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Minneapolis News archives   |   Green Party Open letter to Minneapolis School Board   |   Teacher pay freeze: A bargaining ploy?   |   Jennings Resignation: Just a tactical retreat?   |   "Reverse racism cuts both ways"   |   Doug Mann for Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent?   |   Hollman Archives

Minneapolis News archives
Minneapolis News

Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication on 28 October 2004

Minneapolis to regulate rental application fees
Councilman Schiff's proposed ordinance to regulate rental application fees can lay the ground work for effective and low-cost enforcement of fair housing laws [hearings in Oct. 2004 to precede a vote].  
by Doug Mann, 22 Sept. 2004

Re: Minneapolis to regulate rental application fees
Comments, Text of proposed ordinance, & state law
by Gregory Luce, 22 Sept 2004 (from mpls issues list)

Affordable Housing and the Hollman v. Cisneros Settlement
Draft Statement by Doug Mann, 18 August 2001

Education reforms have been widening the gap
Doug Mann, 24 April 2004, text of message to mpls issues list

In my opinion the local Democratic Party has been making a mess of the
Minneapolis Public Schools because the Democratic party, locally and nationally,
has been making concessions to, enabling, and increasingly identifying with a
right-wing school reform movement supported by the Republican Party at the
national level since the early 1980s.
click on link above for full text

Minneapolis school vision still in the distance
By Steve Brandt, 21 April 2004, Star-Tribune

Hey Minneapolis, remember that invitation from the school board to join discussions
this month and next on where the city schools ought to be headed? Most of you likely
will have to wait until this summer or fall. That's the recommendation of a team of would-be
consultants to the district. ..
..."Basically, they don't want any public input," said Doug Mann, a past and current school
board candidate who has been critical of board efforts. "I think they're afraid of encountering
opposition to the proposals..."

Consultants Urge MPLS Schools to Delay Public Input
by Dr. Vinny, Founder & Publisher,

Dr Vinney notes: "The consultants want to first assemble a 'targeted'
(aka "politically connected") group of people to [create] by June a rough draft of
what the community thinks the schools ought to be like. That rough draft would be
used to interview Superintendent candidates in late May or June...[and later] would
be used to start a "broader community discussion" of "values" which could be used
to create a "vision" for the Minneapolis Public Schools."

Note by Doug Mann: Meanwhile Superintendent Jennings will be working behind the
scenes to amend and repackage his original reorganization / downsizing plan. The
consultants will help the superintendent and board of directors to design a guided
facilitation process that will: 1) buy them some time,  and 2) validate the course
they have already decided to pursue.  

Minneapolis School Closings (open letter)
Superintentent Jennings and school board members,

In her latest Strib Opinion piece, Ms. Johnson [a school board member]
praises Mr. Jennings' bold leadership, and implicitly supports his reorganization plan,
his proposal to eliminate teacher tenure rights, and the sponsorship of more charter
schools, which will help to draw down enrollment in the district's own schools...

Werewolves & Silver Bullets
Is it possible to turn around the Minnespolis Public Schools?
by Doug Mann, 16 April 2004

Green Party St. Paul vs Yecke confirmation
GPSP Education Committee, 23 April 2004
"...It is our conviction that Commissioner Yecke is motivated by a long-range goal of
dismantling public education * the very institution her agency is supposed to manage *
and replacing it with a privatized system of education in which public funding will be
directed to private schools..."

NEWS BRIEF - Hollman Update: Legal Aid seeks sanctions against City
- Also published in the MN Spokesman-Recorder newspaper, 24 Dec 2003 (print only)
      On December 5 Minneapolis Legal Aid filed a motion in Federal Court seeking an order
that imposes financial penalties on the City of Minneapolis in excess of $345,000 plus
legal costs for being in default of its duties under the Hollman Consent Decree
(the settlement of a housing discrimination lawsuit).
      Legal Aid contends that the city could have assured timely completion of housing
units for poor people at Heritage Park, formerly the site of a huge public housing project
on the near North side of Minneapolis.  The City had originally agree to have all of the
Heritage Park units ready for occupancy by the end of 2001. The deadline was
subsequently pushed back to 2002, then October 2004. The city recently asked for
an extension of the deadline to May 2005, but now expects to get the work done no
sooner than the fall of 2005.
     If Legal Aid's motion is approved, the City will be compelled to fulfill its obligations
under the Hollman Consent Decree, even if the City is less than fully successful in suing
the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to cover some of the remaining
construction costs. The date for a hearing on this matter has not been set, but is likely to be
scheduled during the week ending January 23. The NAACP withdrew as a party to the Hollman
Consent Degree in October 2003.
     For news articles about the Hollman Decree, see Minneapolis News archives

