Archive | Advocacy

I Got Kicked Out of My House — You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

I got kicked out of my house a month ago.  I was renting a little three bedroom house tucked into the armpit of a highway in southwest Saint Paul. I paid my rent on time and did all the repairs the house needed myself as things broke. I’d bill for the repair out of my […]

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Competitive Cycling versus Cycling as Cultural Evolution: Musing on the Tour de France

I have to be honest:  I have always struggled with the Tour de France.  I’ve always hated how during the tour it seems every wannabe racer with a carbon road bike gets out on the bike paths and treats all the other people like they are guests in their own homes. But in spite of […]

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Housing is (Not) a Human Right

One of the more popular ways for progressive candidates to excite a crowd or for pro-housing advocates to frame their arguments is to assert “Housing is a human right.” We should stop saying this, and call out candidates when they say it. It’s a lie. Housing isn’t a human right—at least not in practice. I […]

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Real Public Engagement

In a recent post, Jason Brisson highlights the conflict between “top-down” planning, where experts provide the direction for a project, and “bottom-up” planning, where community members drive (ha, ha, drive, get it?) the project. I do not think this is an either/or issue where technocrats tell a community what it needs versus a community, no […]

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Should City Planners Let People Kill Themselves?

This question is implied or encroached upon in nearly every modern planning conversation, but is not as often discussed directly. I think we should acknowledge it and talk about it openly. I will discuss this question in the context of the model city planners refer to as “bottom-up” city planning, give an example and then briefly […]

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Lightrailing While Brown is Our Issue

Being undocumented and in public is a precarious place to be. As transit advocates, we need to step up. I cannot speak on behalf of non-Western European immigrants. But I know this: what Ariel Vences-Lopez experienced on May 14 on the Metro Transit light rail is exactly what transit equity advocates have been fearing. This […]

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The Progressive Case for Up-Zoning Minneapolis

I love living in Minnesota, the Twin Cities, and mostly Minneapolis. The core of our state offers so many opportunities to so many different kinds of people. But for too long, urban progressives – the type of people who vote overwhelmingly for liberal candidates and causes election after election – have waged a mostly winning […]

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HF499: An Email Exchange with Duane Quam

A lot of ink has been spilled over state Representative Duane Quam’s proposed bill HF499 requiring “urban bicycle lane permits” in order to ride in a bike lane. The full text of the bill can be found here. Lots of people in the cycling community wrote, called or met with him. Many wrote columns, blog […]

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