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Posts Tagged ‘Linda Berglin’

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor, Has the electoral process withered while our legislators balked at compromise? The resignation of Senator Linda Berglin opens a seat to be filled by a special election.  The first campaign candidates”' forum at the Mercado Central August 26 brought up some traditional and newfound issues.  The citizens of Senate District 61 will decide by their votes which way to turn as we come to this fork in the road. Are the Minnesota legislators to remain in their traditional role of part-time service to the common good? Or are we headed on the path toward professional career politicians using the legislative process as a staging platform by which to create their next higher opportunity?  Infotainment has become a business.” Take a look and ask the questions.  Are media staff persons really jackals, as Governor Jesse Ventura liked to say?  “Is politics as usual ”really dead and buried?  Has governor Pawlenty”'s “no new taxes” pledge been saved by the Republican mantra of “no new compromise?”'” These antics brought us to a government shut-down.  With this in mind, we must ask what are the needs of SD 61, and where is the political talent to match our issues and concerns?  We begin the first post shut-down election with one major party candidate, DFL Representative Jeff Hayden.  Where are the others?” But this is not to be a one candidate contest.  ordinary Minnesota citizens ready and able to step up.  They and their supporters raised important questions, and they did so with honest and integrity.  They have the shellacking our politicians rightfully deserve.” Alas, just one candidate had the technical knowledge of the electoral process to jump the DFL gate and be nominated to oppose Jeff Hayden at the DFL endorsement contest.  Does this mean the Party rules are serving us, or are they too much of a barrier?” These and [...]

Sen. Linda Berglin retires from MN Senate and “Bridges” to County Health System

By Sen. Linda Berglin, Senator from District 61, “I have taken a job with Hennepin County that excites me because it will give me the opportunity to improve outcomes for many of the people I have served in the legislature. It also means I will be part of the effort to help Hennepin County and its partners succeed in implementing heath care reform. This does mean however, now that the state budget has been resolved, that I will be resigning my seat in the State Senate effective August 15, 2011. I want to take this opportunity to thank my constituents who have sent me to the legislature for many years. It has been rewarding for me to work on public policy that has improved the lives of many Minnesotans. I have had the opportunity also to work with many organizations that have helped me learn so much. Some of the highlights of my career include working on health care cost containment and access to affordable health care, mental health reforms to help people be served in the community, jobs for people with disabilities as well as single parents, pay equity for state and local government employees, community-based services to help frail elderly stay in their homes, and improved quality of child care. During the last six months, I have felt that my talents and skills have been underutilized in the Minnesota Senate.  As I see so much of what I have worked on over the years being chipped away or repealed entirely, I worry that our state is moving away from the community spirit that has made us such a great place. In the future, there will be others in the legislature and the Dayton administration who will step up to the plate to do the unfinished work of health care reform, as well as standing up for the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. I look forward to continuing to use what I have learned in the legislature and to continue learning as I work now at the ground level to make policies I have worked on at the state level work for [...]

Beyond Wisconsin

by Peter Molenaar March 13, 2011”¦ There were pleasant greetings between the handful of neighborhood folk who attended the most recent rally in Hudson. David Bicking was there. His handmade sign read: “Labor Creates All Wealth”. In jest, I pondered out loud, “Oh, I thought ownership of the means of production created wealth.” And then, yet another great semi-truck roared beneath our occupied overpass. Honk. Honk. Honnkkk”¦ Are public workers being unjustly scape-goated? Well, for starters, millions of good paying American jobs have been shipped overseas. And then came huge tax breaks for super-wealthy people in a time of war. To which we must add some wildly irresponsible Wall Street speculations and sub-prime mortgage schemes which culminated in a $700 billion bailout. You be the judge. My own handmade sign read simply: “Tax the rich”. Some long ago training as a draftsman found a nice expression. Requests for photo poses were many. Smile. In today”'s world, just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined””more loot than the combined assets of 155 million people. Or, to slice it in a different way, 20% of America owns 85% of the country”'s wealth. Clearly, public workers are in the category of “the people”””the 80% which owns a mere 15% . Therefore, the attacks against these workers are an absolute disgrace. Note: Wisconsin teachers average about $46,000 a year””top hedge fun managers “earn” $48,000 per hour. (more…)

On The FBI Raids

by Peter Molenaar The basic facts: The FBI raided five homes and an anti-war office on September 24, 2010.  Federal grand jury subpoenas were handed to nine local activists.  The activists include eight women and one man ranging in age from 29 to 71.  Four are parents of children ranging in age from 18 months to 6 years of age.  One is a great-grandmother.  Six are members of labor unions.  All have been involved in international solidarity and peace work for many years.  They are friends and neighbors to each and every one of us. So, now they all face jail time for refusing the initial subpoena.  Conceivably, the period of incarceration might be extended “indefinitely” in the event the grand jury reconvenes with this in mind.  Representative Clark and Senator Berglin have received praise for resolving against this intrusion. (more…)

Losing our Assets: A Plea For Help!

