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The Fight for Police Reform Isn’t Over

Plus a cool collab between Black Garnet Books and Patrick Henry High School and school board voter (mostly) screen out Anti-CRT wingnuts in today's Flyover.

The Future of Reform

So ballot Question 2 didn't pass, which means Minneapolis residents are left with another question: What happens now with regard to police reform? Over at MPR, accountability advocates tell Jon Collins that the fight isn't over just because the election is. Organizer Jae Yates with Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar says they're collecting signatures for a new policing referendum they'd like to see on the ballot as soon as 2022. (They've gotten 4,000 signatures already.) Meanwhile, Communities United Against Police Brutality say that while there's no "magic wand" that can solve the policing problem, they're focused on spurring a Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigation, as well as a federal DOJ investigation, into the MPD. "I know a lot of people are devastated because you didn’t bring the whole thing down," Jason Sole, former head of the Minneapolis NAACP, told MPR. "But, man, I've had a lot of losses, and what has come out of those losses has been beautiful."

Black Garnet, Patrick Henry High School, and the 1619 Project 

In very cool collaboration news: Black, woman-owned bookstore Black Garnet Books is teaming up with Patrick Henry High School to get as many copies of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story into their north Minneapolis library as possible. The 1619 Project started as a longform journalism series which ran in the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine in August of 2019, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves to British America. According to the Times, the project aimed to "reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States' national narrative." The Pulitzer Prize-winning series, helmed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, is set to be released in book form on November 16. When you purchase a donation copy via Black Garnet’s site, your order will be sent to the Camden-area high school. Pretty neat! Also neat: A portion of those proceeds will also support Black Garnet. 

School Board Voters (Mostly) Screen Out Anti-CRT Wingnuts

Voters across the metro area had the option this year of electing many school board candidates who believe racism doesn’t exist and anyway kids shouldn’t learn about it if it does. The good news is: They mostly didn’t. Bring Me the News has a rundown of the local school board members who campaigned against the latest right-wing boogieman, “Critical Race Theory” (and also, not quite coincidentally, had some nasty opinions about COVID prevention and transgender students). The kooks weren’t all shut out, though: In Anoka-Hennepin, the state’s largest school district, Matt Audette received 2/3 of the vote with "Critical Race Theory" listed as his only key issue. Anyway, remember that 1) systemic racism exists, duh, and 2) this anti-CRT bullshit was devised by a conservative operative as a way to rile up the base.

One Weird Trick to Reduce Runoff

Folks: Stormwater runoff is bad. It washes icky, toxic substances like fertilizer and pesticides into our waterways, polluting important bodies of water like the Mississippi River and the Minnehaha Creek. One solution? Installing rain gardens—er, "bioretention areas"—along boulevards, where they redirect water to the boulevard itself instead of storm drains in the street. You'll see a bunch of them along Grand Avenue, where Minnpost reports that the city has installed 126 stormwater gardens so far. And next year, when a new ordinance requiring better stormwater management goes into effect, you can expect to see even more of them.

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