Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Omar, Frey Will Attempt to Make Peace While Dining On…
Jerk chicken. That’s according to community organizer Mike Griffin, who, semi-miraculously, appears to have willed a peacemaking dinner between U.S. Rep. Illhan Omar and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey into existence. “The only food I’ve nailed down is jerk chicken; obviously no pork or alcohol,” Griffin tells Racket. “Both sides have confirmed. The dinner should happen this week.” Last Wednesday via Twitter, Griffin cold-invited the warring politicians to a meal at his downtown Minneapolis luxury apartment. “It’s unfortunate that Minneapolis has our congress person and our mayor publicly at odds with each other,” he wrote, tagging both parties. “I’m offering my apartment for them to meet over dinner. I will cook a delicious meal at a neutral location.” Days later, reps from both camps confirmed interest in the summit, which will hopefully quell Omar-Frey tensions that exploded publicly last week—Frey called Omar “mean-spirited,” Omar called Frey “incompetent.” Were said tensions further inflamed by this inflammatory Racket headline? Impossible to say. This much is certain: Jerk chicken, a Jamaican dish of deep cultural importance, is delicious.
State Fair Gun Ban Upheld
A federal judge has dismissed a 2021 lawsuit challenging the Minnesota State Fair’s ban on guns, the Minnesota Reformer’s Max Nesterak reports. Rev. Tim Christopher and Sarah Cade Hauptman had argued that the gun ban was illegal because of the Second Amendment and a Minnesota law prohibiting local jurisdictions from restricting firearms. Said U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim: Nope! The Minnesota State Agricultural Society has the right to ban guns, because it also has the responsibility to protect guests. “The Fairgrounds are a sensitive location with thousands of people and children present in often crowded conditions. As such, protecting the fairground from gunfire is a compelling interest,” he wrote.
What’s the Most Midwestern Thing on Earth?
According to a Washington Post roundup spotted locally by Bring Me the News, the answer is… walleye. That’s per data from Airbnb, which the Post trawled for descriptors in listings that identified themselves as “midwest” or “midwestern.” Walleye got a mention in more than 80% of Airbnb listings described as midwestern across 12 states, followed by “heartland.” And “Lutheran” was the fourth most-mentioned word, which would not be a selling point for me—though I suppose walleye wouldn’t either. (What about cheese curds? Why aren’t you people talkin’ pull tabs?) The WaPo removed references to place names or brands from the analysis, but if they hadn’t, Hy-vee—that grocery chain with Iowan vibes that entered the Twin Cities market in 2015— would have topped the list.
Frey’s 2023 Budget Includes Funding for Abortion Access
Fans of women having bodily autonomy may pleasantly surprised to see that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has set aside $300,000 of his budget for abortion accessibility. Although it is a one-time allotment, this could be extended in the future. “This is an emerging need, and Health will continue to work with the City Attorney’s Office and Finance to refine this proposal,” the report states. Abortion is legal in Minnesota. It’s not, however, in the Dakotas or Iowa–basically every state bordering us. That means more people will be seeking access to abortions in Minnesota, something that Planned Parenthood and other orgs have been preparing for. “When Roe is overturned, we’re looking at Minnesota and Illinois being the only states in the Midwest that can provide abortion care,” abortion escort Cassidy Thompson told us in March. “Twenty-six states are going to ban overnight.” Yep, she was right. Meanwhile, Minnesota has eight abortion providers. You can see a map of locations here.