Minority Women and Diverse Business Oversight Committee – Minneapolis Public Schools District Headquarters – Where’s the Community Benefit Agreement?
Mortenson Construction and the Minneapolis Public Schools don’t have a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) from any community organization in north Minneapolis. The free-market, free will development process has been seen far to often from developers coming into the community. Both Mortenson and the MPS have formed oversight committees in an effort to collaborate with the usual north Minneapolis taste-makers. Just a note to the wise, “A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Mortenson and the Minneapolis Public Schools could keep North High School open indefinitely – but nobody thinks like that.”
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/October 11, 2010)…At first look, you would think that Mortenson Construction would benefit from having a clear and understandable Community Benefits Agreement with north Minneapolis in developing jobs and future economic stimulus as it pertains to the construction of the Minneapolis Public Schools District Headquarters – but that’s not the case.
Chairman Mort Mortenson sums it up: “There is no greater gift we can give others than our time and treasure. We do so enthusiastically, with a smile on our face and delight in our eyes.” These smiles, mostly White, have failed to ask, or in this case insist on having a Community Benefits Agreement with north Minneapolis.
Community members are still curious about the involvement of Catalyst Community Partners and Stu Ackerberg – one in the same. MPS School board member T. Williams, who is also running for re-election has told IBNN NEWS that, “The District (MPS) will not own the physical building for 20 year.” Our question, “Then who will own the new headquarters?”
Sources tell IBNN NEWS that Mortenson has organized a group of community “spokespersons” to monitor the minority hiring on the school districts headquarters but no official press release or returned phone calls from communication point person Lynn Littlejohn. “What firm will this community group hire to monitor the workforce? This is not an eye-ball job.”
The Minneapolis Public Schools has formed the Minority Women and Diverse Business Oversight Committee. This committee’s duty is to monitor the new district headquarters among other responsibilities. No clear mission for this group has come out of the MPS.
In a phone interview today with James Burroughs, Director of Equity and Diversity for the Minneapolis Public Schools – District 1 told BNN NEWS the names of the members of this ad-hoc group. Read the rest of this entry »
Editors note: This story was originally published by Ronald A. Edwards on The Minneapolis Story website and in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder Newspaper on June 11, 2008 Column #21. Mr. Edwards gives IBNN NEWS full permission to republish this story. What happened to “Arms around North High School?” (See video below)
“Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues…”
by Ronald A. Edwards – The Minneapolis Story/Black Focus/ON POINT!
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS)…Shut the doors. Close the building. Burn it to the ground. However it is done, the result is the same: Kill a community by taking away its schools to force the citizens to move.
That is what we face with the rumors-made-fact that North High School, a symbol of significant pride within the African American community, is on the chopping block. The road is being paved for Blacks to move out and Whites to move in, beginning the process of disappearing another Black community and adding to the other great disappearance, Hollman/Heritage Park.
We got a hint of this when the ambitious plan to streamline the Minneapolis education system started with the physical facilities.
The schools to close? North Side. The schools to continue? South Side. The North Side’s protests were brushed aside.
Despite the one absolute that North High would not be touched, the suspicion lingered that this was not true. Until now, there was no smoking gun, no proof. Also, the community was still healing from a very irresponsible statement by an elected politician who said the school should be burned down. That began the watch for other indicators that something was in play.
Telltale indicators began to pile up: a very popular principal going to a suburban high school called Cooper; little discussion about programs for the future; the changing in North High’s boundaries; the move of Area Superintendent Ben Perry, positioned to guarantee North High’s safety, who received and accepted the offer to be the superintendent in West Memphis, Arkansas; and the nearly 100-year-old Henry High at the far north end of Minneapolis being designated as the school to receive a significant influx of students from within North’s former enrollment boundaries.
All this worked to shrink the enrollment of North High School. The final smoking gun was the purposeful transferring out of students from North High.
