Inaugurate the Resistance

As we brace for Trump's inauguration later this week, millions of people nationwide are preparing to begin a new chapter of resistance. Join us for a mass show of solidarity as we show that we will resist Trump's racist, misogynist, xenophobic and environmentally destructive policies every step of the way. Join us as we inaugurate the joyful resistance.

Here are some Twin Cities actions we'll be participating in today and tomorrow:

Thursday, January 19

Protect Our Students & Our Schools Rally and March

LEAP High School, 631 Albert St N, St. Paul, MN 55104

3:45 pm - 6 pm
On January 19th, right before Inauguration Day, we will stand up with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers as educators, students, and community members with our allies across the country to protect our students and our public schools. Join us for a rally and a march to demand the city of Saint Paul and Saint Paul Public Schools loudly and clearly proclaim themselves sanctuaries for our students and their families and commit to funding our public schools.

#TeachersforBlackLives

Friday, January 20
The Quarry, 1520 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55413
5:30 am - 8 am
On January 20, Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day, janitors who clean Home Depot stores in the Twin Cities organizing with CTUL will go on strike against their cleaning contractor to protest their poverty wages and Donald Trump’s anti-worker agenda – the first strike against Donald Trump in the country since his election.

The two founders of Home Depot have donated millions of dollars to Trump and one of Home Depot’s major investors supports Trump. Home Depot uses the Trump model of business for its janitorial services: using subcontractors that hire immigrant workers and sometimes face lawsuits for wage theft.

Janitors who clean Home Depot are paid poverty wages by their subcontractor and have been organizing for years to win fair wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. If Trump has his way, these worker’s wages will go even lower – as Trump told the country in November 2016, “wages are too high.”

You can stand with striking janitors at 5:30am at The Quarry, 1520 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

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Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
2 pm - 6 pm
 Join us and a dozen other organizations for a march through Minneapolis. Donald Trump and the GOP are preparing to unleash a storm of attacks on women, immigrants, the Muslim community, LGBTQ people, workers, and the environment. It’s clear we cannot rely on the Democratic Party establishment to fight Trump’s agenda – it’s on us. Join us on Inauguration Day to send a clear message to Trump, the GOP and the billionaire class.

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Water Is Life -- Resist Cultural Genocide -- Native Lives Matter

1900 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

3 pm - 6 pm

This march will join up with the mega-march. There will be hot chocolate. #NoDAPL #ResistCulturalGenocide

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Las Mojarras Restaurant, 1507 E Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
6 pm - 9 pm
After the daytime events on Inauguration Day, come join community members and organizations from all around the Twin Cities as we gather to recognize and explore the incredible strength, resourcefulness, creativity, and resilience of a connected, collaborative community.  

There'll be music, powerful stories, community resources, and opportunities to learn and become connected with initiatives that will help support a more fair, just and sustainable life for all.

15937122_10101963447479302_3316168136170561508_oJoyful Resistance

Ginger Hop, 201 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

10 pm - 2 am

The night of the inauguration, join NOC and community for a night of music, dancing, and joyful resistance. As we prepare for the next four years, we refuse to surrender our joy -- we embrace it as an act of love and resistance. Join us for music, dancing, and community. We'll also have info about our Resist. Revolt. Unite. campaign and how you can join the movement.

Joyful Resistance


2016: a year of big wins and building resistance

2016 was a tremendous year of growth for us, even as the year marked a national turning point with the election of Donald Trump. We challenged cities and counties to change their policies, and won; we won key state policy changes even with a divided legislature; we moved $75 million in state and city budgets; and we pressed presidential candidates on the issues facing Black America. We took to the streets to mourn the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile and demand justice; we won policy changes to hold the police accountable and invest in public safety alternatives. And we proved over and over again that we can make the impossible possible; that organizing works. We're building a movement and gaining momentum.

Here's a look back at NOC's year in review for 2016:

Civic Engagement

-We started the year in January with a convening in Iowa with organizations from around the Midwest and presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders. We're committed to building power with organizations throughout the Midwest, a region that consistently has some of the highest racial disparities in the country. We held workshops on reparations and pressed O'Malley and Sanders for targeted solutions for underserved communities.
-On February 12, we held a forum on Black America with Bernie Sanders at Patrick Henry High School, the first presidential campaign stop in north Minneapolis from a major party in more than 20 years. We pressed Senator Sanders on issues specific to the Black community, including reparations. More than any other event throughout Sanders' campaign, this forum brought the issues facing Black America to the forefront and pressed him to make them a priority.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change Panel at #BlackForumMN

-Throughout February, we held caucus trainings and developed the People's Platform of caucus resolutions. Thousands of people passed NOC resolutions at hundreds of precinct caucuses. Nearly all of our resolutions were ultimately incorporated into the DFL platform, and many were adopted by the Green Party.

