Weekly Address: A Better Bargain for Responsible, Middle Class Homeowners

In this week’s address, President Obama says that the housing market is starting to heal — and that it’s time to build on that progress by creating a better bargain for responsible, middle class homeowners.

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St. Cloud Times Editorial Board Jumps Into Islamic Center Controversy

In recent weeks I have been casually monitoring the developments in St. Cloud over a proposed Islamic Center and the reaction by some to its construction. A group has been formed by an individual named, Gregory Jarrett, called St. Cloud Citizens for Reasonable Zoning to oppose the construction of the Center.

From a recent St. Cloud Times article:

In the letter to neighbors, St. Cloud Citizens for Reasonable Zoning calls the request “totally unacceptable.” The letter says the group is being organized to defend “our right to preserve the integrity of our residential neighborhood.”

A basic search for the organization and its founder yields little apart from the above article and a rudimentary website in which visitors can sign a guest book and donate to the cause. Perhaps it’s lost on the organizers of this movement that seeks to “protect the integrity of residential neighborhoods” and developers of this website that the banner image that they use is a mixture of high rise apartments, residential housing, AND what appear to be commercial storefronts.

ST Cloud Citizens For Reasonable Zoning

ST Cloud Citizens For Reasonable Zoning

The St. Cloud Planning Commission is meeting on Tuesday, August 13 at 6pm to deal with the issues surrounding the building of the Islamic Center and potentially approve its construction.

The St. Cloud Times editorial board jumped into the zoning and construction controversy with its own take and suggestions on dealing with the issue and a pretty weak call for citizens NOT to oppose the building simply because it is a Islamic.

As this public process continues, planning commission members, City Council members and all residents must set aside religious concerns and focus on whether this proposal — no matter the faith behind it — is allowed under St. Cloud’s Land Development Code.

Perhaps the editorial board is trying to thread the needle between thinly veiled religious bigots and actual concerns but the fact of the matter remains that I have yet to see the construction of any religious buildings garner newspaper article level opposition in St. Cloud. Further, the legitimate questions the board does raise are so commonplace in relation to a new construction that one cannot help but notice that if this weren’t an Islamic Center there would be nary a word written in the newspaper and little more than a handful of opposition.

We will see on Tuesday, what the opposition has to say about the construction and see if the planning commission has the wherewithal to approve a religious building much like the 15 other religious buildings found throughout residential areas in St. Cloud.

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Weekly Address: Securing a Better Bargain for the Middle Class

In this week’s address, President Obama tells the American people that his plan for creating a better bargain for the middle class builds on the progress we’ve made, fighting our way back from the worst economic recession of our lifetimes.

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Happy Marriage Equality Day!

Happy Marriage Equality Day from the Minnesota House DFL!

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A Better Bargain for the Middle Class

Nearly five years after the start of the Great Recession, President Obama kicks off a series of speeches laying out the progress we’ve made since then and the work that’s left to do to rebuild an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead.

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