Last week, I put the question of North’s closing to Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bill Green at a meeting at the Minneapolis Urban League. Although the superintendent indicated that North was not about to be closed, he also offered no guarantees for how long it would stay open.
One of the protocols used for a number of closings in North Minneapolis a year ago was the shrinking enrollment that allegedly rendered schools no longer economically feasible to keep open. The same rationale was made for Jordan Park and W. Harry Davis, schools less than five years old at the time of their closings.
Of course, there is a different standard for the enrollment protocol when you talk about those schools in predominantly White neighborhoods in the southern part of the city.
The forecast is that North represents a registration of 530 for this September. Sources deep inside the school system indicate the number is closer to 400 and slipping fast.
Now, procedure says that if the board prepares for another round of school closings, or just the closing of an institution with a great tradition such as North High School, the public has a right to know, and the affected community certainly has a right to express its opinion, be it in support or in opposition.
The rumor of the demise and closing of North High School raises the ugly question of a continued program of gentrification, very racial in nature, for moving Blacks out and Whites in. In this way, an area of “valuable city real estate” is being cleansed of its working-class residents, a process whereby upscale (mostly White) settlers move into rundown (mostly minority) neighborhoods.
We wrote of the gerrymandering of Ward Five in our first book. Now the school district is being gerrymandered. It is no accident that there have been 1,600 foreclosures in North Minneapolis, which could reflect approximately 800 K-12 students.
Our communities of color need guarantees that this gentrification done in the name of “progress” will not be the order of the day, especially when all citizens of Minneapolis will be asked to support another referendum. Will the Black community’s leadership again remain silent?
“It’s Sunday, October 10, 2010. Now is the perfect time to seek out a candidate to run for office in Ward 5 and defeat Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels. His evident lack of concern for the Black community is further peaking by his silence about issues concerning people of color in north Minneapolis.”
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/October 10, 2010)…IBNN NEWS broke the story on Saturday, October 8, 2010 about the proposed closing of Minneapolis’ North High. The Boogeyman has been hard at work sealing the fate of North High School.
This has everything to do with race.
The Samuels (Don and Sondra), the Polad Foundation, Northway Community Trust, PEACE Foundation, NAZ and the rest of the tenants at the 1200 building are set to facilitate the gentrification of north Minneapolis with people who don’t look like them – but they feel more comfortable doing deals with their White constituents while Black Minneapolis suffers at the hand of a bad process from Boogeyman collaborations.
Mortenson Construction’s Lynn Littlejohn and the Minneapolis Public Schools District 1 still refuse to answer the question “Who will own the new district headquarters after construction.” This statement came out of MPS board member T. Williams mouth at a recent forum - he also confirmed that the MPS had not paid back a loan and that after the new headquarters was complete, the District would not own the building for 20 years. In a Minnesota Data Privacy request for information sent to Minneapolis Public Schools Dan Loewenson to answer the ownership question has not received a response. There’s growing community concerns about conflicts of interest and ethnics violations from the MPS, a local IRS 501(c)3 agency and a current city councilman.
The School District and Mortenson have the answers to put the puzzle together but remain silent.
This brings another issue into play. Why hasn’t the Northside Achievement Zone or NAZ worked on the problems in public education in their own back yard? IBNN NEWS also reported “Federal Promise Neighborhoods Grant bypasses Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), as it should!” on September 21, 2010. Like CeaseFire-Chicago, the federal grant committees realized with in-depth investigation the Peace Foundation and NAZ might have some conflicts within the organizations bordering on some alleged corruption. The grant package from NAZ (and the PEACE Foundation) wasn’t convincing enough to warrant any federal funding. NAZ nor the PEACE Foundation had a strong case for funding with the current rejections of collaborations by both (or one) organization which has a group of skewed thinking operators, including the Polad Foundation at 1200 West Broadway Avenue North.
