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Sunday April 26th 2015
The Independent Business News Network was established in July of 2008. The goal of IBNN is to provide a different view of the local, national and global news and events that happen in the Black communities around the world. IBNN's expectations are to provide a level of coverage and investigative reporting not seen on local mainstream media, while covering Politics, Education, Money, Business, and Community events. IBNN is an affiliate of Black Politics in Minneapolis, Radical Black USA and other African American news sources. Comments, concerns and questions can be emailed to

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Council on Black Minnesotans being weakened

By Mr. Ronald A. Edwards, co-host of The Ron and Don Show on #BlogTalkRadio

Stand with the COBM today. (photo: Fair Use)

Stand with the COBM today. (photo: Fair Use)

Saint Paul, Minn. – In the new movie Selma, Martin Luther King, Jr. works tirelessly to integrate Black Americans socially (education, opportunity), economically (jobs, housing), and politically (voting, holding office). He understood “American” refers not to race, religion or country of origin, but to the ideal of “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…with certain unalienable rights.”

Our leaders have taken their eyes off this prize, turning the Civil Rights Movement into a rewards program for Black “leaders,” not Black communities. On March 8, 2015, this genie of truth was exposed when an “alert” message was sent by Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Executive Director Ed McDonald, identifying House and Senate bills calling for gutting the COBM’s power to look into the issues of diversity, affirmative action, or complaints of violations of the rights of Black Americans in Minnesota.

Mr. McDonald identified the legislation and the sponsors and asked his board to authorize him to file suit in the federal district court in St. Paul. The COBM Board, with the exception of two members, refuses to endorse this legal action.

Do not these actions reflect how Black American leaders and White Liberal leaders (Democrat Farm Labor/DFL Party) contributed to our Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, and how The Dream [became] the Nightmare, as they try to shift blame in their finger-pointing at White Republicans?

For a decade I have written on the failure to integrate Black Americans with White Americans in stadium and arena construction (Twins, Gophers and Vikings). Is not H.F. 1353 and COBM’s refusal to file suit nothing more than an attempt to escape accountability regarding the lack of employment of Blacks on the stadium? Next week we will show in this column that a total commitment has been made by State officials to provide false information regarding the 32 percent participation doctrine. The Human Rights Commission of Kevin Lindsay supports this and is “coincidentally” being rewarded with $2 million in additional dollars for the Commission.

House File 1353 will block COBM’s right to review or retrieve all statistical data and other documentation pertaining to both the construction and procurement of services, goods and supplies, relevant to the construction of the Vikings stadium, whose cost has risen from its original projection of under a billion to $1.4 billion. (How much more and who pays?)

This comes three weeks after I asked COBM Chairman Laurence, on my radio program, to provide the actual figures by April 1, 2015. We heard rumors of retaliation against Chairman Laurence and Executive Director McDonald for stating they would retrieve the true numbers.

This comes on the heels of the Star Tribune retrieving documents and information from a civil rights violation complaint filed by this columnist in 2007 exposing the gross misdemeanor committed by State and City officials. (As of this writing, its findings have not been reported.)

As we have written since 2007, the investigative report is in the archives of the Minneapolis City Attorney. We encourage those interested in justice and fairness to request copies of the complaint and the executive summary issued in early 2008 and referred to in this column on a number of occasions since then.

H.F. 1353, if passed, will bring to an end the investigative powers of COBM as a functioning body within state government. It reminds us of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., as this legislation, if passed, will dismantle the ability to account for promised labor inclusion of Black Americans.

I will continue my efforts to get accurate and correct information released, so help me God.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to To order his books, go

Open Letter to the City of Bloomington, Minnesota: White People can time travel, Black People cannot – A short Memoir

City of Bloomington and Mall of America officials must re-think their racist positions to get the black person(s) that organized the #blacklivesmatter rally and show them who is the boss. This racist legacy has traveled over space and time from slavery. Just put a sign on all the doors that says, “People a shade darker than khaki not welcomed.” Hey, we can always shop online…the Internet is truly colorblind.

