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Wait, So What Does Mayor Frey’s Veto Mean for Rideshare Drivers?

Plus ranking our state parks, protesting our megachurches, and stop stealing our coffee vans in today's Flyover news roundup.

Facebook: Mulda|

Members of rideshare driver advocacy group Mulda with members of the Minneapolis City Council earlier this month.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

CAN Drive $15.19?

Just after learning that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had vetoed the ordinance that City Council passed guaranteeing minimum rates for rideshare drivers in Minneapolis, we checked our inbox and saw this surprising subject header: “Mayor Frey Secures Guaranteed Minimum Wage for Minneapolis Drivers.” Then we saw a press release from Council Member Robin Wonsley summarizing her opinion of his decision: “Mayor Frey Caves to Corporate Lobbying, Betrays Rideshare Drivers.”

What exactly was happening here?

There’s a not-so-simple explanation. In the same release that announced his veto, Frey also took credit for reaching an agreement with Uber to guarantee Minneapolis minimum wage to drivers picking up a passenger in the city or driving within city limits, and a guaranteed rate of $5 for any trip. In contrast, the ordinance provided a minimum pay rate of $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute, and also contained worker protections, including an appeals process for drivers who had been deactivated and banned the use of gift cards. (Someone better at math than us—and not on deadline—will have to tell you how those differing ways of arriving at pay add up.)

Frey continues to protest that the council did not weigh the interests of all the stakeholders before acting, which is a fancy way of saying they’re not concerned that Uber and Lyft might make good on their promise to skedaddle if the city regulates them in a manner they deem inappropriate. Of course, none of the supposed concessions Frey boasts of wrenching from Uber would have happened without leverage—pressure from the rideshare drivers who organized under the banner of Mulda and the passage of an ordinance that showed the city meant business. It would have been (uncharacteristically) fair of the mayor to acknowledge that in his statement; instead he petulantly called himself “disheartened that a majority of Council Members did not take the opportunity to address” his concerns before voting. 

The question now goes back to the City Council, which can hopefully craft an ordinance that guarantees drivers a decent wage and sufficient protections—and that Uber, Lyft, and the mayor can all support. 

Do Northwestern Minnesota’s Parks Suck or What?

Over at the Minnesota Reformer, Christopher Ingraham takes a decidedly un-Minnesotan approach to analyzing the recent survey of state park visitors conducted by the Minnesota DNR. Overall, visitor response was positive, with 82% of respondents “very satisfied” and 14% of the rest “somewhat” satisfied. (You can find a more detailed discussion of the survey findings here.) Still, Ingraham wonders, what are the worst parks? While the DNR data didn’t allow him to pinpoint the exact worst parks, it was enough for him to learn where the lowest-rated parks were located: Northwestern Minnesota. Parks in these areas had an 8% dissatisfaction rate, nearly twice that of the second lowest-rated area. (Unsurprisingly, northeastern Minnesota fared the best—hard to screw up a state park picturesque Arrowhead Region.) A 92% approval rating is still pretty good, so don’t get too down on yourselves, NW MN. Maybe you just had some especially picky visitors.

Students Oppose Grad Ceremony at Megachurch

For the past 15 years, Chaska and Chanhassen high schools have held their graduation ceremonies at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. But Chaska sophomore Eli Frost has started a petition in hopes of changing that by his senior year. Why? Because it’s a megachurch peddling mega-intolerance. When it's not giving sermons titled “Marriage vs. Gay Marriage” or “Gender vs. Gender Confusion,” it's hosting predatory events, such as this Jesus-themed get-rich-quick conference we recently attended.

“I had to sit through all of my graduation last year knowing that my high school was paying... an institution that promotes hatred against who I am as a person (as helpfully shown by the QR codes on the seats we were sitting in during the rehearsal),” one petition signee writes. So far they’ve received 2,338 signatures, and that number is growing thanks to a teacher-posted TikTok that went viral this week. “The use of the facility is not an endorsement of any of their beliefs,” school district communication director Celi Haga told Audra Grigus at SW News Media last May. (That article also notes the church makes around $28K annually hosting these two events.) The school district did not respond to Racket’s request for comment.

Area Jerk Steals Misfit Coffee’s Van, Trailer

There’s something especially cruel about stealing a vehicle that is obviously used by a small business. And when you’re driving around with a hot truck emblazoned with a company logo? Well, now you’ve got a target on your back. With that in mind, we’re hoping that people can help find Misfit Coffee’s white van and black mobile coffee trailer ASAP. According to the shop's most recent Instagram post, someone broke into their van, which was parked at their brick-'n'-mortar shop at 207 Humboldt Ave. N. in Near North, around 7 a.m. this morning. And yes, the bastards took the trailer, too. The vehicle was most recently spotted between 38th & 42nd Streets in south Minneapolis. If they're still driving around, it's most likely without the trailer, so check the license plate: YNE-5302.

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