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Minnesota Sinfonia Winter Concert Series III Minnesota Sinfonia Winter Concert Series III: featuring Soo Bae (pictured), cello. Friday, February 10, 7pm at Founders Hall, Metropolitan State University at 700 East 7th Street, St. Paul and Sunday, February 12, 4pm at Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Avenue South Minneapolis. FREE. 612.871.1701.

INSIGHT NEWS February 6 - February 12, 2012 • MN Metro Vol. 38 No. 6 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

American Cancer Society Conversations with Al McFarlane interview at the Marcus Garvey House, Minneapolis

L-R: Roshawn Paudell, Joenell Henry Tanner, Mary Jo Winston, and Al McFarlane Joenell Henry Tanner, is Vice President of Health Equity for the American Cancer Society’s Midwest Division. Al McFarlane: Joenell Tanner, are we making progress in treating, preventing breast cancer? Joenell Tanner: We are making progress however we don’t see the same rate across all populations. One

of the reasons for the Health Equity department for American Cancer Society is that we do see differences. We see differences based upon race and ethnicity. Al McFarlane: Is the disparity widening? Joenell Tanner: There has been progress. The incidence rates for African American women who are 50

Suluki Fardan

and over are steady and we see a very slight decline in African American women, who are 49 and under with regard to their incidence rates. So we are seeing some progress, just not at the same rate as within other race and ethnic groups. Al McFarlane: Roshan Paudel


Ellison: Stop voter ID By Ivan B. Phifer, Staff Writer

Courtesy of MUL

Taxes prepared by AccountAbility Minnesota for Michael and Maria

Free tax preparation at Minneapolis Urban League By Scott Gray, President/CEO of Minneapolis Urban League and Tracy Fischman, Executive Director of AccountAbility Minnesota In North Minneapolis, AccountAbility Minnesota prepares taxes for free at the Minneapolis Urban League in a service partnership that began in 2003 and has resulted in significant economic gain for the constituency served by the Minneapolis Urban League. For instance last year, 1,285 people had their taxes prepared for free at the Minneapolis Urban League and they received a collective $2.6 million in refunds – $792,160 of it was due to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal refundable tax credit for low- to moderateincome individuals. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the EITC is a tax credit to help working taxpayers keep more of what they’ve earned. To receive the EITC, individuals

must have earned income during 2011 and meet specific income guidelines. Getting the word out about EITC and other refundable credits to the community is critical – that’s why AccountAbility Minnesota is partnering with Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Internal Revenue Service, Minnesota Department of Revenue and community-based organizations like the Minneapolis Urban League on the “Claim It!” campaign. “We want everyone who is eligible for the EITC and other refundable credits to ‘claim’ them,” said Andrea Ferstan, director of income strategies at Greater Twin Cities United Way. “The EITC can be a significant income booster – the average credit is $1,700 per family, and some may receive up to $5,000 – and often times means money for rent, food and other necessities.” “Partnering with AccountAbility Minnesota is a winwin for our organizations and more importantly for the community,” said Scott Gray, President/CEO of Minneapolis Urban League.


Presidential Politics 2012

The real ingredients of class warfare


Shortly before the 2012 presidential elections, the Minnesota Republican legislature is introducing a bill that would amend the state’s constitution to require Minnesotans to show a driver’s photo ID, state issued photo ID, or tribal issued ID to be instantly scanned to determine voting Representative Keith eligibility and precinct Ellison (MN-05) accuracy. But opponents of the proposed legislation say the Voter ID Amendment would further disenfranchise elderly, disabled, young, and minority voters. The Voter ID Amendment completely disenfranchises American troops; under the proposed amendment, military IDs would not be accepted at voting polls,


We oppose an amendment in the Minnesota Constitution to require an otherwise eligible voter to present a governmentissued photo identification as a precondition to casting a vote in a Minnesota election. Ellison urged residents to offer the above resolution at precinct caucuses Tuesday night

Champion gets “A” grade At an event held at the State Capitol last week, State Representative Bobby Joe Champion (DFL 58B) received an award for his efforts in addressing racial equity during the 2011 Legislative Session. The “Champion for Racial Justice” award was given to legislators who had received an “A” grade on their Racial Equity Report Card from the Organizing Apprenticeship Project. Champion was named a champion for sponsoring, cosponsoring and supporting legislation in 2011 that would have had a positive impact on racial disparities in education,

Full Circle The power of being alone


Suluki Fardan

State Representative Bobby Joe Champion (58B)

health, or the economic status of communities of color. In

addition to his work at the State Legislature, Champion was also the chief architect of last spring’s highly-praised North Minneapolis Economic Summit—an event highlighting the racial disparities found in Minnesota’s workforce and business culture. The Summit marked the first time in 24 years that a sitting Minnesota governor came to North Minneapolis, the result of which led Governor Dayton to make research-based recommendations on initiatives that would bring jobs, business opportunities, and attention to the long-term unemployed. “Once again, I am proud and

Gone to Ghana Labadi beachfront: Still a city girl


humbled to be receiving an award I hold so closely to my heart,” said Champion. “As evidenced by last spring’s economic summit, we still have great strides to make in eliminating the racial disparities that unfortunately still permeate our society. I am so encouraged by the work The Organizing Apprenticeship Project does to combat racial inequality and will continue my dedicated efforts in achieving a more just and equal Minnesota.” Champion has received an “A” on his Racial Equity Report Card each year since he was elected in 2008.


The Profile of a Teacher Award


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The real ingredients in class warfare Mitt Romney’s tax and budget plans assault low- and moderate-income families, especially people of color By Melissa Boteach Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney constantly accuses President Barack Obama of fomenting “class warfare” and stoking “envy” among the have-nots for the wealth of the “haves.” Without a doubt, class warfare is afoot in our nation, but it is Romney’s own tax and budget plans that will further divide our nation because of his assault on poor and middle-class Americans alike. Mitt Romney’s tax and budget plans would undermine the ability of millions of struggling Americans to meet the basic need of securing affordable health care. This assault on the 99 percent comes in at the exact same cost as his offer of additional tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Here’s the math (see graphic). These proposals will hurt the 99 percent overall but will strike communities of color

Jessica Rinaldi

Mitt Romney

the most, in part because they were hardest hit by the Great Recession of 2007–2009 and the still-lingering housing crisis. Romney’s plan, for example, offers $2.24 trillion in tax cuts to the top 1 percent of earners. This works out to an average tax cut of $165,000 for those who already have an average income of $1.25 million, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. In contrast, Romney is proposing cuts of about equal value to critical federal government programs offering

affordable health care coverage to low- and moderate-income families today. Romney plans to send federal funding for Medicaid “back to the states” as a block grant—a ploy designed to sharply cut spending on this critical safety net program—and to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provided subsidies for low- and moderate-income families to purchase health insurance through exchanges. The details for Romney’s

own budget plan are not fully developed but he has embraced the principles of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan, which is the basis for this comparison. This plan would cut federal funding for Medicaid in half (49 percent) by 2030, hitting communities of color, children, and the elderly particularly hard. One case in point: 70 percent of nursing home residents eventually rely on Medicaid to

help pay for their care. Deep cuts to Medicaid could result in less coverage for seniors who need long-term care or higher costs for the elderly and their families to bear. With nursing home costs averaging $80,000 a year, cuts to Medicaid would slam low-income and middle-class families who have a family member with an illness or disability. Here’s who would suffer in particular— communities of color make up approximately 43 percent of the elderly Medicaid population, with blacks comprising 17 percent, Asian Americans 7 percent, and Hispanics 10 percent, respectively. Similarly, children of color would be disproportionately harmed by Romney’s proposal to fund Medicaid through block grants to the states. Medicaid currently provides low-income children with key services for healthy development through regular preventive care, followup, and treatment services. Children of color represent nearly three-fifths (59 percent) of children enrolled in Medicaid,

with blacks comprising 26 percent, Asian Americans 3 percent, and Hispanics 22 percent, respectively. Cutting Medicaid could place in jeopardy these critical preventive health services for a key part of our future workforce. Romney likes to paint these programs as entitlements that foster a culture of dependence. But in reality, Medicaid is an opportunity program, providing the health building blocks for children to be able to concentrate in school and become productive workers, or for families with a sick or disabled relative to be able to afford nursing home care so that they can stay in the workforce. Similarly, the Affordable Care Act expansion of coverage to low- and moderate-income families that Romney has called for repealing would provide families with the access to the health care they need to achieve greater economic security and opportunity.


