Growth & Justice and our partner OneMn.org are assembling a comprehensive policy blueprint that will move Minnesota toward a more equitable and inclusive prosperity. We need your help! Convene with those in your community (however you define community is up to you) to dive into a deeper conversation about equitable growth in Minnesota, and provide input for the Blueprint. Check out our Thriving by Design website for further information, such as Community Meeting Host training and tools. Call or e-mail Sarah Leistico, Policy & Outreach Manager, for guidance and further details. (firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-917-6037 ext. 4) Our team will work with you to secure a location and help recruit attendees if needed. Click here to sign up and host a conversation today!
Growth & Justice is on the move this fall, building a new public policy blueprint that will push our state toward a more equitable prosperity and climate action. And we’ve literally moved too, to accommodate our expanding work and staff. We invite you to learn more about our ambitious new initiatives on October 30, anytime from 4 to 8 p.m., at an Open House in our new offices. We’ll provide refreshments, including wine and beer and light hors douevres. You will meet new President Jane Leonard, honor the “semi-retired” Dane Smith (now our Senior Fellow and President Emeritus), and recognize the contributions of outgoing Board Chair, Kim Lowe. We’ll put on a very brief program every half hour starting at 4:30, to catch you up with G & J’s audacious “Thriving by Design’’ project in partnership with OneMN.org and our plans to produce a “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint” for policy-makers and community leaders. G & J’s new and larger office is one floor up from our old one, at 970 Raymond Ave, St. Paul 55114 – Suite 201. Please RSVP via Eventbrite. (And here’s a map)
Finding common ground between conscientious business leaders and practical social justice advocates is our stock-in-trade at Growth & Justice. Media coverage of a recent candidate forum hosted by the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce revealed some of the most important common ground on Minnesota’s policy landscape, namely: a high priority on policies that address our state’s growing workforce needs, and not necessarily tax cuts. Lori Sturdevant’s column in the Sunday Star Tribune included the observation that “nary a question was asked at the forum about taxes,’’ and instead almost all concern was focused on a shortage of skilled workers. Sturdevant further detailed key “policy levers” that remedy the shortage: improving workforce training and erasing the racial education attainment gap, welcoming immigrants and people of color, providing affordable housing, and ensuring high quality child-care and transit service. The newspaper followed up with the editorial admonition that “racially inclusive hiring practices are a key strategy for businesses that aim to thrive during a worker shortage.’’ The editorial noted that Tawanna Black, the founder and CEO of the new Twin Cities-based Center for Economic Inclusion, told the Twin West group that “they will have to work harder with the public sector on improving transit services, increasing the supply and stability of workforce housing, and offering living stipends as well as tuition subsidies to those enrolled in job-training programs.’’
In synch with the Twin West themes, the Twin Cities’ premiere regional economic development partnership, Greater MSP, is mounting an ambitious set of “Welcome Week’’ events, around the theme “All Are Welcome Here.’’ Described as “an effort to intentionally reach everyone who identifies as a newcomer to the region,’’ the slate of events includes social and educational venues that appeal to both international newcomers and those new to Minnesota from other states and metropolitan areas. We recommend two other recent statements about the value of immigrants to Minnesota. One is a St. Paul Pioneer Press op-ed by a highly regarded, long-time Minnesota Latino leader, Hector E. Garcia, arguing forcefully that Latinos are powerful net contributors to economic growth. “Latinos are responsible for 29 percent of the growth in U.S. real income since 2005,” Garcia noted, and “Latinos’ purchasing power has been growing 70 percent faster than that of Americans as a whole since the late 1980s. If it were considered a standalone economy, (U.S.) Latino GDP would have been the seventh largest in the world.’’ The second is a MinnPost article revealing the important contributions of Latinos and other immigrants to the rural community of Long Prairie, a small rural town in central Minnesota. The article paints a nuanced picture, including some growing pains, but most important a sense of rebirth and vitality and mutual benefit for old-timers and newcomers.
Quote: “ Among some long-time residents, there is a fear of change, but the Hispanics are jumping in and starting restaurants. They are filling our empty downtown buildings. They are populating our schools.”-- Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst, director of the Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce, in MinnPost article cited above.