Your financial support sustains our constructive voice and our collaborative advocacy for public policy that’s good for both sustainable business growth, AND for economic and racial justice. Together we have helped improve early childhood education, tax fairness, Career Pathway models, and transit and transportation systems in Minnesota. Together we’ve created a statewide movement toward local birth-to-career education partnerships and most recently we’ve launched a Minnesota Rural Equity Project. In these turbulent and divisive times, our positive and optimistic vision is needed more than ever. Please give generously so we can continue this work and watch for a letter from us soon with more information on our work and how your dollars can help all Minnesotans do better.
This week Growth & Justice staff has been participating in the 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit in western Minnesota. Experts in rural economic development increasingly agree that a lively arts scene and cultural infrastructure is essential to rural vitality and quality of life, and that employers need these amenities to attract workers and business expansion. Partners in this sustained effort include the Center for Small Towns and Springboard for the Arts.
More than 20 percent of households and businesses in Greater Minnesota still lack access to high-speed internet, according to a recent front-page Star Tribune article. Business and community leaders fear Congress and the Trump administration will pursue policies that favor large corporate telecom providers and delay local, state, and federal efforts to subsidize broadband access. Minnesota made some progress in the 2017 Legislature with expansion of a grant program that helps local communities and co-ops provide this now essential service to sparsely populated regions, which are underserved by for-profit providers. Public investment in affordable broadband connectivity outside the metropolitan area is a high priority of our Minnesota Rural Equity Project.
“If you can’t get on the internet, you can’t do your job” –– Nicole Eld, executive director of the McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce, in Star Tribune article on rural broadband needs.
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