Health workers fight to unionize (link to Spokesman-Recorder)
By: Doug Mann, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 12/11/2003 first of a two part story

NLRB curtails Walker Methodistís union-busting practices

In May 2003, employees at Walker Methodist Health Center voted 165 to 105 to be
represented by a union, Council 14 of the American Federation of State County and
Municipal Employees (AFSCME). However, if the management gets its way, that vote
won't count, and ballots cast by around 70 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in a separate
election on July 30, 2003, will never be counted.

Walker Methodist workers garner wide support (link to Spokesman-Recorder)
By: Doug Mann, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 12/17/2003 Conclusion of a two-part story

Employees at Walker Methodist Health Center have been trying to unionize, on and off,
for at least a dozen years.

It's About the Public Input, Stupid! (Link to
Why Minneapolis School Leaders Need to Listen to Public Input and why
Reverse Racism is NOT the issue!
These articles [are] by Doug Mann, with editing for clarity and length by Dr. Vinny.
PART I -- Reverse Racism is Not the Issue!
The coalition of groups and individuals that came together in opposition to the
appointment of David Jennings is calling for "...a more open process that includes
input from the community..." [Jennings Withdraws, Insight News, October 15, 2003]

Green Party Open Letter to the Minneapolis School Board
5th Congressional District Green Party Steering Committee
Friday, November 21, 2003  
The open letter states, in part "Notwithstanding any closed proceedings required by
laws such as the Data Privacy Act, we ask that you utilize transparent communications
and open meetings -- with opportunities for public comment -- in all matters leading up
to the selection of the next Superintendent. We believe that in so doing, the Board will be
able to regain a great deal of the public trust that many feel was lost after the selection
of Mr. Jennings."

Teacher pay freeze, a bargaining ploy?
by Doug Mann, October 29, 2003
I suspect that the school board authorized Jennings to withhold step and lane pay increases from teachers as a bargaining ploy to pressure teachers to accept the district's "pay for performance" scheme...

Minneapolis School Superintendent quits, school board promises search
The Minneapolis Board of Education picked David Jennings, a former legislator and corporate exec as the new superintendent without a search process. Jennings was the district's Chief Operating Officer, a position created for him 2 years ago.  Jennings broke off negotiations and announced that he will not accept the job  of superintendent on a permanent basis due to  protests.  The Star-Tribune blamed a "small but vocal" group of "self appointed" black leaders.  

Jennings Resignation: Just A Tactical Retreat?
Jennings will stay on as MPS school superintendent, at least temporarily
by Doug Mann, 15 October 2003

"Reverse racism" cuts both ways
By Doug Mann, 16 October 2003
[Post to the mpls issues list] In the Sunday Star-Tribune, editor Jim Boyd complained about "reverse racism" as a factor in motivating opposition to the Jennings appointment.  But the Star-Tribune has never complained about "reverse racism" when it served to stifle dissent and paralyze opposition to the status quo.

Jennings appointment archives

Suspension Rate Stays Sky-High in Minneapolis
by Dr. Vinny, South High Sucks (link to underground student web site)
PATHETIC PROGRESS PATROL -- Minneapolis Public School administrators are crowing about a 2.9% reduction in the suspension rate last school year (2001-02) compared to 2000-2001. 18% of all Minneapolis students were suspended at least once in 2001-2002--and a third of them were suspended for subjective, non-violent offenses such as "disrespect" and "defiance." 52% of African-American 8th graders were suspended in 2001-2002.

