Minnesota Votes!

This week’s edition covers stories 
from November 3rd to November 9th, 2022.

Today’s issue is 859 words, a 6.5minute read.

In today’s edition: Isabella and Helene talk the Minnesota Election, Brittney Griner, local eats, and Black Garnet Books! 

Continue reading to find out more…

Hello hello, everyone! Helene here!

We hope you’re doing well and got a chance to vote this past Tuesday. And what happened in Minnesota’s election? Well, Tim Walz is still going to be our governor, and every single incumbent US house representative won their race. State legislature tells a bit of a different story. For the first time since 2014, Democrats have a trifecta of control of the State House, Senate, and Governor’s office! The race for US House District 2 between incumbent Democrat Angie Craig and Republican Tyler Kistner was an exciting one, and Angie Craig managed to come out on topAnd that’s not all! Three Black women were elected to the Minnesota Senate for the first time ever! They’re Zaynab Mohamed (D) for district 63, Clare Oumou Verbeten (D) for district 66, and Erin Maye Quade (D) for district 56. Maye Quade was the first out LGBTQ+ person to be endorsed on the ticket of a major Minnesota political party. In fact, there were lots of exciting firsts for Minnesota this election, like the election of the first Hmong County Commissioner, Mai Chong Xiong and the first openly transgender legislator, Leigh Finke! And, finally, We’re very proud of NewPublica’s friend, Maria Isa Pérez-Hedges, a Latina artist, activist and now house representative for District 65B! It’s a great day for Democrats.

Brittney Griner leaves the courtroom after the verdict in Khimki, outside Moscow, on Aug. 4. A Russian court found Griner guilty of smuggling and storing narcotics. 📸 Kirill Kudryavtsev | AFP via Getty Images

Now, it’s a long way from voting, but Brittney Griner has really captured my attention the past few weeks as her time in Russia grows longer and longer. The whole thing reeks of geopolitics, with Griner caught unfortunately in the middle. She was sentenced a week ago to serve 9 years in a Russian penal colony. By all accounts, this is a really, really, long sentence. It’s close to the maximum sentence allowed for these kinds of charges (read: just a little bit of medicinal marijuana in her packed bags that (she had medical documentation for). So, what will it take to bring her home? There’s talk of a hostage exchange, which was used earlier this year to bring another American home. She’s also considered “wrongfully detained” by the US State Department, which means that the U.S. is committed to intervening on her behalf. According to hostage negotiations expert Danielle Gilbert, “it will be basically a waiting game”, and now that Griner has been sentenced and the trial is over, Russians will be willing to move forward with negotiations for her return. Until then, she’ll live in a penal colony, where conditions are often poor and inmates are forced to work. No one knows where she’s been sent just yet, but hopefully that information will become available in the coming days.

New design for Bde Maka Ska Lake’s Pavilion for Summer of 2023 in Minneapolis, MN 📸 Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board 

Isabella here! In some local cultural news, there are new things happening in Minneapolis. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, known for its location on 2524 Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis, announced their approved 5-year lease at the pavilion concession area in Bde Maka Ska Lake last Thursday. For those who are not familiar with the “100 Most Influential in Global Food” owner, Tomme Beevas, he first opened Pimento to the public in 2012. You may also find the delicious Jamaican BBQ in St. Paul on 902 7th St W, or can enjoy their Rum Bar at the same Minneapolis location. Their Kingston style jerk chicken, coconut rice and beans and sweet fried plantains are just a few items on the menu that burst flavors in your mouth in the first spoonful. If you get the opportunity to try their food and find yourself obsessed with their sauces, you’re in luck – Target sells two of their 8oz bbq sauces, “Minnesota Nice” and “Kill Dem Wid It”. Pimento will join Lola on the Lake at Bde Maka Ska Lake next summer on Jun. 1, 2023. 

Owner Dionne Sims of black-owned book shop Black Garnet Books at 1319 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN. 📸 Caitlin Abrams | Mpls StPaul Magazine

Black-owned book shop Black Garnet Books opens at 1319 University Ave W, in St. Paul. Bookstore owner Dionne Sims told KSTP that a tweet about opening a black-owned bookstore in Minnesota in the summer of 2020  received immense support from friends and the community. There weren’t any other black-owned bookshops in Minnesota at the time. Representation is important to Sims, so she strived to provide customers with over 4,000 contemporary books by authors of color. Black Garnet Books addresses “racial inequality within the publishing and literary industries” with care at the heart of their interactions. The book publishing industry is known for hiring few employees of color and struggling with diversity. Vice president and executive editor of Pantheon, Erroll McDonald, shared with the New York Times in 2020 how race affected his career. “Black editors are subject to a certain kind of racial profiling that white editors are not subject to,” McDonald said. Assumptions about Black readers in the publishing world have limited the lengths that Black publishers and writers could go. Supporting independent black-owned bookstores like Sims’ is a step towards representation and against discrimination in a world where literary creatives go above and beyond. 

Hi, friend, Isabella and Helene here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day and enjoying the great outdoors by night! 

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