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ENEWS: On Give to the Max, Competitive Politics, Main Street Alliance, and Early Education

Date Published: 11/13/2017

Author: Dane Smith

Give to the Max, to G&J!

Thursday November 16th is Give to the Max day and if you’ve never donated to Growth & Justice before, now is the time! Not only will your contribution be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 by our Board and other supporters, your donation could help G&J win additional prizes from Give to the Max. Your support allows Growth & Justice to provide a clear and constructive voice for public policy that builds a stronger economy and a more inclusive prosperity for Minnesota. 

How Competition in Politics is Failing America

We’ve always been impressed by the work of Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, often described as a “guru” on economic competitiveness for regions and nations, and widely cited for his research showing how the ability to compete depends on a complex set of social progress indicators. His latest work, Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America, is stimulating and intriguing. Porter and co-author Katherine M. Gehl, a former CEO and a leader of The Centrist Project, argue that unhealthy competition between political parties and ideologies has been advantageous for the Republican and Democratic “duopoly” and other narrow interests, but is failing to produce constructive answers to America’s economic and social needs. Porter’s recommendations include: nonpartisan primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, rewriting congressional and legislative rules that give too much control to the majority, and campaign finance reforms that include “100 percent transparency” and a public match for smaller donations.

Partnering with Main Street Alliance

Growth & Justice has formed a new partnership with the fast-growing Minnesota chapter of the Main Street Alliance and we’re working together on a survey of small business in Greater Minnesota that will help us shape our One Minnesota policy framework. We encourage our supporters to learn about the “Shop Your Values” campaign and consider patronizing small business that support economic and racial justice policies in Minnesota. Small business owners and workers need affordable and universal health care, a more skilled workforce, and state policies that build equity for our people of color and immigrants, who work for and who buy goods and services from small businesses.

The Pioneer Press Analyzes Early Ed

St. Paul Pioneer Press recently published an insightful front-page article on early childhood education that summarized both the costs and benefits of our state’s recently increased investments in our youngest people. The article includes plenty of input from actual pre-K teachers, including Amy McGuire, who observed that it’s easy to tell which students attended a preschool program before kindergarten. “They have a huge jump on things…they’re a little more confident and a little less terrified,” McGuire said. Bottom line, the article states: “Educators are increasingly certain that the skills children learn in preschool classes…are essential to success in kindergarten — and can help close the academic achievement gap between poor and minority children and their peers.”

Quote of the Week

“In today’s partisan political competition, there is actually an incentive not to solve problems. Keeping a problem or controversy alive or festering is a way to attract and motivate partisan voters, special interests, and committed donors to each side.”-- from the report cited above “Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America.”

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