By Don Allen, Publisher – The Independent Business News Network

It's 2015..stop with the racist Jim Crow crap. (photo: Don Allen, Founder IBNN NEWS.)

It’s 2015..stop with the racist Jim Crow crap. (photo: Don Allen, Founder IBNN NEWS.)

Bloomington, Minn. – I remember driving to work down highway 77 heading to Eagan, Minnesota in 1985. Every morning before six o’clock I passed by the Met Center and wondering what this plan for a new mega-mall was all about. The radio station I worked for, WAYL-FM thought the new mall was a great opportunity to have events for its listeners…of course I agreed. I watched the turn of events from 1985 to 1989 as the Met Center was demolished and the new mega-mall started to change the city of Bloomington, its people and the state of Minnesota.

Bloomington grew. Hotels, gas stations, small businesses and corporate headquarters seated themselves close to this mecca of shopping, entertainment and great food. A place for international travelers to stop and see this amazing retail wonder, right here in the back yard of Minnesota Nice.

For years the city of Bloomington enjoyed the social capital of people, events and money that came from the Mega-Mall and all it had to offer; Camp Snoopy for the children who I swear in Minnesota, it became a ritual for families to go there every weekend rain or shine; and the entertainment from movies to superstar appearances. The Mall of America brought a piece of international show business to Minnesota’s land of ten thousand lakes. The Mega-Mall was a place where Minnesota’s harsh winters stayed on the outside while those inside the mall could be treated to a hot, tropical, carefree experience of people watching that almost rivaled Times Square in New York City.

Then something happened…

When the light rail was completed – supplying a direct route from the inner city and residents who did not fit the profile of a mega-shopper, things turned to the absurd. Many bus routes already brought teenagers of color to the mall. Mall officials did not brace well for what would happen when the light rail finished. Black and Native American youth flocked to the mall in huge numbers. In my many visits to the mall, I watched as mall security and local police dealt harshly and disrespectful towards these people of Minnesota roots and heritage. It sadden me to come to the realization the Mall of America was for Americans, just not the ones who did not look like those who sat in the boardrooms, planned events or hired the help. Although the mall did have many people of color working, it became obvious that it was okay for a youth of color to be a janitor, punch a ticket for a ride or be hidden somewhere in the depths of this metropolis unseen by the visiting public.

Enter #blacklivesmatter. After the multiple killings of black men all across the United States and what the Mall of America represented as the global retail hub of the world, someone came up with an idea to hold a rally on this property. Once thought of as the pride of Minnesotans, now the MOA, labeled as “private property,” have exposed the hand of big business, racism and continuation of Jim Crow an operant in 2015.

I attest the challenge of MOA is their multi-faceted hatred of people of color. In 2015, there are still places where blacks and those who support blackness should not shop, eat, rally or live. The MOA is one of those places. The delicate white infrastructure, available to only those who comply with the whiteness of the time can fully access the MOA’s virtue. Those of us, driven by the hues of brown, black and red only need but to stop in and leave in wonderment and amazement of this world wonder called the Mall of America.

I know MOA officials in the public relations office are really pissed off at organizers of #blacklivesmatter simply because they got more people to the MOA in one day for a local hometown event than MOA staff have ever done in the lifetime of the MOA. From a business perspective, you should not be trying to prosecute these people…you should be hiring them to build the MOA’s brand, even if it is really for white people only – white here, white now!

