Category: Governance

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

transit riders

Five Facets of Recovery from COVID-19

“It [the pandemic] is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready […]

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Car Subsidy as a Cost-Recovery Measure for St. Paul: Time to CARPe Diem

The Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) recently passed by the St. Paul City Council is an excellent, and necessary, first step to move St. Paul toward a sustainable future. You can read the plan here. Making the plan’s vision a reality will require developing many specifics that the plan does not flesh out. It’s […]

Chart of the Day: Federal HUD Funding for Saint Paul, 1978 – 2019

Here’s a chart that just happens to almost perfectly coincide with my lifespan. It shows the amount of Federal HUD dollars that have been spent in Saint Paul over the last 40 years. As you can see, there is something of a trend. The three lines represent three different pots of money: Community Development Block […]

Parking Validation: What If I Don’t Drive?

You’ve probably been offered parking validation, as I have, at restaurants, grocery stores — even the county Human Services office where I receive benefits (while working three jobs and freelancing on the side).  But what if, like me, you don’t have a car? Which of these places will validate your visiting them by riding transit, […]

Trump Pence

Manufacturing Consent: A Timeline of Policing and Propaganda in Minneapolis

[content warning/trigger warning: gun violence, police violence, murder, anti-Black and anti-Native abuse, r*pe, assault] 1821 The Metropolitan Police Department, the first municipal police force in the world, is created in London. The first American police force forms in Boston 17 years later. 1867 Minneapolis incorporates and the City Council establishes the Minneapolis Police Department, which […]

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What Does Greta Thunberg Want?

If you have a pulse, you can’t have missed the demonstrations that Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg has been organizing around the world. Whether you call it Global Warming, Climate Change, or, lately, the Climate Emergency, our changing climate is what she is organizing schoolchildren globally to protest about on Fridays. Most people have a favorable […]

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Minneapolis Needs Better Street Design, but Minnesota Needs Better Enforcement

A few weeks ago Our Streets Minneapolis published a statement of their position on the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan, drawing attention for their view that they did not support greater enforcement of traffic laws. Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s 2020 proposed budget includes funding for a reconstituted traffic enforcement unit with three additional officers, a […]

Streets Money In Hand

Reform Security Deposits on Tenants’ Behalf

Any tenant who has had a landlord illegally withhold their security deposit or whose landlord has refused to make required repairs can tell you there is a lot more to the legal system than what is written in the state statutes or city ordinances. A law may say you have certain rights. But it’s another […]

Appeals vs race and education

Who’s Filing All These Property Valuation Appeals?

Every Spring in Minneapolis, Nextdoor.com blows up when the annual property assessments went out. Many neighbors ask questions and give tips on how to convince the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County that the real estate they own is actually less valuable than the assessor thinks. I should probably point out that there are some […]