The Northside Achievement Zone website says, “Minnesota’s achievement gap is consistently among the largest in the nation, with arguably the most significant impact hitting in North Minneapolis. Through the coordinated effort of over 60 organizations and schools in NAZ (Why not Minneapolis’ North High?), the gap will be closed and replaced with a culture of high achievement. Schools in the Zone are committing to have high expectations for all kids and strategies are being developed to improve outcomes. Organizations are seeing themselves, regardless of their individual missions, as conduits for supporting achievement and as key parts of a seamless pipeline of services and opportunities propelling kids to college starting at birth. And, parents and neighbors are working side by side to set and move on achievement plans for entire families in NAZ.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Is a north Minneapolis publisher dealing in development and education deals? How is it no one has read, or gotten an update on the trip to Chicago to visit a super charter school? In a blink of an eye, Black Minneapolis can lose some valuable real estate – yes real estate. The kids are not learning at North High, the MUL is ineffective – all that’s left is real estate. Pay close attention to the upcoming articles in the Star Tribune newspaper.”
By Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/October 9, 2010)…In breaking news, sources tell IBNN NEWS and the National Research Institute (Kansas City, MO) that Minneapolis Public School Superintendent Johnson is planned to announce the formal recommendation originally scheduled for October 19, 2010, now moved to Tuesday, October 12, 2010 – 6 p.m. at the MPS board meeting to propose shutting the doors of Minneapolis’ North High School.
In more breaking news, sources tell IBNN that the Minneapolis Urban League is in financial ruins. MUL president Scott Gray, who by the way has not changed his vehicles license plates to Minnesota plates, is frustrated over the lack cordial and diplomatic relationships of the people who brought him to Minneapolis.
Gray’s process has led to the unemployment line and forced retirement for many MUL staffers. The arrogance of the upper-management and some board members is sure to crash the agency within less than six months. MUL president Scott Gray is not willing to reach out those with the intellectual properties needed to keep the agency afloat, nor has Gray convinced local Foundations that he’s a leader in the community. At some point, likened to a train wreak, Gray needs to call in the real troops and stray far away for ad-hoc board members that haven’t had a fundraiser for the organization in more that 5 years.
The hidden agenda of closing both Black skewed organizations developed from a plan of a “few” north Minneapolis political and community spokespersons that have benign neglect for the community – but seem to benefit financially despite the needs of the community.
If you recall, a story in the Insight News written by MUL board member and Insight News publisher Al McFarlane on Monday, 27 September 2010 titled, “Urban League suspends operation of residential group home,” with the rationale for suspending the operations, “The Urban League said the decision is “directly related to the lack of referrals from Hennepin County.” This proves to be untrue. Read the rest of this entry »
ON POINT! Politics, Star Tribune misleading numbers and stories on Minneapolis’ homicides with the Downtown Minneapolis YMCA and Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights big mistake
Join co-hosts Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen on Saturday at 4 p.m. (CST) for Black Talk Radio on BlogTalkRadio for the next episode of ON POINT!
On Saturday’s show, Ron and Don will discuss the significant mismanagement of stories and numbers coming out of the Star Tribune newspaper about time-lines and why a Black man was released from North Memorial Hospital with broken bones and head injuries that later died in his home – along with the surrounding circumstances in that event.
The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights keeps itself on the radar. Director Velma Korbel has frozen civil rights in Minneapolis. IBNN NEWS will break information about the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the future of the Investigative Unit.
Special guest, candidate Andy Noble is running in an important race for Ramsey County Commissioner against a tax-and-spend DFL incumbent Rafael Ortega. He’s been in office now for 16 years, and raised his pay $23,000 over the past 36 months! He now makes $84,048 per year for a PART-TIME job. Noble says, “I’m running to put an end to this. The highest property taxes in the 11-county metro, out-of-control spending, and no vision in Saint Paul or Ramsey County leadership for creating jobs and expanding our tax base, keeping business here while helping them grow, and eliminating the visibly high amount of foreclosures and economic blight in Ramsey County.”
