City should try to end local poverty

Daily Editorial Board

Frustrated by the neighborhood’s endemic poverty, an organization of 20 people came together in Cedar-Riverside last week to rally for expanded worker rights and higher wages.
 
 
The West Bank Community Coalition wants Minneapolis to increase its minimum wage to $15. According to Nicole Buehler, the coalition’s secretary and board member, more than half the people who live in Cedar-Riverside do so below the poverty line. 
 
 
Last year, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges lobbied for workers’ rights and wage increases via the Working Families Agenda. It was later tabled. 
 
 
We would like to see the Minneapolis city government revive this agenda — but parts of the city may need extra help. 
 
 
In Cedar-Riverside, for example, the median income is $15,000. The metro area’s median income, for comparison, is $68,772, according to Forbes. 
 
 
While Cedar-Riverside has been the focus of state and even national attention, the publicity has been roundly negative. To cite one example: Last year, the federal government announced it would implement a pilot program in Los Angeles, Boston and Minneapolis in order to combat domestic terrorist recruitment. In Minneapolis, Cedar-Riverside has been a particular point of concern due to its high concentration of African immigrants. 
 
 
We believe that investing in anti-terrorism measures, while neglecting to treat the area’s poverty, creates a sensationalized image of Cedar-Riverside and fails to support the area’s residential well-being. To that end, we encourage Minneapolis to take a more active hand in revitalizing the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.