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ENEWS: Hinckley Calls, Your Bounty Needed, “Solutionarians’’ at Brandl

Date Published: 11/29/2018

Author: Dane Smith

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 how to achieve a more equitable and inclusive Minnesota.   So please join OneMN.org and Growth & Justice for our second statewide Thriving by Design convening this year,  from noon Dec. 10 to noon Dec. 11, at Grand Casino.   Attendees will consider scores of recommendations and help us develop policy priorities for the next governor and the 2019-20 legislative biennium, and for all our communities over the next decade.  The Hinckley convening is a culmination of  several months’ work with Minnesotans in more than a dozen statewide meetings,  where participants advanced  specific ideas and policy proposals that build a vibrant and welcoming state. Register through Eventbrite HERE.

Your Bounty Needed, for a “One Minnesota’’ Vision

Our “One Minnesota” policy brand -- with constructive focus on rural-metro  interdependence, attacking racial and economic disparities, and climate action -- is in higher demand that ever.  And your increased giving is needed now to supply that demand (and your policy ideas are just as important, see item above!)  Few other groups in Minnesota are more comprehensively involved in helping business leaders, justice advocates and policy-makers coalesce aroundequity as a primary principle for public policy.   Our ambitious endeavor, in partnership with OneMN.org, the Thriving by Design project , and the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint,  is focused on both the rural-metro dimension and how we can erase the disparities that plague all our communities.  This is an audacious undertaking for a relatively small non-profit (our annual budget is less than $400,000).   We are  proud of “punching above our weight,” but our convenings and stepped-up efforts this year,  and competition with campaign giving, have depleted our resources.   We earnestly ask that you give to Growth & Justice, if you haven’t yet, and to give more if you’ve given in the past.   It only takes a couple minutes to contribute on our website.  Meanwhile, check out our annual “Progress Report,’’ an eight-page newsletter that provides more detail on our important work.

“Solutionarian” Lessons from 10th Brandl Celebration

Tonya Allen, born into poverty and now leading racial and economic equity efforts in Detroit, called for a new “Solutionarian’’ mindset, looking beyond philosophical differences and going straight to specific anti-poverty policies around which there is substantial agreement.   Robert Doar and Ron Haskins, big thinkers, respectively, at national conservative and liberal think tanks, reviewed their recent anti-poverty collaboration, “Opportunity, Responsibility and Security.”  And there was the release of our own Growth & Justice essay, “Let’s Move Beyond the War on Poverty and Focus Broadly on Equitable Prosperity,’’ from a new anthology  Grasping and Reducing Poverty.    These were among the highlights Monday at  the 10th Annual “Celebration of John Brandl and His Uncommon Quest for Common Ground,” an ecumenical event we co-founded.   Other partnering groups include the Citizens League, the Caux Roundtable for Moral Capitalism, the Humphrey School, and the  Center of the American Experiment.


“The group (Minnesota’s Itasca Group, the model for a similar new group in Detroit)  recognized that for everyone to prosper, they needed to move beyond their self-interest around taxes and business climate.   (This) led to a bold commitment to make their region more inclusive by narrowing racial disparities and welcoming everyone, including immigrants and refugees. To have a real impact often requires moving beyond self-preoccupations to focus on significant societal problems. – Tonya Allen, President and CEO of Skillman Foundation, from article entitled “It’s Time to Double Down on Equity,’’  in Crain’s Detroit Business.

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