As the country continues to debate immigration, I would like to give a little history lesson based on personal experience.
One of my corporate stops was in Northeast Minneapolis. It had a rich, diverse heritage.
The area was divided by Lowry Avenue that ran east and west. To the north, along Johnson Avenue, were Swede Hill and the Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church. Along Lowry were what we would call mainline denomination churches.
Below Lowry was a wide variety, similar to what you would see in areas of Chicago.
The dominant church was Holy Cross Catholic Church. These ethnic churches eventually became metro-wide churches. When Holy Cross celebrated 100 years, a Cardinal celebrated mass in Polish. A good share of our customers had Polish names that took me a while to learn to pronounce.
Two Ukrainian Churches were also in the market. Younger family members would accompany elders to translate.
The food was great. A German-heritage Lutheran Church had its annual sauerkraut and pork chop dinner, with multiple seating times and it always sold out.
Little Italy, part of the Twin Cities, was just down the block. More than one business associate came from downtown to enjoy their acclaimed pepper omelets.
The whole menu at the Lebanese deli was authentic. Neighborhood bars and restaurants had their specialties and were well-known metro-wide.
It was a great experience; people welcomed and enjoyed the diversity.
There are many similarities to Sioux City today and in the past.