All posts by jessklimisch

Food Trucks are in, Chains are Out!

 

It didn’t come as much of a surprise to read that casual restaurants, such as Red Lobster and TGI Fridays, are struggling to appeal to millennials. Entering these restaurants as an adult you’re reminded that a seemingly once-great place is the exact same now as it was then, and not in a good way. The quality of food doesn’t live up to your memories, the ambiance is depressing, and we’ve all heard about the centipede myth in the Olive Garden salad.

Don’t get me wrong though, I will always have a special place in my  heart for Applebee’s.

Time for new, or renewed.

Food trucks.

If you haven’t checked out a food truck, take advantage of one on your lunch break – bummer to those outside any urban settings though. They’re inexpensive, outside, and the options seem endless.

Who would have thought that the chuckwagon of the old west would still be alive and trending 164 years later.

It’s not just independent restaurants taking advantage of this mobile opportunity. Chains such as Starbucks (yes, please), Taco Bell, and White Castle have all joined the food truck scene. The known concept of food trucks is that they are meant to be for start-up businesses, or those that can’t afford to own a restaurant – leaving a sting to many when they see chain food trucks. It’s hard for me to see these companies running the little guys out of business though…maybe Starbucks.

According to the Minnesota mobile food unit (MFU) license, an MFU can only visit the same location 21 days annually – forcing the mobile units to remain mobile, even the chains.

In 2013 food trucks generated $650 million across the United States. In 2017 the 30,000 – 40,000 food trucks are projected to bring in $2.7 billion. On average, a food truck that serves five lunches per week can earn $240,000 annually.

For the entrepreneurs of the wold who want to start their own trucks, don’t be discouraged by the initial hurdles and price tags, however, do understand there is a lot that goes into running a food truck. Californian Matt Cohen, founder & CEO of Off the Grid, estimates that start up costs for a food truck begin at $50,000. He breaks down the startup steps into the following: business plan, commercial kitchen, truck commissary (power to store food overnight, clean water, propane tanks), health permit, route plan, staff, menu, audience, social media &  marketing (unless you follow B.J. Mendelson), and a network.

Proving to be no simple task, food trucks earn even more cool points in my book.

See you out there!

Blog Post 6

#Blogpost1 Blogger as intelligent filter

 

 

 

 

Stop Buying Avocados and Coffee, NOW!

This is incredible! I had no idea that if I stopped buying coffee and avocados I could afford a down payment on a house, thank you! $6.00 saved, only $12,494 to go!

But seriously, I understand where Tim Gurner is attempting to come from, Millennials are spending too much money on frivolous things and not saving towards their future.

This doesn’t excuse this poor attempt for a self-righteous pep talk.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes a very motivated individual to achieve the accomplishments Gurner has in such a short period of time, however, as hard working as Gurner is, and setting aside the $34,000 dollar investment Gurner’s grandfather gave him to kickstart his business – thanks Pops – Gurner was clearly in a position most Millennials do not have the opportunity to be apart of.

We need to stop grouping people’s worth into generation stereotypes.

Millennials struggle to buy homes because purchasing a home is extremely unrealistic.

Stop complaining and save up they say?

Since 1960 the United States’ rent has increased by 64 percent while the household income has only increased by 18 percent. Since 1978 College tuition has increased by 1,120 percent, medical expenses have surged 601 percent, and food prices have risen 244 percent.

Let’s address the part where Gurner says, “..when you’re spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working…” 71 percent of Millennials in the US are employed, 83 percent of who need to work a second job, 68% of those workers are still making less than $50K annually.

Placing blame on a generation to stop spending money on avocados and toast is a lazy way of ignoring where the real issues stem from.

Instead of Tim Gurner scolding his generation to stop spending $22…I mean $23…or wait $40 a day on avocado, toast, and coffee – which, spare me – he could use his acclaimed wisdom towards a more viable solution for Millennials to begin purchasing homes.

When you sit on your high horse you forget the view of the other 99 percent.

 

Blog 5

#blogpost3 #theanalyticpost

 

It’s Time to get Real about our Plastic Bag Problem

One trillion plastic bags are used globally each year. Just a friendly reminder what one trillion looks like that’s 1,000,000,000,000 – it’s hard to even comprehend such a number. Don’t worry! We can break it down! That’s 115.2 million in one hour, 1.92 million in one minute, and 32,000 in one second.  The United States is estimated to use about 380 billion plastic bags each year, contributing to 38% of the global total.

