Green Initiatives, Crime Insights, and Political Shifts

This week’s edition covers stories 
from January 11th, 2024 to January 17th, 2024.

Today’s issue is 780 words, a 5-minute read.

Isabella talks NewPrensa’s commitment to environmental consciousness, MPD active staff decreases, Trump’s Iowa win and the future of D.E.I. 

Good morning readers, 

Isabella here. The last time I wrote to you, we were just starting the New Year. The lakes are finally freezing up, and it’s officially single-digit weather. Although we’re accustomed to the cold, it hits painfully every. Single. Time.

Green Initiatives Taking Center Stage:

Plastic-Free Challenge

Plastics can be a hassle – they create clutter and can be confusing to recycle – plus they contribute to litter, harm water and wildlife, and have largely unknown health impacts for us. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help create a plastic-free world, from learning more about plastic waste and recycling to making simple swaps to advocating for changes in your community and sharing your story with others. 

As we delve into the Ins/Outs for 2024, NewPrensa has taken a stance on sustainability. We’ve embraced the Plastic-Free Challenge, created by  Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties This challenge, aimed at reducing plastic consumption, aligns with our commitment to environmental consciousness. 

About the Plastic-Free Challenge

The Plastic-Free Challenge is a month-long effort starting February 1 to reduce plastic consumption, especially single-use plastics, in ways that fit best in your lifestyle and have the most impact on reducing your footprint. Businesses, organizations, and community groups can also join the challenge as Plastic-Free Challenge partners.

Six metro counties are also dispelling myths about recycling in Minnesota: Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. You can learn more about how your recycled items become new products at

Be part of the solution to reduce waste, protect water and wildlife, address climate change, and look after the health of ourselves and future generations by joining the Plastic-Free Challenge ( 

Plastic-Free Challenge

The challenge runs during the month of February 2024. Sign up opens on January 1. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Policing in Minneapolis: Unraveling Complexities

Police confronted crowds gathered in Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd. 📸 Stepehen Maturen | Getty Images

Switching gears to local news, the StarTribune reports a 37% decrease in active police offices in Minneapolis over the past 5 years. The MPD currently has the “lowest ratio of officers to residents”. We are seeing a decline in police staff due to resignations, retirements, and disability claims, largely related to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd’s murder. 

Interestingly, while the number of officers dwindles, violent crime has decreased for the second consecutive year in 2023, challenging the conventional wisdom that more officers equate to safer streets. However, correlation does not imply causation, folks. There are ebbs and flows in crime since it’s influenced by a several factors, as explained by University of Pennsylvania criminologists. If we were to follow the conventional belief that more police equates to more safety, it would also be naive to dismiss what the StarTribune defined as “collateral costs”, such as a rise in low-level arrests in minority neighborhoods. Remember how your sociology class in college told you to consider broader societal factors? It rings true again. Always consider the economics, social services, housing access, and changes in human behavior when analyzing crime trends. 

📸 City of Minneapolis

In this article, a larger question arises: what is the effectiveness of traditional policing approaches when we’ve seen Minneapolis experience fluctuations in crime rates that don’t align with police staffing levels? The city has invested in alternatives, such as the Neighborhood Safety Office, which addresses violence through a public health lens with the intention of addressing the root causes of crime.

What do you think of Minneapolis’ current policing approaches? What should change? Share it with us at!

National Political Landscape: Trump’s Iowa Caucus Win and the Future of D.E.I

Trump wins Iowa Caucus, 2024. 📸 Getty Images

On a national note, Trump secured a victory in the Iowa Caucus on Monday, capturing 51% of the vote. While the significance may unfold with the final Republican nominee, it sets the momentum in the race amongst Republican party nominees for the presidential race. In contrast, Democrats are casting their ballots for the caucus for the first time this year – the ballots will be tallied by March 5th. 

However, beyond political discourse, my biggest concern lies in the future of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (D.E.I.). The pushback against affirmative action and the weaponization of antisemitism against D.E.I. programs pose challenges.  As we head into the 2024 presidential election, the repercussions on people of color who have rightfully benefited in college applications are uncertain. Listen to the following two podcast episodes from The Daily to delve deeper into these issues: 

Stay informed, stay connected.

See you next week! 

-Isabella, and the NewPrensa team

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a playlist by the NewPrensa team that brings you NewTaste and NewVibes. 


Hi, friend: Isabella and Ebe here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day
and contando chisme 
by night!

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