The real meaning of “self-deportation” Analysis by Immigration Policy Center, Washington, DC The term “self-deportation” has found its way into the GOP presidential primary race, with candidate Mitt Romney outlining a vague immigration platform which includes “self-deportation,” or the idea that unauthorized

immigrants will voluntarily choose to leave the U.S. if life here is made unbearable enough. While “self-deportation” may be a new idea to some, those who monitor immigration policy understand that it is code for “attrition through enforcement” - a plan pursued by extremist immigration-control organizations in Congress and state houses across the nation. Romney explains how he

thinks “self-deportation” would work by saying “if people don’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place they can get work.” However, as described in a forthcoming report from the Immigration Policy Center, “self-deportation” - or, more accurately, “attrition through enforcement” - goes far beyond denying unauthorized immigrants work. The strategy is

currently embodied in state laws that include provisions denying education, transportation, and even basic services like water and housing to anyone who cannot prove legal immigration status. So far, the states that have attempted to roll out this plan have done little more than undermine basic human rights, devastate local economies, and place unnecessary burdens on U.S. citizens and

lawful immigrants. There is little evidence that “attrition through enforcement” is causing unauthorized immigrants to leave. In fact, a July 2011 study from the RAND Corporation found that, despite improved economic conditions in Mexico and worsened conditions in the United States, fewer Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico in 2008 and 2009 than in the two

years before the recession. The Urban Institute’s Juan Pedrozo has also pointed out that “it’s tough to tell whether (and how many) immigrants have left a community if you are looking right after a state passes a law. It can take years of evidence to test claims of a mass exodus.” Moreover, “growing evidence


Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 3

HEALTH Health Partners initiative increases fruit, vegetable intake A pilot program designed to increase fruit and vegetable intake among elementary school students is being put to the test by Saint Paul Public Schools and HealthPartners. Approximately 7,500 students in 21 schools are participating in the program including nine Saint Paul Public Schools. “Research shows that habits established in elementary school often last a lifetime, so this is a great opportunity to help reverse the obesity epidemic in our community and our nation,” says Valeria Silva, Saint Paul Public School Superintendent. Mary Brainerd, HealthPartners President and CEO added, “Kids consume about half of their daily calories during the school day, so school nutrition is a critical component in addressing the obesity epidemic.” During the four-week challenge, which is designed to improve nutrition through HealthPartners yumPower

Editor’s note The headline in the 1/30/12 edition of Insight read “Aiken elected to National Kidney

initiative, students will use fruit and vegetable trackers to record their consumption each day. Schools receive tracking supplies, pencils and notepads to remind and to provide incentive for students to keep track of their food intake. Schools with high levels of participation win grants of $300 to $500 to use for the school’s nutrition services. HealthPartners will evaluate results of the program to see how effective it is in increasing the number of students who consume three to five servings of fruits and vegetables on most days. The multi-year initiative, launched last August, also includes an iPhone mobile app to help consumers find restaurants with better-for-you menu options; billboards and commercials with local celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern; recipe contests and the website with recipes, cooking videos and more.

Foundation’s Minnesota Board of Directors”. The headline should read, “Aiken elected to National Kidney Foundation’s National Board of Directors.” Bill Aiken has been on the Minnesota Board of Directors since 2010 - the big news was that he was elected to the National Board of Directors.

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If you’re looking for work in China, Pakistan Nobody Asked Me

By Fred Easter I have heard it said that “A man who lies simply hides the truth. A man who tells half lies has forgotten where he put it”. The other day, I heard a presidential hopeful say that lowering taxes on the rich creates jobs. That makes a kind of sense. They can invest that money in money making activity

which generally leads to jobs. Problem is: the jobs they’re creating are in China, Pakistan and the Philippines. All places where you’ve been looking for work, right? Consider that Apple employs 45,000 people in the U.S. and 500,000 people in China. Another half lie you’ve heard has a coat of many colors. “Obama is conducting class warfare”. “He wants wealth redistribution”. “He wants to turn this country into a European type socialist state”. Fact is: Class warfare has been underway in this country since W moved into the White House; and the middle class has been taking an awful beating. Poor folk have

been doing even worse. Very few of the millions of homes in foreclosure across the country are in gated communities. Bankers and mortgage lenders have the payments that were made and the houses. And we’ve bailed THEM out of their losses in order to avert a massive depression. In the coming months you can also expect to hear a number of variations on racist themes. “Obama is in over his head”. Heck, Daffy Duck could’ve succeeded W and looked smart. But, sadly, there are a lot of folk in

this country who want to believe that a Black man can’t be an effective President. Considering republicans in Congress would not follow Obama out of a burning building, he has worked magic. The war in Iraq is over. W and 2-gun Dick Chaney would have extended it if only to keep Halliburton on the clock. Bin Laden is gone and we hear little, if anything, about Al Qaeda Soon every American will have health insurance despite “preexisting conditions”. Republican

spin is that we’re no longer free to NOT have health insurance. There’s a freedom I’m going to miss. The super rich have their medical staffs on retainer. The auto industry is returning to health, and hundreds of thousands of jobs were saved. Auto makers themselves are just the top of a food chain that supports folk that make bushings, door handles, wires, bolts etc. “Obama is the food stamp President”. Newt Gingrich would like to tie Black folk and welfare together; despite the fact

that white people far outnumber Blacks on all public aid programs. It’s easier for the republican/old confederate South to vote against what they’re told is programs that benefit people of color. We will soon see if the party of old, white men and their half lies, money and trickery can steal an election in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. Let me tell you; any society that allows 1% of its people to amass 47% of its assets, is kidding itself if it thinks it’s a democracy.

Right-to-Work may be on 2012 ballot Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment last week released a new study proposing Minnesota residents would have a higher income and standard of living if the state had a Right-to-Work provision that allowed workers the freedom to join, or not to join, a labor union. Minnesota legislators are considering such a provision as a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would be placed on this November’s general election ballot.

“Minnesotans would have a higher standard of living and greater job opportunities if the state had adopted a right-to-work law 30 years ago,” said Dr. Richard Vedder, chief author of the study, “Minnesota Right-to-Work: How the Freedom of Workers in the Workplace Enhances Prosperity,” “Minnesota’s future prosperity would be enhanced if the state allows employees to decide whether or not to join a labor union.” The study estimates that

annual personal income per capita, on average, would have been $2,360 to $3,072 higher in 2008 if Minnesota had adopted Right-toWork in 1977. On a per household basis, income would have been somewhere in the range of $5,960 to $7,740 higher if such a provision had been in place. The report concludes that the United States operates largely under Depression-era labor laws that are increasingly out of touch with the realities of a global labor market. The Taft-Hartley

Act of 1947 provided states an opportunity to reduce some of the adverse effects of these laws by passing “Right-to-Work” measures that give workers the right to decide whether they wish to join a union or pay union dues. Minnesota did not take advantage of that opportunity and has paid a high economic price for not doing so. “Minnesota Right-to-Work: How the Freedom of Workers in the Workplace Enhances Prosperity” is available online at

Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 5

Creating jobs to take top priority this year By Sen. Jeff Hayden (SD61 DFL) After four long years of economic difficulty there is one thing we can all agree upon: Minnesota needs jobs. As we begin the new legislative session, creating jobs and getting people back to work will take top priority. Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders recently laid out a plan that involves smart, targeted strategies that will bring about new hiring and get tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work. This new job growth plan focuses on things that have been proven to work: providing businesses with new incentives to create jobs, improving workforce development and training, and investing in Minnesota’s infrastructure. By providing our small businesses with the capital they need to grow and keep good jobs, by improving our workforce development and training, and by investing in our infrastructure, we can help our citizens regain their economic security and quality of life. Key items include: A New Jobs Tax Credit: This tax credit is to be focused on immediate job creation, providing businesses with a $3,000 tax credit for each unemployed Minnesotan, veteran or recent graduate hired in calendar year 2012, as well


