Met Council Takes Steps to Reduce Racial and Economic Inequities

The Metropolitan Council’s decision making record for our region is pretty clear – over the past couple decades, we have spent an awful lot on roadways in the outer ring areas, while roads and sewers in the core cities and inner-suburbs are crumbling. Bus funding has been stagnant for a long time, leading to crowding and poor service on many important local bus routes that serve people who depend on transit to get around.  This status quo leads to racial and economic inequity throughout our region. It effectively has subsidized “white flight” and has fueled disinvestment and redlining in communities of color.

Over the past few years, your support of ISAIAH has allowed us to work with Metropolitan Council members to “shine the light” on how their funding and decision making authority can be used to reduce the racial and economic inequities found throughout our region.  Our work to monitor their plans and decisions and inviting Council members to meet with us in our congregations has begun to bear fruit.

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Statement: Metropolitan Council May Fall Short on Opportunity for Racial Equity in Southwest Light Rail Project

St. Paul, MN – The Met Council and the City of Minneapolis announced this week they have reached a deal on the Southwest Light Rail project. With continued promises by the Metropolitan Council to address persistent racial and economic disparities across our region, ISAIAH released the following statement:

“ISAIAH believes we must work together to create prosperity, health and wholeness for all people. Every public decision must reflect our highest values and aspirations. They ought to unite rather than divide our communities and they ought to foster prosperity for all rather than a few.

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Transit equity means more than light rail | Star Tribune Commentary – 4/11/14

Article by: Dan McGrath and Paul Slack
April 11, 2014 – 6:53 PM

The debate surrounding Southwest light-rail transit (SWLRT) shouldn’t be confined to rerouting freight rail and shallow tunnels.  Wouldn’t we be better served by figuring out how light rail can be a catalyst for equitable transit across the 16-mile corridor? A discussion like that would help cork the fight over rail alignment and transform it into one that is far more constructive and economically beneficial for the region — and most notably for Minneapolis.

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Community Leaders, Transit Riders Call On Met Council, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis to Make SWLRT More Equitable

Minneapolis, MN (April 8, 2014) – Local organizations, community leaders, and transit riders gathered Tuesday morning in North Minneapolis, calling on the Met Council, City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County to negotiate to maximize Southwest Light Rail’s ability to deliver on economic opportunity for residents along the corridor. Speakers said the SWLRT has the potential to expand equity and economic opportunity not only in Minneapolis, but throughout the region, if guarantees can be effectively negotiated.

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Southwest light rail, for the sake of the North Side | Star Tribune Commentary – 10/21/13

Article by: PAUL SLACK

Updated: October 21, 2013 – 6:55 PM

The benefit of racial and economic equity is getting lost in the debate.

Last week, some of the state’s top leaders agreed to postpone a key decision on a light-rail line that would link the southwest metro area to north Minneapolis. The announcement came after several weeks of high-profile protests staged by residents of St. Louis Park and those in Minneapolis who live near the chain of lakes.

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