Columnist | Local

Jennifer Brooks is a columnist for the Star Tribune. She travels across Minnesota, writing thoughtful and surprising stories about the state's residents and issues.

Previously as a Star Tribune reporter, Brooks covered the State Capitol and the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington.

Brooks: Bakers, American Legion team up to spread holiday cheer to troops

Together, they hope to send a sweet reminder that someone in Minnesota is thinking of them.

Brooks: Why do schoolkids keep paying the price in fights over school lunches?

We don't make children buy the textbook before they can read. We don't make them chip in for gas for the school bus.

Brooks: Neighborhood loyalty is stronger than the beer at last 3.2 bar in Mpls.

There used to be hundreds. But time passed, laws shifted, and Minneapolis became a city of brewpubs and craft cocktail lounges.

Brooks: After all-out push, students get a 'yes' vote on Worthington schools

When the polls closed, all three of the school questions on the ballot passed — one by a margin of 19 votes.

Brooks: Minnesota schools figured out how to play sports without stereotypes; why can't the NFL?

While the Vikings were curb-stomping his team in Minneapolis, owner Daniel Snyder could have spent the time researching better team names.

Keith Ellison is jump-starting a conversation on race, one Minnesota city at a time

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a black Muslim man from Minneapolis, is leading a statewide conversation on race and hate.

When a young runner's heart stopped, bystanders rushed in to save the day

"This story, I don't think it's about me," Tyler Moon said. "I just went for a run and a bunch of great people stepped up and just saved my life."

Brooks: Trump rally, aftermath show it's going to be hard to hug our way out of this

Those with experience in finding common ground say it starts with finding us, not us and them.

Eyes on empty skies: Minnesota bird watchers unsurprised by news of 3 billion-bird decline

The rain kept falling, but the birds kept singing. So the watchers stayed at their post, keeping count. Chickadee. Flicker. Pileated woodpecker. Yellow-bellied sapsucker. Each…

Brooks: Minneapolis congregation offers kindness, art classes to graffiti vandal

Tagged with the mark of the beast, this small Minneapolis congregation responded with grace, humor and empathy. The mark of the best.