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Andrew Notsch Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Harry Colbert, Jr. Brenda Colston Julie Desmond Fred Easter S. Himie Oshana Himot Timothy Houston Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Lydia Schwartz Stacey Taylor Photography Suluki Fardan Tobechi Tobechukwu Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

as a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013. This will provide small businesses with the capital they need to grow, and puts more than 10,000 veterans, unemployed, or recently graduated Minnesotans back to work. I n f r a s t r u c t u r e Investment: A new bonding bill will provide $775 million for projects that will bring long-

term investment to our state, such as repair of roads, bridges and rail lines, college buildings, civic facilities and light rail. This bonding initiative will put nearly 22,000 Minnesotans back to work and give a much needed boost to our state’s construction industry. Business Expansion “Minnesota Investment Fund”: $10 million in

additional funding would be provided for the Minnesota Investment Fund, which has a proven track record of helping Minnesota to attract businesses to our state. Last year Governor Dayton was able to secure $3 million for this effort, bringing $46 million in private investment and 218 new jobs. Expand the FastTRAC initiative: The FastTRAC

program helps underprepared adults succeed by helping to match business needs with workforce development more efficiently. The goal is to serve 3,000 adults and establish 50 FastTRAC adult career pathways offered at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) campuses. Minnesota Opportunity Grants: These grants will

go to adults who pursue and complete short-term education and training at a MnSCU institution in regionally highdemand career fields. The goal is to provide a $2,000 grant for 2,000 Minnesotans for up to two semesters of training. We will need to move quickly to pass this package


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EDUCATION Ellison supports bill to protect current student loan rates By Harry Colbert Contributing Writer Hearing President Obama’s call to keep college education attainable for all, Rep. Keith Ellison cosponsored a bill to extend the reduced interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford Loans.

The bill, H.R. 3826, comes on the heels of the President’s State of the Union address where he challenged Congress to extend the current loan interest rate of 3.4 percent. “At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in

July,” said the President during his address to the nation. Rep. Ellison (D-Minn.) said H.R. 3826 fulfills the President’s request to ensure that interest rates for undergraduate Stafford Loans do not double this summer. If congress does not act, the current interest rate for student loans will hike to 6.8 percent. “We’ve got to make college

more affordable,” said Ellison. “When a student gets out of college, that student should be adding to the economy; purchasing a car, a home, etc., but he or she can’t because of student loan debt.” Ellison asserted the average American student graduates with about $29,000 in debt. In 2009, students at the University of Minnesota owed

over $25,000 in debt on average, according to the Project on Student Debt. According to Ellison, there has been a shift in how Americans view funding for higher education. “It is clear that in the last few decades that Americans have decided a college education is more of a private venture rather than a social good,” said

Ellison, Minnesota’s 5th Dist. Representative. “That’s not the way it should be going.” Ellison said college affordability for Americans is one of the critical issues of our time. He said a college education is essential for individuals, especially those of low economic standing to ascend to the middle class.

Obama’s blueprint for keeping college affordable for all Americans “Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid… States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.” President Barack Obama State of the Union, January 24, 2012

Taxes From 1 “By using AccountAbility Minnesota’s free tax and financial services, community members are getting a great service, saving themselves hundreds of dollars in preparation fees, and are able to turn around and utilize Minneapolis Urban League’s other essential services that foster wealth-creation for those who have been shut out of the financial mainstream. AccountAbility Minnesota’s services are seamlessly integrated into our

Jobs From 5

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. As an important part of keeping the American promise alive, the President called for a comprehensive approach to tackling rising college costs.

In today’s global economy, a college education is no longer just a privilege for some, but rather a prerequisite for all. To reach a national goal of leading the world with the highest share of college graduates by 2020, we must make college more affordable. President Obama has emphasized the responsibility shared by the federal government, states, colleges,

and universities to promote access and affordability in higher education, by reining in college costs, providing value for American families, and preparing students with a solid education to succeed in their careers. Over the past three years, the Obama Administration has taken historic steps to help students afford college, including reforming our student aid system to become more

efficient and reliable and by expanding grant aid and college tax credits. This year, President Obama is calling on Congress to advance new reforms that will promote shared responsibility to address the college affordability challenge. If these proposals are passed, this will be the first time in history that the federal government has tied federal campus aid to responsible

campus tuition policies. President Obama will begin the third day of his post-State of the Union travels with an event at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, focusing on the importance of tackling rising college costs to ensure America’s students and workers can obtain the education and training they need so that we have a workforce prepared for the jobs of the 21st century.

programs at the Minneapolis Urban League, and we see them as an extension, fitting nicely into our mission of promoting economic success and prosperity for those in our communities.” A great example of the impact of this partnership is the story of Michael and Maria, who had their taxes prepared by AccountAbility Minnesota. As a result of this free service, they were able to pay bills, pay down debt, and save for an emergency and for their children’s future. For this couple, tax time means starting the year out with a clean slate and in a good spot – free from debt and adding to their savings.

Before coming to AccountAbility Minnesota Michael and Maria were going to a paid preparer to have their taxes done, forfeiting hundreds of dollars of their refund just to receive it. They learned about AccountAbility Minnesota two years ago from a brochure and plan to keep coming back for the free tax preparation and additional financial services. Michael and Maria appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of financial products and services that help them to meet their financial goals. This year in addition to having their taxes done Michael and Maria bought two savings bonds for their children through

their tax return. “Tax time can be an important money moment for so many struggling to make ends meet, especially in our tough economic times,” said Tracy Fischman, executive director of AccountAbility Minnesota. “Our free services enable families to pocket 100 percent of their refund – which sometimes equals 40 percent of their annual income – and take advantage of financial products and services that will enable them to make the most of their tax refund and move on the path to economic security.” AccountAbility Minnesota is a nonprofit organization that

provides free tax preparation and financial services to low- and moderate-income individuals and families at 12 locations throughout the Twin Cities. They believe a person’s ability to access quality tax assistance – and the credits they have earned – should not depend solely upon one’s ability to pay for it. For 40 years, AccountAbility Minnesota has been enlisting the help of volunteers – nearly 600 this year – to prepare taxes and offer related financial services such as access to savings accounts regardless of credit or banking history and credit reports that help people to maximize their refunds’ impact on their financial future.

AccountAbility Minnesota prepares taxes at Minneapolis Urban League on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. The clinics operate on a first come, first served basis and close when capacity is reached. Individuals who make $30,000 or less and families that make $50,000 or less are eligible. There are several ways to find out what you need to bring with you or to locate other AccountAbitlity Minnesota tax preparation sites; visit www. , call 651287-0187 or call United Way 2-1-1 (dial 2-1-1 from a landline) or from a cell phone call 651-291-0211.

of initiatives as early in the legislative session as possible. At a time when we have more than 175,000 Minnesotans out of work, we cannot ignore this opportunity to put thousands

back to work by making good investments in our state. On a local note, I will be working to pass our $2.1 million capital bonding request to renovate and reopen the

Phillips Community Pool. With current low interest rates and competitive construction costs, bonding projects are an excellent way to generate jobs – and it is our strong hope that we

can get this facility re-designed and operating so the children of South Minneapolis will have a place to swim. I always welcome your ideas and opinions, and I encourage

you to contact me at: Senator Jeff Hayden, (651) 296-4261, 151 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155-1206, sen.jeff.

Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 7


Nice work at the job fair Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond Last week’s job fair was packed. Hundreds of ambitious, welldressed, earnest people of all ages and abilities met with a few dozen employers for extreme speed dating, the Hire Me version. Competition for jobs is tough, but the people at this job fair were up to the task. What impressed this

Health From 1 leads American Cancer Society’s health promotions and disparities reduction efforts. He is the Director of Community Partnerships. Roshan, what’s the Minnesota picture? Roshan Paudel: Over the past few years the incidence rates is declining in Minnesota as compared to the mainstream White community as well. The mortality rates are also declining, however, the pace is slower than in other communities. Al McFarlane: Well, let me ask both of you to explain, why is there a difference in the experience of whites and communities of color, Black women in particular? Joenell Tanner: When we look at the various data sources

employer was the level of professionalism of every candidate. For instance, Dinyar had a sturdy handshake. Some men think they have to be placid or just shake the fingertips of a female. Dinyar took my hand in his, palm to palm, gave it an appropriate squeeze and let go. This seems a small point, but a handshake can communicate confidence. Practice. At job fairs, people sometimes come as they are, jeans, t-shirts, whatever. An employer can sometimes guess pretty accurately by looking at someone whether she is in accounting, customer service or a custodian. Not at this job fair. This time, everyone got

the same memo, apparently, and dressed to the nines. Button down shirts, ties, sweaters or jackets, nice pants and shoes, neat hair, no hats. Will Earl, a custodian, have a better chance at employment because he showed up in a neat shirt and tie? I think so. He’s not going to wear his Sunday best on the job, but his clothes communicate his ability to plan ahead as well as his commitment to making a

positive impression in front of potential employers. Robin stood out because she carried a notebook. When an employer suggested she email her resume, Robin whipped out a pen and her notebook and wrote down the employer’s name, company name, email address and – this was impressive – she wrote, “email resume.” One would expect Robin to visit with as many as

fifty potential employers at a job fair; one would not expect her to remember every conversation. Therefore, writing a note to herself was a smart move. She happened to be one of just a few job fair attendees who actually remembered to email a resume as requested. Actions communicate intentions. It’s okay to take notes when talking to people about job opportunities.

The goal of a job fair is to move employers and candidates efficiently on to the interview stage. It’s one place where professionalism will definitely pay off. Julie Desmond is Talent Manager for Express Employment Professionals. Send your career planning questions and comments to julie.

we look to what is called the social determinants to help us understand what is going on within the realm of disparities. I should also clarify it is not just cancer disparities; it is chronic disease in general where we see disparities in prevalence, incidence and mortality. Al McFarlane: Roshan, are there variations on that theme that you have experienced here in Minnesota? What are you hearing from Minnesotans about why they do or don’t get access to the care they need? Roshan Paudel: In Minnesota what we have seen is the disparity is wider than in other communities, in other states and countries. The disparity exists not only in cancer but in other disease conditions as well. So I think what we are hearing is the challenge with


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Enrollment is required. A qualifying transfer from your Package Checking account to your Package Money Market Savings account must be scheduled and maintained. You must open and/or maintain an active U.S. Bank Package, including a Silver, Gold or Platinum Checking account AND a Money Market Savings account. A minimum deposit of $50 is required to open a Checking account and a minimum of $25 is required to open a Money Market Savings account. All regular account opening procedures apply. Certain conditions apply to U.S. Bank Packages. Credit products are subject to normal credit qualifications and approvals. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. Program is subject to change. See the S.T.A.R.T. Program Agreement for detailed information. The U.S. Bank Rewards Visa Card cannot be reloaded with additional funds, nor can it be used at an ATM. Terms and conditions apply and fees may apply to Rewards Cards. For complete terms and conditions see the U.S. Bank Rewards Visa Card Agreement available at Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank, N.A. ©2012 U.S. Bancorp. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.


Page 8 • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Insight News


Affirmation of Black history By Taylor Harris During Black History month, students are bombarded with facts about the important attributions African Americans have contributed to society. We learn that African Americans were not just main contributors to the civil rights movement, but in government, engineering, and the medical field as well. One aspect we need not leave out while reviewing Black history is music. From the African drums to the blues, gospel, jazz and funkadelic era birth a genre diverse and unique in its own way (other wise known as rap.) People will argue the influence of rap music as positive and negative forever, but the magnitude of it’ impact is not up for discussion. Now that we have entered 2012, rap music is now almost over the hill. No longer just the young people’s racket, it

is now established as non-age defiant and color blind as well. Avid fans can recite the Martin Luther Kings of rap music, but let’s not forget the Julian Bond’s and Dave Dennis’ either. Music claimers list many different people as the originators of rap, and Clive Campbell a.k.a. DJ Kook Herc is always at the top of the list. Jamaican born Campbell was one of the first DJ’s to display break dancers in 1975. The eccentric Afrika Bambata is credited with coining the phrase” hip hop” as referring to a culture and establishing the four elements of hip hop: deejaying, emceeing, graffiti and dancing. Another father of rap music and self proclaimed “bluesologist” was the late Gil Scot Heron. He recorded poetry over a beat in the late 1970’s, inspiring many preceding artist. The group that made speeding rapping popular was Treacherous Three. One

Courtesy of the author

Taylor Harris

of the first female MC’s was Sha Rock who made her mark group called the Funky 4 + 1. If you ask your parents, the name, Kurtis Blow might be familiar as he was the first rap artist to sell a gold record, “The Breaks”. Videos are accustomed with

every popular song in 2012, but the first artist to make a rap video was the Whodini with Magic’s Wand in 1982. As far as films, “Wild Style and “Krush Grove” were some of the first films and documentaries created bout rap. Although it did not gain much fame, the Funky 4 +1’s record “King Tim III Personality Jock” was one of the first mainstream rap songs. It was Grand Master Flash’s “The Message” that made mainstream rap move from a party sense to speaking about poverty in the inner city during the 1980’s. Meanwhile Def Jam, the music label established by Russell Simmons in 1984, signed its first artist, LL Cool J. As far as the underground scene for rap, Erik Sermon of EPMD was one of the originators. Rap music hit the gold pot when DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith won the first Grammy for best Rap Performance in 1989

accompanied by Duo Naughty By Nature who won best rap album for Poverty’s Paradise in 1996. Once Yo MTV Raps was aired in 1989, the whole world gazed its eyes upon rap music for the first time. No longer new to the music industry, rap music has made its mark proclaiming it’s here to stay. Flowing for arguably a 30 year beat, with new rappers, styles, and sound, the game is constantly changing. While it continues to change, we cannot move on and forget the pioneers, just as we cannot forget our ancestors. As we celebrate Black History Month to honor the accomplishments of African Americans in the rap industry, civil rights, and all aspects of life, we must remember celebrating Black History month is not to capture our minds from the last day of January to the first day of March, but to recapitulate the

history of an accomplished people. “If a race has no recognized or recorded history, its achievements would be forgotten and finally claimed by other groups.” Dr. Carton Woodson, father of Black History. Since she first picked up a pencil, Taylor Tiamoyo Harris has always loved to write. Born in Dallas, Texas in April 5, 1994, Taylor is currently a senior at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. There she resides as the features editor of her school newspaper, Duncanville Panther Prints. She has been accepted to and will attend Howard University in the fall of 2012. Besides newspaper, she participates in volleyball, community service programs, National Honor Society, and the DFW/ ABJ Journalism Workshop.

