Columnist | Local

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

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

Everyone should count: Minnesotans, don't get left out of census

  We’ve counted almost three out of every four Minnesotans, give or take. It’s three out of four if you’re filling out the 2020 census…

Brooks: Minnesota aims for full ballot boxes, empty polling places this Election Day

Half a million Minnesotans have requested absentee ballots already. That's half a million people who won't have to wait in line on Aug. 11.

Brooks: Swastika-swaddled shoppers were the symptom, not the disease

This isn’t who we are, we told ourselves when the neighbors went shopping with swastikas wrapped around their heads. Shoppers howled through their Nazi…

Brooks: This weird, Plan-B pandemic summer might just have some fun in it yet

For everything the summer of 2020 took from us, there are people working to give us something back. Like Zoom calls with goats.

Brooks: At last, a mask mandate for Minnesota

Maybe there will be protests. But it's hard to argue that this is a radical policy leap when Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio did it first.

Brooks: Minnesota's baffling collection of Confederate high school mascots

Murray County Central is one of the few districts willing to take a hard look at its mascot.

Brooks: Minnesota farmers markets adapt to a pandemic summer

Farmers are hoping a trip to the market is one sweet summer treat Minnesotans can still savor.

Brooks: Young eyewitness to Floyd's killing is writing children's book

Judeah Reynolds, age 9, is going to tell her own story. The story of what happened that day she walked to the store, and in the days that followed.

Flower Power: Reopened conservatory in St. Paul offers a break from pandemic gloom

When the pandemic closed the conservatory doors, the gardeners opened a window.Through the cold, gray spring, as the virus spread and Minnesota shut down, people…

Brooks: Minnesota put the Confederate flag in its place 150 years ago

They’ll be racing again at the Elko Speedway this Fourth of July. Fast cars, fireworks, a responsibly sized crowd, and not a Confederate flag in…