Fighting Poverty with Passion
I am a quarter of the way through my term of service, and I have to say that I’ve learned a lot over the past few months. My position primarily focuses on neighborhood organizing and the equity issues that surround different neighborhoods. The hands on experience and training I’m gradually acquiring really gives a new meaning to that saying, “put yourself in somebody else’s shoes”, because you truly have no idea what it’s like for another individual until you take the time to ask them.
In Minneapolis (where my service site is located), it is a very developed area as far as transportation is concerned. A few of my friends even like to joke and say that only two seasons exist in Minnesota: winter and construction. With that being said, the Metro area is very adamant about providing a conveinient transit system throughout the Twin Cities. Although the cities seem to feel they have the best interests of Minnesotans in mind, they don’t do a very good job voicing some of the immigrant groups’ opinions.
Here at CURA, we work with a heavy concentration of Hmong youth immigrants and right now one of the biggest issues they are facing has to do with a proposal to build the Bottineau Transit Line on the same street that many of them live, which would result in quite a few of their families losing their homes. In order to get their opinions on the proposal, we came up with the idea to take them to the Mall of America via the Light Rail since many of them had never even rode the LRT before to compare their likes and dislikes and how they think the proposed line might affect North Minneapolis. We also compiled a short video of the trip and I have attached a link just in case anyone is interested in checking it out!