ON POINT! is a :90 minute call talk radio program on BlogTalkRadio. We invite listeners to tune in on their home computers, laptops or Smartphone devices by copying and pasting the following link in your Internet search browser: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ibnnnews/2010/10/09/on-point-black-talk-radio-on-blogtalkradio – the call in number is (877) 572-4288
In 2008, the Northside Marketing Task Force appointed a board of directors to establish a plan of action to change the perception of North Minneapolis. In 2010, the Northside Marketing Task Force has not developed, implemented a plan or been seen in North Minneapolis. The North Minneapolis Public Relations Task Force is an opportunity for a new beginning that will seek out community stakeholders to begin a process that will create a top-of-mind awareness for North Minneapolis. The Task Force encourages you to RSVP on our Facebook event page here.
A Public Service Announcement from IBNN NEWS
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/October 7, 2010)… On Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. community members from all walks of life are invited to Sunnyside Deli and Café located at 1825 Glenwood Avenue North in Minneapolis for a meeting to form the North Minneapolis Public Relations Task Force. Our goal it to assist in changing the perception of North Minneapolis and other Twin Cities areas in need of marketing, advertising and public relations.
One of the many missions of this volunteer group, later to be filed as a non-profit entity is to open diplomatic and cordial lines of conversations with federal, state and local departments to see the importance of information distribution by other than traditional means. Also, this will give the organization an opportunity to show residents, community stakeholders and the political infrastructure there are people in the community that use sound business practices with documentation and follow-through.
This is not a political PAC, nor does the North Minneapolis Public Relations Task Force support and political party or politician. The Task Force will lobby local lawmakers to insure fair distribution of city funds for projects with a solid plan of community engagement while pointing out discrepancies with plans that create waste or favor a particular organization that has not produced successful measurable outcomes.
Our mission and proposed activities:
- To address and inform north Minneapolis residents on upcoming construction and development projects and how it affects the community.
- To develop and enforce a “blanket” Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for north Minneapolis.
- Monitor hiring compliance for all residents in area codes 55411 and 55405 for projects in progress or in the planning phase for North Minneapolis.
- Tracking new 501(c)3′s developed in north Minneapolis and publish information to the general public about the organization.
- Create a north Minneapolis Business Directory that is active and current.
- Develop and implement a 1 year phased marketing plan to promote North Minneapolis to the greater Twin Cities.
- Invite community members to contribute news and information to the Task Force Blog.
We invite journalists, bloggers, marketing, public relations and non-profit development personnel to the table. Our first meeting is at Sunnyside Restaurant because it is important for this Task Force to support and promote small business.
For more information, please email IBNN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IBNN NEWS and its affiliates offer the diverse communities of Minnesota to get important news and information as it happens. The V-News Network, with over 400,000 media distribution points and over 40,000 RSS feeds assures your organizations important news and information will be delivered via the World Wide Web with high SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings. “Don’t get your news a week after an event.”
Minneapolis/St. Paul (IBNN NEWS/October 7, 2010)…The University of Minnesota’s Business and Community Economic Development held their 2010 Construction Expo today in Coffman Unions Great Hall on the East Bank of the U of M campus.
This event provides a continued opportunity for businesses in the construction trade, large and small to network and develop relationships that will last a lifetime.
The theme of this years Expo is, “Building Partnerships.”
Exhibitors included the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors, Thor Construction, Target Commercial Interiors and many more participate with this successful event.
The event opened with remarks by Kathleen O’Brien, Vice President of University Services and D. Craig Taylor, Director, Business and Community Economic Development.
Later in the day, a Light Rail Presentation was presented to the participants of the Expo.
For more information about the Business and Community Economic Development, visit their website here.
“We can be victims of other peoples games or masters of our own destiny.” ~Pimps and Hoes
With less than a month left until the November elections, the MN GOP and 5th Congressional Republicans must tell GOP endorsed congressional candidate Joel Demos to send his supports to another candidate – he’s not going to win.
