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MN far-left Council drives Uber, Lyft out of city; considering tax dollars to fund small business rideshare companies

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A new local law from the far-left Minneapolis City Council which increased mandated pay rates for rideshare drivers is driving Uber and Lyft to pull out of their city. Uber and Lyft announced their departures from Minnesota’s largest city, leaving the Council needing a solution by May 1 for its citizens.

Their proposal, which is slated for discussion during the council’s budget meeting on Monday, would dedicate $150,000 in unobligated general-fund money “for small business financing for transportation network companies,” according to a resolution by four council members.

Omar Adan Ahmed, vice president of the Minnesota Rideshare Association, or MRDA, which has opposed the Minneapolis council’s action, told National Review that expecting some small, relatively unknown company to replace Uber and Lyft in a few weeks is “far-fetched.”

“Uber is an international organization. Lyft is an international organization that has been background-checked, security-oriented, client-friendly and reliable,” Ahmed said.

National Review reports on the consequences of the Council’s decision:

 Uber and Lyft have been operating in the Twin Cities for a decade and provide over 1 million rides per month there. Many residents, including older people and people with disabilities, rely on the companies’ drivers to get to work and to medical appointments.

But in early March both companies threatened to leave Minneapolis after the Minneapolis council upped driver-pay requirements to $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute. Councilmembers said it was necessary to ensure drivers earned the equivalent of Minneapolis’s $15.57 minimum wage. But they determined the new pay rates without requesting local data from Uber and Lyft and they didn’t invite company leaders to engage in their process.

They also didn’t wait for the release of a state labor study on the matter. A day after the Minneapolis council jacked up pay requirements, the state study was released that found that drivers could earn the equivalent of the minimum wage if they are paid 89 cents per mile and 49 cents per minute, far below the council’s rates. Upping that to $1.21 per mile and 49 cents per minute could afford them benefits, including paid leave and health insurance.

In response to public backlash, some Minneapolis council members have expressed a willingness to revise their ordinance to better align with the state data.

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Economy

Illegal migrants refuse to leave Denver encampments, make demands of city including ‘fresh, culturally appropriate’ food and free lawyers

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A group of illegal immigrants in Denver is not only refusing to leave encampments, but also have the audacity to take no actions until the city meets its demands. The migrants were organized enough to publish a document with 13 specific demands before they “acquiesce to Denver Human Services’ request to leave the encampments and move to more permanent shelters funded by the city” reports Fox News.

Demands were made following the Denver government obtaining a petition to have the migrants moved, according to the outlet. The Denver mayor has been under pressure from the city’s ongoing migrant crisis, making headlines and receiving stiff backlash earlier this year for proposing budget cuts to the city’s government, including cuts to the city’s police force, to fund more money for dealing with the city’s migrant crisis.

The list of demands was sent to Mayor Mike Johnston and included requests for provisions of “fresh, culturally appropriate” food, no time limits on showers and free immigration lawyers, the outlet reported. Further details of the demands read, “Migrants will cook their own food with fresh, culturally appropriate ingredients provided by the City instead of premade meals – rice, chicken, flour, oil, butter, tomatoes, onions, etc… Shower access will be available without time limits & can be accessed whenever… Medical professional visits will happen regularly & referrals/connections for specialty care will be made as needed.”

The migrants also insisted they get “connection to employment support, including work permit applications for those who qualify,” as well as “Consultations for each person/family with a free immigration lawyer.” The migrants insisted that if these are not met, they will not leave their tent community.

“At the end of the day, what we do not want is families on the streets of Denver,” Jon Ewing, a spokesman for Denver Human Services, told Fox 31.

The current encampment is situated “near train tracks and under a bridge,” Fox 31 noted, adding that it has been there for the last couple of weeks.

Ewing told Fox 31 the city just wants “to get families to leave that camp and come inside,” noting its offer will give migrants “three square meals a day” and the freedom to cook.

He also said the government is willing to work with people to compromise and help them figure out what kind of assistance they qualify for.

Ultimately, Ewing said, the city wants to work with migrants to determine, “What might be something that is a feasible path for you to success that is not staying on the streets of Denver?”

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