Jessica Lussenhop is a reporter for ProPublica’s Midwest team, covering Minnesota. Before coming to ProPublica, Lussenhop was a senior staff writer for BBC North America and a fellow at the radio program “This American Life.” She worked at a string of alternative newsweeklies, including City Pages in Minneapolis and the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. Her previous coverage has won an Asian American Journalists Association Excellence Award and a National Native Media Award. She lives in Minneapolis.
After Seeing Controversial Contract-for-Deed Home Sales Affect Constituents, Minnesota Lawmakers Propose Reforms
The state legislators said the home deals had harmed members of the Somali community in and around the Twin Cities. Some buyers have lost their homes.
Proposed legislation follows a ProPublica and Sahan Journal report that revealed questionable real estate transactions that left members of Minnesota’s Somali and Hispanic immigrant communities at risk of losing their homes.
After brakeman Chris Cole lost both his legs on the job, railroad officials removed evidence before state regulators could see it, omitted key facts in reports and suspended him from a job he could never return to.
Railroad officials have lied, spied and bribed to keep workers’ injuries off the books. “Don’t put your job on the line for another employee.”
Time and again, Johnny Taylor’s duty to keep the rails safe from disaster conflicted with his employer’s desire to keep its trains running as fast and as frequently as possible, putting his career and family in peril.
Railroad companies have penalized workers for taking the time to make needed repairs and created a culture in which supervisors threaten and fire the very people hired to keep trains running safely. Regulators say they can’t stop this intimidation.
Minnesota Attorney General Opens Investigation Into Controversial Contract-for-Deed Real Estate Practices
Following a ProPublica and Sahan Journal report, authorities are examining fast-tracked real estate deals for possible civil charges.
Senators Call for Further Oversight, Consumer Protections in Contract-for-Deed Real Estate Transactions
Following a ProPublica-Sahan Journal report on fast-tracked home financing deals that left Somali families in Minnesota financially devastated, federal lawmakers met to discuss what could be done to shield buyers.
The Supreme Court Upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Long Struggle to Implement the Law Continues.
A recent ProPublica investigation showed how ICWA was being unevenly applied in some states, breaking up Native American families that should have received additional protections under the law. There’s still room for improvement, advocates say.
Native American Families Are Being Broken Up in Spite of a Law Meant to Keep Children With Their Parents
After fighting to win back her parental rights, a young Native American mother prevailed. Then the state came for her second child.
While other states move to defund “crisis pregnancy centers,” Minnesota may offer to renew their state grants — but with conditions.
Real Estate Investors Sold Somali Families on a Fast Track to Homeownership in Minnesota. The Buyers Risk Losing Everything.
For Somali Muslim families in Minnesota, a contract for deed seems like an easier path to homeownership. But predatory practices and poor regulation can make it a financial trap rather than a good deal.
Out-of-staters have long traveled to Minnesota for abortions, but as neighboring states restrict access to the procedure, data suggests patients of color may not make the trip.