Approximately 62 billion of the taxpayers’ dollars is being spent annually on Title IV funding. This same amount could provide for no-costs education for all students of 4-year, technical, and community colleges

Hope and Change needed for the black community. (Photo: Fair Use)

Hope and Change needed for the black community. (Photo: Fair Use)

I hope that you and yours are all doing well.  Please feel free to share this e-mail as you liberally see fit.  About a month ago, I helped a friend of mine who runs her own business simply to support her.  I did not get paid for it.  I did it out of my heart.  I told a different friend of mine and she responded by asking, “why did you do that?”.  Some of us just don’t get it. The difference between the Civil Rights era and modern times, is the people used to support each other – Support is a luxury.  After reading this attached information, would you kindly call the Congressional Black Caucus at 202-263-2800 or access and ask them to “End Title Four funding” and convince a bi-patrician Congress to end this practice that harms hard-working families.  Feel free to call me if you receive any objections from them.


By Eli El – Guest Contributor – IBNN NEWS

The Title IV incentive program should be repealed, ended, enacted as a senate authorized budget. The state allotment of the budget should be based on state populations. There are no reasonable critical success factors established or effective means of ensuring that the efforts are effective. This simply amounts to billions of taxpayers’ dollars going to waste.

Single parenting is a crisis among marginalized families in America. Expenditures of Title IV funds enables a culture of kickbacks, administrative bonuses, and light corruption. The current performance-based IV program incentivizes state not to reasonably rule on shared parenting custody determinations; thus, the program further incentivizes single parent child rearing. Financial institutions treats child support received by the parent as income. In some instances, the custodial parent are reluctant to pursue shared parent due to the possibly of making less income even when the child’s quality-of-life would be enhanced by instituting a shared parenting agreement.

Some families often need IV-D services for basis child support enforcement. This should be just as important as important as education and healthcare. Our President has removed waste, loopholes, and corruption from healthcare. We need to do the same for with taxpayer funding of Title IV. Only a small portion of the yearly 62 billion dollars of federal incentives is actually used as cash assistance and the child support enforcement. As long as people can profit from the waste, loopholes, and corruption of Title IV, there are people to use talking points to prey on the hearts and emotions of compassionate Americans.

Again, President Obama has removed waste, loopholes, and corruption from formerly fraud riddled Medicare and Medicaid services. Any system provide taxpayer funds for serving the underprivileged can be gamed or profiteered by loopholes. Title IV is the worst ever because it also has a social engineering effect the harms marginalized cultures with members of the dominate financially profits from it like that had for Medicare and Medicaid for many years.

There should be a presumption of shared parenting unless the physical safety of the child would be at risk.

State and local officials have put mothers against fathers, daughters against fathers, and sons against mothers and the wasteful and loophole ridden system of Title IV federal incentives of our elected officials enable it to continue. At some point, it has to end.

In today’s global economy, many parents are relocating for work. Child support should be based on a flat rate of 10% of the after taxed income along with 10% of the annual tax return.

No child support order should be issued unless there is a parenting plan in place; unless both parents agree to temporarily forgo visitation proceedings.

During the Civil Rights era, there were many failures in the system that harmed the well-beings of African-American; However, the Rights to Vote the most important. Based on the generational and financial negative impact on African-American families, child support reform should be our priority.

Categories of people who have typically been blocked from profiting from the system are now given money in the form of Title IV grant funds in order to subdue the opponents’ debates for child support reform. The administrative criminalization of America has grown to horrifying levels. The incarceration of African-American men is even more shocking.

The funding of the Title IV was ended and repealed by the ”Deficit Reduction Act of 2005”. Groups who would benefit from light corruption, back-door deals, waste, and loopholes lobbied Congress to re-instate this funding for selfish reasons. This is the biggest waste of money ever in recorded history. It is not covered by the media because too many insiders are making money and politicians are garnering support from it.

The system was setup to benefit the underserved, but it allows to financial benefit. If you had a daughter or son to commit suicide or be killed by the other parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend, then you would understand the urgency of enacting shared parenting. Bureaucrats are not going to change the system as long as it lines their pockets with yearly bonuses and inflated incomes.

Some people oppose Obamacare, because there are no way to game or exploit loopholes. Republicans who choose to game and/or exploit loopholes are fighting for legislation that allows rich people to unreasonably shelter taxable income. Democrats who choose to game and/or exploit loopholes are fighting for legislation that allows for our taxpayer funds to be wasted with little Return on investment (ROI) and opportunities for kickbacks and campaign contributions.

