May. 31, 2012

After months of negotiations, the state of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Vikings have come to an agreement that will result in a $1 billion NFL stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

When talk of a new Vikings stadium began in early 2012, HIRE Minnesota began listening with interest. Our coalition members had different opinions on whether the stadium should be built, but we all shared one core value: that major public investments that create jobs need to benefit everyone in our state. As the debate unfolded, HIRE Minnesota noticed that there was lots of talk about job creation, but no talk about who would get those jobs. We set out to change that.

The result of our work was a Stadium Equity Plan, a plan that will guide all investment decisions for the new stadium and could result in thousands of jobs for people of color in Minneapolis. That’s a big deal in a town with the worst black-white employment disparities in the nation.

The debate continues about whether public funds should be used to subsidize private business in this way. Opinions will continue to diverge for some time as to whether this is lemonade from lemons, or a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Is it frosting on the cake, or lipstick on a pig? But there’s one thing everyone agrees on. The Stadium Equity Plan is vitally important. Here’s how it happened.

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May. 25, 2012

Today we achieved a major victory in our battle for employment equity on the new stadium in Minneapolis. While debating the Vikings Stadium, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a motion, directing staff to create a Stadium Equity Plan for the city of Minneapolis. With this, the City is making a commitment to fully engage the work of ensuring people of color have access to these jobs. A special thank you to Council Members Elizabeth Glidden and John Quincy for their leadership in putting together this directive.

This victory is a significant step in achieving our goal of having employment equity integrated into development work in our city. Council Member Hodges took the opportunity to thank the advocates who worked so hard to move the City Council. She was talking about the important role that HIRE played, as many of you contributed to this cause by writing letters, making phone calls or meeting with City Council members.

Today’s accomplishment will lead to more work over the coming months and years to ensure the results we need. But that work would have been a lot harder, and maybe not even possible, without today’s action from the City Council.

 

May. 22, 2012

Insight News, Minneapolis

Next week, the city of Minneapolis will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide more jobs and career options for people of color in Minneapolis now and for the next 30 years.

Minneapolis has the worst employment disparities by race of any major city, meaning that white people are three times more likely to be employed than black people. HIRE Minnesota, a community-based coalition, is fighting hard to change this situation. The new Vikings stadium legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Dayton last week, outlines clear and immediate opportunities to provide both short- and long-term employment for people of color. While coalition members within HIRE Minnesota have different opinions about whether public funds should be used to build a stadium, we all agree that if the Minneapolis City Council votes in favor of it next week, it should make the most of the opportunity to advance employment equity in Minneapolis.

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