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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 11/20

Policy changes that could help immigrants contribute even more to Minnesota; why the Democrats shouldn’t downplay their debates; texting while driving is dangerous and illegal, but people still do it; and more.

Improving federal and state policies can expand immigrants’ contributions to Minnesota

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Clark Biegler

Throughout our country’s history, immigrants have played important roles in strengthening our economy and shaping our communities. They are our neighbors and coworkers who have come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Many have been here for years and their children may be American citizens.

We recently released three issue briefs outlining the ways undocumented immigrants currently strengthen our economy, as well as how federal and state policies could be improved to meet growing workforce needs while increasing opportunities for workers and young people.

Five reasons why Democrats shouldn’t downplay their debates

from Wry Wing Politics by Joe Loveland

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As has been widely discussed, this year the Democratic presidential debates are on the down-low.  Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaders have decided to downplay their presidential debates, by limiting the sheer number of them, and airing some of them on Friday and Saturday evenings, when viewership levels are always very low.  Finding a Democratic presidential debate in the 2016 campaign is like finding Waldo, and it’s very much by design.

Texting while driving is illegal and dangerous, but people still do it

from by Anne White

As Minnesota works to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to traffic crashes, one of the biggest challenges is the growing number of crashes caused by distracted driving, especially texting and driving. In the last four years, almost a quarter of all crashes that resulted in a death or serious injury were attributed to distracted driving, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. But it’s also acknowledged that texting and driving is grossly underreported, mainly because it’s so difficult to obtain proof that will stand up in court.

Wrestling with questions about Minnesota’s awful art

from News Day by Mary Turck

Last week’s blog post on offensive, racist, and historically inaccurate art in the Minnesota Capitol sparked an intense and informative discussion between Joline Gitis, who advocated keeping the art in place in order to “provide important opportunities to discuss painful chapters in Minnesota’s history–chapters that might otherwise be glossed over or ignored” and Scott Russell, who argues that the Capitol is a place where “art should inspire people, not make some feel excluded.” Both offered thoughtful, respectful arguments, in a dialogue that played out on Facebook. I found their dialogue thought-provoking and received their permission to share it here.

Grieving with the people of Paris

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

DURING MY WEEKLY SUNDAY evening phone call to my mother, who lives in southwestern Minnesota, we talked about the terrorist attacks in Paris. Mom shared how she could not stop watching media coverage of the tragedy.

And then she asked about my eldest, confused as to when my daughter and her husband had been in Paris. Six months ago, I assured her. Not recently, as she thought.

I, too, had been thinking about the May trip and how thankful I was that my loved ones were safely back home in Minnesota. But then I thought of the mom in California who will never welcome her daughter home. And I considered all the other families grieving the deaths of loved ones. How could I possibly relate or understand?

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