The bottom line is this – American policy makers treat Blacks as second-rate citizens when there is money to be made. Court decisions against shared parenting promotes single parent child rearing that disproportionately harms Black folks for across generations. This also widens the opportunity gap in America. Even some people who read this document actually may financial benefit from the Title IV program. Too many folks {including other Blacks} got their hands in the Title IV cookie jar and simply don’t care about the effect that it has on Black folks. It’s like Black-on-Black crime, but there is no term that I know to adequately describe it. Because of programs like Title IV, Black people are going to continue to lead in every negative statistic in America for many generations.

Is ISIS for Real?

ISIS, America’s Middle East promotional stunt

ISIS is not a threat to the MOA. (photo: IBNN - fair use).

ISIS is not a threat to the MOA. (photo: IBNN – fair use).

By Donald Allen, Publisher – The Independent Business News Network

Every weaponized conflict has its casualties. The reason I am not calling the conflict in the Middle East a war is because in war, someone wins – someone loses. Our soldiers are being disfigured and killed, a high level dark operation seeks to continue a conflict that is not for land, water, or the good of the American People but has become clearly a political effort for dope (the poppy fields of the Middle East), money, oil and regime adjustments. America has been at war for 222 years out of 239 since 1776. It is properly called building an empire, not fighting for freedom. Let that sink in for a moment.

It is time for a comprehensive history lesson that many will not be able to stomach and some would dare call unpatriotic. The information I share with you today is about the grand puppeteer and we the people, Americans, and how we are being played in the Marxist theater by the political one percent to create fear and discord in an effort to overlook the killings of women, children and innocent victims in the name of collateral damage in the Middle East. The United States has been very inconsistent over who our allies are. Those who cooperate get billions in U.S. support (Israel); and those who do not are fed into the public relations machine that spews America-hate-rhetoric made especially for Americans to ingest; and we do…without question.

Remember, this very same thing happened in Vietnam…when America woke up, they loathed our young men who fought and died in the name of the conflict. It seems in the best interest of democracy, the political ruling class via the mainstream media could find a reason to put our American troops in Sweden if need be. As American citizens, we must question authority and use our own personal cognitive rationale to figure out something is very wrong when the media feeds us (like animals) Hollywood-style produced videos of beheadings that beg the question: Are they real, and how are they so well distributed? Also the question we need to ask: Did Christians get beheaded, or were these loyalist to ISIS following the dream of multiple virgins for taking one for the team? Again, what does ISIS want?

When the United States political ruling class thought of President Saddam Hussein and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as allies, there was no room in U.S. vernacular to call them “dictators.”

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent, according to reports from CIA. They were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and did not disclose. U.S. officials have long denied consenting to Iraqi chemical attacks, however, retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture. “The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They did not have to. We already knew,” he told in an interview report to the investigative website Foreign Policy(dot)com.

Graeme Wood, a contributing editor at The Atlantic posted a story asking,  “What does ISIS really want?” The story generated questions of not only the origin of ISIS, but the political intent of organizations branded by the U. S. and international media as terrorists.  Asking what ISIS really wants could be viewed by many as left-wing propaganda telling only one side (the bad side) of ISIS. Not siding with ISIS – but more concerned about why ISIS has been carefully picked to be branded as terrorists in U.S. polls of public opinion –  sans the beheadings , one could argue that ISIS is only a propaganda-driven designer terrorist organization led by the international hand of the CIA, Interpol and MI5. This leads to the question of non-compliance by United States in their over-regular looking the other way in the Middle East, especially as it concerns Israel. The propaganda generating made-for-social media terrorist darling ISIS has benefited from U.S-Middle East collaborations. Having spent billions on Iraq and war on terror for securing its own interests in the region, the U.S. and its allies have been unwilling to admit the devastating 2003 invasion was a mistake with disastrous consequences for the whole Middle Eastern region. ISIS, described by global mainstream media outlets as the world’s most committed and fanatical radical organization has only recently gone by its current name, after the unrecognized Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) was recently proclaimed.