Canadian cellist, Soo Bae, featured with the Minnesota Sinfonia International award winning cellist, Soo Bae to be featured with the Minnesota Sinfonia in St. Paul and Minneapolis on February 10 and 12. This will be. Bae’s second engagement with the Minnesota Sinfonia. Bae will be performing “Cello Concerto No. 1” by Camille Saint Saens. First on the program, a Minnesota Sinfonia commission and world premiere, “Bad Things Happen (to Tiny Toy Wind-ups) by American Composer Randall Davidson. Also on the program, Puccini’s “Two Minuets and Crisantemi” and Kabalevsky’s “Suite from the The Comedians.” Concerts are 7 p.m. Friday, February 10 at Founders Hall, Metropolitan State University at

700 East 7th Street, St. Paul and 4 p.m. Sunday, February 12 at Temple Israel at 2324 Emerson Ave. S., Minneapolis. Admission is free and children are welcome to attend. Audience members should arrive early—all concerts are first-come, first-seated. Canadian cellist Soo Bae, was recently praised by The New Yorker as “superb”, and by The Strad for being “rich and romantic with crisp incisive technique.” Recently honored in March 2009 as the musician of the month in Musical America Magazine, Bae is also a winner of the 2005 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. In 2006, the Canada Council of the Arts awarded her First Prize in its Instrument Bank Competition, resulting in a

three-year loan of the ca. 1696 Bonjour Stradivari cello. Earlier that same year, she became the first Canadian ever awarded a prize at the Adam International Cello Festival & Competition in New Zealand. Randall Davidson works have enjoyed hundreds of performances throughout the U.S. and Europe and have attracted the attention of critics, performers and audiences alike for their dramatic and accessible musical language. Davidson’s catalogue encompasses nearly every genre: dozens of choral works, an opera, four ballets, an oratorio, a guitar concerto, chamber works, three orchestral works that have received over 200 performances, television commercials, incidental music

for theater and puppets, a major sound installation to inaugurate the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and music for jazz and wind ensembles. Additional Minnesota Sinfonia concert information is available at 612-871-1701 or The Minnesota Sinfonia is a professional chamber orchestra whose mission is to serve the

musical and educational needs of the citizens of Minnesota, especially families with children, inner-city youth, seniors and those with limited financial means. The Sinfonia plays concerts for over 25,000 people each year, and is the only professional orchestra of its kind, offering all concerts free of admission charges, welcoming children to every

performance, and dedicating over half its services to innercity schools. Founded in 1989 by Artistic Director Jay Fishman, the Sinfonia is an independent, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization supported by corporate, foundation and individual contributors. For more information visit www. or call 612871-1701.

Killing the Messenger By Kam Williams Contributing Writer “When a 19 year-old member of a Black Muslim cult

assassinated Chauncey Bailey in 2007—the most shocking killing of a journalist in the U.S. in 30 years—the question was: Why? Killing the Messenger… explores one of

the most blatant attacks on the 1st Amendment and free speech in American history and the… cult that carried it out… Yusuf Bey… created a radical religion of bloodshed and fear…through a business called Your Black Muslim Bakery, beating and raping dozens of women… and fathering more than 40 children… [while] the police looked the other way as his violent soldiers ruled the streets. [culminating] in a journalist’s murder.” -- Excerpted from the inside cover of the book’s dust jacket Any Western journalist who’s honest will admit that they’re scared to write anything critical about Islam, since it doesn’t take much to make a mullah put a price on your head. Consider the recent history. Everyone from novelist Salman Rushdie to Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard have had to go into hiding because of all the death threats they received after publishing material Muslims deemed offensive. And Dutch director Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death by a disgruntled fundamentalist because he made a movie about honor killings and other forms of violence still being perpetrated against innocent females in the name of Allah.


Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 9

NAACP Image Awards on NBC Outstanding Song. Mary J. Blige snagged three nominations, and Adele had two. The Outstanding New Artist category included fresh faces like Diggy Simmons and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Notable nominations in literature included Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by the late Manning Marable; My Song by Harry Belafonte, and Toure’s Who’s Afraid of PostBlackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now.

By Ben Wrobel On Friday, February 17th, artists and entertainers will gather on the red carpet for the 43rd NAACP Image Awards. The two-hour star-studded event will air live on February 17th at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. central) on NBC. The NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premiere multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The winners in 53 categories are decided by votes from members of the NAACP. This year’s nominees were announced at a January press conference led by Vanessa Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, Corey Reynolds and Craig Robinson. “This year’s list of nominees reminds us how many talented artists of color are working today,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Many of these nominees use the creative process to advance the cause of social justice. The NAACP Image Awards is the ideal platform to highlight their

NAACP Hollywood Bureau

Corey Reynolds, Vanessa Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Craig Robinson often-overlooked perspectives.” The biggest story in the nomination process was the success of The Help, which earned eight nods including Outstanding Motion Picture. The film, which examines the relationship between a white woman and two Black maids during the Civil Rights era, grossed over $150,000,000 at the box office. Rounding

Review From 8 Much closer to home, Chauncey Bailey, editor-inchief of the Oakland Post, was shot dead on the morning of August 2, 2007. He was about to expose a store called Your Black Muslim Bakery as a front for a criminal operation dealing in drugs, sex slaves and murder. Chauncey’s assassination touched me personally, since he was an editor of mine at the time. In fact, the two of us had spoken just a couple of days before he was gunned down on the street by a Muslim goon squad on orders from their imam, a madman known as Yusuf Bey IV.

Disfigured by a bad case of acne, Bey preached a racist interpretation of the Koran that said white people were devils invented only 6,000 years ago by a big-headed

out the Outstanding Motion Picture category were Jumping the Broom, Pariah, The First Grader and Tower Heist. In the television category, The Game and Grey’s Anatomy both garnered six nominations, including Outstanding Drama and Comedy, respectively. The Game, which follows the lives of professional football players and their significant others, also earned nods for the

performances of its stars Pooch Hall (Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series), Tia MowryHardrict and Wendy Raquel Robinson (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series). Leading the pack in music nominations were Beyonce and Jill Scott, who are both competing in the categories of Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Album, Outstanding Music Video and

black scientist named Yakub. I am not making this up. Bey was also a Holocaust denier who denigrated Christianity as a spook religion, while predicting the prophet Muhammad’s Second Coming to Earth from outer space in a mile-wide mother ship in order to exterminate Caucasians and Jews. The delusional cleric boasted about eliminating Bailey while selling bean pies in his store, because he felt that he was untouchable. After all, Bey was already in bed with corrupt Oakland cops willing to look the other way whenever “employees” of the bakery broke the law. In this case, however, a number of California journalists, outraged by Chauncey’s murder, banded

together not only to complete their colleague’s story but to make sure that justice was served. Spearheading that effort was Thomas Peele, an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. In Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith, Racism’s Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist, Peele recounts the history of Black Muslims in America, the chain of events leading to Chauncey’s slaying, and the court case leading to the convictions of everyone responsible. A riveting opus recounting a bittersweet victory for the fourth estate over radical Islam in the name of freedom of the press. Rest in Peace, Brother Chauncey.

“The NAACP Image Awards is an important American award show,” said NAACP Hollywood Bureau Executive Director Vicangelo Bulluck, who serves as executive producer of the awards telecast. “It is important to recognize positive images and accurate portrayals of our diverse culture, and to acknowledge the artistic achievements of those telling stories that resonate with our community.”

Page 10 • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Insight News


The power of being alone Man Talk

By Timothy Houston Men and women view extended time alone differently. Men see time alone as an opportunity to do the things they like. They will go hunting, fishing, or on any other outings that will allow them time to get away. Women have a different view on this. They see time alone as being absent from the ones they love. Some women even view it as a time of loneliness

Vote From 1 thus creating the oxymoron that those defending American’s constitutional right are themselves unable to vote. The proposed Amendment would also end absentee voting and same day voter registration. US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mpls) in a press conference on voter suppression and fair elections held Monday, Jan. 30, at Take Action Minnesota said, “This is a primary issue to me. We are going to organize around this.” “It’s absolutely a partisan plan,” said Dan McGrath of

which is a negative state. The fear of loneliness is one of the reasons some women allow themselves to be with men who are unhealthy for them. They take the approach that a half of a man is better that no man at all. The real truth is that a healthy relationship is better than an unhealthy one, and unhealthy relationships take up valuable time, energy, and emotional and physical resources. If a woman is with someone that does not add value to her (Mr. Wrong), she is missing out on the opportunity to meet Mr. Right. Also, this temporary relationship does not allow her the time alone needed to discovery the real self-value that comes from reflecting within. Whenever a woman settles for less, she ends

up lessening herself. This is the end result of the fear of loneliness. “There is a tremendous difference between loneliness and loneness. When you are lonely, you are thinking of the other, feeling that it would have been better if the other - your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband – were there. Loneliness is absence of the other.” Osho - The Discipline of Transcendence Volume 1, Chapter 2 Loneliness is a harmful condition that is caused by an unhealthy view of self. Allowing yourself to become lonely is a negative state because it equals you minus the other. This is an indication that you may be placing greater importance on others than

yourself. Loneliness suggests that you are less when others are not present. It makes you dependent on other people instead of using your time alone to work on yourself. Relationship with other is a byproduct of “self,” and as a result, strengthening your self, strengthens your relationships. This is what I call the power of “aloneness.” “Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.” Osho - The Discipline of Transcendence Volume 1, Chapter 2

