Growth & Justice for 16 years has been framing policy and leading the way toward a consensus for equity in Minnesota, advancing practical solutions and investments that create a broader prosperity. We are winning that battle, but we can’t let up now. Our latest 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) and we’re proud of “punching above our weight.’’ We’d like to compete in a higher weight class and to do that we need your continued and increased financial support. 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, and to help us in other ways to spread the word. You can give through Give to the Max Day on November 15 or directly on our website.
Finding common ground for conscientious business leaders and for practical social justice advocates has been our special niche at Growth & Justice. Among our most responsible and clear-eyed private-sector leaders is Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. His Star Tribune op-ed right after election Day captured what we’ve been hearing in our Thriving by Design convenings the last few months. Namely: let’s bridge regional and partisan divides and focus statewide on equitable workforce training and development, investing in transit and transportation, and building more affordable housing. Here’s Weinhagen on why transit must be a higher priority: “Minnesota must expand its transit systems across the state to increase access to jobs and attract future workers, many of whom don't want to use a car. Transit use benefits both those on a bus or train and those in a car who benefit from fewer drivers on the road. Eighty percent of metro-area transit riders are headed either to work or to school, and 40 percent of workers in downtown Minneapolis get to work using transit. This is an issue with broad support — a recent poll we conducted found that 58 percent of Minnesotans want to use transit more frequently and 74 percent support making additional investments in transit.”
In the spirit of nonpartisanship and bridging ideological divides, Growth & Justice is proud to be a founding partner of the annual “Celebration of John Brandl and His Uncommon Quest for Common Ground.’’ The event was established a decade ago, shortly after the death of Brandl, a state senator and academic who was highly regarded for his ability to work across the aisle on public policy. We are extending an invitation once again to the 10th annual Brandl convening, at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, at the Cowles Auditorium in University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The theme this year is “Grasping and Reducing Poverty in Minnesota. “ Tonya Allen, CEO & President of the Skillman Foundation, is the keynote speaker. Partnering groups for the Brandl event include policy advocates that often disagree on policy and priorities, including Growth & Justice, the Citizens League, the Caux Roundtable for Moral Capitalism, the Humphrey School, and the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank. Register soon! Space is limited and going fast. Registration is free.
Join OneMN.org and Growth & Justice for the THRIVING BY DESIGN BLUEPRINT CONVENING to bookmark the beginning of a new chapter and affirmation of the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint for a future where equity drives growth and we build a thriving, inclusive economy. The Blueprint Convening is a bookend to several months work with Minnesotans statewide to lift up and explore social and economic policies that intersect and are integral to building and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming state. Those who participate this December will help finalize the first iteration of the Equity Blueprint, to be presented to the new governor, legislature, and back out to communities. Register through Eventbrite HERE.
“This year, we saw the election of more people of color than ever before, at every level of government…We believe diverse experiences and ideas foster creativity and innovation. Let's use our differences to create smarter and stronger solutions, drawing from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives.—Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, in Star Tribune op-ed cited above.