The mainstream media and social media have made ISIS relevant. The New York Times reported on a study done in collaboration with the state department about the use of social media and terrorism has concluded, “Despite repeated attempts by Twitter to thwart the Islamic State’s threats, propaganda and online recruiting by suspending accounts associated with the group, sympathizers have maintained thousands of active accounts on the social network,”  the study said. “The users include a disciplined core group that sends messages frequently and understands how to maximize its impact.”

Yes, ISIS is real, but the origin of ISIS has not been fully explained by the U.S. or ISIS itself. American thinkers must ask if  ISIS was ever a friend to the United States?  Is there clear and present danger to Americans in the Middle East with European roots? Yes. Is Minnesota’s lowly Mall of America an ISIS target? The answer is simply no…the hype the mainstream media has made about MOA and ISIS makes it another great global ‘tourist’ shopping destination.

Let that sink in for a moment.


Auditing for Compliance: Opening Minnesota’s assortment of problems

Tune in Wednesday at 8:30 pm to The Ron and Don Show on #blogtalkradio as we welcome special guest state representatives Rena Moran (St. Paul), and Carolyn Laine (Columbia Heights). Also joining the conversation will be Council of Black Minnesotans chairman of the board Mr. Patwin Lawrence. To listen, click here.

Equal opportunity employer...really?

Equal opportunity employer…really?

 By Don Allen, Founder –


Ms. Rebecca Otto – Minnesota State Auditor could reset the generational blight in Minnesota with one wave of her official pen. This would put Minnesota’s poor and minority-ethnic people back in play. Of course she would make a great Minnesota governor. (photo: fair use)

St. Paul, Minn. – There are a couple of important meanings when we talk about auditing for compliance. The first: A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization’s adherence to regulatory guidelines. Independent accounting, security or IT consultants evaluate the strength and thoroughness of compliance preparations. Auditors review security polices, user access controls and risk management procedures over the course of a compliance audit.

The second: Inspecting a process to determine if proper procedures are being followed.

The Minnesota Department of Administration, MnDOT, Metropolitan Council, both the city of Minneapolis and St. Paul and more state and local governments we attest are out of compliance to the point of necessary criminal and civil resolutions.

While Minnesotans watch national headlines claiming Minnesota’s economic environment is the envy of the country, Minnesota’s poor whites, blacks, Asians, Native Americans and the middle-class have been victimized by structural violence and the lack of compliance that is obvious in the photo above.

Disparity reports, like the one done for the city of Minneapolis only give an insight to comparisons and percentages. An audit, starting with the Minnesota Department of Administration might possibly show the reality of Minnesota’s casual Jim Crow.

State Representatives Rena Moran (DFL) and Carolyn Laine (DFL) and COBM board chairman Patwin Lawrence answer questions about Minnesota’s ethnic councils and why a bill is on the table and how it got there – The Ron and Don Show – Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (CST)

Join co-hosts Ronald A. Edwards (Black Focus) and Don Allen (IBNN) for the award-winning BlogTalkRadio Internet program, “The Ron and Don Show.” (To listen to the program, click here)

An informational hearing on HF 1353 has been scheduled for Thursday May 12, 2015 at 8:15 am. HF 1353 (attached) will eliminate the current operational approach of the Council on Black Minnesotans. Representative Laine represents Columbia Heights and is the author of the bill. COBM Board member Representative Moran and former Board member Mullery are signers on the bill. Senator Pappas

An informational hearing on HF 1353 has been scheduled for Thursday May 12, 2015 at 8:15 am. HF 1353 (attached) HF Representative Laine represents Columbia Heights and is the author of the bill. COBM Board member Representative Moran and former Board member Mullery are signers on the bill. Senator Pappas

By Ronald A. Edwards, Co-Host – The Ron and Don Show

I am happy to announce that state representatives Rena Moran and Carolyn Laine have agreed to have this very important conversation. I am also thrilled to announce that board chairman from the Council on Black Minnesotans Mr. Patwin Lawrence will also join us LIVE on the air on Wednesday night.

