The Thin Orange Line

Will the Southwest Light Rail move forward? What’s so great about bus rapid transit? Can we ever really have enough roads and bridges? We’ll ask all that and more of two powerhouses of Minnesota transportation legislation and policy: State Senator Scott Dibble and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

Winona LaDuke

For more than 30 years, Winona LaDuke has been an activist for environmental, economic, and political justice, with a focus on tribal land claims. In 1996 and 2000, she was on the Green Party candidate Vice President running with Ralph Nader. She was executive director of both the White Earth Recovery Project and currently heads the national organization Honor The Earth. September 12 she added one more accolade to her résumé: guest on The Theater of Public Policy.

H2-Uh-Oh

With the exception of certain witches, everyone needs water and in the land of 10,000 lakes we’re lucky to have lots of it. But recent crises in places like Michigan, and even reports about Minnesota’s own water quality are raising a lot of questions and concerns. One of Minnesota’s foremost water experts, Dr. Deborah Swackhamer of the University of Minnesota joined us to talk about the science and policy of H20.

Pickle of a Pipeline

Sandpiper Pipeline Project involves construction of a 616-mile crude oil pipeline from Tioga, North Dakota, across the state of Minnesota, to Superior Wisconsin. The proposal has divided citizens and communities questions of environmental impact, economic opportunities, Native American treaty rights, and concerns over the alternative freight traffic currently carrying much of the oil. Sounds like a really light, fun way to close out T2P2’s spring season! We were joined by Minnesota State Representatives Pat Garofalo and Frank Hornstein to help us figure out some of the arguments on each side of this debate. We also discussed what did and didn't happen at the 2016 Minnesota Legislative sessi

Avoid the Potholes and Fall into my Eyes Instead...

    R.T. Rybak came to Minneapolis City Hall in 2001 without ever having previously served in public office. He didn’t get much time to ease into the job. Before Rybak even fully moved into his office, the Minnesota Twins threatened to move to a new town unless they got a new stadium, there was a leadership fight on the city council, and the city budget faced a $5 million shortfall. 
    All of that and much more is detailed in Rybak’s new memoir, Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis. The book offers a firsthand account of leading the state’s largest city for three terms: a campaign for more affordable housing, responding to the 35W Bridge collapse, conducting the first same-sex marriages in the state, bitter stadium politics, and much more. 

From Somalia to the Minneapolis City Council

First elected in 2013, Abdi Warsame serves on the Minneapolis City Council. He represents Ward 6 which includes much of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.  Born in Somalia, Warsame is currently the highest level elected Somali-American in the country. We asked him about his incredible personal story, his views on local politics, and what he thinks of his fellow council. 

A History of Minneapolis' Skid Row

Once upon a time, Minneapolis tried to keep their citizens with a penchant for hard drinking—lumberjacks, farmhands, and railroad workers—into the oldest quarter of Minneapolis. It was an era of flophouses, preachers and nuns trying to save souls and a bar owner named John Bacich, aka Johnny Rex. The Star Tribune’s James Shiffer has written a new book about Minneapolis’s Skid Row and its king.

Does Size Matter? A Question of Small Town Vitality

We’ve all heard about the death of small towns both here in Minnesota and across the country. But are things so simple and dire? Will our children only read about rural towns in books? Are we all destined to live in towering skyscrapers in mega cities of 10 million people each? Probably not, but what is the economic and cultural future of small towns? Featuring Dr. Kathy Draeger, Statewide Director of the University of Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnerships.

Affordable Home Companion

The Affordable Housing debate in the Twin Cities region has been called one of the fiercest in the country. We sat down with three experts to find out why. Featuring Nelima Sitati-Munene, executive director of African Career, Education & resource, Owen Duckworth, Coalition organizer for the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and Ed Goetz, Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Mrs. Smith Goes to St. Paul

Minnesota’s second-in-command is our extra special guest for the season kick-off of T2P2.  Join us and Lt. Governor Tina Smith as we ask her hard hitting questions like: What should we do with Minnesota’s budget surplus? What’s her working relationship with Governor Dayton like? And, wait... what exactly does a Lt. Governor do anyway? 

Money Money Money

Chris Farrell, Senior Economics Contributor to American Public Media’s Marketplace, and Cardiff Garcia, US editor of the Financial Times’s Alphaville, joined us to make sense of the Fed’s interest rate policies, “un-retirement,” globalization, and what the heck is going on in Cuba.

Infrastructure of Dreams

They say an improv comedy show about infrastructure investment policy can’t possibly be funny. We talked with Vinn White, U.S. DOT Senior Transportation Policy Advisor, and Casey Dinges, Senior Managing Director at the American Society of Civil Engineers about roads, bridges, transit, and dedicated lanes for hover-bikes.

Church and State

Some people think church and state should be the best of friends and others think of them as worst enemies that shouldn't even be in the same room together.  How does this all play out in the real world? How did it get this way and what can be done about it? We talked with Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.