What do you do with your plastic bags? If you’re anything like me you will have a ridiculous amount of bags at your house, all bundled and stashed inside, yet another, plastic bag. You will notice plastic bags stuck in fences, decorating the ditches of I-94, and floating in our lakes. If you’re also like me,  you will never remember to bring your reusable bags inside the store when you go shopping, although, they might make it to the car.

So how do we fix this?

Banning plastic bags in larger cities is a trend worth catching on, and it’s happening. Numerous notable cities such as: Austin, TX., Chicago, IL., Los Angeles, CA., San Francisco, CA., and Seattle, WA., have all banned single-use plastic bags from large retail stores. While other larger cities such as: Boulder, CO., New York, NY., Portland, ME., and Washington D.C., have implemented added fees to plastic bag usage.

In early May of this year Minneapolis announced that it would be joining this trend by implementing a city-wide ban of plastic bags beginning June 1, 2017. However, within a few weeks the state Legislator blocked this initiative by passing a bill that prohibits any city from banning plastic bags. The reason given? It would cause too much confusion for businesses and consumers.

Let’s pause for a second.

We don’t want to implement a change to our lifestyle, that would have nothing but positive affects to our planet, our waste system, and future generations because it might be too confusing? Is it really too confusing to bring reusable bags when you go shopping? Is it too confusing to create new habits and routines that will benefit the environment?

In 2016 I visited San Jose, CA. When I was checking out at the grocery store I was not very enthused to find out there was a city wide plastic bag ban. I had never heard of such a thing! I was forced to find a way to carry my purchased items back to the hotel without a bag. Once the annoyance started to settle, it hit me how absolutely incredible the idea was. A city fighting to protect our planet? Putting aside it’s corporate greed for something beneficial to our community?

When you pause for a minute and reflect on what makes you upset about this inconvenient ban, you will realize that your reasoning is completely selfish.

You should be excited about the idea of being expected to help protect our planet and proud to represent a city that is striving for change.

We need to fight to bring back this opportunity to Minneapolis, we can’t live life being afraid to face our responsibilities. It is time for us to start being the change we wish to see.

 

Bog #4

#blogpost4 #exercisingyourpublicvoice

Native Americans’ Endless Fight for Justice

By exploiting Native Americans, the United States Government has been able to keep their culture repressed and ignored by the majority of the country’s civilians. The time has come, as a nation, to understand this constant and unfair treatment of Native Americans. People are so quick to say “get over it” or “move on” without actually understanding that this exploitation didn’t happen that long ago – and is still going on today.

Focusing mainly on the Great Dakota Sioux, I am going to list only a few examples of these restrictions- starting at the beginning.

Keep in mind, these examples are just scratching the surface of the injustice the Native American’s have faced.

Perspective:

To put this timeline into perspective I want to point out a few important moments in history,that might sound familiar to you:

  •  The Minnesota Gophers football team’s first national championship was in 1900 – only 50 years after the formation of the first Native American reservation and only 22 years after the Great Sioux’ reservation treaty was signed – Australia was still one year away from becoming a sovereign nation and Ford Motor company was only three years away from formation.

How can moments so familiar and relevant be so closely touched to something we consider greatly historic?

Treaty of Fort Laramie:

The original reservation for the Great Sioux, Treaty of Fort Laramie signed April 29, 1868, consisted of 25 million acres of land including all land of South Dakota west of the Missouri River.  The treaty also indicates, in Article 11, designated areas of Nebraska set aside for hunting as well as article 16 which includes part of Wyoming and Montana as “unceded Indian Territory” – meaning no white man may enter this territory without the permission of the Great Sioux.

According to Article 12 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, any changes to this treaty would need to be approved by three-quarters of the adult Sioux males.

This treaty was signed by both tribal leaders as well as the United States government.

In 1874, only six years after the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, geologists and soldiers were sent to the Black Hills under the command of Officer George Custer in search of gold.

After discovering gold in the Black Hills, a rush of hopeful miners flooded into the unceded territory.

In 1877, only nine years after the signing of the Treaty, the Sacred Black Hills was officially removed from the Great Sioux reservation by the government, without the consent of three-quarters of the adult Sioux men.

The Dawes Act:

The Dawes Act of 1889, only 21 years after the signing of the Treaty and only 11 years before the first Minnesota Gophers first football championship, reduced the Sioux reservation territory again.  This Act broke the land down to six parts, one of which being the Standing Rock Sioux, opening up parts of the reservation to European settlers.