#NOCtheCaucusHow

-We held a forum on Black America in August with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, where she elaborated on her support for reparations and community members had an opportunity to ask her questions directly.

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Policing
-In January, news broke that a St. Paul police sergeant, Jeffrey Rothecker, had been encouraging motorists to run over protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies. When Rothecker said he hadn't meant it, we released screenshots of him saying the same things on the NOC Facebook page. Rothecker lost his job with the St. Paul Police Department in February.

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-After thousands of people signed our petition for no grand jury in the death of Jamar Clark, Hennepin County became the first county nationwide to eliminate the use of grand juries for police-involved shootings in March. Grand juries have never indicted a police officer for killing someone in Minnesota, and are often a tool for county attorneys to avoid transparency and responsibility. Eliminating grand juries for these cases is an important step toward accountability and justice.

Non-Indictment Rally

-After the horrifying death of Philando Castile, thousands of people signed a petition for a special prosecutor, and hundreds more sent emails to Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to indict the officer who killed Philando Castile without the use of a grand jury. Choi appointed a special prosecutor to help with the case and in November indicted Officer Yanez without a grand jury--a historic step for police accountability in Minnesota.
-When the St. Paul City Council was poised to vote to keep police officers on the civilian review board, we joined concerned citizens and organizations throughout St. Paul in November to convince the council to vote for an all civilian review board with no police. Hundreds of NOC members contacted their council member. Two days before the vote, only one council member wanted to remove police from the civilian review board; 48 hours later, the proposal passed 5-2. Council President Russ Stark called it the most dramatic change to a City Council vote this year.

Safety Beyond Policing meeting

-We kicked off our campaign for safety beyond policing: investing public money in alternative holistic safety solutions and divesting from antiquated systems that originated in slavery and do not keep our communities safe. We brought our campaign to the Minneapolis budget hearings, where we successfully pressured the Minneapolis City Council to include $1.5 million for safety beyond policing measures in December.

Fadumo testifies

United Black Legislative Agenda
We partnered with Black organizations from different communities around the state to push a united agenda at the state legislature for economic justice, criminal justice, and Black immigrant justice. This marked the first time in at least fifty years that so many people came together united for a Black agenda at the Capitol. As a result of this agenda, the legislature
  • Allocated $35 million focused on jobs and employment in communities of color
  • Passed sentencing reform with a negotiated agreement that reduced penalties for first time 3rd degree possession (raising threshold from 3g to 10g) and provided judges with more discretion for 4th degree possession, among other things. Not only will sentencing reform reduce the number of prison beds and save the state money, it also reinvests that money into drug treatment, mental health, and chemical dependency.
  • Passed voting rights restoration in the Senate, but the House did not bring it up and it did not become law.
  • Passed a bill that can add up to 25% of the maximum penalty for crimes that are committed as a result of bias, based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other protected classes -- making sure hate crimes are punished more appropriately.
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Education

-Working with partner groups, we successfully pressured the legislature to allocate:

  • $1 million for full-service community schools;
  • $25 million for early childhood education options, including pre-K;
  • $12 million for education support professionals, such as school counselors and social workers
  • As well as a policy change to shed light on a shortage report for diverse districts with a shortage of teacher diversity.
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-After Philando Castile, an educator in the St. Paul Public Schools, was murdered by a St. Anthony police officer, we partnered with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and Minneapolis Federation of Teachers for a #Teachers4BlackLives march in his honor, demanding justice for Philando and safety beyond policing in our schools.

-We helped shape the Minneapolis school board race through a candidate questionnaire and forum about racial equity in the public schools.

Amber facilitates school board forum

-We were proud to be part of the successful Vote Yes for Kids campaign to renew funding for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Environmental Justice
-This year, we hired an environmental justice organizer for the first time, making room for environmental justice to become a major campaign at NOC.
-At the request of community members who had been leading the campaign for years, we joined the fight against Northern Metals, a metal recycling plant causing disproportionate air pollution in north Minneapolis. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sued them over a permit violation. The case is currently tied up in court, but we are hopeful the shredder will be shut down.

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-We joined with a coalition fighting to shut down the HERC incinerator, a major cause of poor air quality in asthma in north Minneapolis and Phillips neighborhoods.

Hennepin County at Standing Rock

-We answered the call for solidarity to Standing Rock, and collaborated with our friends at MN350 to send a bus of Minnesotans to stand with the water protectors. The water protectors at Standing Rock, putting their bodies on the line to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, demanding clean water and Native sovereignty, set a powerful example of resistance. Though the fight is far from over, we were thrilled and inspired to see the eight-month Native-led resistance culminate in a big win when the Obama administration and Army Corps denied a permit to the pipeline company.

