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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 10/23

Minnesotans with disability must be part of workforce equity movement; Minneapolis commercial street traffic trends; biking is worth it; and more.

Minnesotans with disability must be part of workforce equity movement

from the Growth & Justice Blog by George Shardlow

On September 30, 2014, the White House issued a Presidential proclamation that designated October as “Disability Employment Awareness Month.” This year, we celebrate both the second annual observation of that month and the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was landmark civil rights legislation for Americans with disabilities, ensuring basic legal protections in employment and establishing legal requirements for accessibility in the built environment.

However, a quarter century after the passage of the bill, the landscape does not look as we hoped it might. According to a recent report by RespectAbility, a disability advocacy organization, the national unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities is 70 percent. Shockingly, this actually represents a 20% increase in the unemployment rate of Americans with disabilities, since the passage of the ADA. To our credit, the report ranks Minnesota as the 5th best state in the nation for addressing unemployment in the disability community.

Map Monday – Minneapolis commercial street traffic trends

from by Alex Cecchini

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Imagine the city came to a local business street or node and proposed something like a bike lane, wider sidewalks, or any other design change that might cause vehicle traffic passing by to choose another route instead. Maybe the city wants to put in parking meters. The expected drop in traffic would be something like 10-20% over the next decade. What would the business community’s reaction be?

What if I told you daily traffic counts along major commercial streets in Minneapolis have been dropping for the past 10-15 years? The map above shows points along a selection of streets across Minneapolis, with nearly all of them losing motor vehicles passing by each day. 

Biking is worth it

from Biking in Mpls by Lindsey Wallace

You say all these things and then you read this blog. You read what I write about drivers honking at me, people yelling at me for breaking the rules, and what it was like to witness a hit and run. You wonder why I would bother dealing with these obstacles. Why bother riding a bike at all?

It’s because it’s worth it. It’s so worth it to move my body with my own power. To feel completely and totally self-sufficient. To feel strong and powerful in a world that often says women are anything but. I don’t have to be beholden to a bus timetable or feel guilty about using finite fossil fuel resources. I don’t have to invest money in car repairs or gas. I don’t have to worry about having the right change for the bus. I just need a bike that’s in working order and a little coffee in my belly.

A rite of autumn in southern Minnesota: My sister’s soup party

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

CROCKPOTS BRIMMING WITH SOUPS and chili crammed the tables in a Waseca garage on a recent Saturday evening as my sister Lanae and her husband, Dale, hosted their annual Soup Party.

It is a rite of autumn, this gathering of family and friends to sample a soup smorgasbord. Each guest arrives with a crockpot of homemade soup or chili—this year 22 types ranging from Bourbon Chili to Chicken Fajita, Beer Cheese and many more tasty varieties.

A Prairie Home Companion comes back home to Anoka

from Thoughts Towards a Better World by Dick Bernard

I first happened by PHC in 1977, thanks to my friends Don and Laura. You could walk in off the street then, and find plenty of good seats. Things changed when they went national.

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Keillor, of course, plays off the old and familiar of rural America, and Anoka was the big town of his youth, where he went to Junior and Senior High School. That then-small County Seat town, along with the rural precincts between St. John’s University and Freeport along I-94 west of St. Cloud (Lake Woebegone Country) gave Garrison the base for his always rich stories.

Saturday will probably be a particularly rich show.

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