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ENEWS: Open House, Youthful Climate Action, Jamming for Justice

Date Published: 09/20/2018

Author: Dane Smith

Movin’ on Up! Come to Growth & Justice Open House on Oct. 30

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 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.  (MapPlease RSVP via Eventbrite

Minnesota Kids Can’t Wait for Climate Action

Growth & Justice has become an official partner of the Minnesota Can’t Wait campaign, a climate action advocacy group led by youth.  Among many efforts, the young climate activists are gathering names on petitions that demand more aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, and submitting those demands to local and state policy-makers.  We like this statement on the “Who We Are” page of the website, by Shaza Hussein, 16, of Rosemount:  "I am concerned about climate change because it directly impacts the most vulnerable communities around the world, including back home in Sudan…Recently, I presented to my local government about the impacts of climate change on the city of Rosemount (which)  has now asked us to draft a resolution that they will sign to urge the federal government to acknowledge and take action on climate change."

Jamming for Justice, at Upper Harbor Terminal

Growth & Justice will have a table at the “Jamming for Justice” event from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at Mississippi Mushrooms, 3800 1st St. N, in Minneapolis.   We urge you to join this gathering, which is focused on shaping the redevelopment of a 48-acre tract on the west bank of the Mississippi River, near the Northside neighborhoods.   The Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment is the largest remaining single-owner development opportunity along the river in Minneapolis.   From the Jamming for Justice Facebook page:   “This land, and the community surrounding it, have been plagued by polluting industries that have separated the people of North Minneapolis from the Mississippi River for decades. It is time for a unified vision for the Upper Harbor—a vision rooted in community and equity, that doesn’t gentrify, that creates jobs for North Minneapolis residents, that provides green space and green business opportunities for the Northside.”  Performers at the event include: Joe Davis & Friends, a poet, activist, and spoken word artist:  and Tufawaon, an indigenous hip-hop artist and water protector.

Long-Term Progress but a Stall on Health Coverage

Our allies at the Minnesota Budget Project have analyzed health-care statistics and found that Minnesota’s steady progress toward universal high-quality health coverage has stalled.  The latest data show that 4.4 percent of Minnesotans went without health insurance at some point during 2017, compared to 4.1 percent the previous year.   That’s still substantially lower than the 8.2 percent of Minnesotans who didn’t have health insurance for at least part of the year in 2013, the year before the total roll out of the Affordable Care Act.   And here’s a warning:  “Unfortunately, over the past two years, Congress has considered multiple proposals to cut federal funding and consumer protections in health care. These proposals would threaten the health coverage of over one million Minnesotans who are able to see doctors and get their prescriptions filled through Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program, or MinnesotaCare, which provides affordable coverage for Minnesotans paid low wages.  Cutting affordable health care options would move Minnesota backward.  Looming cuts to health care are also threatened at the state level.  In 2019, policymakers must act to extend the Provider Tax, a significant funding source for affordable health care options and other important programs that help Minnesotans stay healthy. If not, this funding will disappear and many Minnesotans’ health coverage could come under threat. Now is not the time to cut state investments in Minnesotans’ health.”

Quote:  “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from his book Why We Can't Wait.   

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