NOTE: This Special TruthToTell: Community Connections program can be seen and/or heard on the following:
9:00AM Monday – KFAI FM 90.3/106.7 and Streaming online at www.KFAI.org
8:00PM Monday - SPNN Cable Channel 19 (St. Paul) and MTN Channel 16 (Minneapolis)
Listeners to Niijii Radio/KKWE - White Earth: check TruthToTell's schedule of programs airing at 6:00PM Mondays following Democracy NOW!
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This week we begin a year-long series of monthly special TruthToTell programs looking at key issues facing various communities around the Twin Cities Metro and across Minnesota.
We’re calling it Community Connections – and the whole idea is to bring conversations on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native issues, youth and so on, into the communities across Minnesota where folks facing those issues can be a real part of them. We bring in a live and engaged audience each month to be an integral part of our examining those issues.
The series is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has allowed TruthToTell to partner with KFAI and the St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) to present these discussions and dialogues for radio, television and online distribution. The programs are recorded live for presentation beginning the following Monday – in our regular TruthToTell slot at 9:00 AM on KFAI and at 8:00 PM on television in St. Paul on SPNN’s Community Cable Channel 19 and Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN) Channel 16. When possible, we will air live on KFAI on the Second Wednesday evening of some of those months. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for which ones we’re able to air live.
This month, we explore the issues arising from a plan to put a light rail line along what’s being called the Bottineau Transitway, starting in downtown Minneapolis and running through or around the North Side and out to Brooklyn Park. We gathered in the meeting rooms of the Minneapolis Urban League on the North Side of Minneapolis. We want to thank the Urban League as well as the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability (Russ Adams, Joan Vanhala and Ebony Adedayo), our true community partner on this issue – and perhaps others later. AMS will remain on top of regional transit issues throughout their development.
Bottineau will be among the last light rail corridors built, if it can get the necessary funding – and, as with so many other public issues, this line will serve communities of color in the main. Those communities, including North Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, especially the urban core, have watched their critical transit needs go unmet – and even existing ones cut back when others around the Metro were not. This means Bottineau represents a serious public investment in transit-dependent communities, and deserves the same level of fund all the other corridors seem to be receiving from the Feds, the state and local governments. Some other corridors will still have to decide whether they’ll run rails or what’s called bus rapid transit – a sort of souped-up bus to run at in its own lanes and at higher speeds.
This first conversation featured four outstanding contributors to the discussion from both relevant public agencies and some of the communities along this corridor to the northwest from Target Field.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI guide this conversation with our guests:
WYNFRED RUSSELL, Brooklyn Park – Executive Director, African Career, Education and Resource, Inc.; Liberian Community activist