Shields Photo Water Protectors

Workers' Rights
-After we exposed the Twins' practices forcing temp workers to stand in line for hours unpaid, the Twins stopped using temp workers. Then we discovered they were busing in workers from out of state to fill the gaps. We exposed this practice on Kare 11, and the Twins held job fairs locally to fill the extra positions.
-After more than a year of organizing for stronger workplace protections, workers won the strongest paid sick time ordinance in the country in Minneapolis in May.

Paid Sick Signing

-Not to be outdone, St. Paul followed with an even stronger paid sick time policy in September that covers all workers.
St. Paul passes paid sick time
-Partnering with 15 Now Minnesota and CTUL, we obtained enough signatures in June for a $15 minimum wage charter amendment to qualify for the Minneapolis ballot. A poll showed that 68% of Minneapolis voters supported our charter amendment.

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In August, the Minneapolis City Council voted not to put our charter amendment on the ballot. We sued them, and won. The city appealed to the Supreme Court, where the district court opinion was overturned and the charter amendment was struck from the ballot. Because of our pressure, the City Council has started the process of a minimum wage ordinance, which was considered politically impossible before our ballot campaign. A broad coalition of labor, faith, and community groups have joined the campaign, and Mayor Hodges, who had said for two years that she opposed a wage increase, now says she supports it. We look forward to passing a $15 minimum wage for all workers in 2017.

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Federal Reserve

The president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve's only president of color, Neel Kashkari, has made commitments to partner with NOC and allies in 2017. Kashkari will live a day in the life of a NOC member, and leverage the power of the regional Fed to create real world solutions to the region's overwhelming equity crisis.

Kashkari and Wintana

Resistance
The election of Donald Trump and his agenda of white nationalism, misogyny, xenophobia, and environmental destruction calls for a resistance like most of us have never seen in our lifetimes. The good news is, it's already started. Since the election, we've already seen inspiring acts of resistance throughout the state -- from highway shutdowns in Minneapolis, to water protectors challenging pipelines in Bemidji, to a sanctuary city movement in Northfield.

Resistance against Trump on I-94

Trump's election demands that we organize resistance more urgently than ever -- to win bold policy changes at the local and state level, stop Trump's destructive agenda, build independent political power, and advance a vision of the boldly progressive future our communities deserve. We're launching a campaign to Resist, Revolt, and Unite against Trump. Join us.

Resist. Revolt. Unite.

As we look to an uncertain future, we know that independent member support is what has allowed us to grow and succeed so much over the past few years -- and it's the key to staying strong, resilient and agile through the Trump administration. To all our members, thank you so much for all your support. If you're not a sustaining member yet, please become one today. You can also support us with a one-time contribution.

Thanks so much for all your support. This is how we build resistance and win -- together. We'll see you in 2017.


Safety Beyond Policing Wins in the Minneapolis Budget

Last Wednesday night, community members filled both Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls to demand police accountability and safety beyond policing. At the same time St. Paul residents successfully pressured their City Council to remove police from the civilian review board, in Minneapolis we successfully secured $1.5 million for safety beyond policing strategies in next year's budget. Though $2 million to hire additional police also passed in the budget, we were able to lay the groundwork for alternate community safety strategies in Minneapolis.

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Dozens of NOC members testified for alternate community safety measures and against additional spending for police.

Safety beyond policing items proposed by Mayor Hodges that ultimately passed:

  • $185,000 in ongoing funding to the Health Department for Group Violence Intervention and Youth Violence Prevention aid and funding to community partners.
  • $261,000 in ongoing funding and more money one time to create a 3-person mental health co-responder pilot at the Minneapolis Police Department
  • $500,000 in one time funds to invest in community-directed alternative safety strategies in West Broadway and Little Earth
Safety beyond policing items proposed by council members that passed in the budget process:
  • $250,000 taken from Meet Minneapolis to fund alternative community safety strategies through the Downtown Improvement District (proposed by Goodman)
  • $67,000 taken from Fire Department and Public Health fund to fund Youth Violence Prevention through the Health Department (proposed by Bender)
  • $50,000 taken from the City Coordinator to fund Culturally Relevant Sex Trafficking Prevention Work through Health Department (proposed by Cano)
  • $100,000 taken from the Police Special Revenue Fund to fund alternative community safety strategies in Phillips West and Ventura Village (proposed by Warsame)
  • $100,000 taken from City Attorney's office to fund Hate Crimes Investigator at Civil Rights Department (proposed by Glidden)

These budget wins wouldn't have happened if it weren't for community demanding safety beyond policing in the Minneapolis budget. Thank you to everyone who came to a meeting, testified, spoke out for safety beyond policing, or contacted your council member. We'll keep building on this budget success toward community safety beyond policing in the months and years to come.


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