By Robert Albee I started out trying to tell a story about Ancient Traders, the East Franklin Avenue strip mall across the street from my house, but wise counsel prevailed and pointed out too many holes, inaccuracies and inflammatory language in that draft so it is better to start afresh. So this story is more of an editorial than a narrative, as it awaits a true storyteller with more time and access to facts than I possess. This piece begins with a plea to our state elected officials””Senator Berglin and Representative Clark and our county and municipal officials, Peter McLaughlin, Robert Lilligren and Gary Schiff”” requesting that we begin a forensics investigation into the practice using one property to leverage another when public monies were originally used and were obtained to serve a given locality. In a shifting economy, this conduct has the makings to destabilize an area that was only recently stabilized, with investments of more than $130 million and crime rates dropping along the East Franklin Avenue corridor. (more…)

State Commissioner Recklessly Alters Locally Initiated Window Safety Legislation

by Jim Graham Three years ago Minneapolis”' own Linda Berglin and Karen Clark, with a little help from yours truly, got legislation passed to require window fall protection, such as security screens, on all new window construction for multi-unit buildings. It was limited to multi-unit buildings as a compromise, and as a beginning, but also because a huge proportion of child falls came from apartment buildings. It was anticipated even that limited law might prevent up to 80% of child falls. And that it would eventually result in even concerned parents with single family homes installing such screens. Much like the CO regulations has successfully done. The attention and work on that legislation came about because of the sudden awareness of the problem due to Laela Shagobay falling from a window four floors up in a newly constructed building that met ALL construction codes and regulations at the time. That building and some others put on “Safety” screens as soon as they could be designed to retro-fit the windows, and before “Laela”'s Law” went into effect. (more…)

Open Letter to the Community Historic Community Protection Legislation is studied locally by North Mpls. and nationally by CA”“Re-Elect Responsible Lawmakers

With regard to a post on Mpls.e-democracy forum suggesting we sweep all the incumbents from the legislature, I just received a note from a friend in north Mpls. telling me to hang on to Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Berglin. My friend”'s neighborhood is facing exposure to becoming host to a hazardous waste site and is aware of what Rep. Clark, Sen. Berglin and many neighborhood folks have accomplished together to bring about a first-in-the-nation environmental justice zone protective of the Phillips”' population through a bill in the legislature. The legislation requires far stricter guidelines than currently exist to protect a large section of the urban core neighborhood of Phillips, based on poverty statistics, already existing area pollution, health challenges and intense diversity. Phillips and Clark/Berglin”'s high profile protective bill are being watched from as far away as California for implications and responses. The bill is historic on the environmental justice scene. (more…)

Curious about a “key victory” in the Xcel Powerline dilemma?

By Tim Springer, Executive Director, Midtown Greenway Coalition As many Alley readers may know, Xcel energy applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a permit to construct two new high voltage transmission lines over the Midtown Greenway or nearby, and two new substations. The community has concerns about potential impacts on human health, aesthetics, and historic resources, and consigning this part of town to blight. Because of the relatively short distance of the lines, about 1.2 miles, a “certificate of need” was not required for the project. This means that the PUC cannot deny the project, they may only say where the wires go. This was a frustration to many people who felt that a closer look should be taken at energy conservation, local power production such as with photovoltaic solar panels, electricity storage, and smart grid. The only way to require an analysis of this bundle of alternatives is to require a certificate of need. Enter State Representative Karen Clark, our rock star legislator. Karen pulled together a group of people, including lobbyists for Xcel Energy, and hammered out language acceptable to community members and Xcel Energy. Then she changed state law to require a certificate of need! Other legislators who deserve thanks are Senators Linda Berglin and Ellen Anderson. The certificate of need process will be undertaken over the next year or so. The route permit process that is already underway with the PUC to determine where the wires and substations will go will be finalized and decisions made, but the permit will not be signed and the project will not be constructed until after the need for the lines is proven. Even if a certificate of need is provided and the high voltage lines are allowed, the analysis of possible energy alternatives created as part of the certificate of need process could provide a great energy efficiency and energy alternatives roadmap for south Minneapolis, potentially making [...]

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