Black Minnesotans…we have a challenge. The challenge is finding out what is happening to our elected officials both black and non-black and why Minnesota is at a total standstill as it pertains to collaborations with people outside of the usual suspects. Our biggest concern is the Council on Black Minnesotans and the alleged wing-snipping attempt lead by elected officials who will announce by name on Wednesday night.

The Ron and Don Show is a program with journalist integrity. We are not the programs you hear on Sunday’s on a local public station. We have done our research and do not stutter about facts, events or political processes.

On Wednesday’s program, we will not take sides or attack anyone. We want the community to know what is happening at the state capital and what is in the future for the black Minnesotan.

  • We also ask the question: Is Hennepin County really funding a show on KMOJ-FM? If so, why?

The phone lines will be open….Call in to speak with the host at (347) 426-3904.

; tune in at 8:30 p.m. on this Wednesday by clicking here.

Read the bill HF 1353 here:

UPDATE (3/8/13 @1352) Minnesota state representatives Rena Moran to explain political attacks on the Council of Black Minnesotans – Wednesday, on the Ron and Don Show (8:30 p.m.)

Join the team of The Ron and Don Show as we welcome our very special guest state rep. Rena Moran to explain what some see as attacks on the Council on Black Minnesotans. Don’t miss this program, Wed. at 8:30 pm CST. (View all legislative documents at the bottom of this post.)

Elected officials have declared war on Black Minnesotans. The planning starts today that will remove this cancer from our community. The white representatives who are also towing the party line of the DFL, look to be replaced next time round. (photo: Political foolery and fuckery.)

Elected officials have declared war on Black Minnesotans. The planning starts today that will remove this cancer from our community. The white representatives who are also towing the party line of the DFL, look to be replaced next time round. (photo: Political foolery and fuckery.)

Related stories: FBI, IRS probing Community Action of Mpls., records show

Join the campaign: State Rep. Carolyn Laine: STOP BLOCKING THE BLACK VOICE!

By Don Allen, Founder –

Council on Black Minnesotans board member and state representative Rena Moran has some explaining to do. She, along with representatives Joe Mullery and Carolyn Laine (Columbia Heights) have joined the team of senators Bobby Joe Champion and the controversial Community Action of Minneapolis board member Jeff Hayden to shut down the voice of black Minnesotans through a divisive act of political bullying.

An informational hearing on HF 1353 has been scheduled for Thursday March, 2015 at 8:15 am. HF 1353 (attached) will eliminate the current operational approach of the Council on Black Minnesotans. Representative Laine represents Columbia Heights and is the author of the bill. COBM Board member Representative Moran and former Board member Mullery are signers on the bill. Senator Pappas and Hayden sponsor the senate version of the Bill. There are no other signers at this point on the senate version of the bill.

The “big” issue with the bill is that it strips the Council on Black Minnesotans from monitoring and analyzing the state compliance with equal opportunity and civil rights requirements. As a part of our mandated duties, we reported to the governor and legislative leaders that the state performance in the aforementioned areas was the major contributor to socioeconomic disparities in our community (see attach COBM Legislative Recommendations – pages 1 – 5).

Governor Dayton responded by doing the following:

  • Issued an executive order that creates a council of state departments that he will chair to bring state departments in compliance with affirmative action and contract procurement requirements as it relates to protected class communities,
  • Added $2-million to the budget of the Department of Human Rights, to improve its work with investigating complaints,
  • Hired an executive research professional to recruit professionals of color for executive positions in state government, and
  • Asked the legislature to appropriate funds to add five new staff to the Department of Administration to increase their ability to ensure compliance with equal opportunity laws.

