Our Growth & Justice “One Minnesota” policy brand -- with constructive emphasis on rural-metro interdependence, redressing racial and economic disparities, and accelerating climate action -- is in higher demand that ever. Your increased giving is needed now to supply that demand (and your policy ideas are just as important, see item below!) No other group in Minnesota is more comprehensively involved in helping business leaders, justice advocates and policy-makers coalesce around EQUITY as a primary principle for public policy. We have launched an ambitious endeavor, in partnership with OneMN.org, called Thriving by Design, toward a One Minnesota Equity Blueprint, which focuses on the rural-metro dynamic 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, and if you’ve donated in past, watch for our letter and remittance envelopes over the Thanksgiving weekend. Watch too for our annual “Progress Report,’’ an eight-page newsletter that provides more detail on our important work, coming soon.
We need your best thinking on how to achieve a more equitable and inclusive Minnesota. We urge you to Join OneMN.org and Growth & Justice for our second statewide Thriving by Design convening this year, at Grand Casino Hinckley from noon Dec. 10 to noon Dec. 11. Attendees will consider scores of recommendations and help us develop policy priorities for the next governor and the 2019-20 legislative biennium. The Hinckley convening is a culmination of several months work with Minnesotans in more than a dozen statewide meetings where participants advanced specific recommendations that build a vibrant and welcoming state. Those who participate this December will help finalize the first iteration of the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint, to be presented to the new governor, legislature, and back out to communities. Register through Eventbrite HERE.
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 an 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 Celebration convening, at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, in the Cowles Auditorium, at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The theme this year is “Grasping and Reducing Poverty in Minnesota. “ Partnering groups for the Brandl event include policy shops that sometimes disagree on issues, including Growth & Justice, the Citizens League, the Caux Roundtable for Moral Capitalism, the Humphrey School, and the Center of the American Experiment.
In a blunt warning to strident anti-immigrant voices and those who would put an indefinite “pause’’ on refugee resettlement in Minnesota, Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (born in Minnesota but representing Wisconsin) said this recently to an audience in Minneapolis. "No policies, no tax cuts, no deregulation is going to make up for the fact that we simply don't have enough workers…We're going to need a vibrant, legal immigration population." Johnson was speaking at an event sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis and his message was reinforced by some of the region’s leading economists and business leaders. The event earned front-page coverage in the St. Cloud Times, which serves a central Minnesota region where tensions have been particularly high around increasing diversity and immigration. The newspaper reports that St. Cloud State University will tackle the issue of immigration at its Winter Institute convening on February 7-8.
We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.—Mitt Romney, in 2012 speech accepting Republican nomination for president.