In politics, a sacrificial lamb candidate is a candidate chosen to contest an election despite the fact that he or she has little chance of victory. The political party thus appoints the person as a sort of “sacrifice” to the stronger opponent. For Demos and the Republicans it’s like, “Here, raise some money, place some lawn signs out and make it look like your running. The real truth is, we don’t like Blacks or other minority-ethnics (except for Carlton Crawford), and we will absolutely not go into their community – hell, we don’t have nothing for them anyway.”
In some cases fielding a sacrificial lamb candidate can serve as an opportunity for the party to be more creative in choosing a candidate than would normally be considered acceptable in a race. For instance Joel Demos’ already failed attempt in 2010 to campaign against DFL incumbent Keith Ellison shows that the 5th Congressional District Republicans like to “go through the motions” of an election cycle without a clear and defined plan of action or outreach. Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday, October 7, 2010 at North Commons Park located at 1801 James Avenue North in Minneapolis the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) will hold a community forum to address Juvenile Justice concerns in Hennepin County.
A public service announcement from IBNN NEWS
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS/October 6, 2010)…Many cities and counties across the country face a crowding crisis in secure detention facilities, a result of inappropriate and unnecessary confinement of youth. In the decade before JDAI was launched, detention populations increased by more than 70 percent, even though there was no corresponding increase in juvenile crime. By the beginning of the 1990’s, two out of every three youth admitted to secure detention was entering a place that was crowded, that could not provide the kinds of custody and care that case law and professional standards require. Less than a third of youth in detention were charged with violent crimes. Indeed, as many youth were in detention for violating rules (e.g. technical probation violations) as were there for serious crimes. And, by 1995, almost two-thirds of detained youth were youth of color, a percentage that was disproportionate to both their percentage in the general population and their percentage of youth arrested.
On Thursday, October 7, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. join the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) for a Community Forum on communication and collaboration about Juvenile Justice in Hennepin County.
JDAI coordinator Jerald A. Moore will cover the following topics: Read the rest of this entry »
IBNN NEWS, Black Focus and BlogTalkRadio’s ON POINT present the unadulterated version of voter education, outside of the realm of the two-party corporate campaigns. Hosts Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen provide you with front-row seats, offering a comprehensive window into the ideas and policy initiatives proposed by three of the five candidates running for Congress in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/ON POINT/Black Focus-October 5, 2010)…With a possible 80,000 viewers tuning in tonight to watch the Minnesota 5th Congressional District Debate, you would think that the GOP-endorsed congressional candidate would show up. But if he doesn’t, that’s okay with us.
Tonight on Minneapolis Television Network, an unprecedented event will take place. We will have appearances by three of the candidates running for congress in the 5th CD, each of them independent of affiliation with the major parties.
Incumbent Congressman Keith Ellison has unfortunately declined our invitation, citing an important vote in Congress. GOP-endorsed candidate Joel Demos is putting out lawn signs with his campaign manager, and therefore has neither accepted nor declined our request.
Our confirmed participants are Lynne Torgerson (Stateswomen); Michael Cavlan (Independent Progressive) and Thomas Schrunk (Independence Party).
This LIVE broadcast will take place on three platforms: Minneapolis Television Network, Channel 17 (Minneapolis only); BlogTalkRadio’s ON POINT! (Click here for live simulcast)– and a LIVE streaming broadcast from the web on Minneapolis Television Network – LIVE streaming website (Click here for live simulcast) or copy and paste http://livestream.com/mtnstudios on your Internet browser.
The pre-show starts on BlogTalkRadio at 6 p.m. We’ll have behind-the-scene interviews with the participating candidates. The LIVE televised broadcast and web stream start at 7 p.m.
Limited seating is available in our studio audience. Please send an email to email@example.com to reserve in-studio seating for this event.