The legislature still needs to approve all these requests by the Governor. However, Representative Laine (DFL) and others have expressed they are upset the council reported on these matters and decided this monitoring and reporting by the council isn’t important and will not support the council’s legislation to have the state auditor do the monitoring (see attached HF 1364 and SF 889) – This is being done with the backdrop of the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Please join us at the hearing to let legislators know this monitoring and reporting cannot go away and retaliation against the Council on Black Minnesotans employees for doing our job is not necessary and maybe illegal under M.S. 181.932. I have also attached the Council expansion legislation (HF 1418) that unify our community and expand our offices into greater Minnesota to better serve our family in those communities.

Republicans take corrective actions to fix Minnesota’s failing public school systems

Teaching Minnesota's students means having the passion to be a success by 5pm.

Teaching Minnesota’s students means having the passion to be a success by 5pm. Count Bassie never fired a band member, they knew when it was time to leave.

The unhealthy totalitarian model of education in Minnesota must be politically broken to be re-built. Minnesota republicans are not the villains; the villain’s are camped out in Roseville.

By Don Allen, Founder – The Independent Business News Network

St. Paul, Minn. – The GOP-led House approved legislation that would require school districts to consider performance, not just seniority, when lying off teachers. Liberal-left critics are outraged because Minnesota republicans are actually taking the necessary actions to correct Minnesota long running 360-degree failures in public elementary education.

Republican Rep. Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie must be praised for her rigor in seeing the need to address performances over seniority. Many educators complain about teacher pay and benefits, Rep. Loon has taken the first step to remove constraints that will increase teacher pay, increase the number of African-American male teachers all while making sure Minnesota’s public school system has teachers with the fire in their eyes returning Minnesota to the top public school system in the United States.

On another note, Minnesota’s senate republicans want immediate change in education. The proposal to split the Minneapolis Public School systems into several smaller school districts is long overdue.

The Star Tribune reported, “Minnesota Senate Republicans want to dismantle Minneapolis Public Schools and create six smaller school districts in an attempt to close one of the state’s largest achievement gaps between white and minority students.”

Senate Minority Leader Hann, said, “This is a way to overhaul a system that has been failing year after year. In order to change results and the achievement gap, you have to think about how to change the system, how do you make it more responsive to the parents that it serves,” Hann said at a news conference.

The Minneapolis Public School system, District 1 has been bogged down in a machine that is exclusive to marginalizing ideas, progress and success. With the schools system dismantled into smaller systems, it would give communities, parents and the overwhelming local educational nonprofits real work to do. Too many education-focused nonprofits have sat idle dependent on the teat of the Minnesota Department of Education for funding. This has created an unhealthy co-dependency that focuses on boutique community engagements and only the mission of paying staff salaries versus paying attention to Minnesota’s public education swirling around the toilet bowl.

The campaign about Minnesota republicans “hurting education” in Minnesota is not true. If you get it, you will understand there is a protected class of educators, community leaders and nonprofits that depend on student’s failure in Minnesota public schools to keep a job. It is time they be smoked out.

The Ron and Don Show: St. Paul City Council candidate Trahern Crews and we answer the question, “Why did local civil rights leaders supply names of gang members to federal officials?”

Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to the Ron and Don Show on BlogTalkRadio hosted by historian, author and journalists Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen. To listen to the program at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night click here.  Call in to speak with the hosts at (347) 426-3904.

 IBNN News Brief

St. Paul City Council candidate Trahern Crews (photo: One4Crews and Crews4One campaign.)

St. Paul City Council candidate Trahern Crews (photo: One4Crews and Crews4One campaign.)

First up tonight: Trahern Crews is a native of St. Paul. He is the Green Party Endorsed Candidate, for St. Paul City Council Ward 1 and Spokesperson for the 4th Congressional District, of The Green Party. Trahern sits on the Summit University Planning Council, and Chairs The Community Improvement/Safety Committee. He is a Father of 3 children, who resides in the Summit-University neighborhood of St. Paul.

