Insight News

Wednesday
Jul 30th

Letters to the editor

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Rondo synonymous with social justice and Black liberation

Thank you, Insight newspaper, for publishing the article "Rondo Days: Community personified." I grew up in the Rondo community and am a member of the Communist Party of Minnesota. Therefore I was pleased to read the extracts which you shared from Evelyn Fairbanks' book "Days of Rondo." Her writings mentioned that the Communist Party met at Mrs. Dandridge's restaurant to help local Black people navigate the social services. I am proud of the little-known history and work of the historic Rondo Branch of the Communist Party.
Thank you, Insight newspaper, for publishing the article "Rondo Days: Community personified." I grew up in the Rondo community and am a member of the Communist Party of Minnesota. Therefore I was pleased to read the extracts which you shared from Evelyn Fairbanks' book "Days of Rondo." Her writings mentioned that the Communist Party met at Mrs. Dandridge's restaurant to help local Black people navigate the social services. I am proud of the little-known history and work of the historic Rondo Branch of the Communist Party.

In the era of the Scottsboro boys, lynching and segregation, the Communist Party meetings at Mrs. Dandridge's restaurant in the Rondo community must have been highly politically charged. Those were the days where, in 1939, the Rondo Workers' Alliance held a mass meeting for the unemployed and WPA workers in Welcome Hall, the Young Communist League sponsored a youth rally at Pioneer Hall on Rondo Street and Nellie Stone Johnson spoke alongside of Communists at a rally to raise money for workers on strike. The walls of Mrs. Dandridge's restaurant must have echoed with words demanding social justice and African-American liberation.

Gus Hall, a former Communist presidential candidate, once said that "Afro-American freedom is the cause of every American."

These words still ring true. In 2007, movements to defend affirmative action, eliminate racism and end poverty are connected to yesterday's restaurants such as Mrs. Dandridge's and neighborhoods such as Rondo.

Rondo Days is part of our rich history of never-ending struggle for African-American and working-class progress.

John Wilson
Minneapolis, MN



To protect the community against the scourge of drugs and gun violence

Correctional Transition Services Inc. (CTSI) has offered needed chemical health and transition services from our North Minneapolis location for nearly two years. I have read your newspaper since that time and was prompted to write this letter in response to the query on the front page of the June 20th edition: "What can we do to protect the community against the scourge of drugs and gun violence?"

As a intensive corrections-based drug and alcohol treatment program whose program is predicated on changing attitudes and beliefs and providing real life skill services such as Family Therapy, Adult Basic Education, Anger Management, Vocational Education, Personal Financial Management and a direct staffing component after completion of the program, CTSI endeavors to effectively work with and engage with the community to make a positive impact and begin the process of change.

As a nonprofit mission-driven agency, our purpose is to serve the needs of the community, and we do this by focusing on the primary causes of the issues that affect our industry. Again, in response to the above query, we believe the first step in protecting our community is for our community to know of the services available to them, and for all of us -- the service providers, local businesses, community leaders and citizens to engage with one another in the true spirit of community.

Paul Kustermann
Executive Director
Correctional Transition Services Inc.



Guardian Angels "alive and well and working in the neighborhood"

Once again you have missed getting all your facts before reporting. You mentioned that:

"It's too bad that the media-and-politicians red carpet has never been rolled out for this program like it was for Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels. Especially since Sliwa and company split town as soon as the Block E hoopla in Minneapolis died down; yet you can, to this day, see members of MADDAD, quietly and with no interest in fanfare, demonstrating a genuine interest in the wellbeing of
 

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