The Oahe Dam:

In 1958 the Oahe Dam, constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers, destroyed 90 percent of the Sioux’s timberland and flooded 22,091 acres of their most fertile farming lands.

Dakota Access Pipeline:

Today the Army Corps of Engineers is building a pipeline which would run underneath the Missouri River.  This pipeline would threaten the Sioux’s primary water source and cultural sites.

Although the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline since 2014, the protests didn’t gain national attention until 2016 which brought in thousands of protesters from around the nation.

After months of protesting, on December 4, 2016 The Army Corps of Engineers finally denied the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to drill under the Missouri River– a win for the Standing Rock Sioux and Native Americans around the United States.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2017, under the Trump Administration, the United States Army declared that the deputy secretary will grant the final permit needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, allowing the infrastructure to run under the Missouri River, erasing everything the Sioux people have been fighting to protect for three years

How can we ignore this? Why is there still a majority of people in our country who continue to insist that Native Americans don’t have a right to acknowledgement of their history? How can we develop a nation of acceptance, understanding, and solutions? We all need to understand why Native American’s are in the situation they are today, why they are so committed to stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline, and why we need to support their culture and way of life.

 

UPDATE: June 14, 2017, courts ruled that the Trump administration’s approval of the  Dakota Access Pipeline violated the law

Blog #3

#Blogpost4 Exercising you Public Voice

Social Media: China to the United States

While our former president is teaching us how to take the best selfie, the Chinese government struggles to maintain control on the itching desire for social media freedom.

It seems we have found the two extremes when it comes to the affect social media is having on cultural experiences. However, I pause to ask myself, which seems better? To have so much information and accessibility we create a world of blurred lines between what news is real and fake, or to be cut off from any news sites completely – except those the government wishes to release? Both situations seem to have a doomed end result.

Today our social media is plagued with incredibly fake (can we even use this word still?) news sources. Let’s just name a few from one of my oh-so-fellow Facebook friends: The Daily Wire, where we learn there is proof that Obama spied on Trump, msfanpage.link where, again, there is undeniable proof of Obama’s wire tapping, Rowdy Republican, AM1280 The Patriot, 100percent Fed Up, jewsnews.com, and, my personal favorite, lowederwithcrowder.com.

Let’s get it together guys.

We forget that we have such an  amazing advantage with social media. We have proven these advantages in revolutionary proportions, the most notable example being the Arab Spring, where we were reminded just how incredibly influential social media platforms can be.

Social media has given a voice to the people and has forced companies to rethink their ethical responsibilities. Recently United Airlines learned how viral a situation can become when employees handled a situation painfully wrong.

We, as the people, have more power than we even know and we choose to pollute our platforms with junk. Meanwhile, our fellow millennials in China are fighting for their right to their online voice. We have the ability to be incredibly resourceful and create new possibilities for ourselves and others around the world. We just need to remember to stay focused on the validity of our sources.

 

Blog Post #2

#blogpost2 Blogging as connected writing

 

 

Nicki Minaj is Paying Students’ Debt

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/celebrities/nicki-minaj-pays-students/

Nicki Minaj is reminding all of us that there are people cheering for our success. As a college student we are constantly reminded of the inevitable financial doom that will soon be ours once we graduate. This struggle causes anxiety and in return we as students feel we have no other choice but to rack up the bill. We forget, however, that there are real, non-celebrity sources available who are willing to alleviate our financial burden.

Seeing someone like Nicki Minaj take it upon herself to contribute to student loan payments of her fans is impressive. Although I am spirited by this gesture, it makes me wonder, how did we get here? How have we let our system become so broken that we depend on the 1-percenters to, on a whim, hand out money? The fact that college has become so expensive that students feel they need to reach out to a celebrity, or any stranger, for money is absurd. The financial inflation for college tuition is absolutely out of control.

How does this impact our country’s future? How is it affecting our nation today? There is no doubt that this price tag is contributing to our nation’s wealth gap and enriching the “me first” mentality of our citizens, as described by Simon Mainwaring’s We First article.

It should not come down to celebrities, like Nicki Minaj, to remind students there can be light at the end of the tunnel. These situations are fresh reminders that college tuition problems are not going away anytime soon. There are definitely sources available to help scrape the top of the debt, however, this is not a long term solution.  We need to find a solution that will allow people the opportunity for success. Time to put those college degrees to the test.

Blog Post #1

#blogpost1 Blogging as Intelligent Filter