In the News: March 2020

Dying With Dignity

submitted by Rebecca Thoman

Terminally ill Minnesotans await action from the Legislature on the End-of-Life Options Act (HF2152). Modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity law, the bill authorizes medical aid in dying so that terminally ill adults of sound mind may ask for and receive a prescription medication they may self-ingest for a peaceful death if their suffering becomes unbearable. Nine states and the District of Columbia currently authorize the practice, making it available to 22 percent of Americans.

Advocate Marianne Turnbull, a retired social worker from St. Paul living with stage IV ovarian cancer, told the Minnesota House Health Committee members, “I am here to say that I want to live for as long as I possibly can. I want the medical care that can ease my pain and allow me to be in relationship with my children, family and friends. But when the time comes, I also want to have a good death. I want to say good-bye and die peacefully rather than deteriorate to the point that doctors sedate me to unconsciousness while my family watches me slowly dwindle.”

Lawmakers need to hear from Minnesotans. Write House Majority Leader Rep. Melissa Hortman ( and ask her to allow a hearing on the End-of-Life Option Act during the 2020 session.


When Men Enter Female-Dominated Fields

Within the last few decades many high-paying jobs in male-dominated industries, such as manufacturing, have largely disappeared. One recent study showed that unemployed men are more likely to enter female-dominated sectors. If they do, men may experience job advantages such as a four percent wage increase and boosts in the prestige of the position. Additionally, research suggests that white men who step into female-dominated fields ride “glass elevators” to management positions.

Source: The Conversation

Eunice Adjei-Bosompem

Building New Boards

Eunice Adjei-Bosompem, a St. Cloud-based activist, founded Jugaad Leadership Program to train the  marginalized  to be voices at decision-making tables. Its graduates now serve on places like the Police Citizenship review board of the City of St. Cloud and the Women’s Fund board. As she explained in MinnPost:

“When everyone is represented, we all do better. When we get to know each other, we will see we all want the same thing, which is to live in harmony, to build our community.”

Eunice Adjei-Bosompem

Retail Workers Face Significant Cuts

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, department stores have laid off 241,000 employees in five years. However, unlike comparatively smaller job losses in other industries, there is no national conversation about retail workers losing their jobs without severance pay or advanced warning.

“We hear politicians talk about the loss of factories and manufacturing and mining, but there has not been the same level of outcry around the loss of retail jobs,” said Nicole Mason, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “I would conjecture that one of the reasons we’re not talking about it is that it impacts predominantly women.”

The average hourly wage for people who aren’t managers in retail is $16.86, and many laid-off workers don’t have the resources to obtain a certification or advanced degree. Economists posit that the retail industry will go the way of manufacturing, which once comprised one-third of the nation’s workforce and now makes up only eight percent.

Source: Time Magazine

DEED Grants Awarded

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded ten grants in 2019 totaling $1,425,000 under the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) Competitive Grants program. DEED received nearly twice as many requests for funding than they could fulfill to support statewide programs that serve women in high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional occupations.

Organizations that received funding include the New Vision Foundation, which provides young women with coding and digital literacy classes, and Northwest Indian Community Development Center, which provides an adult education program for Native women with criminal convictions.

Source: DEED

Local Investigative Journalists Honored

A woman-led team at APM Reports, an affiliate of Minnesota-based American Public Media, has been honored for its “In the Dark” podcast. Host Madeleine Baran and a team of three producers and two reporters exposed the wrongful conviction of Curtis Flowers in Mississippi due to racial discrimination in the jury selection process. In 2019, the Supreme Court reversed the 2010 conviction — at Flowers’ sixth trial for the 1996 murder — based partly on findings from the APM Reports investigation. The Minnesota Coalition of Government Information selected the team for an annual award that honors commitment to the power of information to effect change.

Source: American Public Media

Child Marriages in Minnesota

A 2019 bill by Minnesota Sen. Sandy Pappas and Rep. Kaoly Her to end child marriage in Minnesota did not get a hearing in the Senate. According to a MinnPost commentary written by Ellen Kennedy, between 2000 and 2010 there were an estimated 2,500 child marriages to older men in Minnesota. The bill, SF 1393, is hoping to get movement in 2020.

Source: MinnPost