Aloneness is power and freedom. When there is no significant other, when there is quiet time, you have the power to develop yourself, to become greater than you are. All your energy and effort, the time and energy that you might otherwise have to expend on other people can be concentrated on yourself. People do the most harm to themselves when they lack the knowledge needed to change their current situations, to avoid the relationships that will drain them of self. Time alone allows you the opportunity to gain the knowledge that will show you how to attract those that will add positive value to who you are. Going forward, change the way you look at time alone. Turn loneliness into aloneness. This

will be a great benefit to you because you are most powerful when your energy is not used up caring for others. This will not take from you. Because of the God-given power within, you do not need anyone to make you whole. The Father has done that for you. He has declared you to be all together beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made. Never settle for less. This is the true knowledge of self and the power you get from being alone God.

Take Action Minnesota. “What’s been missing from the dialogue is who stands behind it and why. This is not about the mechanics of voting and voting fraud. It’s about a power play being made in 38 different states as a reaction to what happened in 2008,” he said. Republican supporters and sponsors of the bill include Sate Representatives Bruce Vogel, Wilmar; Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, Big Lake; and State Senator Warren Limmer, Maple Lake. “We live in a state where, for example in the case of Sen. Al Franken, elections are won and lost by 312 votes. If you can knock out 140,000 people from the ranks of seniors, students, communities of color, low income people and veterans, you can

reshape the direction of the state,” Ellison said. According to Take Action data, 18% of elderly citizens do not have government issued ID. That data also show 15% of people earning less than $35,000, 18% of citizens 18- 24-years-old, 10% of voters with disabilities and 25% of voting age African Americans do not have a government issued ID. Ellison pointed out the history of voter disenfranchisement. “When this country was founded, it was not good enough to be a white male to vote,” Ellison said. “You had to be a white Protestant male 21 years of age who owned property. The reality is, a very small number of people were able to cast a ballot. The Jacksonian Revolution came allowing white

males who did not own property to vote; the Civil War came, Black men could vote for ten years until after Reconstruction, and the present day Civil Rights era black men’s rights are restored and women can now vote,” he said. The voter ID laws only prevent voter impersonation, a crime no one in Minnesota has been convicted of. This amendment would be more restrictive than South Carolina’s voting laws. “Right now South Carolina is the worst state in the union for voter disenfranchisement. Minnesota has always prided itself in having one of the fairest elections. The only difference between us and South Carolina is, actively serving military people would not be able to vote,

making us the worst, should this bill get passed,” said Will Hailer, Campaign Manager for Ellison. The cost of this bill is reported between $20-40 million dollars, a significant amount that would be impact to local government. Last year, a total of 38 voter fraud cases were reported, most of which were felons who have not had voting rights restored following convictions. “They were not imposter voters, or people who presented an ID in a name other than their own; they were people who had prior felony convictions who under our law are not allowed to vote. The reality is, if you’re a felon or on probation, you have to have ID, so that would not stop them,” Ellison said.

“It’s the 99% narrative versus the 1% narrative,” Greta Bergstorm, Take Action communications director said. “A guy who has $5 or $10 million that can give unlimited amount to a super PAC, has an outsized influence while diluting the power of the individual vote. Most people don’t have millions of dollars, all they have is their one vote in November and the primary,” she said. “This represents for the first time in about 200 years a retraction in voting,” Ellison said. This [amendment] is about power and excluding people, not including people. The trajectory of voting in America has only been to include people.”

Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to

Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 11

Dayton administration tackles financial literacy Following through on the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Financial Literacy Action Plan released last October, Commissioner Mike Rothman invited the heads of nine state agencies to the Department for a first of its kind Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy Monday January 30. Agencies invited to participate in the work group have existing programs, outreach efforts, or other interests in financial literacy. The goal of meeting is twofold: 1) to increase communication and collaboration across the administration in order to improve or expand existing financial literacy programs; and 2) identify new ways an administration-wide partnership may help ensure Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement have the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to achieve financial security. “This is an unprecedented coalition that demonstrates this administration’s strong commitment to financial literacy and consumer education,” said Commissioner Rothman. “With an economy in recovery,

and an increasingly complex marketplace, countless Minnesota families are facing real and difficult financial challenges. It has never been more important to work together across agencies to strengthen the systems that educate and support knowledgeable, financially secure Minnesota consumers. Working together in strong partnership, this coalition can make a big difference in the lives and finances of Minnesotans.” Joining Commissioner Rothman were Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller, Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Mark Phillips, Housing Finance Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito, Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, and representatives from the Department of Human Services, Department of Revenue, and Department of Military Affairs. “The efforts of this working group will help Minnesotans of all ages gain the skills and knowledge they need to

Governor Mark Dayton be financially secure,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I commend Commissioner Rothman and his working group for their leadership.” At the meeting, commissioners and staff from each agency presented their departments’ ongoing programs, policies, and interests in financial literacy. The presentations give all work group participants a better understanding of each agency’s respective role in financial literacy to begin the process of identifying possible areas of interagency collaboration The group will meet again

in early February to continue the forward momentum of collaboration. The work group meeting stemmed from a Financial Literacy Roundtable convened by Commissioner Rothman at the Commerce Department last April. At that meeting, more than 60 stakeholders from the private, non-profit, and public sectors gathered to advise Commissioner Rothman on what the Department of Commerce could do to support ongoing efforts to advance the cause of financial literacy in Minnesota. Among other recommendations, roundtable participants urged the administration to collaborate more effectively across agencies to pool resources, talent, and ideas on financial literacy efforts. Since the April roundtable discussion, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has begun work on nine of twelve action items established in the Financial Literacy Roundtable Report, including: Consumer Alerts – Continuing the new administration’s aggressive commitment to timely, relevant

consumer alerts and improving public knowledge of the Department’s enforcement actions Improving Web Content – Beginning the construction of an online financial literacy clearinghouse, expected to launch sometime this spring Senior Outreach – Improving consumer outreach to senior citizens, including the launch of an Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program (EIFFE) to train medical professionals how to identify and report financial abuse in their elderly patients Public Private Partnerships – Engaging in discussions with financial institutions and professional associations about how to partner public and private interests to advance the cause of financial literacy in Minnesota – including a meeting jointly held by Commissioner Rothman and Rep. Morrie Lanning in early January to discuss legislative initiatives and other partnership opportunities with private sector financial institutions and professional associations

Getting Involved – More actively participating in financial literacy organizations and events Interagency Collaboration – Convening an interagency work group on financial literacy, including ten state agencies across the administration in conversations about potential partnerships and collaboration Communities of Color – Improving outreach to communities of color and immigrant populations through culturally competent consumer alerts and the establishment of new collaborative partnerships State Employee Financial Education – Continuing the Department’s involvement in Slice of Spring and other education opportunities that improve the financial knowledge of state employees Federal Partnerships – Improving state-federal partnerships on financial literacy efforts with the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Reserve Bank

Franken joins Americans for marriage equality The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization – this week launched a web ad featuring U.S. Sen. Al Franken for its Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. In the ad, Franken, who represents the state of Minnesota and has been a longtime advocate for LGBT rights, says “I think everybody should be able to marry the person they love. And I think our government should help people make those life-long commitments.” The video can be viewed online at http://www.hrc. org/MarriageEquality. “The government should not be in the business of getting between two people making a loving commitment to each other,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We are grateful to Sen. Franken for his unwavering support for marriage equality, and know that he will continue

on Indian Affairs. He has been one of the most vocal supporters in the Senate for the rights of LGBT people, authoring proequality legislation such as the Student Non-Discrimination Act. Citizens in Franken’s home state of Minnesota will vote in November on a constitutional amendment that, if passed, would ban marriage for same-sex couples. This is the eleventh video

