Policy Papers

By: Amelia Shindelar

Voting is the cornerstone of any democracy, and a fundamental right recognized under international human rights law. In a U.S. political environment stoked with fear and disregard for civic decency and engagement, we are facing an ongoing attack against this right. This right is currently being suppressed through; strict voter identification laws, voter intimidation, purging of voter rolls and felony disenfranchisement.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 11:15am

By: Chris Kruckenberg

Despite the cessation of active hostilities on the Korean Peninsula over 60 years ago, there has never been a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War.  The Korean Armistice was meant to be temporary, but has become semi-permanent in the decades since.  Critics claim the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea) has held up the peace process over this time, but no party is innocent regarding the lack of success transitioning to a peace regime.  To fully understand the unsuccessful attempts to move forward, and how this paralysis might be addressed, it is important to recognize how the historical context has shaped the current situation and thwarted all serious efforts at peace on the Peninsula.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 10:45am

By: June Nkwenge

Respect for rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBT) people in the United States has improved over time, largely due to efforts of organizations like OutFront Minnesota, the leading organization in all LGBT matters in Minnesota.  Despite this, LGBT people around the world still face discrimination at work, in schools, and in healthcare, as well as violence and sometimes death because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

By: Peter Schmitt


Public Benefit Corporations (PBCs) represent the new policy trend in social enterprise.  Many states are adopting laws that recognize PBCs as a legal entity type, which allows corporations to pursue both social and financial values when making business decisions. 

Omnia Ibrahim’s article “Developers’ TODrive” is about the theory and application of Transit-Oriented Developments in the Twin Cities.

Page 1 of Developers TODrive

Fifty to sixty percent of refined sugar in the United States is derived from sugar beets (USDA-ERS 2015a). Sugar beet production is an important sector of the Minnesota economy; one-third of U.S. sugar beet production occurs in Minnesota (USDA-ERS 2015b). In 2003, the Monsanto Company, a multinational corporation specializing in agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology, petitioned the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fully deregulate Event H7-1 (“Roundup Ready”) genetically engineered sugar beets and all related cultivars. This report is an analysis of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by the USDA in response to Monsanto’s petition. Although the USDA ultimately recommends full deregulation, the agency does not provide a convincing case for its decision. Major limitations include a narrowly defined Purpose and Need, insufficient analysis of human and animal health impacts, and insufficient discussion of impacts on organic growers. These limitations, the legal pathway that preceded this EIS, and the lack of discussion of alternatives to full deregulation render the USDA’s recommendation questionable. The outcome of this EIS is nationally and globally significant due to its implications for the federal regulatory status of genetically engineered crops into the future.

On January 22, 2016, pro-choice advocates will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision striking down abortion restriction laws, but its future as settled law remains uncertain. If abortion continues to be as contentious an issue in the future as it is now, with almost equal numbers of people wanting to repeal the ruling as want to protect it, then its legislated future will increasingly be in the hands of the millennial generation, as they become the country’s most significant and influential voting bloc. But only 44% of millennials actually know what Roe v. Wade is about.

By: Hilary Lovelace and Omnia Ibrahim

Map of Accessory Dwelling Units in Marcy-Holmes, Minneapolis




By: Jason F. Hicks, Johann Benson, Thomas Garry, Jonathan Dworin, Teresa M. Schicker, and Anders Victor

by: Katrina Nygaard


Cities across the United States work to create vibrant public spaces while promoting environmental health. Some of these projects, such as the Ann Arbor Municipal Center, feature community spaces that encourage interaction while promoting stormwater retention and mitigating heat island effects.