Trahern is running to Change the status Quo, with a platform that supports: Cost Of Living Wages, Criminal Justice Reform, Senior Citizen Support Services, Future Focus & Sustainability and Community Improvement/Engagement.

Then we break the news about what happened in Minnesota’s black community and how certain civil rights leaders can operate in the shadows as informants.

Don’t miss this program. The phone lines will be open.

There Are Way Too Many Nonprofits. What Are Funders Going to Do About That?

The nonprofit sector is filled with waste and duplication, and things are getting worse, not better.

Think of any cause and chances are that multiple organizations are tackling it. Innumerable groups work a big area like education, the environment, or democratic reform—jockeying for funding and attention. But even more specific issues such as gun control, animal rights, or science education can also be crowded with different nonprofits pursuing roughly the same mission.

To be sure, each of the groups can tell you exactly why they are different than other places, and often the diversity of groups really does ensure that every angle of an issue is covered. Multiple groups can also feed an echo chamber that helps move an issue, or mobilize different donors and serve different constituencies.

But the waste along the way is simply staggering. That’s because each nonprofit needs a certain level of organizational capacity to get anywhere—starting with an executive director and including staff to handle administration, finance, communications and development. Oh, and don’t forget office space, legal fees, insurance, subscription services, IT systems, and so on. As somebody who helped build a national think tank from scratch, I can attest to just how expensive and time consuming it is to build any sort of basic infrastructure—to say nothing of doing actual programwork.

Meanwhile, the sad fact is that most nonprofits never reach the necessary scale to have the impact they desire. Many reach a level where they’re able to do some good work and sustain operations, but never develop the capacity to break out. The nonprofit sector has too many small organizations that are just getting by, and too few big ones that can really solve problems.

Unfortunately, there aren’t natural incentives in the sector toward consolidation.

In the private sector, entrepreneurs with small businesses have an incentive to sell out to bigger companies, which is a driving force in consolidating markets and creating large corporations that can exploit economies of scale. And an unforgiving bottom line weeds out many smaller, less competitive outifts.

In the nonprofit sector, the incentives are the opposite: No executive director wants their group to merge with another group if it means losing their job, taking a cut in income, or having less autonomy. Which is why few nonprofits merge, except when faced with extinction.

And because metrics of effectiveness are often fuzzy or nonexistent, weak nonprofits can often survive for many years, plodding along doing mediocre work and pulling in just enough money to get by.

Which brings us to the funders, who are deeply implicated in this mess. Foundation grantmaking strategies tend to fuel duplication and fragmentation in the sector. Why? Because many funders dole out their money in scores or hundreds of program grants, and many are terrible at saying “no.” Instead of pushing similar groups to consolidate, some big foundations just fund all of them.

I’m constantly amazed, looking at grants lists, how thinly foundations slice their grantmaking dollars, spreading the money to an absurdly large number of grantees. And I’m not just talking about large foundations; many smaller funders do the same thing, divvying up, say, a $5 million grantmaking budget among 100 groups—with none getting six-figure grants.

Now, if you ran an orphanage, you’d want to stretch your food budget to make sure that every kid gets fed. But if you run a foundation, you want to have impact—even if that means some nonprofits die of starvation.

The good news is that we’re seeing more foundations that understand this, and which make a relatively small number of big grants every year to a handful of organizations they believe can have impact. Many of these foundations are run by living donors with business backgrounds, but not all of them.

I hope that more philanthropists arriving on the scene emulate this model. I’m also hoping that reform will come to big legacy foundations, and they’ll get better at saying no and focusing their money more narrowly and strategically.

One other thing foundations can do is incentivize more mergers by laying out enough money to offset the downsize and, in effect, compensate the losers in such situations.

Related –

It’s a Myth that Funders from the Business World Are Obsessed with Metrics

Control: Why So Many Funders Fear General Support and Can’t Stop Micromanaging

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