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Axios Twin Cities

Happy Thursday, everyone!

  • ⛈️ Another warm day, and some rain and storms could be in the mix. High 82.

Situational awareness: U.S. Bank is delaying plans to bring corporate employees back to its downtown office in September amid concerns about the Delta variant. Go deeper via the Star Tribune.

Today's newsletter is 934 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Money flows to Minneapolis moderates

Sheila Nezhad (left) and Kate Knuth (center) are challenging Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Photos courtesy of Nezhad and Knuth campaigns; Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Candidates taking more moderate stances on policing in Minneapolis are out-raising their opponents who want to replace the city's current police department.

Driving the news: Campaign finance reports for the period of January through July were due on Tuesday and made public over recent days.

Why it matters: Money helps candidates organize, raise their profile and get their message out. But city wards are small and money only goes so far.

  • In 2017, pro-business donors raised big money to support moderate council candidates, only to see more liberal ones win those races.

The big picture: Mayor Jacob Frey raised $383,900, which is more than his two main opponents combined. Kate Knuth raised $136,700, and Sheila Nezhad $119,400.

Zoom in: A number of more moderate candidates in city council races also reported bigger hauls than their incumbent opponents, who have been supportive of replacing the Minneapolis Police Department.

  • Michael Rainville out-raised incumbent Steve Fletcher in Ward 3, $75,000 to $24,000.
  • LaTrisha Vetaw out-raised incumbent Phillipe Cunningham in Ward 4, $49,000 to $29,000.
  • In Ward 11, challenger Emily Koski reported a haul of $69,400, blowing away incumbent Jeremy Schroeder, who raised $15,300.

What they're saying: "On the progressive side, raising money has never been the main focus in Minneapolis, or the key to winning," said Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction Minnesota. "It's typically been in the field through conversations and talking to people, door-to-door."

Yes, but: Progressive donors have also been giving to the Yes 4 Minneapolis political fund that's pushing for a charter amendment to allow to the city to replace MPD.

  • That group raised nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind donations, to go along with $500,000 it raised last year.

Meanwhile: AllofMpls, a fund opposing that amendment and supporting one that would strengthen the mayor's position, has raised $109,500. But it only launched three weeks ago and will be raising more.

Between the lines: Heavy spending on the charter amendment could mobilize voters across the city, tipping the scales in other contests.

  • "There's no question that the spending on the ballot propositions could have a big impact on the ... mayor or city council [races]," Hamline University political science professor David Schultz told us. "But the question is whose turnout does it drive more."

What's ahead: Campaigns have been relatively quiet this summer, but expect to see things pick up toward the end of the month.

Full story.

2. Catch up quick: Target to help employees get degrees

Minnesota's Kyra Condie competes during the Sport Climbing Women's Combined qualifications in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Dimitris Isevidis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

🧗‍♀️ Shoreview native Kyra Condie placed eleventh in the Olympics' first sport climbing competition. (Star Tribune)

💧 State leaders say they'll push for an emergency drought relief bill for farmers when the Legislature returns for special session next month. (Forum News Service)

🏗️ Minnesota could see nearly $6 billion in federal infrastructure funding over the next five years under a draft proposal working its way through Congress, per an estimate released by President Biden's administration.

  • The state's haul could include $4.8 billion for highways and bridges, $802 million for public transportation and $100 million for broadband expansion. (White House release)

🎯 Target will offer free access to college degree programs to more than 340,000 employees. (Axios)

📚 Minneapolis Public Schools is piloting a Somali Language Heritage Program in four local schools. (Sahan Journal)

State Auditor Julia Blaha and state Sen. Melisa Franzen were hospitalized following a car crash Wednesday. Both are expected to recover. (Star Tribune)

3. Charted: How the Twin Cities' population may change
Expand chart
Data: Metropolitan Council Regional Forecast; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The Twin Cities metro area will become more diverse as our population grows in the coming decades.

By the numbers: The population of the seven-county region is projected to grow to more than 3.7 million by 2040, according to a new forecast from the Met Council.

  • Close to four in 10 residents will be from Black, Asian, Latino or Indigenous communities by that time, the forecast projects, compared with 28% in 2020.

Between the lines: The pandemic hasn't slowed growth in our region — the latest 2040 population forecast is about 2.5% higher than what the Met Council forecasted just two years ago.

What they're saying: "People moving to the Twin Cities look a lot more like the rest of the nation, and maybe the rest of the world," Met Council principal forecaster Todd Graham said at a recent meeting, according to the Star Tribune.

4. Take in a show at Minnesota's Fringe Festival

A still from "Delicious," one of the many shows offered this year. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Fringe Festival

It's Day One of the Minnesota Fringe Festival!

  • The annual independent theater and performing arts fest is hosting 100+ shows across a multitude of genres from Aug. 5-15.

Details: The shows, all typically under 60 minutes, are primarily virtual this year. But there will be roughly a dozen in-person performances throughout the Twin Cities.

How it works: To attend, you'll need to buy a $5 button, which will give you access to purchase tickets and watch virtual shows. Producers receive 65% of the ticket sales.

View the full schedule and purchase tickets here.

5. Quoted: Rochester teen pushes for climate class

Photo: Annie Chen via The 74

"I think that younger people are definitely worried a lot. The students who are worried and trying to get [climate education] into schools are doing so because they were just curious like myself and went out there to learn on their own — and then realized the importance of this education."
— Rochester senior Annie Chen on a push to include "climate justice education" in school curricula. Chen's effort, part of a broader national campaign, didn't advance in this year's legislative session.

Read the full story via The 74.

6. One smile to go: A (cool) dog

Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

Yesterday, we brought you cat content. Today is for the dogs.

Spotted: A South Minneapolis cooling station for our furry friends.

  • The plastic pink pool, filled daily during the summer, is a popular break spot for pups walking along Minnehaha Avenue.

What they're saying: "[Wags tail]" - Torey's dog Kirby, a big fan.

Thanks for reading! Before we go ...

💉 The state's latest COVID-19 vaccine incentive — $100 cash gift cards — is now up and running.

  • Minnesotans 12 and older who get a first dose between July 30 and Aug. 15 can request a cash card here.