Monday August 8th 2022

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Raise Your Voice: Reporting Back In


June 14…

A co-activist with the Minneapolis Regional Retirees Council knew the bus route. We traveled a good length of Bloomington Avenue before ultimately arriving at 4th and Hennepin for a demonstration at Xcel energy headquarters. MN350 and Sierra Club had combined to produce a splendid multi-racial/multiple-nationality gathering. Xcel was denounced in English and Spanish for being a private utility, guilty of “extraction from nature and the public.”

Quiz question: When “power to the people” is truly realized, what industry is first on the list to be socialized?

In hand that day was an article printout from the PEOPLE’S WORLD with the caption: “Trumpite Postmaster DeJoy sued over huge gas guzzler buy.” The USPS desperately needs to refurbish one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world. However, if DeJoy is allowed to have his way, these will not be modern electric trucks produced in a union shop in Wisconsin. No, they will be gas and diesel vehicles produced in a nonunion shop in South Carolina. Several key activists are now familiar with this article. So, we shall see.

From the Clean Transportation website of MN350:

“Air pollution caused by vehicles is the United States’ biggest single contributor to global warming. It’s responsible for up to an estimated 4,000 annual deaths in the Twin Cities alone, and disproportionately affects the young, old, low-income, and communities of color.”

Sound familiar?

Our East Phillips Urban Farm Community Coalition grasps the core truth of the matter. Dear neighbors, the proposition that the concentration of pollution in low-income communities is cost effective is false. Period.

Truthfully, our city’s public works fleet would operate with greater efficiency if deployed from three sites: 1) the empty acreage north of the MSP airport, 2) a warehouse in Northeast MPLS, 3) ditto for the Northside. Decentralization would save gas, the loss of wages to and from sites, and would mitigate pollution. Dear leaders, please, do the math and grant this community a vision of hope.

Quiz question number two: after socializing the production of electricity, what sector of the economy should be socialized next?

Hint: the answer is related to agriculture and the forging of an alliance with farmers and rural communities. Look for next month’s column!

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