Molly Bloom Feature Archive

The demographics of Minnesota are changing and the growing Latino community is an important part of that change. The first wave of Latino migration to Minnesota began in the early 1900s, when migrant workers from Mexico would came to the state to work in factories and in farm fields. Some of these workers moved on, but some stayed, many settling on St. Paul's West Side. More recently, Latinos have been the fastest growing group in Minnesota for the past decade, establishing thriving communities throughout the Twin Cities metro area and in greater Minnesota. As of July 2012, the Latino population had grown by 85 percent since 2000 to a total of 264,359, according to U.S. Census data. Looking at the youngest generation the trend seems likely to continue. Latinos make up 8.3 percent of Minnesotans under 18, making Latinos the largest minority group in that age group. This project aims to tell the stories of Latinos in Minnesota, delving deeply into how they define their own identities and how they relate to the larger Latino community in the state. Through the Public Insight Network, MPR News collected the stories of over 125 people who trace their roots back to 17 different countries. Some of the respondents' families have been in Minnesota for generations, while others have arrived in the past few years. Some came to the state as migrant workers, others as professionals.Their stories make it clear that there is not a universal take on what it means to be Latino -- or Hispanic or Chicano -- in Minnesota. But the stories do have one thing in common: Whether the respondents or their ancestors came to the state for work, love, or education, Minnesota is now home. (07/11/2013)
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage has been scheduled for a floor vote in the Minnesota House on Thursday. MPR News asked Minnesotans if they feel the state has engaged in enough of a conversation about marriage. We asked members of our Public Insight Network about their views on same-sex marriage and received more than 150 responses. Here is a sampling of their views. (05/07/2013)
Minnesota Orchestra musicians have been locked out for five months, with few signs that it will be ending anytime soon. Orchestra President Michael Henson and principal cellist Tony Ross will join us to talk about the state of the negotiations. (The Daily Circuit, 02/14/2013)
It's getting harder to make it in America -- especially if you're starting out with less. Why has it become harder? And what steps can be taken to remedy the problem? (The Daily Circuit, 01/08/2013)
The leadup to yesterday's election in Minnesota was atypical in its over-the-top rhetoric and record campaign spending. Yet with few exceptions, the polls ran smoothly. (11/06/2012)
On Nov. 6, Minnesotans will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to require a photo ID to vote. The proposed amendment would change how future Minnesota elections work and create several new requirements. (10/16/2012)
On Nov. 6, Minnesotans will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to require a photo ID to vote. The proposed amendment would change how future Minnesota elections work and create several new requirements. (10/16/2012)
The St. Paul police crime lab's drug testing has been shut down, and an independent review is being conducted regarding problems at the lab. MPR News' Madeleine Baran walks us through the lab and the questions that remain. (09/20/2012)
Concern for security has led one Minnesotan to use an unusual tactic to protect his farm. Ken Kalish deploys guard llamas, both to protect farm animals from predators and to keep tabs on strangers. (08/14/2012)
Winona has become known in recent years for its arts festivals, like the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and for the recent controversy over frac sand mining. Its history as a booming, wealthy river town in the late 19th century has left a legacy of notable buildings, striking architecture and an industrial vibe. (07/19/2012)
We asked some 2011 graduates to tell us what their first year in the job market has been like. Most of them have finally found work, but some remain underemployed after months bouncing between unpaid and paid internships, contract work and unemployment. (06/11/2012)
From Crookston to Winona, sources in our Public Insight Network tell us the early spring has meant optimism, flexibility and a certain amount of unease. (03/30/2012)
We asked sources in our Public Insight Network to tell us what changes they've noticed due to this year's early Minnesota spring. From Crookston to Winona, they tell us the early spring has meant optimism, flexibility and a certain amount of unease. (03/30/2012)
They came to Minnesota for work, for love, to be near family, to find a better place to raise children, to escape civil war. But sources in our Public Insight Network who shared their experience adjusting to life in Minnesota all said it wasn't easy. (03/12/2012)
We asked sources in our Public Insight Network to tell us what it's like living with diabetes -- both type 1 and type 2. We asked them to share what they've learned by living with this disease and the misconceptions they deal with. (01/17/2012)