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October 10, 2012: CONGRATULATIONS TED MONDALE, for being the first official, white or black, for being willing to break the silence and point out that there was no Equity Plan for Target Field, that they had no numbers for compliance, but that it will be different for Vikings Stadium.

The lonely exception to this has been this web site and its columns and solution papers (see my 30 columns, listed in my Solution Paper 46, DISPARITY/COMPLIANCE STUDIES).

Ted Mondale, as the Executive Director for the staff of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority that will oversee the construction of the Vikings Stadium and all the myriad of projects and complexities that such will entail, is in position to help facilitate compliance.

He made his statement at at a small meeting October 10, 2012, that included MSFA Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen, and several others (I had the opportunity to work with Chairwoman Kelm-Helgen’s father in civil rights activities when she was a little gir (see my June 27, 2012 Column: A Sports Authority chair who understands the Black struggle, Kelm-Helgen’s family civil rights history is a rich one.

This statement, this opportunity for a new dawn in fairness and justice in Minnesota, came about in the discussion when others in the meeting, echoing the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department and others, lied again, saying there was an equity plan, and that it was available on the Internet. We showed that this was a continuatiin of an old falsehood.

Mr. Mondale has broken the logjam of unfairness and injustice that has too long denied jobs to African Americans, often denying African Americans by defining “minorities” as other than African Americans (white women, white gays, etc.). The African American former head of the Minnesota Civil Rights Department infamously said that the city could meet it minority hiring compliance without hiring any African Americans. This has been aided and abetted by the so-called Black “leadership,” who have maneuvered contracts to see that they get theirs but not African American contractors and workers.

We welcome this New Dawn, this New Era for finally working toward actually really working to bring about the goal that is the purpose of Equity Plans: be truly inclusive and represent the diversity of our community.

The time was finally right when this could be stated and rather than be dismissed by the “Black and White Establishment,” be the start of something truly significant and historic in Minnesota. One would expect no less from the son of the legendary Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale (U.S. Senator, Vice President, and Presidential candidate), and friend of Minnesota’s legendary civil rights champion, former Minneapolis Mayor, U.S. Senator and United States Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey (I was an advanceman for him during his Presidential run).

I worked with the head of Construction Project that was the Metrodome lo these many years ago. He made it work. He often had to go out of state for not only qualified African Americans, but also for qualified whites. The precedent has been set. There is no reason it can’t be done again for the Viking Stadium and all major construction projects.

I look forward to working with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings to develop contract language and participation so that the inclusion is actual and real and not just “best efforts, we tried.” Actual and factual will be the best for Minnesota in both the short term and long term.

Posted October 12, 2012, 7:50 pm

October 7, 2012.
Does Stadium Equity Plan exist?

Aaron Costco told the meeting of the newly formed Vikings Stadium Consortium, October 4th, 2012, that not only did the Equity Plan exist but that it calls for a Viking Stadium workforce that will be 19% minority (whatever “minority” means). Keith Baker, a MNDot administrator is the Chair of the VSC.

But Baker made no mention of a monitoring plan (Equity Plans without monitoring plans are like hen houses in a foxes den without any locks on the door).  I asked for a copy:  Baker had none with him.  I asked when the Equity Plan was completed and when it was issued.  Baker could not answer the questions. 

Baker also incorrectly stated that the Met Council would be involved in overseeing the stadium and its hiring compliance.   I had to correct them:  only two entities have the authority and standing to make decisions about what is to happen and when and by who:   the Stadium Facilities Authority and the Vikings, as clearly stated in the stadium legislation.  So neither the Met Council nor the VSC have “oversee” roles.  As I have read the legislation, I can only conclude that, clearly, some have not read the legislation, or have read it but don’t understand it, or have read and don’t believe they have to follow it, or regardless of whether or not they have read it are being used as conduits for giving misleading information to others.

Posted October 9, 2012, 2:55 pm
Corrected October 10, 2012, 1:47 pm.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

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