NAACP jumps on the "school choice" bandwagon
Archives - The Minneapolis NAACP branch officers illegally opened two parent information centers August 16, 2003. By a two-thirds majority the branch membership voted to kill the project on June 28, 2003, before the national office gave conditional approval for the parent information centers project. One of the conditions was ratification of a hiring policy by the branch membership (which didn't happen). The Parent information center are currently being run by "consultants," including a lawyer. (October 11, 2003)
Hollman Consent Decree Hits the Fan
The City, Legal Aid, and the NAACP stuck to their game plan: Support motions in court that could save the City millions at Hollman plaintiff's expense.

NAACP "withdraws" from the Hollman Housing Lawsuit?
NAACP supports City's motions in Court without endorsement by branch membership
Doug Mann, 17 October 2003
   A press release dated October 15, 2003 says "Dennis Courtland Hayes, NAACP General Counsel, announced today that the Minneapolis Branch NAACP has withdrawn as a plaintiff in the housing case Hollman v. Martinez..."  This is news to most of the branch membership, and possibly to the Court...

Don't give them shelter:
The City's legal strategy [to not replace] demolished public housing
by Doug Mann, Pulse of the Twin Cities  
Originally posted Sept. 24, 2003   

In 1992 the NAACP and Legal Aid of Minneapolis filed a lawsuit, Hollman v Cisneros, on behalf of public housing tenants against the City of Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Council and the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for policies that concentrated poverty and people of color in certain neighborhoods.

More delays plague Hollman/Heritage Park
By: Shannon Gibney, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 10/8/2003

Latest glitch involves $7 million in contested HUD funding

   If the fox is in the hen house, the farmer isnít watching the brood. Itís a simple metaphor, but nevertheless it elegantly illustrates the current state of the Hollman/Heritage Park project ó now...

Hollman Achives
====================Also see===========================
Urban Cleansing in Minneapolis: Are NATO Air Strikes the Answer?
by Doug Mann, Pulse of the Twin Cities, May 19-25, 1999

The Fight Against Urban Cleansing and Gentrification in Minneapolis
by Doug Mann, pamphlet, 1999
Member of Federal Mediation Panel Brutalized by Police
by Doug Mann, Pulse of the Twin Cities, 01 oct. 2003

Alfred Flowers, a community representative on a federal mediation panel that is looking into complaints of police brutality was brutalized by Minneapolis Police on the morning of Saturday, September 27, 2003. [The arrest was made and an NAACP meeting was broken up in response to a complaint by the Minneapolis NAACP branch president, Albert Gallmon.  Gallmon resigned his post as NAACP branch president that weekend]

Charges against Flowers dismissed, then reinstated
Community representives on mediation panel hold press conference on October 25
October 26, 2003.  
According to Community representatives on the federal mediation panel that is looking into charges of police brutality in Minneapolis, charges were reinstated against Alfred Flowers for trespassing on Urban League property and resisting arrest two weeks after those charges were dismissed.  This move will also allow the city attorney to press charges against  a former Minneapolis cop, Alisha Clemons, for "obstructing the judicial process" by interferring with an arrest. According to witnesses, police officers handcuffed, then choked and beat Flowers. Clemons told the arresting officers that they were violating police department regulations regarding the use of force during an arrest.  Witnesses say that Flowers offered no resistance, and there was a video tape recording of the arrest.  There will probably be a story about this turn of events in the next issue Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.
The Minneapolis Story goes on
Link to web site and blog of Ron Edwards, long time Civil Rights activist, book author, newspaper columnist, and candidate for Minneapolis NAACP branch president in 2002 (defeated in an allegedly rigged election).
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 10/17/2003
Our view:
NAACPís Minneapolis branch must embrace reform

"...There are four major actions we believe the branch must take to restore its capacity to effectively advocate for the cityís communities of color: 1) Let the general membership elect all officers...2) Conduct branch business in an open, democratic fashion. The elitist, authoritarian style of recent leadership has relied on police to eject dissident members and resorted to armed guards for maintaining order at meetings. Secrecy, a defining characteristic of police states, has come to characterize branch operations...3) Open the books...4) Act on community issues. By this we donít mean holding social events, attending conventions, and signing on as cosponsors of actions initiated by others, which seem to be all the branch has accomplished under recent leadership..."