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ENEWS: Our Open House, Help Us Design a Blueprint, Lessons from “Our Towns’’

Date Published: 09/12/2018

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.  (Map)  Please RSVP via Eventbrite

Host or Attend Our “Thriving by Design” Community Meetings

Public policy works best if it’s developed openly and with broad grassroots input.   We need your involvement and invite you to host or attend a community meeting this fall, to help us develop a blueprint that moves Minnesota toward a more equitable prosperity.   Check out our  “Thriving by Design’’ website and join the network.   You can sign up to host and/or attend a small meeting in your area.   Hosting is easy and we encourage you to take a look at our webpage labeled Community Meeting Training to see how.  Watch the video below, which features a brief overview by organizers and partners in the process, including Brett Buckner, managing director of OneMN.org.   Also featured on the website is recent news coverage of our process and our convening in Granite Falls earlier this year.



“Our Towns” Captures Spirit of Thriving by Design

The spirit of the Thriving by Design project _ with special attention to inclusive growth and the interdependence of Greater Minnesota and Metro Minnesota _ is captured in an uplifting book we recommend: “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America,”  by James and Deborah Fallows.  Reviewer David Brooks describes it as “a Tocquevillian quest to rediscover the heart of American small-town civic cooperation and democracy — an insightful and penetrating exploration of how American cities can get back on their feet after devastating blows from the Great Recession, the China trade shock, and the deindustrialization of the Rust Belt.’’   The book features Duluth’s resurgence from Rust Belt despair  to a vibrant regional center, and which was recently named by Outside magazine as the best place in America for outdoor enthusiasts to live.   The Fallows come to the conclusion that wise public investments, strong connections to higher education,  and more inclusiveness are common denominators for small towns and cities that are succeeding.   We also like “Morning Joe” Scarborough’s review:  “This country is more united than divided…and this book will prove it.”


Quote:  “People work together on practical local possibilities, rather than allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart…The phrase ‘public-private partnership’ refers to something real…They make themselves open (to new people and immigrants)…They have big plans.’’   Points # 1, 3, 9 and 10, among 10 things that smaller successful U.S. cities have in common, from “Our Towns’’ book, cited above.

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