Mayorapolis: Nekima Levy-Pounds

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Nekima Levy-Pounds – A former law professor, civil rights attorney, and blogger, Nekima Levy-Pounds has been working for social and racial justice in Minnesota and beyond for years. She also previously served as the president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

The conversation with Levy-Pounds touched on how her approach to engaging and convening citizens would differ from previous mayors, how she would aim to shrink or close the wealth and opportunity gaps in the city, and her views on hand-holding. 

Mayorapolis: Raymond Dehn

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Raymond Dehn – Representative Raymond Dehn is in his third term Minnesota House. He represents District 59B which includes parts of Downtown and North Minneapolis. He is trained as and worked for many years as an architect.

Our conversation with Dehn covered his proposals for increasing affordable housing options in the city, elaborating on his statements about de-militarizing the police, and whether or not listeners of this podcast should get two votes. 

Mayorapolis: Betsy Hodges

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Betsy Hodges – Incumbent mayor Betsy Hodges is running for a second term leading Minneapolis. Before being elected mayor in 2013, she served as council woman for Ward 13.

We talked with Hodges about the “Complete Streets” policy adopted during her first term, what she learned from the protest and occupation of the 4th Precinct, and the importance of making conversation with toddlers.

Mayorapolis: Jacob Frey

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Jacob Frey – Council member Jacob Frey is finishing his first term representing Ward 3 in Minneapolis. He began his career as a professional runner, competing for the USA in the Pan American Games. He moved to Minneapolis, began a law career Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) and then Halunen & Associates.

Our talk with Frey covered his plans to bring more affordable housing to every part of the city, how he would like to reform police training in the city, and how we could build a moat of parking lots around the city.

Mayorapolis: Tom Hoch

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Tom Hoch – A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Hoch served as president of the Hennepin Theater Trust until 2016. He is also a past board chair of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District.

We asked Hoch about how his aim to raise Minneapolis’s national profile, his proposal to increase arrest rates for violent crimes by 10%, and what he’d tell neighborhood organizations about up-zoning and more density.

Mayorapolis: Aswar Rahman

We're interviewing all the major candidates for Mayor in Minneapolis so you don't have to!

Aswar Rahman – At just 23 years old, filmmaker and entrepreneur Aswar Rahman is the youngest candidate for Minneapolis mayor. His passion and detailed positions on a wide range of policy issues has won him consideration among a field of well-seasoned contenders.

We talked with Rahman about the city budget, how he’d use the authority of mayor in regard to hiring and firing of police officers, and whether he’d defend a city minimum wage increase he’s long opposed.

Black Guns Matter

Like many working for racial and social justice, Hip Hop artist turned activist Maj Toure advocates for more education of urban communities, deescalation police training, and dismantling systemic racism. Unlike many of his peers, he also believes part of the solution is for more people of color to understand and take advantage of their 2nd Amendment rights and be trained in gun safety. He is the founder of Black Guns Matter.

Trash Talk!

What happens to your trash after you’ve put it out on the curb? Whether it’s going to be recycled or put in the landfill, the story of your trash is likely more complex and winding than you might expect. We asked three experts, Wayne Gjerde of the MPCA and Lynn Hoffman and Kate Davenport of Eureka Recycling to tell us The Story of Trash.

I wouldn't have to move!

For more than a decade, Chris Coleman has led Minnesota’s Capitol City. In that time he championed the construction of the LRT Green Line, ran a successful bid for the city to host the 2008 Republican National Convention, and was elected President of the National League of Cities. Earlier this year he announced his bid for governor of Minnesota, a job which conveniently would only be a few miles from his current offices!

Welcome to MN! Wait...where are you going?

Good news: People of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities move to the Twin Cities for good jobs in large numbers. Bad news: After just a few years, they leave in much larger numbers than their Caucasian counterparts.
We asked our guests, Dr. Janine Sanders Jones and John Hardy, why Minnesota is able to attract a diverse workforce, but can’t seem to retain it. Also, what are businesses in the state doing to keep people here?

