Former State Sen. Matt Schmit joins Growth & Justice as a consultant serving as Policy & Projects Director and lead on its new “Minnesota Rural Equity Project” – a collaborative partnership with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, the Minnesota Asset Building Coalition, the Greater Minnesota Partnership, and the Blandin Foundation.
“The Minnesota Rural Equity Project has an ambitious overarching goal,” Schmit said, “to identify what state policies, public investments, business incentives, and local initiatives are the best bets for strengthening Greater Minnesota communities, revitalizing local economies, and reducing inequality, poverty, and racial disparity. This important project and respected organization allow me to continue my work leveling the playing field in Greater Minnesota, through improved economic competitiveness and quality of life.”
Schmit is an experienced consultant and state leader on Greater Minnesota policy issues, particularly on rural broadband access and transportation infrastructure. He is a Red Wing native and represented rural southeastern Minnesota counties in the Minnesota Senate from 2012 to 2016, where he earned a reputation for bipartisan cooperation and a pragmatic approach. He also is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where he directs the Rural Competiveness Institute and has conducted research on economic development, technology deployment, infrastructure investment, and roadway safety.
Founded in 2002, Growth & Justice is a policy research and advocacy group with a statewide perspective. It seeks sustainable business growth and a broader prosperity throughout Minnesota, through smart investments in human capital and infrastructure. Growth & Justice identifies key issues and uses evidence-based research, civic engagement and collaboration to create innovative, strategic policy proposals aimed at long-term results.
“Our rural project under Matt’s direction will seek constructive, non-partisan and non-ideological solutions that help improve the socio-economic condition of Greater Minnesota and bridge the gaps between rural and Twin Cities interests,” said Dane Smith, president of Growth & Justice. “Given Matt’s strong work ethic, reputation as a proven problem solver, and ability to work across the aisle, we’re thrilled to announce that Matt will be leading this important work.”