundation. “Discomfort about racism prevents us from moving the conversation about racism forward. We are grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for the generous funding that enables us to share the Facing Race dialogue program throughout Minnesota with individuals, organizations and communities that are committed to undoing racism.”
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