The Business of Business

Steve Cramer, President of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and

Jonathan Weinhagen, President of Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
When Macy’s announced it was closing its store in downtown Minneapolis, people across the state panicked. What will become of retail in Minneapolis?! What does this say the economic climate in the Twin Cities and beyond?! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE SKYWAYS?! We’ll ask all these questions and more of Steve Cramer and Jonathan Weinhagen.

Who Needs Friends? Diplomacy in 2017!

One area where a president has wide latitude is in foreign policy. In just the first few weeks of the Trump administration, the president has thrown diplomatic norms and historical precedent to the wind. Does it matter? Are international affairs really affected by the personalities driving them? We asked longtime Foreign Service officer and current Diplomat-in-Residence, Mary Curtin that and if Canada might need a resident policy improv comedy troupe.

Up the Amazon Without a Paddle

What started out as an online bookstore has wildly changed the way people get everything from toilet paper to cat toys. Amazon hasn’t just changed the way people shop, it’s changing the face of retail and labor in Minnesota and beyond. Is there a downside to being able to get 10,000 baby wipes delivered to your house in under an hour? We asked Olivia LaVecchia, a Research Associate at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and co-author of a report of Amazon’s effects on local communities and businesses. 

The Auditor Always Rings Twice

If you’re like most Minnesotans, each year you eagerly await the audit of your local government’s finances. But have you ever wondered who produces that thrilling page-turner of a beach read? The J.K. Rowling of Minnesota financial documents is none other than State Auditor Rebecca Otto, our guest on March 13. As if being state auditor weren’t exciting enough, Otto has announced a run for a new job, Governor. We asked her about both, and if she can help us reconcile these expense reports.

The State Rep-To-Be in 60-B

Ilhan Omar, DFL candidate for Minnesota House, District 60B

This August, Ilhan Omar won the 60B DFL primary for Minnesota House. If she wins in November (which is highly likely in the heavily democratic district) she will become the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature in the U.S. In her first improv-show interview since winning her primary, Omar joined T2P2 to talk about the significance of her candidacy, as well as the issues she will likely face at the Minnesota Legislature in 2017. 

The Economics of Art

Shelia Smith, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

Laura Zabel  Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts

Does art make a place more beautiful? Of course. Does art improve quality of life? You bet. Does art help us grapple with our own humanity? Sure. But what about the cold, hard monetary bottom line? Shelia Smith and Laura Zabel join us to talk about the economic impact that the arts have on communities large and small. By the end of the improv performance, everyone in the audience will be rich! 

Economics of the TPP

Robert Kudrle, Economist and Professor of Public Affairs & Planning at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs

The Trans Pacific Partnership would be one of the largest trade agreements in history, reshaping the relationship between the U.S. and more than a dozen Pacific nations. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have come out against it. But what would it actually do? What effect would its implementation have on workers in the U.S. and abroad, for businesses, and for the environment? We dig into the “boring” details of the T.P.P. with economics and policy professor, Bob Kudrle. 

Our Great Divide

Gary Cunningham, Metropolitan Council Member
Minnesota is home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country in terms of housing, workforce retention, and education. Gary Cunningham is working to find ways to change that in his role on the Metropolitan Council. Racial disparities and regional planning: perfect ingredients for comedy. 

Turn Out the Lights

Paul Bogard, Author The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

Sure, artificial light seems great; it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for in your closet, and it’s the only proven way to summon Batman. But at what cost? Paul Bogard looks at what effect being constantly surrounded by artificial light has on people of all ages. Hear about the effect LEDs have on our brains, or just listen to how Mr. Bogard responds to having to sit under a hot stage light for an hour. 

T2P2 is Wrong About Everything

The Wrong About Everything podcast contributors, including Javier Morillo-AliceaBrian McDaniel, Carin Mrotz and Amy Koch

Every week, a bi-partisan foursome of Minnesota’s savviest political watchers gathers to discuss the week in the news. Their podcast, Wrong About Everything is must-listen audio for Minnesota politicos; it’s basically the Serial of the Minnesota Legislature.