2017 produced impressive early returns for the Minnesota Rural Equity Project. The effort has been received warmly by audiences throughout the state, and we’re poised to turn the encouraging talk – and ideas that underlie it – into continued momentum for the project, new partnership opportunities for our organization, and real results for Minnesotans.
We’ve worked with project partners to advance smart policies and investments in human capital, infrastructure, and tax policy. We’ve spoken with credibility on the real and perceived aspects of Minnesota’s ‘rural-metro divide.’ And we’re planning to contribute significantly to constructive dialogue bridging gaps in political culture, regional differences, and attitudes toward currently divisive issues – such as immigration, climate change, and role of government.
We’ve logged many miles meeting with Minnesotans in every corner of the state, and we’ve made important connections along the way. For instance, heightened appreciation for the role Minnesota’s regional economic development organizations play has contributed to a proposal for a more regional-focused approach to community and economic development throughout the state. We’re driving this effort, and plan to contribute to creation of a ‘regional competitiveness dashboard’ tracking region-specific progress and investment over time.
Despite clear progress, our work on this and other projects is only beginning. Growth & Justice seeks to fill an important void in Minnesota’s rich domain of progressive policy and the public good – a ‘policy shop’ think tank that balances the interests of economic growth and social justice. Given the increasing effort and investment toward narrower and oftentimes competing ends from other organizations, the need for robust and respected progressive policy expertise – and action! – has never been greater.
Growth & Justice publications, ENEWS, and blogs related to the Minnesota Rural Equity Project are below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 14, 2019 Regional and Racial Disparities, Climate Action, and Infrastructure Are Top Priorities in the 2019 Legislative Session For the “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint” Project MONDAY JAN. 14 PRESS CONFERENCES • 11:15 a.m., State Capitol Building, Press Conference Room B-971, 75 Rev. Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul. • 2 p.m., Great River Regional Library, Mississippi Room 106, ... Read More
You Are Invited! Come to Jan. 14 Presentations, in St. Paul or St. Cloud, Of One Minnesota Equity Blueprint’s Legislative Priorities We were happy to hear Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka say at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce annual legislative dinner this week that there is about 80 percent agreement between Democrats and Republicans on the challenges that our state faces. And we ... Read More
A Smart Business Take on Equitable Prosperity Business columnist Neal St. Anthony has long been one of the wiser voices in Minnesota on what it takes for an economy to grow, for businesses to be sustainably profitable, and for communities to thrive. In a recent column outlining “work to do’’ and goals to seek for 2019 and beyond, St. Anthony affirms the priorities Growth & Justice has long champi... Read More
Donate Now to Keep “Justice” and “Equity” Paramount in Minnesota Our belief that Minnesotans and Americans are shifting toward prioritizing a more equitable economy was given a little boost when Merriam-Webster announced this week that “justice” was the word of the year for 2018. Growth & Justice needs your donation before the end of the year to make racial, economic and... Read More
We Need YOU in Hinckley, for “Thriving by Design” Dec. 10-11 Hinckley is a historic and lively town, home of the 1894 Fire Museum, giant cinnamon rolls at Toby’s, and the Grand Casino, where “Good Stories Start.” It’s also an accessible midpoint between southeastern and northeastern Minnesota. That’s why we picked it as a meeting place and we need your best thinking there on ... Read More
Imagine a nine-year-old boy we’ll call Oliver Anderson – the same age and first name as the plucky urchin immortalized in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist -- growing up desperately poor in a small farm town in rural northwestern Minnesota. Oliver’s single mom scrapes by on low-wage part-time jobs in town, and sometimes finds seasonal work, but she subsists on an annual income near the official poverty level. Sur... Read More
A dominant narrative in mainstream and social media suggests our nation and state has lost its sense of community, that partisan and ideological rancor hopelessly divides us, from Congress to our holiday dinner tables, and that we have little interest in helping each other. A notion that a spirit of meanness pervades our rural regions is particularly prevalent, and indeed there are enough examples of bigotry and xenophobia and disregard for... Read More
Minnesota has been ahead of most other states in recognizing the importance of early childhood education, and investing up front in this priceless human capital. Currently, thanks to bi-partisan support and strong consensus among business leaders and childhood experts, Minnesota is putting hundreds of millions of dollars more into quality child-care than we were just a decade ago, through a variety of systems. Yet for all this... Read More
Justin Stofferahn is a policy specialist for the State of Minnesota and is a new Policy Fellow for Growth & Justice. His work focuses on fiscal and economic issues. He also has policy experience from his work in the offices of the Illinois Governor and Lt. Governor. Economic Concentration in Minnesota The biggest story in economic development right now is the bid to secure Amazon’s second headquarters and the estimat... Read More
Putting Things Back Together A Youth Social Entrepreneurship Case Study By Jeanne Walz, Matt Howard and Dane Smith A little more than a year ago, Ethan (last name withheld at his request) was headed in no particular direction, except perhaps toward trouble. He lacked motivation, was not doing particularly well in high school, and his scrapes with authorities worried his mother and teachers. His mom -- before signing him up for a specia... Read More