GOP Debate Extravanganza

This week’s edition covers stories 
from August 24th to August 30th, 2023.

Today’s issue is 1000 words, a 7.5-minute read.

Isabella and Mateo talk 2024 GOP Primary Debate antics, the Uber/Lyft wage proposal and updates, and NewPrensa’s classic State Fair picks.

Good morning readers, 

We have arrived at the end of August and it’s officially State Fair season. If you haven’t stopped by, you still have five days left to visit. It’s food, drink and games galore, but I encourage goers to visit the different buildings, like the education or agricultural building, to see what Minnesota’s been doing for You. And as if that weren’t enough, today also happens to be designated as “Eat Out Day.” So it seems the universe is gently whispering that you take a little trip down to wander around. Here’s some NewPrensa team faves:

  1. Martha’s Cookies
  2. Corn Roast 
  3. Miller’s Cheese Curds 
  4. Turkey Leg at Turkey To Go
  5. Piña Coladas de Manny’s Tortas


The GOP presidential nomination race is in full swing, and oh boy, are they bringing out the big guns. We’ve got the anti-woke warriors, the champions of anti-birthright citizenship, and the “mentally competent” enthusiasts all vying for your attention. Brace yourselves for Vivek Ramaswamy, the Republican contender who wants to raise the legal voting age to a ripe old 25 –  Yes, you heard that right, 25! I guess he figures that by then, you’ve hopefully figured out how to be an adult, pay taxes, and resist the urge to eat instant noodles every night.

Remember that the 26th Amendment currently lets 18-year-olds dance their way into the voting booth. So, if Ramaswamy wants to pull this off, he’ll need a constitutional amendment. He’s all about that “civic duty voting” vibe, arguing that voting should be like a fine wine – the older, the better. Of course, there’s been a chorus of voices wanting to lower the voting age in recent times. But let’s turn our attention to Ramaswamy’s proposal for a moment. His idea involves tweaking the current voting age landscape. According to his plan, those bright-eyed 18-year-olds would only earn the right to cast their ballots if they fulfill a “national service requirement” or successfully navigate the U.S. citizenship test, also known as the naturalization exam. It’s like turning the voting process into a rite of passage, where the keys to the ballot box are handed out only after a journey of civic involvement or proven knowledge of what it means to be a citizen. A way of saying, “Welcome to the voting club, young ones, but first, let’s see if you know your civic ABCs.” It’s an approach that raises eyebrows and questions, sparking a conversation about the balance between youthful participation and civic education.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy took center stage at the Republican primary debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday 📸 Kamil Krzaczynski | AFP via Getty Images

However, it’s important to acknowledge that even individuals considered highly mentally capable can sometimes make perplexing statements. These candidates’ communication can resemble a verbal slip ‘n slide – their trajectory is uncertain. In the midst of the discussions about age, there are some memorable moments we’d like to highlight:

  • “The climate agenda is a hoax” (Ramaswamy, 2023)
  • “In Florida, we eliminated Critical Race Theory from our K through 12 schools, we eliminated gender ideology from our K through 12 schools, and we have elevated the importance of American civics.” (Gov. DeSantis, 2023)
  • Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley proposing a “mental competency” test for candidates above the age of 75.
  • “Just over the same period that we have closed mental health institutions, we have seen a spike in violent crime. Do we have the spine to bring them back?” (Ramaswamy, 2023)

So there you have it, the 2024 GOP nomination race: a whirlwind of age-related antics and mind-boggling statements. It’s like a reality TV show, but with more amendments and less spray tans. As the candidates battle it out, one thing’s for sure – whether you’re 18 or 25 or somewhere in between, you’re in for a political extravaganza that’ll leave you both entertained and slightly confused.

Hi, Mateo here. 

Last week Uber and Lyft threatened to halt operations in Minneapolis following a city council ruling that would set a minimum wage for their drivers and add several worker protections. The ordinance was met with plenty of backlash, as it would increase the minimum amount drivers are paid per mile and per minute, drastically increasing the potential cost of rides. Uber sent an email to local riders asking them to contact local offices and oppose the action. They also mentioned that if the bill were to pass, they would have no choice but to “greatly reduce service, and possibly shut down operations entirely.” Lyft sent a letter to the council, warning of the actions they would have to take if this were implemented: “Should this proposal become law, Lyft will be forced to cease operations in the City of Minneapolis on its effective date of January 1, 2024.

Rideshare drivers protesting in Minnesota  📸 Brian Synder (Reuters)

What would this mean for the people of Minneapolis and its surrounding area? Minneapolis-St Paul is one of Uber’s largest business zones as they combine for top-10 US city market share. Uber is very active in the Twin Cities, and its departure wouldn’t be pretty. Hundreds of people depend on Uber and Lyft every day to get around. In Lyft’s economic impact report, they say that lower-income riders are over 70% more likely than higher-income riders to use Lyft to find transportation to work. These transportation services were created as an alternative, affordable transportation option. If these measures were enacted, these apps would no longer be affordable for a majority of their users. Many users would have to revert to public transportation or other alternatives, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most public transportation is not in service or not safe enough to ride later into the night, and the Metro Transit system doesn’t cover all parts of Minneapolis-St Paul.

Transit users wait to board the “midnight bus”, it was eliminated in 2019  📸 Henry Pan

The final decision came down to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who had until Wednesday, August 23 to enact or veto this ordinance. While Frey has said that he supports drivers being paid morehe didn’t agree with many of the provisions included. He ultimately vetoed the bill, much to the disliking of city council members, and of course the drivers in question. One City Council member said it was “an inexcusable betrayal of Minneapolis workers.” Although they couldn’t come to the agreement they wanted, Frey apparently negotiated with Uber to secure a commitment from them to adhere to the Minneapolis minimum wage, ensuring that all drivers making trips in Minneapolis will make a minimum of $15 an hour. Lyft, on the other hand, did not come to any agreement with Frey.

That’s all from us, we’ll see you next time.

-Isabella and Mateo

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Hi, friend: Isabella and Mateo here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day
and fighting the 
Sriracha shortage by night!

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