We're getting plenty of feedback and praise for our commentary on the cover of the Star Tribune's Opinion Exchange section Sunday, which revisited Aesop's Fable about "The Country mouse and the City Mouse." Former Minnesota Rural Education Association leader Vernae Hasbargen and Growth & Justice President Dane Smith collaborated on an appeal to Minnesotans to improve their attitudes around the so-called rural-metro divide, and to curb metro condescension and rural resentment. We urged action on specific legislative priorities, including broadband expansion, early childhood education, and Career Pathway programs. These investments will rebuild a more equitable rural prosperity.
Our Invest in Minnesota coalition partners at the Minnesota Budget Project recently published an excellent analysis showing how child-care is becoming much less affordable and available, particularly in rural Minnesota, and why Minnesota legislators need to shore up the Child Care Assistance Program. Doing so would benefit the small businesses who provide child care, the policy brief notes, adding that "affordable child care is a crucial building block of family economic security and our future economic success as a state."
"People in this country, the middle class in this country, expected to exercise grass roots power in the 60s and the 70s and they expected Washington to respond ...What's happened over the last three decades is there has been this decline not just in civic engagement but a decline in confidence that civic engagement and action at the grass roots could make a difference. What's going on now is people are starting to say, 'We're angry. We're going to do something about it.' And, 'Hey maybe we can get something done.' " -- Hedrick Smith, author and former journalist, on his website: http://www.ReclaimtheAmericanDream.org
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