Senator Al Franken to advocate for fairness and equality on behalf of the state of Minnesota.” Franken was elected to the Senate in 2008 and was sworn in July of 2009 following a statewide hand recount. He currently sits on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Committee

released by HRC for the Americans campaign. Past videos feature Michael K. Williams, Aisha Tyler, Dee Rees and Kim Wayans, Scott Fujita, Josh Charles, Katori Hall, John Leguizamo, Julian Bond, Mo’Nique, and Cory Booker. About 53% of the American public supports marriage for same-sex couples, according to a number of nonpartisan polls, including Gallup, CNN, and

Washington Post/ABC News. Americans for Marriage Equality is a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. The campaign draws from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, and political and civic leaders. For more information on the campaign or to see the

videos, visit marriageequality. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Page 12 • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE Labadi beachfront: Still a city girl .30 cents. I just thank the Higher Being that the tap flows almost every day. Because if it didn’t

Gone to Ghana By Cordie Aziz Columnist Cordie Aziz is a former congressional staffer who moved to Ghana after losing her job last year. Follow her daily adventures at When I first moved to Accra, I envisioned my perfect house as a self-contained space, near the water, just large enough for me and an occasional guest, or two. After all, I like think of myself as a minimalist. But I must also mention that I am a realist, and the truth about Accra, is that rent is expensive. Finding a decent house, especially one near water, in Accra for a reasonable rate is almost next to impossible. Embassies and other high profile clientele have rented out the best houses at astronomical rates. And to make it worse, in Accra you pay your rent, up-front, for, at least, one year; sometimes renters even pay multiple months up front, depending on the lease. Therefore, non-government and non-corporate citizens have to struggle to find decent housing at an affordable rate. As a result, many people choose to live on the outskirts of Accra for more reasonable rates. But my time in Washington, DC, taught me you either live in the city or you don’t, and I definitely am a city girl. So when I ran across an ad for a 1 bedroom house in Labadi, the beachfront area in Accra, for rent, I just had to go see it. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was actually a 2 bedroom house, which fit all of my previous criteria, and, better yet, it was in my price range. Talk about getting lucky.

Cordie Aziz

The view from the author’s front gate. But before I signed the deal, I had to make sure the house had a polytank, which stores water for household use when the tap doesn’t flow. That’s right, I should mention, that Accra has a water issue, which means that water doesn’t flow from the tap every day of the week. Some people who live in surrounding areas can sometimes get water only once a week. So, now, I am sure you understand why having a polytank at your home is essential. Fortunately for me, the polytank at the house was big enough to keep me sustained for several weeks, if not months, should the tap not flow. So I signed the deal. However, I obviously didn’t ask the right questions, because when I moved in the house, last week, I noticed that water wasn’t flowing through the house when the tap was off. Then I discovered the tank needed a pump. Yes, I totally screwed that one up. Identifying the tank needed a pump was the easy part, finding a pump and a plumber to fix the issue, now that has been the challenge. Unfortunately, prices of goods and services really aren’t regulated by the market, so people will sell

A polytank, which is used to store water when water is not flowing from the tap. products and do tasks at whatever price you are willing to pay. This means that if you aren’t vigilant, you will pay three times more for a product or service than what it’s worth. Furthermore, my ability to properly negotiate “last price”, also known as the fair price, is hindered by the fact that I am not only a woman, but a foreigner, as

well. It’s ok though, I am frugal, and I actually enjoy the adrenaline rush of getting a great deal, so I am willing to bargain battle. After all I am a minimalist, and a few days without water won’t hurt; especially since young neighborhood boys will fetch water and bring it to your house everyday for a small fee of

I don’t think I could find the strength to bargain.

Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 13


Meeting to listen By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer Northway Community Trust (NWCT) is working to expand economic opportunity for North Minneapolis residents by promoting collaborative efforts across programs, neighborhood

Pat Carney

Jahee Omar attending the NorthWay Community

Trust January 10 Listening Session.

boundaries and systems. The goal, its leaders say, is to fundamentally transform the entire North Minneapolis community. Through a series of listening sessions, NWCT fosters discussion of issues and concerns that emphasize communities working together in health and education, and youth violence. The listening sessions explore safe housing, connecting elders and youth, political and advocacy training, affordable housing, the reduction of liquor stores on the Northside, and diversity among construction contractors. At a January 10 listening session, at Turning Point, 1500 Golden Valley Road in Minneapolis, Wesley Walker, Executive Director of Northway Community Trust (NWCT), Cynthia James, Community Outreach of NWCT, engaged Alice Melton of AmericCorps Vista Marketing Outreach, and

Pat Carney

NorthWay Community Trust December Listening Session from left corner to right: Alice Melton, Habitat for Humanity- Marketing & Outreach Liaison- Vista; Michael Chaney, CEO, Project Sweetie Pie; Wesley Walker, Executive Director- NorthWay Community Trust; Cynthia James, Outreach-NorthWay Community Trust ( Back turned); Komyung Yokoi, Patrick Henry High –Outreach; Candice McKelvy, Rice & Gravy Catering; Starr Carpenter, Grow! Twin Cities; and Jaqueline Willie, Broadway Family Medicine- Americorp Vista Jahhee Omar, Gang Prevention Management CEO and community residents in exploring the idea of collaboration. “I would especially like to thank the men who came. Your input was invaluable and your offer of time and commitment

was and is priceless. Your request to participate in further discussion and to get a greater understanding of the issues and the knowledge to tackle those issues was heard,” said James. NWCT encourages working together rather than separately to leverage skills and resources

to reduce poverty and increase prosperity. The organization supports collaborations that can help reduce the rate of unemployment, improve high-school graduation rates and increase the number of businesses owned and operated by Northside residents.

Northway Community Trust’s listening meetings are held each second Tuesday of the month, with the next one being held in February, location and date TBD. For more information, contact James at (612) 521-4500, or visit

North Minneapolis neighborhood beat... By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer African American Family Night Richard Green Central will host African American Family Night 4:30-7:30 Tuesday February 28th 3416 4th Ave. S. For more information: Brenda R. Carrasco 612-668-3736 Braulio.Carrasco@mpls.k12. Capri Theater Speak Low When You Speak of Love The Capri Theaters “Legend”

series presents Speak Low When You Speak of Love, featuring Twin Cities performers Sanford Moore, Dennis Spears, Julius Collins, and Dennis Oglesby. The concerts are at 7pm Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, and 3pm Sunday, February 12, 2012. To order tickets: OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Black History Showcase Plymouth Youth Center (PYC) Tech High School Discover Crew presents a Black History showcase 7pm Friday February 17. Concert The Capri Big Band will


Avenue S, Mpls. Free will offering received. Refreshments will follow the concert.

A Stone Thrown at the Guilty Feb 18 A new play, entitled A Stone Thrown at the Guilty, by acclaimed Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah, will receive a free public staged reading 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 18, and Sunday, February 19, at the Stoll Thrust Theatre, Rarig Center, West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota, 330 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Volunteer tutors are needed to teach Adult ESL & GED classes One day per week at Sumner Library- 611 Van White Memorial Blvd. Morning Classes: 10amNoon & Evening Classes: 6:308:30 Monday-Thursday. No previous experience necessary; full training provided. Must be able to commit to a 3 month period. For more information, please call 612-377-5399 or

The Evolution of African American Music - Feb 19 Combining lecture and vocal performance, Bruce A. Henry illustrates the connection between contemporary music trends and four centuries of African American music. Sun., Feb. 19, 1:30pm, The Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park

African Dance w/ Whitney Every Tuesday & Wednesday •Tue. 7:00pm - 8:30pm $12 Patricks Cabaret 3010 Minnehaha Ave. S. Mpls. •Wed. 7:00pm - 8:30pm $13 Zenon School of Dance (4th Floor) Hennepin center for the Arts 528 Hennepin Ave. Mpls.


Remodeled duplex units in East St. Paul. Three, four & five bedrooms available. Income Restricted, EHO

Insurance Agent Looking for people with a strong entrepreneurial mindset to own their own insurance agency. The average agent earns over $120,000 a year, with some earning over $500,000. If you desire financial independence, call 651-204-3131 to set up an appointment.

Community Organizers Wanted!! Working America / AFL-CIO is hiring full time staff to take our country back from the political forces that favor the wealthy and corporate special interests over your well-being! Diversity is highly valued at Working America: Women, people of color, and LGBT applicants strongly encouraged to apply. $457.60 week base pay - Entry Level. Fun work environment. EOE. Rapid advancement opportunities. - Apply Now: 612-331-5800

perform a Black History Month concert 3pm Sunday, February 19. All events are held at 2029 W Broadway. Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association SCNA is holding a board meeting 6:30-8pm Tuesday February 14 at Creekview Park 5001 Humboldt Ave. N. For more information: Amy Luesebrink 763-561-1616 scna@stribmail. com Victory The Victory Neighborhood Association will hold a

neighborhood meeting 7-9pm Tuesday February 22, St Johns Missionary Baptist Church 4301 Thomas Ave. N. For more information: Debbie Nelson 612-529-9558 info@ Cleveland The Cleveland Neighborhood Association will hold a board meeting 7-9pm Monday February 20 at 3333 Penn Ave. N. Light Rail Transit (LRT) Comments are being taken until Feb 17th for the proposed “scoping” process for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) route thru

or around North Minneapolis. This stage will establish the “scope” of the EIS. Comments can be submitted on the special form at:

l i b r a r y / 2 0 11 - 2 0 1 2 _ d e i s _ scoping_documents.htm, or visit for additional information regarding the scoping process.

Page 14 • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Insight News

Health From 7

Lou Bratton-Lampley

JUST YOU: The Profile of a Teacher Award By Lou Bratton-Lampley

I dream of a star that could express who you are It would shine near and far It would shine deep within beneath the colors of our skin You’re special to me You will help everyone When your day goes wrong You know what it means To work together as a team That’s special to me I dream of a heart that could express where your caring starts It would start at the beginning of a beat It would never surrender It could make the world a better place

education, income, housing and other priorities are taking the precedence over cancer screening. Al McFarlane: Wal-Mart has been a partner with American Cancer Society in helping underwrite some of your work. Let’s talk about what they do and how you engage the corporate community to help support the work? Joenell Tanner: We are very grateful that we have the support of Wal-Mart Foundation. That relationship has been in place for maybe 3 or 4 years, initially supporting our annual signature event which is Relay For Life, and now looking at ways in which they might support our work not only fight cancer, but address the issue of health disparities, specifically cancer disparities within the African American community. Al McFarlane: Is Twin Cities part of that project? Roshan Paudel: Yes, we are one of the 3 large markets that are involved in this project. We began working on this project earlier this year with funding from the Wal-Mart Foundation that enabled us to work with community clinics here in the Twin Cities. So here in North Minneapolis we are working with NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and Fremont Community Clinic a few blocks north of here.

Deport From 2 suggests that most immigrants (especially families with schoolage children) are here to stay, except perhaps where local economies are particularly weak.” Furthermore, according to

Romney From 2 These programs also create jobs for other Americans. As Medicaid dollars circulate through state and local In St. Paul we work with Open Cities Health Center to help women get screened for breast cancer, educate women about the importance of mammography and routine preventive care. We mobilize community health workers at those clinics.. Al McFarlane: Mary Jo Winston is a community health educator and advocate at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. She helps women get screened for breast cancer. She encourages them to set up appointments for their annual exams and she provides information to them regarding a variety of health issues that they are concerned about Mary Jo Winston, talk about your mission at North Point. What service are providing to the women and families of our community? Mary Jo Winston: I am a healthcare coach. As women come into my life and I come into their lives I talk to them about screening and early detection. As their coach, their educator, and as their advocate, I talk to them about positive health and good health and just share with them how important it is that they live right and begin to take care of themselves. That is what I have been modeling. I am seeing the momentum building in many of the women that I am working with. I am seeing a greater initiative with many of the women. They are seeing the great value of who they really are. They

may ask, “So is it important, Ms. Mary, that I get screen tested?” Why ask me that question? The answer is, “Yes”. If I have to sit on the side of the door as you are in there getting screened I will sit there and wait on you. So I am reaching a lot of women and I just love what I do. Al McFarlane: What I am hearing from you, Mary Jo Winston, is that with the right information and the right encouragement and the right access our people are responsive. But the disparity reflects the inability of our people to connect. If we had been able to connect all along there would not be the gap in outcomes. So what have been the barriers? Some of them, I know, are personal: fear, history of not having medical insurance and the like. But some of them are institutional. Let’s explore the range of things that have hindered our ability to be fully functional, healthy people. Let’s explore the solutions that we believe exist. What are the barriers? Why have some of us chosen not to or not been able to take advantage of lifesaving, life-giving resources that keep us healthy? Mary Jo Winston: Economics and fear: on the individual level I am seeing fear as a number one barrier and economics is tied to that. “Can I walk through the doors? Can I go and take care of me?” Is something going on in the home with economics? Is something going on with dysfunction in the family? Sometimes debt blinds

the person from thinking about their own health. I have been hearing many ghost stories and so now I am trying to help those ghost stories come to life. I am trying to help scare the ghosts away and help the person look at the reality of having great breast health. Joenell Tanner: There is also the history with African American individuals in particular with healthcare service delivery. Individuals want to know from the start that they will be treated with respect, and that they will be listened to. But physicians don’t always have the time to listen to in-depth dialogue. Often the physician is focused on that particular symptom. If your way of communicating is through storytelling, you may want to share your family history including that “my grandfather had high blood pressure or my grandmother had diabetes” but the physician is looking to address a particular symptom not necessarily in the most holistic or culturally appropriate manner and sometimes that is missed. I know that nationally, including Minnesota, that there is a lot of attention being placed on providers and medical students to understand and provide culture appropriate care. So I appreciate that there is a national movement and it just really substantiates and validates that people of color don’t always feel welcome.

the Pew Hispanic Center, “nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years, and nearly half are parents of minor children,” most of whom are U.S. citizens. There is no reason to believe that they are going to “self-deport” as their ties to the country have grown much deeper.

Whether you call it “selfdeportation” or “attrition through enforcement,” this is a policy that offers no genuine solution to the growing instability of our immigration system. Relying on a strategy conceived by immigration restrictionists and pursued by opportunistic politicians is no game plan. This country deserves to hear more detailed

and thoughtful approaches from politicians and policy makers— ones that will offer a way forward, rather than ones grounded in divisive and punitive approaches to unauthorized immigration. For more information, contact Wendy Sefsaf at wsefsaf@ or 202-507-7524.

economies, they create 17.1 new jobs for every $1 million in federal program spending. Under Rep. Ryan’s proposal to block-grant Medicaid, this would translate to a loss of nearly 3.1 million jobs between 2013 and 2020. In contrast, Romney’s tax cuts for millionaires will not

magically trickle down to create opportunity for the rest of us. We’ve tried this before with the Bush tax cuts. It failed. Romney’s tax and budget plans will exacerbate inequality and undermine mobility, offering another tax cut to the 1 percent at the expense of health care for the 99 percent. Poor and

middle-class families, especially among communities of color, cannot and should not bear this burden of Romney’s class warfare tax and budget plans.

See complete interview online at

Melissa Boteach is the Half in Ten Manager at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Page 15 • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Insight News

Insight News • February 6 - February 12, 2012 • Page 16

Insight News ::: 2.6.12  

Insight News for the week of February 6, 2012. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapoli...

Insight News ::: 2.6.12  

Insight News for the week of February 6, 2012. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapoli...